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

Herald exclusive: Democrat says Republican could lose

In today’s episode of “Let’s Play Editor,” you receive an entirely predictable op-ed from a prominent Democratic political consultant who writes that Republican Sen. Scott Brown could lose in 2012. What do you do?

  1. Write a polite rejection letter to the consultant and hope it won’t affect his willingness to return your calls.
  2. Curry favor with the consultant by publishing his piece on the op-ed page, secure in the knowledge that no one will read it.
  3. Blast the piece all over the front page, label it an “exclusive” and slap a headline on it pronouncing Brown to be “THE NEXT COAKLEY.”

If you’re Herald editor Joe Sciacca, then the answer is #3. Although Rubin’s affiliation is disclosed, today’s front page will make me pause the next time I criticize the tabloid for allowing Republican operative Howie Carr to rip Democrats.

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  1. Bob Nelson

    For the record Carr is a registered unenrolled so he can take Dem. or Rep. ballots in primaries whenever necessary. If you look at conservative sites like Free Republic, Brown is a Republican in Name Only to many,and I guess they’d rather see a Dem get back in than re-elect him. They call him a traitor for voting depending on the issues, rather than in lockstep with the Republican party (an anti-Brown ad claimed he would do that; his votes on things like DADT repeal show that he is not doing that).

    If anything, Brown said in radio appearances that he would be an independent voice, etc. In MA, the only Republicans who could get elected might be the type who could swing to the left on occasion. Right now polls show Brown is the most popular pol in the state and he has a big war chest. Good news for him: He may continue to get votes from the unenrolleds, who outnumber Dems and Republicans overall. Bad news for him:
    his base expected him to be nothing but conservative and even tea party folks are abandoning him.

    Oh well, we’ll get 40 years of Vicky Kennedy I guess.

  2. Laurence Glavin

    Did anyone read the comments? The overwhelming majority of those who posted comments excoriated the Herald for this article (and most of them probably don’t know what “excoriated” means). The most trenchant comment: “This is what happens if you let a first-day intern set the front page”.

  3. I did not excoriate the article, but I did refudiate it.

  4. Mike Rice

    condescend: to assume an air of superiority

    One of my least favorite words.

  5. Laurence Kranich

    Of course like so many Herald front pages it was overblown, but I thought it was a breath of semi-fresh air after years of choking on Republican operative Holly Robichaud’s “Lone Republican” spiel every week. After Scott Brown, I thought the Herald might acknowledge that Republicans aren’t really so lonely in Mass., but instead she has graduated from a few paragraphs to a full length column. At least today the Herald acknowledged there IS another side, something the Globe routinely does with Jacoby. The almost unilaterally hard-right Herald editorial department has made me cringe when I think of the very real possibility that the Herald might have emerged as Boston’s last newspaper standing. As silly as the front page headline is today, I thank Joe Sciacca and Pat Purcell for allowing a little opposition comment to their pages.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Former Boston Herald columnist and Statehouse official Peter Lucas has a rather different view. This column appeared in the Lowell Sun and the Fitchburg Sentinel on Dec. 28.

  6. Jerry Ackerman

    Nothing if not imaginative on Joe Sciacca’s part. That’s what makes “journalism” so interesting these days. Takes me back to my boyhood and Colonel McCormick’s Chicago Tribune.

  7. Stephen Stein

    @Jerry has a good point. One that I think David Carr made answering a question over at MIT – the era of “journalism should be objective truth” was really very short, and it’s gone now.

    (Or maybe I misunderstood David.)

    Happy New Year, all!

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Steve: To pull out an old saw, it’s not about objectivity, it’s about independence. If Doug Rubin were a liberal commentator, his piece might have been interesting. But he’s not. He’s a paid Democratic political consultant. It’s conceivable that he could even get a client out of that piece.

  8. Rick Peterson

    @Laurence: Pretty tenuous comparison between Jacoby and Robichaud, IMHO. (When Jacoby starts collecting a paycheck from the Republicans he supports or Robichaud starts seeing the same Herald pushback that Jacoby does on the Globe message boards with every single piece, I will acknowledge real equivalence.) If you have been “choking for years” on Robichaud’s “spiel”, imagine what someone as far from the center as you on the other side has been doing with the Globe. I’m pretty sure circulation and voter registration numbers in MA are still not matters of opinion. The election demonstrated that Democrats are still very much in control in MA, so you can still sleep soundly. (Plus, whining has never been particularly effective PR.)

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