Three for Monday

I’m up to my neck in other work, so three quick observations for a Monday morning:

1. The Boston Globe’s Spotlight series on the state’s patronage-riddled Probation Department should be the last nail in the coffin for state treasurer Tim Cahill’s independent gubernatorial campaign. The clueless Cahill doesn’t help matters today. While Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and Republican challenger Charlie Baker squabble over how best to disinfect the agency, Cahill — a key player in the patronage game — criticizes Baker’s campaign for trying “to politicize issues for their own benefit without having a full understanding of the matters at hand.”

2. The New York Times’ Brian Stelter reports that news organizations are cutting back on covering presidential trips, citing an “exorbitant” cost in 2009 of $18 million. Frankly, I don’t think the shrinkage is a big deal. How many reporters need to follow the president around the world? But given that Katie Couric’s $15 million salary comes to almost the entire annual cost, it’s hard to take this lament seriously.

3. Make sure you read Charles Pierce’s excellent profile of Terry Francona, the greatest baseball manager in the known universe. It appeared Sunday in the Boston Globe Magazine.

Payback time for Couric

“CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric rips New York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley for her error-riddled tribute to Walter Cronkite. As the Huffington Post observes, Couric must have enjoyed herself, as Stanley has been one of her tormenters. (Thanks to WBUR’s Steve Brown.)

Stanley’s butchery led me to make an error in my Guardian piece this week, as I relied her piece in asserting that Cronkite did not overcome NBC’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report” in the ratings until Chet Huntley retired, in 1970. We’re supposed to run a correction, but it hasn’t been posted yet.