The sad foolishness of what passes for journalism at the Boston Globe is epitomized in this simply dreadful story. It is on page 1 above the fold and 4 columns wide, with 2 photos and charts, and completely worthless. Incidentally the charts aren’t referred to by the story. The charts show consumer spending trending away from personal items, but the charts also show that trend has been going since the year 2000. What is the news here?
The cover photo shows a large family (parents plus 5 children) in a large home having dinner in their large dining room (complete with fireplace). Dinner is pizza and salad. Dad is pouring the wine. Wine for dinner in tough times? Well, dad has turned the wine label away from the photographer. Perhaps it is a lower quality wine than dad wishes to show publicly. Maybe it’s just Australian plonk. The story tells us that this poor family has not been out to a restaurant in 6 months, and that dad drives 60 miles each way to work, and the heating bills for their big house now run $2400/year. Are you crying for them yet?
- Four years ago Kathleen and her husband moved from Massachusetts to Kennebunk, Maine.
- Her husband still commutes from Maine to his job in…Massachusetts.
- Kathleen, a soloist, commutes to Massachusetts about twice a week for church gigs.
- The family gasoline expenses run about $600 per month.
The Globe reports that Kathleen’s heroic sacrifices to make it in this rough economy include:
- Attending free concerts in Maine rather than traveling to Boston for the Boston Symphony.
- Watching the Portland Sea Dogs minor league baseball team instead of the Red Sox at Fenway.
- Her daughter transferring from UVM to the University of Maine for in-state tuition.
- Buying a used radiator covers instead of new plant stands for her sprouts.
The Globe story reports:
Even before college costs were added to the equation, the family was in debt, with the balance on their credit cards "out of hand," Carter admitted, because they had to use them for basic purchases. "When it comes right down to the bone of the matter, we're hurting," said Carter. "I say, 'Any day now, I'm going to find a job.' Well, I've been saying that for two years."
Yes, lady, get yourself a job. A real job. Please.
And how does the Boston Globe always find "poster children" such as this?