Boston Globe Jumps on Price-Gouging Bandwagon

November 27, 2014

Well the hardreading staff was checking out Politico Playbook (yes, Mike Allen is crazy enough to post on Thanksgiving and, yes, we’re crazy enough to read it on Thanksgiving) when we came across this:

TODAY’S PLEASINGLY PLUMP WashPost has 34 Black Friday circulars in the blue bag (and doubles the usual weekday cover price to $2.50). The Raleigh News & Observer, with 43 inserts, triples the normal price to $3. The garish cover of the Richmond Times-Dispatch promises “up to 900 pages of savings” (and profit for the paper), and raises the price from $1.25 to $3.50 (even gouging subscribers with a surcharge). The Dallas Morning News bills today’s paper as “Biggest issue, biggest deals of the year … SPECIAL PRICE $3” – twice the usual price for a weekday issue.

 

Hmmm, we bethought ourselves – wonder what the locals did on the pricing front. So we went to the front pages.

Today’s Boston Globe:

 

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Regular weekday Globe:

 

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Notice that the snowbirds get the same price both days, likely because they didn’t get the umpteen Doorbuster! inserts.

Crosstown at today’s Boston Herald:

 

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Yesterday’s Herald:

 

 

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In case you’re wondering, the catchpenny local tabloid was chockablock with inserts. But it was no Pursebuster! The stately local broadsheet should take notice.


Boston Editorial Cartoonists Draw Different Lessons From Ferguson

November 27, 2014

As the hardreading staff has relentlessly noted, it’s good to live in a Two-Cartoonist Town. Wednesday’s local dailies are just the latest example.

The Boston Globe’s Dan Wasserman:

 

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The Boston Herald’s Jerry Holbert:

 

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That about sums it up, yeah?


Boston Herald, As Usual, Deval-ues Gov. Patrick

November 26, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

Not surprisingly, both Boston dailies today covered the local reaction to the Ferguson grand jury (non)decision.

Boston Globe Page One:

 

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For the trifocal set:

 

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Just for the record, the early edition that arrived at the Global Worldwide Headquarters featured a harder-edged take.

Raucous crowds take to the streets in Boston

In the pews and on the streets Tuesday night, full-throated cries of frustration and grief echoed from Roxbury throughout Boston and beyond over a grand jury’s decision to not charge a Missouri police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

An estimated 1,400 protestors marched from Dudley Square to the South Bay House of Correction facility, then shout down the Massachusetts Avenue Connector near Interstate 93 before being blocked by a police line. Protestors pushed in unison against police, some of whom were clad in helmets and protective gear.

 

The web version of the story is even softer than the late edition pictured above, especially the photo/caption.

 

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But all the versions have much the same information on the presence of high-ranking local politicians.

At the forum, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Governor-elect Charlie Baker delivered brief addresses before ceding the microphone to others in the crowd . . .

As dozens watched on a video feed downstairs, Walsh and Baker said they came to the meeting to listen, learn, and comfort those still raging.

“One thing missing from Ferguson is the opportunity for people to grieve,’’ Walsh said. “I want to ensure the people of Boston feel safe and secure, and that we are respectful in addressing our feelings.”

 

And etc. (Baker wound up getting more play in the print edition than on the web.)

Notice anyone who’s missing? So did the Boston Herald.

 

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Inside, Joe Battenfeld drops the hammer on the Bay State’s absentee governor.

Another of many missed chances for Deval

They all showed up, from 
incoming Gov. Charlie 
Baker to Mayor Marty Walsh to an expelled state rep, but the one pol who probably had the most to say to a packed crowd at the Twelfth Baptist Church was strangely absent.

Deval Patrick got elected because of his ability to connect and communicate with voters. But when the AN3V9879.JPGnation’s only black governor had a chance to talk directly to frustrated and angry Boston residents in the aftermath of the St. Louis County grand jury decision, he skipped out of town.

The lame-duck governor was on a plane to Atlanta for an early Thanksgiving with the in-laws last night while a packed crowd vented at community meeting and protesters closed down streets last night over the non-indictment of a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

 

Final tally: The feisty local tabloid tougher on protestors and Patrick. So what else is news?


‘Next’ Ad-dition to the Boston $unday Globe

November 17, 2014

Granted, the hardreading staff is well into the early (there’s that characteristic optimism!) stages of its dotage, but we don’t recall ever seeing this particular section in the Boston Sunday Globe.

 

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Regardless, the Next section is a gold(en-years)mine of advertising. Representative (facing pages) sample:

 

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That comes on the heels of last week’s new sections Chill and Longwood: A City Within the City.

Do we see a pattern emerging here?


Herald Pounds Away at GruberGaffe

November 15, 2014

It’s Day Five of the Jonathan Gruber rumpus and the Boston Herald is still on it like Brown on Williamson.

Today’s front page of the frenzy local tabloid:

 

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Inside, the dustup gets the high-priced spread:

 

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The derail Obamacare piece is especially noteworthy, since it is – as the great Raymond Chandler would say – thinner than the gold on a week-end wedding ring.

MIT professor’s gaffes could derail Obamacare

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Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber — the MIT brainiac caught on video admitting the law’s “lack of transparency” was meant to dupe a gullible American public — could end up becoming Obamacare’s demolition man, with congressional Republicans threatening to hold hearings and experts saying his bombshell comments could impact the Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act.

 

Those “experts” turn out to be one guy from a conservative think tank.

