Now that some time has elapsed, it is time to look back on the Joplin Globe's recent series, "Spheres of Influence," which examined the money behind Sen. Gary Nodler.
I have no problem with the series itself. Max McCoy, as usual, did a thorough job detailing who is putting money into Gary Nodler's campaign and into the so-called leadership PAC, which bears Nodler's name.
Unfortunately, while McCoy was doing his steadfast best to expose the machinations of the powers-that-be on the local political scene, the powers-that-be at his own newspaper were leaving him stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Where was the Joplin Globe Editorial Board during all of this? Certainly, a major series of this kind should have sparked some kind of editorial about the evils of the campaign finance system, and how they have stripped the voters of any real choice in many elections.
Where was Globe Editor Ed Simpson? As many readers jumped all over Max McCoy and accused him of having an ax to grind against the senator, Simpson did not use his Sunday bully pulpit to explain the reasons why the series was done and to explain that McCoy was just doing his job. McCoy's tough enough to take criticism; he has been doing this kind of expose' for years, but it would have been nice if his editor had used the same kind of fervor he displayed during the recent Joplin Police problems.
By not following up on the Nodler series, the Globe is taking the same approach it did last year when it ran an article on lobbyists' influence on our area legislators. The story ran, listing amounts received by legislators, but there was no backup to the reporter, no one to explain why the story was important. Then it vanished as if it had never existed. No further mention was made of lobbying. If The Globe had stuck with that story, it would have been ahead of the curve, since lobbying has become a cause celebre this year.
Most likely the same thing will happen with the Nodler investigation. No one can ever say the Globe did not look into Nodler's campaign contributions; no one can ever say it didn't examine the Nodler Leadership PAC. Odds are, no one will ever mention it again.