Who killed Boston politics?

Today's Globe story on the Boston City Council elections blames a bunch of different factors for yesterday's weak turnout: crappy weather, the lack of a preliminary election, a transient population, etc.

How about adding media apathy to the list?

Exhibit A is the invisible candidacy of Carlos Henriquez, who challenged longtime incumbent Chuck Turner in District 7. As far as I can tell, the Globe didn't do a single article about Henriquez; the Herald gave him a column (by Wayne Woodlief) and passing mention in a crime article by Michele McPhee. He did get some nice attention from Boston magazine, but it came immediately before the election. True, Henriquez was a long shot. But the press helped make his race basically invisible.

Exhibit B is John Connolly, Boston's newest at-large councilor. In 2005, the first Globe article mentioning Connolly ran on April 10. This year it came on October 7*. The first piece focused on Connolly, meanwhile, ran on the day of the election--and only because of some ill-advised anonymous attack pieces Connolly sent out the prior week. (The paper's ed page endorsed Connolly on October 30.) Granted, 2005 was a mayoral-election year, with a higher number of viable council challengers (Yoon, White, O'Malley) in the mix. But still.

I could go on, but you get the idea. The slow death of Boston politics isn't all the media's fault. But the press is definitely part of the problem.

*CORRECTION: I initially wrote--incorrectly--that the first article mentioning Connolly ran on election day. Thanks to Mike Pahre of the excellent Brighton Centered blog for catching my error.
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