Race Over, Times Finally Lays Out Martha Coakley Gaffes It Ignored During Campaign

The Times points out four gaffes made by Democrat Martha Coakley during her losing campaign to Republican Scott Brown. So why didn't the Times mention them during the actual campaign?

The Times had a big A1 rundown Thursday on the special Senate election in Mass by reporters Adam Nagourney, Jeff Zeleny, Kate Zernike, and Michael Cooper, "How the G.O.P. Captured a Seat Lost for Decades."

The online headline injected an element of underhandedness to the Republican win: "G.O.P. Used Energy and Stealth to Win Seat."

The Times boosted the story with a sidebar timeline highlighting significant turning points, gaffes, and controversies from the race.

Yet of the four unflattering gaffes made by Coakley listed by the Times, a nytimes.com search indicates the Times only mentioned one of them in a news story during the actual campaign. Here's the rundown of Coakley gaffes and how the Times covered or failed to cover them before the election, where coverage may have further hurt the Democrat:

JAN. 12 "...One of her ads misspells the state "Massachusettes." (The only Times mention was in a January 14 column by Times Democratic partisan Gail Collins)

JAN. 13 "After criticism that her campaign is too passive, Ms Coakley tells the Boston Globe: "As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?" (again, this gaffe was only mentioned in the Gail Collins column cited above).

JAN. 14 "You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room," Ms. Coakley says when discussing hospital workers' right to not perform certain medical procedures on religious grounds." (Never mentioned in print or on nytimes.com.)

JAN. 15 "Ms. Coakley refers to former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling as a 'Yankee fan' on a radio show. She later says it was a joke." (This was mentioned in one story during the campaign.)

By contrast, the one major Scott Brown controversy, which broke even later in the campaign, was mentioned by the Times both in a print news story and in a blog post:

JAN. 17 "Mr. Brown is seen smirking after a supporter at a rally suggests doing something vulgar to Ms. Coakley with a curling iron. Mr. Brown said he did not hear the remark."

The context for the "curling iron" remark is that Coakley was being accused of failing to prosecute a man who had raped his two-year-old niece with a curling iron. Neither of the Times' stories included that information.