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NECN vs. BMG: the retraction



A few days ago, I waxed indignant over NECN's decision to boot Blue Mass. Group from a 5th District congressional debate at the request of Jim Ogonowski's campaign. The flap, I said, "makes Ogonowski look bad and NECN look worse."

That'll teach me not to blog while drinking.

Based on what I've learned since, NECN didn't have much of a choice. Apparently, an Ogonowski staffer first complained about the presence of the BMG guys at about 6:58--two minutes before the debate began--and threatened to pack the studio with Ogonowski partisans if the BMG-ers were allowed to stay put. (Reporters from the Globe and Lowell Sun were also in the room at the time.) The conversation continued until roughly 6:59, at which point the BMG-ers were told they had to watch in NECN's executive conference room instead. And so they did.

I got this one wrong. NECN did what it had to do; after all, its mission was broadcasting the debate. As for the Ogonowski camp.... Yes, the BMG guys are fervent Niki* Tsongas partisans. I understand why Ogo might have been piqued by their presence. But if he makes it to Washington, he's going to meet a lot more commentators he disagrees with--and he won't just be able to make them leave the room.

*Not Nikki, as I initially wrote. That's Prince's spelling.

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