“Justices and their clerks read the news like everybody else does,” said Joshua Archambault, a health care expert at the Pioneer Institute. “I think it will be in the back of their minds.”

 

Then again, maybe not, since the subterfuge was meant to keep Obamacare’s penalties from looking like a tax, while the Supremes have already declared it is a tax.

Whatever.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe has studiously avoided GruberGaffe, with only one report so far, buried in yesterday’s A section. But tomorrow we get this Joan Vennochi column.

‘Stupidity’ comments create new problems for ACA

GIVEN THE ongoing frenzy over photos of Kim Kardashian’s rear end, it’s easy to understand why some people might underestimate the intelligence of the American public.

Yet Jonathan Gruber did more than underestimate it. The MIT economist and architect of the Affordable gruberCare Act trashed his fellow citizens, by attributing the ability of Democrats to pass the law to deliberate duping, aided by the “stupidity of the American voter.”

Those videotaped comments, distributed via social media, created a new problem for an administration dealing with plenty of old ones. Thanks to Gruber, the anti-Obamacare gang suddenly has fresh fodder. As a result, the GOP’s campaign against the health care law “gained new momentum,” reported the Washington Post, and Gruber may be called to testify about remarks he retroactively explained as “off the cuff.”

 

And now Gruber’s getting cuffed – by Vennochi, by the Herald, by the GOP, probably by Pope Francis in the next few days.

Who’s stupid now, eh?


In Like Flynn at the Boston Herald

November 14, 2014

Score one for the Boston Herald: Today’s feisty local tabloid beats its crosstown rival to a juicy local story.

Start at the top of Page One:

 

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The story inside:

 

New Flap in Bid to Honor Flynn

A panel headed by City Council President Bill Linehan is floating the controversial idea of naming the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center — a key landmark closely linked to the recently deceased Mayor Thomas M. Menino — after former Mayor Raymond L. Flynn.

The proposal, included in a press release yesterday by the Raymond L. Flynn Commission headed by the STON1922.JPGSouth Boston councilor, met with immediate resistance from longtime city observers who worked with both mayors.

“Ray Flynn and Tom Menino were both old friends and they both deserve recognition, but I was in the trenches when I represented the City Council in the late 1990s, and Tom Menino was the person who drove the construction of the convention center, there’s no doubt about that,” said Larry DiCara, a former council president.

 

Along with that piece the Herald includes the obligatory reader reaction and also – awkward!this column by the paper’s occasional chinstroker, Ray Flynn himself.

It was always about serving Hub’s people

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At the outset, let me say I never wanted my name on any city building or billboard — not even a sign at a baseball field.

But I am humbled by the kind gesture of Boston City Councilor Bill Linehan and his committee in recognizing my service to the people of Boston over the years.

The honor of serving the city I love was always enough for me. Working hard every day and doing the best I could for the needy and those without a political voice was all I ever wanted to do.

 

And etc.

Linehan – as he so often does – started moonwalking as soon as his trial balloon drew the least bit of heat. Right now, we know something will be named after Flynn and something after Menino – details TBA.

Details also TBA in the Boston Globe, which at post time had nothing on the naming rumpus.

 

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Maybe the stately local broadsheet should give Ray Flynn a column, eh?


Pick One: Boston Globe Majors in (U)Mass Marketing or, Boston Globe Pimps Out Page One

November 13, 2014

The Boston Globe is having quite a financial fling with the University of Massachusetts these days. First it was this “Special Supplement to the Boston Globe” that ran this past Sunday.

 

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As the hardreading staff noted, that’s “Special” as in “Advertising,” which the Globe would have stated explicitly if it cared to be honest with its readers.

Now comes this doozie in today’s edition of the $tately local broadsheet (photos courtesy of the Missus).

 

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That was followed by this:

 

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Along with this:

 

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And this:

 

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At least they labeled the wraparound “Advertisement,” eh? But it’s the leasing out of the Globe banner that’s the problem here. Funny thing is, ten years ago the Globe rejected that kind of sellout. From the January 19, 2004 Boston Business Journal:

Globe rejected a front-page advertisement for JetBlue

The Boston Globe apparently rejected a proposal by JetBlue Airways Corp. to run the same full front-page advertisement touting the airline’s arrival at Logan International Airport that the Boston Herald published last week amid voluble criticism.
The Boston Herald ended up running the ad on Jan. 7, catching considerable flak for accepting an ad that one source valued at least at $25,000. But a JetBlue official told the Boston Business Journal that the Globe also was approached with the same opportunity.

 

And turned it down, sort of.

Globe spokesman B. Maynard Scarborough said he believed the newspaper’s advertising department discussed selling a “wrap” to JetBlue, but no deal was reached. Such a wrap would not have contained mock editorial content, he said, adding the Globe does not sell Page 1 advertising and has no plans to do so.

 

Well, that’s now “inoperative,” as they say.

Here’s what the Herald did run (via WBUR’s Bob Oakes).

 

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That’s the actual front page on the left, the ad front page on the right.

And while we’re tripping down Memory Lane with local journos, here’s what the redoubtable Dan Kennedy wrote in the Boston Phoenix Media Log back then:

[A]t the very least, the front should have been prominently labeled as an ad. This isn’t just a violation of the traditional wall separating business and editorial – this is an out-and-out demolition.

 

Today at Media Nation, Dan wrote this: “If the Globe hasn’t crossed a line, perhaps it has moved the line past where we always thought it was.”

Fair enough. But to us, they did cross the line.


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