BDN runs a disappointing campaign update that paints a picture of Sen. Collins and Rep. Allen as virtually indistinguishable on economic issues.
He criticized the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the health care system, saying their lobbyists exert too much control over Medicare. He decried tax breaks for the oil industry at the same time that they are having record profits and many Mainers are having trouble paying their heating bills.Yes, Collins has a long history of opposing the corporate agenda.
When he mentioned the Iraq war, he partly cast it in an economic light by leveling criticism at the Bush administration for wasting "billions" of dollars on the conflict and running up the national debt.
During a recent telephone interview, however, Collins expressed support for many of the same economic ideas espoused by Allen.
Except for, y'know, her votes in the Senate
To be clear, the article doesn't contain any blatant untruths. But this kind of context-free, surface-gloss reporting is one of the main problems with political journalism today.
And it plays right into the hands of the Collins camp.
Because instead of testing Collins' rhetoric against her legislative record--instead of doing the difficult (though not that difficult), boring work of sifting through votes and speeches, reporter Bill Trotter essentially takes the junior senator at her word.
That leaves Collins free to cast herself as a champion of the very causes she's opposed in the Senate chamber--to pose as an ally of Allen when she's really been a foe.
And so it's no wonder when, later in the piece, Trotter notes that, "Mainers often rely on a candidate’s likeability when they cast their votes."
Maybe if the Maine media did a better job of holding politicians accountable for not just their words but their deeds, that wouldn't be the case.