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Ax the "tax".

Just when its seemingly interminable pledge drive was getting momentum, New Hampshire Public Radio--not exactly known for sticking its neck out, politically speaking--found itself in the middle of a skirmish over a missing two seconds of tape.

Rose Mary Woods was not involved, but the tape in question is from a September gubernatorial debate between Maggie Hassan and Ovide Lamontagne. In airing an edited version of the hourlong debate, it turns out, an NHPR producer wound up cutting out from the following statement by Hassan the words "that tax, eh':

I was proud to be a sponsor of that tax eh --the energy-efficiency program because it has saved businesses millions and millions of dollars and created over 400 jobs."

And no one who has followed New Hampshire politics for more than a minute and a half needs to be told that the word "tax" has a special, er, quality when it comes to political discourse in New Hampshire.

But apparently when you're editing audio, it's not the word "tax" but the stutter that counts. And in putting together the abridged version, the goal was to pretty much clean things up.

Or so said Keith Shields, executive producer at NHPR, who fell on his sword in explaining the screw-up to the Union Leader. Which was following up on the nuclear attack launched by the New Hampshire Journal and other Republican websites and bloggers against public radio for axing the "tax."

Shields insisted to the UL, by the way, that the original archived version of the debate remains untouched, with stutters, pauses and taxes un-axed.

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Title Annotation:Flotsam & Jetsam
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Oct 19, 2012
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