Sunday, April 06, 2008

tully needs to read tully

indy star political columnist matt tully gets a lot of heat for being lazy. this criticism isn't always fair—tully is capable of good journalism, as in his investigative pieces about the phoenix apartments last year—but there is some truth to it.

for example, take today's column. it's a hit piece against democratic gubernatorial candidate jim schellinger. there's nothing wrong with that, per se, but he makes some puzzling claims—one in particular left me staring at my monitor, mouth agape.

the gyst of his column is that schellinger isn't doing as well as hoped, and his primary competitor, jill long thompson, is doing better than expected. fair enough; it might even be true. but check out his first bit of evidence:

Moreover, after promising a positive campaign, Schellinger recently went negative. That smelled of desperation. On the other hand, Long Thompson's campaign, on a tighter budget, has been free of such drama.

nasty, nasty jim schellinger dared to go negative! not so for the long thompson campaign—no drama there! unfortunately, not only is this incorrect, but its falsity is demonstrated by a column tully himself wrote four months ago. here is that column in the google cache (it's been removed from indystar.com for being too old):

With the first two goals eliminated, state Democrats now hope to avoid a nasty primary battle. Events of this past week, however, suggest that, too, might not happen.

Behind the scenes, the two campaigns until recently had engaged in a few skirmishes. Nothing too serious. Just a little dig here and there, most of which went unnoticed. But this past week, the digs got deeper, and the fighting went public.

It all started when Thompson began tying Schellinger to higher property taxes, which, as you know, are about as popular these days as the New England Patriots in these parts. Her reasoning: Schellinger's architecture firm has made a bundle on property-tax-financed school construction projects.

emphasis mine. long thompson has been negative campaigning since december. and tully even complained about it in his column at the time! but today, tully whines because schellinger "recently" went negative, and claims jill long thompson's campaign has been "free of such drama".

i'm undecided between the two candidates—as with the presidential primary, i'll be happy to vote for either of them in the general election—but if you're going to pick one over the other, you should do so based on facts and not misinformation.

such shoddy work is lazy in the extreme. not only did tully apparently do no research for his column this week, but he doesn't remember that he wrote about the same topic—and said the opposite—just four months back.

tully would be well-served by reading his own column from time to time. he might be surprised by what he learns.

p.s. if you were hoping for an eventual return of political junkie, tully's blog, which has been "on vacation" since july, 2007, you can stop holding your breath. all the broken image links at the top of the page suggest the blog will never come back. blogging regularly is hard work, after all.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

It's a bad column, and I'm starting to wonder if Tully even likes covering politics. He certainly doesn't seem to show much interest in knowing what he is talking about.