Thursday, November 02, 2006

When it Comes to Editorials, Facts Don't Matter

Go read today's Salem News and make sure to laugh and giggle lots and lots. The paper endorses Republican challenger Richard Barton over incumbent John Tierney. While there's no problem with that on the surface, the devil is in the details.

It's time the North of Boston region has a congressman who more closely reflects their views regarding government spending, national security, the sanctity of the family, and immigration policy.

Umm... really? The North Shore doesn't share Tierney's view on national security - getting out of Iraq? The North Shore isn't in favor of marriage and family equality, which is Tierney's position on the "sanctity of the family?" Heck, even on immigration, the North Shore is probably closer to Tierney on that buzz issue than his opponent. Finally, the North Shore would probably think this is a great policy on making sure there's little money wasted in the budget.

The editorial seemed to be a stronger rebuke on John Kerry and the thing I said I wasn't going to talk about than on John Tierney. Not only that, but it was suspiciously devoid of any actual proposals, bills or positions that Tierney holds in which the Salem News wasn't a fan. Even in the selection quoted above, the newspaper didn't present Tierney's position. Worse yet, the Salem News didn't even seem to present what positions Tierney's opponent supports. Here's the extent of the paper's details:
Barton's goals are simple and straightforward: "A homeland security system that protects and secures our borders. A vision of limited government, a simplified tax system, family values, jobs and safety for all our children."

Pardon me while I go put in some Visine. All those details just strained my eyes.

If the Salem News would like to be taken seriously, I suggest it infuse its "facts" with some statistics to back it up. With more than 70% of the state either supporting full marriage equality or civil unions, it would almost be statistically impossible for the North Shore to be against equality. Furthermore, where are the polls to back up the editorial's other claims?

In all honesty, there probably are none. Speaking of "none," that's about the amount of integrity the Salem News seems to have today.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the editorial does little for a paper that is already somewhat of a disaster, but here's one small point in defense of the editorial:

I imagine that by the phrase "north of Boston," the Salem news actually meant really small, Republican towns like Topsfield, Boxford, Manchester-by-the-Sea, etc. Having once lived in one such town, I'm convinced that Barton probably does reflect the values of at least a large swath of people living there. And ten years ago the 6th District was Republican.

Obviously those small towns are not the whole North Shore, but even very blue states have their red components. Incidentially, I don't belong to any party, so I have no bias in saying any of this.

Ryan Adams said...

Well, considering it is the "Salem News," one would think they'd include Salem in that area. While I know that the 6th is one of the more conservative areas in the state (really, probably one of the most likely to swing an election to a Republican Governor) it still is almost surely in favor of moderate positions on issues like abortion (pro-choice, but maybe not thrilled with 3rd trimester abortions, civil unions instead of gay marraige, etc.) However, from what I've seen Barton is further to the right than the moderate voter. Furthermore, the average 6th District voter isn't thinking about immigration - they're thinking about their pocketbooks, rising healthcare and housing costs, and maybe the Iraq war (especially towns and cities like Lynn, Gloucester, etc. which probably have a decent # of people in the military).

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