Best And Worst of Snowe Coverage
Republican U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s decision not to seek re-election broke late in the day on Feb. 28, but most of the state’s news outlets did a credible job of covering this stunning development.
Even though the information was barely half an hour old, Maine Public Radio managed to put together a reasonable first draft for its 5:30 p.m. newscast and followed it up with a more detailed account for the morning news.
The Portland paper would have been the clear winner if it hadn’t messed up by topping its front page with a headline that was completely over the top. It read “TRUE STATESMAN IS BOWING OUT.”
Setting aside the sexist language, that sentiment should have been reserved for the editorial page. The Press Herald’s online editor showed good sense in not repeating the mistake.
The Bangor Daily News covered the announcement adequately in print, but offered little beyond the obvious stuff until the flowing morning, when staff writer Eric Russell explored the political implications in an online posting. In addition, Pine Tree Politics blogger Matthew Gagnon burned up the phone lines and rolled out the most thorough rundown of candidates and consequences in his lengthy posting.
Overall, Gagnon gets an “A,” the Press Herald an “A-“ (downgraded for the inexcusably biased headline) and the rest of the print media and public radio a “B.” Surprisingly, except for Gagnon, the state’s bloggers had offered little in the way of fresh insight by the following morning. The news broke too close to cocktail hour, apparently.
One exception: The Sardine Report made an exellent point.
Al Diamon can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.