Thursday, August 10, 2006

Blimey, the Vennochi "Killer Coke" Smackdown

I was a little late in reading the Boston Globe today, but my mouth dropped when I read today's Joan Vennochi "Killer Coke" Smackdown! Some snippets:

This August, Ray Rogers, the man behind the New York-based Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, is working to paint Deval Patrick as unfit to be governor of Massachusetts....

Rogers is supposedly a one-man attack band, so he is recruiting volunteers to help spread his anti-Coke, anti-Patrick message. Some would-be volunteers, he said, are connected to other Massachusetts political campaigns, although he declined to be specific. ``We are getting calls from other candidate offices," said Rogers. ``. . . People want to be helpful."

Does that make Rogers a tool of Patrick's rivals? He says no. But it is hard to separate him from the opposition research that goes on during hot political campaigns. Who is paying for the leaflets and his Bay State travels? Who is behind this all-out effort to derail Patrick?....

But political attack campaigns care less about truth and light -- and more about generating enough heat to burn and destroy.

Please, Joan, tell us how you really feel.

Folks, this is why blogging is great. David at BMG essentially breaks the story, others pick up on it and suddenly Joan Vennochi is writing a column about it on the Boston Globe. Blogging creates buzz, complementing the mainstream media.

But enough about how great blogging is. After all, this is about Joan Vennochi and her fantastic column. Not only is it well written and relevant, but she picked up on my point: it's Democrats Swift-Boating Democrats.

I have to give credit where credit is due; not only did Joan report the story, but she's on the ball for a while. Part of the problem is the Globe's coverage of Deval Patrick: Frank Phillips has been reporting on anti-Patrick story after anti-Patrick story. Vennochi already criticized most of the points Phillips made, but the "Campaign to Stop Killer Coke" went beyond pale.

Luckily, she nailed it. Vennochi shows why newspapers need independent opinion columnists. Not only is what Killer Coke Ray Rogers doing potentially illegal (which she reported), but at best it's just an example of setting attack dogs to smear Deval Patrick. People like Ray Rogers have no interest in the truth; they merely want to impede the Democratic process by attempting to destroy a candidate's chance. Luckily, people from all walks of society have condemned this latest attempt at Swift Boating.

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