Bad jokes about the Globe’s new “G-spot” aside, the paper is shrinking in more ways that one. I refer to the continuing dismal quality of its election coverage.
Time was, a national election was a golden opportunity for a first-rate paper to show its stuff. But between Peter Canellos’ tin ear and the lame reporting from the field, reading the Globe on the 2008 election too often makes me cringe.
Case in point today’s front-page article by Scott Hellman and Sasha Issenberg headlined, Obama on defense in Pa. As McCain senses an opening.
In 1200 words, there is not one single citation of actual polling data or, indeed, any other hard information that would justify that McCain actually is moving in on Obama, or that Obama’s support is weakening. Their nut graf: “But for all of the offense that Obama is now playing, he and his campaign are having to mount a forceful defense of a big, vote-rich, traditionally Democratic prize: Pennsylvania.”
The information coming in shows exactly the opposite, that Obama is maintaining a steady, double-digit lead in Pennsylvania. The most recent poll, from Franklin and Marshall with the Philadelphia Daily News shows Obama up 13 points. Terry Madonna, the poll director, said, “”The race shows a lot of stability.” “Obama is very well positioned to win the state, unless McCain has a breakthrough moment.”
So where is the information to back up the Globe story that Obama is scrambling to hold on to his lead? Answer: there is no such information. The piece uses a few quotes from people like PA Gov. Ed Rendell that caution against cockiness, but that’s about it. This is “There needs to be a horse race” journalism at its blatant worst. This article is an embarrassment. But the Boston Globe (“Owned by moguls, written by interns”) these days is simply beyond embarrassment.