Friday, December 01, 2006

Trying to Mow Down Mitt

Yesterday speaking to the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, Governor-elect Deval Patrick criticized newspaper coverage of his campaign saying:

“Put your cynicism down. Don't trivialize optimism and hope. It built this country. It built my life. Don't glorify the naysayers when the yeasayers have been at the center of progress since the beginning of recorded time”.

The Boston Globe reports that:

The remarks were greeted by silence

A story that makes the front page in today’s Globe proves the point of Deval’s criticism.

Sit down before you read this!

Believe it or not, today’s Globe reports in a 1600-word front page story that the firm hired to maintain the grounds at Governor Mitt Romney’s home has employed some (shudder) illegal immigrants. Catch that. A Globe headline for once does not call them ‘undocumented’. We learn that the Governor even waved at them once or twice and said “Buenos dias!”. I am truly scandalized.

The story appears with all the trappings of a major exposĂ©. It comes complete with an italicized explanation of all the reporters who worked on the story and an undercover style photo (above, note the lens shading on the bottom of the photo). It wasn’t easy to get this story. It took 4 months of work and an international journalistic effort:

The Globe received a tip in July alleging that Romney was using illegal immigrants to landscape his property. Reporters then observed the lawn service workers outside Romney's house more than a dozen times, sometimes as frequently as twice a week.

Reporters tracked down four current and former employees of the company at their homes in Chelsea and in Guatemala. All had landscaped Romney's property while working for Community Lawn Service with a Heart, and their tenure ranged from one worker who had joined the company just a month ago to another who had worked there 10 years.

To justify the absurdity of putting this story on the front page, the story notes near its end:

The issue of illegal immigrant laborers has been tricky and sometimes damaging to political figures. President Clinton's first two nominees for attorney general, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, saw their chances dim after it was reported that they had employed illegal immigrants as nannies.

This is obfuscation. The issue was that these nominees to head the Justice Department had failed to pay social security taxes on the wages they paid their own employees, as required by law.

No doubt a fair and balanced journal like the Globe has also spent months researching the immigration status of the folks who cut Deval Patrick’s grass. I’ll expect that story in tomorrow’s paper.

The hypocrisy, the pettiness, and the vendetta-driven nature of this story are simply beyond belief. I am thoroughly disgusted. The Globe has no shame.


John said...

Don't bother with Deval. Ted Kennedy has many bigger and greener lawns at his families estates.

Chris said...

The Boston Globe only preaches to its own choir now. They are a charade, to be mocked and laughed at and deservedly so. I take pleasure in seeing red ink flow and readership/circulation sink. There is no putting the Genie back in the bottle for the liberally-biased mainstream media; there is no model for deriving revenue through their Internet versions...even though that was the hope all along.

yes, we can be enraged at stories like this. But be happy that the underpinnings of The Boston Globe are in a shambles.

maddermusic said...

I actually work at the Globe, and I think this is the silliest waste of journalistic resources I've seen in a long time. We assigned three reporters and flew one of them to Guatemala to confirm...what? That a company hired by Romney to tend his lawn may be in violation of the immigration laws. Not a scrap of evidence that Romney knew; no indication that he did anything wrong.

How many thousands of dollars did it cost to get this nothing of a story? Sheesh.

flymorgue said...

zpcmejDear madder,
After cutbacks the Globe can't be expected to splurge for the pencils, notebooks, armies of reporters and hundreds of plane tickets necessary to properly document JF Kerry's swarm of dusky groundskeepers necessary to maintain his five mansions. Fair and balanced would break the bank in this case.

A dear "Squaror",
Great point about Zoe Baird. By selfishly not paying SS, Baird effectively prevented any paper trail that her nanny might use to bolster a future visa request. This nanny amounted to a slave when you compare hours worked to pay received. When you contrast what Baird paid the major caregiver of her children with her own salary it was a grotesquerie. The Globe throws the details of this down the memory hole when they blithely make the comparison to Mitt.

PS - all the Dartmouth stuff is great - I wil comment forthwith - your Indian photo led me to the Review which had this great nugget: