Why a Boston Globe reporter stopped writing about Romney’s dog

It was Neil Swidey who first reported — nearly five years ago — the story of Mitt Romney driving to Canada with his dog Seamus in a carrier strapped to his station wagon roof. He wrote in yesterday’s Boston Globe:

I have refrained from writing more about the Romneys’ Irish setter and his bout of highway-borne gastric distress. The reason? I dread the thought that Seamus might somehow make it into the lead paragraph of my eventual obituary. ….

I’m wading in again because I’ve come to believe that the endurance of the Seamus story sheds fascinating light on our media and political cultures. Just as interesting is the light it sheds on Romney himself.

Gail Collins’ obsession with this story has been widely reported. The New York Times columnist has mention the dog in nearly three dozen columns, David Folkenflik recently told NPR listeners.

I asked Swidey late Sunday if he’d heard from Collins about his piece.

He replied at 11:57 a.m. today:

No word from Gail (didn’t really expect any). The piece has generated lots of reaction elsewhere, though. Because I included criticism of both Romney and his critics, it’s probably not surprising that there’s been plenty of heat from both sides.

Another email came in at 1: 53 p.m.

Hey Jim,

Update on my last message: I just received a nice email from Gail.

He has Collins’ permission to share it:

From: Collins, Gail G
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 2:44 PM
To: Swidey, Neil

Hi Neil – I’m sorry I blamed Tagg instead of crediting your good reporting. Still loving the story though.
Gail Collins

* What our fascination with Mitt Romney’s dog says about our culture



1 comment
  1. It’s sad when the best you’ve got out of a newspaper career is a five year old story about a dog. Sadder still to trumpet an email from the worst columnist of the New York Times (If you don’t count Tom Friedman, that is.)