Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Our wacky, quirky local media

Slate.com’s Jack Shafer calls for a moratorium on the word “loophole,” often used by newspapers as a weaselly way to imply wrongdoing when someone is following the law. I would add “quirk” to the list, at least for the Boston Globe, which seems fond of the word as a way to sex up political stories that don’t involve colorful personalities. Below are a few recent examples. Particularly irritating is the second one, in which the Globe characterizes a routine primary election as a bizarre, archaic ritual. It’s just short of saying, “Oh, our wacky laws! You can’t insult a pigeon on Sundays, and citizens are actually expected to vote twice in the same year just because an inconvenient number of candidates are running for the same office!”
Dual officeholders drawing scrutiny Source: Boston Globe Date: Jul 16, 2007 By: John C. Drake In Massachusetts, known for its healthy appetite for politics, a quirk in the state constitution allows the state's most ambitious politicos to hold more than one elected office. Law quirk requires a costly primary Source: Boston Globe Date: Jul 2, 2007 By: Matt Viser A legal quirk in the way Boston conducts its elections will probably require a citywide preliminary vote in September, forcing the city to spend at least $500,000 to narrow a field of at-large City Council hopefuls by one, from nine candidates to eight. When a penny saved is taxed Source: Boston Globe Date: Jun 14, 2007 ….A key step is to adjust the tax code. One quirk is in the Earned Income Tax Credit, a helpful program that rewards low-income workers. But in the past, some EITC filers couldn't qualify for another program that offers tax incentives to save. Such inconsistencies need to be cleared up.

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