On the front page, really?

With the London Olympics just around the corner, the US Olympic Committee has come under fire for outfiting its athletes with uniforms made in China. This sort of thing is, of course, catnip for the media. A national story or two is to be expected.

But I was a little taken aback to see the Providence Journal run a front-page story today on Congressman David Cicilline's press conference at Northwest Woolen Mills, calling on the USOC to swap out its Chinese-issue berets for Woonsocket-made models

The problem: the proposal has no chance of becoming reality; the USOC has made it clear that it's not going to ditch its Chinese-made garments at this late date. Indeed, the ProJo's story says as much.

This was a transparently political event, designed to draw attention to Cicilline's push for a manufacturing revival in the midst of the most difficult re-election fight of his career.

That the ProJo would put it on the front page is misguided enough, but to include no mention of the politics involved only compounds the error.

The ProJo has a capable State House bureau, but it doesn't have anyone consistently covering the feisty world of Rhode Island politics outside the General Assembly. I've suggested, in the past, that the paper should remedy that situation - put a senior reporter on the politics beat, full-time.

Perhaps that reporter would recognize a political stunt for what it is.


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