By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Making a statement

Nothing is going to stop the ongoing transmogrification of the Boston Globe into a smaller, mostly local newspaper. Still, the Globe really makes a statement about its national relevance today, leading with a Farah Stockman story on Halliburton’s use of a tax-exempt subsidiary in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes for its employees in Iraq.

Halliburton is no longer the parent company, but the scam continues, costing taxpayers perhaps $100 million a year, and cheating the employees out of Social Security benefits they should be earning. And just to show how sleazy this all is, it turns out that when Iraq-based employees tried to sue over alleged exposure to hazardous chemicals in Iraq, the subsidiary claimed immunity on the grounds that they were working for an American company that was working with the military.

Ideally, the Globe will continue to break occasional stories of national interest, as it did with Charlie Savage’s Pulitzer-winning reporting on President Bush’s use of signing statements to get around provisions in legislation that he didn’t like.

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  1. jvwalt

    This story is absolutely the kind of thing we’re never going to hear about, as the number of papers with national aspirations continues to dwindle. The day is not far off when we’ll have only two-and-a-half papers with national presences — Washington Post, NY Times, and half credit to the WSJ. No matter how good the Post and Times are, they cannot possibly cover the entire government adequately. We need lots of reporters covering the ground. This is one of the most urgent questions of the Internet Age: as all the dailies aggressively go local, where is the missing coverage going to come from?

  2. Anonymous

    On the local coverage side, I have to say I absolutely love this story about Athol:

  3. Anonymous

    Ha, the Athol story reminds me of the old saw about the Governor Chubb Peabody who had three communities in the state named after him: Peabody, Marblehead, and Athol….now that’s an old Boston story.

  4. Anonymous

    My bad, a friend just pointed out the Athol pice was an AP story.

  5. MeTheSheeple

    You can’t beat a headline to a story out of Athol:Polithe thoot bear in Athol

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