Convention Wisdom Edition

September 3, 2012

After suffering through the Republican National Convention last week (Dateline: Tampa) and no doubt dreading the Democratic National Convention this week, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby has this message for the two political parties:

Scrap the conventions

To elaborate:

The conventions, by contrast, deprived of their essential purpose, have been reduced to an exercise in mutual self-aggrandizement. The two major parties garner obsessive press attention — media organizations sent 15,000 employees to Tampa for the Republican convention — without generating any real news. The media, in turn, make a great show of being eyewitnesses to history, when all they’re really witnessing is an immense infomercial.

Why perpetuate the charade?

The Boston Herald’s Rachelle Cohen has an answer:

New stars shine in GOP galaxy

TAMPA, Fla. — The balloons have been popped, the confetti swept, Mitt Romney has departed in his newly painted presidential campaign plane and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a prominent Romney surrogate, is predicting this convention — estimated to have cost $100 million — may be the last of its kind.

And maybe that would be OK. After all, the broadcast networks have minimized their coverage — although as it turned out Thursday night not minimized enough to save the nation the ramblings of a doddering 82-year-old actor.

But conventions aren’t just about TV. They’re about revving up the delegates, especially from those key swing states, for the tough job ahead. And they are about showcasing the party’s future stars.

Is that worth all the worthless media coverage?

You tell us.


Tampa Your Enthusiasm Edition

August 29, 2012

It’s true that both local dailies are covering the Republican National Convention in Florida, but they’re hardly covering it the same way.

The Boston Globe: Dutiful.

The Boston Herald: Exuberant.

Start on Page One (via The Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):



Words warm and combative? Hey, somebody passed their Headlines as a Second Language course.

But . . . compare and contrast the crosstown version in clear idiomatic English:



That’s more like it, eh?

As for resources devoted to convention coverage, the hardcounting staff  has the Globe with five reporters and two columnists (and Is He or Isn’t He Callum Borchers, who gets a Tampa dateline here but not here).

The Herald seems to have deployed two reporters and two columnists (and Is He or Isn’t He Peter Gelzinis, who isn’t but sounds like he is).

Beyond sheer numbers, though – and proportionally the Herald is probably neck-and-neck with the Globe – there’s a distinct enthusiasm gap between the two papers. The Herald, for example, is running this series:

Warren’s take: Wrong priorities from Brown’s party

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is commenting on the Republican National Convention all week. Here’s her latest installment.

The opening night of the Republican Convention showed that Scott Brown’s party has the wrong priorities for Massachusetts . . .

Blah blah blah.

Wait – the Herald hired Warren to write this series? The hardreading staff is investigating.

Meanwhile, the Herald also has a UMass Lowell student (Corey Lanier, come on down!) blogging from Tampa, and a whole bunch of reader comments punctuating their coverage.

So far, the Herald is winning this bakeoff – easily.