DA Debate Coverage Disappointing

Date: 9/13/2010

The Reminder's coverage of the six candidates for Hampden County District Attorney's participation in a forum sponsored by the McKnight Neighborhood Council was more than just a little disappointing. For a publication that claims to provide its readers with unbiased political coverage, Dobbs' piece was remarkably unbalanced.

The unequal amount of column space dedicated to each of the candidates was frustrating, but the printing of accusations made by one candidate without also printing his opponent's response was simply irresponsible journalism. Take for example Dobbs' inclusion of an off the mark challenge to Jim Goodhines' record.

I attended the McKnight forum, and Jim Goodhines never claimed to have more prosecutorial experience than any other prosecutor in the Commonwealth. What Goodhines said, and reiterated in his response, was that the statistic he referred to his caseload during his 15 years as an Assistant District Attorney, specifically his 11 years as a superior court prosecutor. During that time, Goodhines did, indeed, prosecute more cases than other other prosecutor in the Commonwealth, including all five of his opponents in the race for DA. He invited the media and his fellow candidates to research his record for themselves.

Choosing a District Attorney is serious business and Hampden County votes deserve an unbiased, honest look at each of the candidates for the job. I hope that the Reminder Publications will remember that and honor their responsibility in future coverage of the DA's race.

Paul R. Edwards