Where in the Political World Is Barney Keller?

Kevin Cullen has a smart column (boink! Sorry, paywall) in yesterday’s Boston Globe about the current grassy knoll mishegoss over debate moderators.

Nut graf:

In this election cycle, more than any in memory, the role and performance of the debate moderator has been as widely discussed as anything the candidates say. Which is not good.

Cullen then helpfully provides an example:

I thought Jon Keller, the WBZ political analyst, did a good job moderating the first Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren Senate debate. But when I mentioned that to a Democratic political operative, he leaned in conspiratorially and said, “You know, Keller’s son works for the Massachusetts Republican Party.”

Actually, I do know that. But what has that got to do with Jon Keller or the price of a cup of coffee?

Not to get technical about it, but Barney Keller left his job at the Mass. GOP three years ago, as the Boston Herald reported at the time:

State GOP spokesman Barney Keller is stepping down from his post to go work for New York gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio.

Keller, son of WBZ TV political reporter Jon Keller, has been the face of the Massachusetts Republican party since March 2008. Next week he starts his new job with Lazio, a former congressman who lost a U.S. Senate race to Hillary Clinton in 2000.

Since then, Keller fils has moved on to a bigger job at Grover Norquist’s the Club for Growth:

Barney Keller

Communications Director

Barney joined the Club for Growth in April 2011. He previously worked as Deputy Communications Director on Pat Toomey’s campaign for US Senate. Prior to that Barney was Press Secretary for Rick Lazio’s campaign for Governor of New York. Barney has also worked at the Massachusetts Republican Party, the New Hampshire Republican Party, and got his start in politics working on the special election Congressional race of Jim Ogonowski in MA-05.

A native of Belmont, Massachusetts, Barney graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics and Sociology in 2007. He currently lives in Washington.

So, really, he’s got nothing to do with a WBZ debate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren moderated by his old man.

Not to get technical about it.

6 Responses to Where in the Political World Is Barney Keller?

  1. […] Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen is right about debate moderators, wrong about WBZ debate moderator Jon Keller’s son. Details at IGTLTDT. […]

  2. Bob Gardner says:

    Which is your point:
    1. that moderator “bias” is an overblown issue
    or
    2. that the political activity of your relatives is irrelevant?

    I agree with number 1, but I’m not sure about the second part.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      My point, Bob, is:

      3. That the Democratic operative and Kevin Cullen got it wrong.

      • Michael Pahre says:

        …that part of the Boston Globe’s fact-checking ought to be checking out the current employment of Republican operatives by reading the other newspaper.

  3. Doesn’t Jon’s other son (Jared) work for the Atlantic? I think his family is rather politically diverse. I wonder what T-day dinners are like at his place!

  4. Having seen JK moderate, interview, and interact with candidates in person, with my own eyes — as I’m sure the hard-working staff has done as well — I have no doubts about where his personal political affiliations lie. One only has to consider the “pre-opening” pot-shot he allowed Brown to take at Warren — and how much time he allowed to be spent on “personal issues” as opposed to real ones — to see that it hasn’t changed.

    Gregory wasn’t much better. The first substantive questions posed to either candidate happened in Springfield.

    The Rabid Row Raised by the Right about Raddatz is illustrative: her great sin was that she dared to ask secondary and tertiary questions in the face of dissembling talking points. That this was a striking departure from the norm tells you all you need to know.

    On this, I give you a prediction: Candy Apple Crowley’s Neo-con core will reveal itself as much in the questions she doesn’t ask tomorrow night as much as in the ones she does.

    The sad truth is that in the wake of the national media’s handling of the run-up to the Iraq War, the onus is on them to prove their impartiality and professionalism, not the other way around. This is true on both sides of the aisle; it sickens me to listen to Chris Matthews now wax rhapsodic about Bill Clinton, with the Big Dog on board the BO Railroad. Four years ago Matthews was calling him a ranting, racist, lunatic.

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