Whoops: Boston Globe Political Writer Took Vacation on Last Days of Brown-Coakley Race

Democrats now routinely say Martha Coakley was a bad candidate who took too much for granted in Massachusetts, even taking a vacation after winning the nomination for Ted Kennedy’s place in the Senate. But would they say the bad candidate was also failed by bad reporters who took too much for granted? On Monday, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz found a bigwig at the Boston Globe who arrogantly dismissed the race and took a vacation. He wasn’t even apologetic about the arrogance:

Frank Phillips, the Globe's statehouse bureau chief, says he missed the last few days of the campaign by taking a personal trip with his wife that he finalized a couple of weeks earlier. "I made a decision at Christmas that this was not going to be an important race, others could handle it, I could be out of town," Phillips says.

But he says Brown was going nowhere earlier in the campaign: "What would you have written? 'Things were heating up'? Things weren't heating up. It would be unfair to say we had missed it, because it wasn't there."

While the Globe gradually reported signs of a closer race, it wasn't until Jan. 16 that Phillips definitively signaled the shift. He wrote that Coakley's strategy of ignoring Brown "turned out to be a major miscalculation" and that national Democrats were "now panicked about a neck-and-neck race."

She wasn't the only one who made a major miscalculation.

I would expect a member of the media elite who claims to specialize in state politics to be more apologetic about making miscalculations of that magnitude.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis