|By G. Michael Dobbs|
Last week, Lt. Governor Kerry Healey was supposed to speak at an event on violence in the workplace conducted at Western New England College in Springfield and sponsored by OSHA. I was asked if I would be interested in covering her remarks, and I wrote the note in my calendar to remind me.
I subsequently received a message from the WNEC public relations office that because of the second London terrorist bombings the one that did not hurt any one Healey was being recalled to Boston to stand ready if there was a terrorist attack in the Bay State.
Mitt Romney had been in Washington and came back sooner than expected because he wanted to be ready if terrorists did something similar to the MBTA.
In fact, he rode the MBTA to show it was safe.
Over 50 people lost their lives in London in the first bombing attack and, frankly, what the Romney Administration did was simply cheap pandering politics that was an insult to the victims and their families.
Is there any evidence there was a threat in Boston? And if so, why did Romney believe his lieutenant governor who is a law enforcement expert could not handle an emergency? Wouldn't she know more about these matters than him?
With the boss around, what was she supposed to do? Build a sandbag barrier around the Governor?
This is just further proof that the Mittster is trying to grab headlines to look presidential. What are the chances that terrorists would choose Boston and the MBTA as a target when they could do something terrible on the Washington D.C. subway system?
Did the governor of New York rush to New York City, a city that has suffered from terrorist attacks and ride the subways there?
Don't get me wrong, I would like to see the people responsible for the London bombings to be caught, prosecuted and executed. I would also like to see politicians stop profiting fromtragedy.
My staff, who are all young, smart and technically hip, point out when I am old fashioned and out of touch. They particularly like it when I mis-use current slang or don't understand the new lingo to begin with.
I don't mind it's all part of being a geezer.
But at least they agree with one of my old school ideas information is attributed in news stories.
I don't believe in printing anonymous statements. You all know what I'm writing about here. You read a story and there's a juicy quote and it's from "a source high in the administration."
I'm sorry but that's just wrong. It puts the burden of truth on the reporter rather than on the source making the statement.
My rule is to listen to everything a person tells you, but only report the material that is on record otherwise you're just going to be used by your story's sources. I know that statements made "on background" are designed to influence me.
And we can see what can happen by the whole incident involving Karl Rove "outing" a CIA agent whose husband opposed administration policy.
The role of the press is not to be the public relations agents for elected officials.
You know the drill. These are my opinions alone. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or to 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.