With the Journal’s Hot Air in His Sails
This paragraph, from a post-election article by Providence Journal staff writer Peter Lord deserves some reflection:
For much of the general election campaign, polls indicated there was no contest. Cicilline was running ahead by 20 points or more. And he raised and spent about $1 million more than Loughlin, though that included financing his primary campaign.
Any list of Cicilline’s advantages should include the assistance that the Providence Journal offered — notably through its ostensibly neutral PolitiFact feature (as we noted several times, including here, here, here, here, here, and elsewhere). There’s simply no denying the bias; the Projo’s own handling of headlines shows some awareness of the fact. For the online version of the story — which will remain as a public record for people around the world to see — the title is “Cicilline holds off GOP’s Loughlin.” On the front page of last Wednesday’s print edition, however, the headline jubilantly proclaims, “Cicilline sails past GOP’s Loughlin.”
Sorry, ye power brokers, given advantages of fundraising, name recognition, local partisan preferences, media adulation, presidential campaigning, and so on, Cicilline should have won by a much greater margin than 6% of the vote.
Let’s hope that Loughlin continues to campaign over the next two years — including a dedicated effort to remain relevant and heard on issues in the news — and begins 2012 on a more equal footing for a race with a different outcome.