Left In Lowell

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April 2, 2007

Kendall Critiques the Critics (And the Sun?)

by at 10:32 am.

(John Greenwald has been a journalist for 45 years and was Sunday editor of The Sun in the late-1990s. He’s also an exhibited local artist. I’ve invited him to post periodically about the media, culture, and politics. Please join me in welcoming John to our little coterie! He’s calling his column at Left in Lowell “Media Maven.”)

Reading Kendall Wallace’s “Saturday Chat” column in The Sun is like reading tea leaves — full of unexpected discoveries.

Wallace, chairman and otherwise grand pooh-bah of Lowell Publishing Co., is the city’s man behind the scenes, the go-to-gent, the tastefully attired power-broker, who runs The Sun — if not day-to-day anymore, certainly where it counts.

So, in his March 31 column he notes that this is the Year of the Woman in national — and local — politics. Forget Hillary, we have Eileen and Niki, both running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. representative.

The former, Eileen Donoghue, is a long-time Lowell city councilor and two-term mayor. The latter, Niki Tsongas, widow of the late, Lowell-based U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. Both are smart, classy dames, with Eileen heavy on experience, Niki heavy on name recognition.

But Kendall’s upset. Already little smear campaigns against both have oozed up to the surface.

Eileen switched party affiliations from Democratic to non-affiliated and gave a $200 campaign contribution to an old family friend who was running as a Republican (gasp!). Niki let her membership in the Mass Bar expire a decade ago, making her unable to practice law unless the pays up her dues, which she will.

Big deal. Or, as Kendall writes: “Those are petty issues pushed by small-minded people.”

Guess where those small minds are located?

In his paper’s very newsroom.

Both stories were played big on The Sun’s local front page, looking like hot news until you read them. Then they shriveled like an anorexic movie starlet.

Maybe Kendall needs to run a little seminar in news judgment for his editors.

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