Tabloid Trumpets Terror Techie

September 5, 2014

Today’s Boston Herald goes to town on local boy gone bad Ahmad Abousamra, the Stoughton man wanted for terrorism and suspected of being a social-media guru for ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State – whatever name they’re going by these days.

 

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Inside, the Terror Techie gets the Full Osama.

 

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Get it – Post-er? Yeah, us too.

The news report itself is straight out of Tabloid 101 (with four – count ‘em, four – bylines):

A 32-year-old computer whiz who was raised in Stoughton is suspected of using the high-tech skills he honed at Hub colleges to spread the bloodthirsty message of ISIS terrorists on social media, according to a Herald source and news reports.

Ahmad Abousamra — who was educated at Northeastern University and UMass Boston — had already been placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list last year with a $50,000 reward offered for information leading to his capture and return.

The FBI said Abousamra “has shown that he wants to kill United States soldiers.”

He is now believed to be a social media warrior for the heartless terrorists behind the recent beheadings of two Americans.

 

Wow.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Abousamra gets more measured treatment:

Mass. terrorist suspect may be aiding militants

The spotlight that has been cast on the Islamic State terror group in Syria has also put a new focus on a Massachusetts man wanted for terrorism, who is believed to 2012-10-03T204235Z_01_TOR605_RTRMDNP_3_USA-SECURITY-ABOUSAMRAbe living in that country and possibly supporting ISIS.

Ahmad Abousamra, who grew up in Stoughton and attended schools in the Boston area, faces terrorism charges in federal court in Boston, and the FBI in December put him on its Most Wanted Terrorists list. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his capture, and officials believe he has been living in Aleppo, Syria.

 

The Globe story did contain one fact the Herald missed: “Lowell Police Sergeant Thomas Daly – a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force . . . said Abousamra has a ‘high-pitched voice that would distinguish him from others.’'”

Presumably not, however, as high-pitched as the freaky local tabloid’s.


Market Basket (Finally!) Shows the Herald Some Love

September 4, 2014

It’s been a long, dry summer for the Boston Herald in terms of Market Basket advertising. From the very start of the Demoulas Slapfight/Market Basket Rumpus, the beleaguered supermarket chain has relentlessly bypassed the thirsty local tabloid, choosing time and again to run ads only in the Boston Globe.

It actually started last summer, when the Employees & Management of Demoulas/Market Basket ran this full page in the Globe:

 

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Then, facing an employee/customer revolt this summer because the board of directors had ignored the ad above and fired Arthur T., the new Market Basket CEOs ran this ad, also exclusive to the Globe:

 

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That plea, of course, fell on deaf ears, so the increasing desperate Arthur S. forces resorted to this full-page Help Wanted ad – again, just in the stately local broadsheet:

 

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That one really hurt, since Market Basket was essentially telling Herald readers: We not only don’t want you to shop here, we don’t want you to work here either.

Ouch.

But wait! Here’s what ran in today’s – yes! – Herald.

 

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(The two-page spread also ran in the Globe but why get technical about it.)

Hey, thirsty local tabloid: 2 Liter 7up or A&W Rootbeer 89¢. Drink up!


Ben Mezrich ‘Wonder’ful in the Boston Globe, Not So Much in the Herald

September 3, 2014

Local authors Ben Mezrich and Dennis Lehane get front-page treatment in today’s Boston Globe, with Mezrich landing the cutesy-pie photo.

For inspiration, writers now have Hollywood

kreiter_mezrich1_gasdf

The hardcover comes first. Then the movie. Then the paperback emblazoned with the words “Now a major motion picture!” Everyone knows that. But the usual order is being upended this week, as not one, but two of Boston’s best-selling writers — Dennis Lehane and Ben Mezrich — are publishing novels that were inspired by Hollywood, not the other way around.

“It couldn’t be more reversed,” said Lehane . . .

In perhaps another sign that the world may start to spin backward — that movie posters may one day proclaim “Now a Nonfiction Narrative!” — a Hollywood producer and director not only thought of the idea for Mezrich’s new book, “Seven Wonders,” a thriller linking the ancient and modern wonders of the world, but he is copublishing it. And he tosses around the word “synergy” when talking about literature.

 

Anyone else want to see a ballot initiative to levy a syn(ergy) tax on Hollywood producers? Thank you.

Anyway, more from Beth Teitell’s Globe piece:

Like Lehane, Mezrich is used to seeing his work in multiplexes after it’s been in bookstores. “The Accidental Billionaires” was made into “The Social Network,” and “Bringing Down the House” was turned into “21.”

But Mezrich’s new book began as a Hollywood pitch, as the back cover makes clear. “A fast-paced, globe-trotting thriller that’s rife with historic secrets, conspiracies, and intrigue,” it reads.

 

Is it, now?

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, the enthusiasm level is not quite so high in Andrew Blom’s review.

Mezrich’s latest doesn’t offer many ‘Wonders’

"Seven Wonders" by Ben Mezrich. photo provided by publisher Perseus Books.

“Seven Wonders” is the latest from Boston author Ben Mezrich and, unlike his other works, is a huge disappointment.

It’s about Jack Grady, an anthropologist and Indiana Jones wannabe, who goes on a quest to find why the Seven Wonders of the Ancient and Modern World, despite some being built centuries apart, are somehow linked to a secret that could change the world.

Along the way, Grady is joined by botanist Sloane Costa, and the pair must solve the mystery before a billionaire historian with a few secrets of her own catches up with them.

Fans of “National Treasure” will likely enjoy the adventure and history here, but if you’re looking for complex characters, rich dialogue and, you know, originality, you’re going to want to stay clear.

 

Why? Because “the characters are forgettable . . . [t]he dialogue is obvious and cheesy . . . [and there's] no real suspense.”

Ouch.

Good thing the movie rights are already sold, eh?


Ads ‘n’ Ends From the Sunday Dailies

September 1, 2014

Lots of adtivity in the Boston dailies yesterday, in spite of Labor Day weekend.

From our Why Does Shaw’s Hate the Boston Herald desk

Throughout the Demoulas Slapfight/Market Basket Rumpus, the other New England supermarket chains have been wisely buckraking in silence, letting their cash registers do the talking for them.

But now that Artie T. is back in the saddle, it’s time for rival chains to consolidate their ill-gotten gains.

Thus, the Boston Sunday Globe, Page 3.

 

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Buy-our-nuts grafs:

 

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Oh, nuts! postscript: The Shaw’s ad did not run in the Sunday Boston Herald. Big surprise.

 

From our Hey, Just Set Your Money on Fire desk

Yesterday’s Globe also featured this ad:

 

 

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Question #1: Who even knew there was a Democratic primary race in the Massachusetts 5th Congressional district?

(Answer: Katherine Clark and Dr. Sheldon Schwartz.)

Question #2: Who actually saw this ad, besides the hardreading staff?

(Answer: Katherine Clark and Dr. Sheldon Schwartz.)

Next question . . .

 

From our Does Anyone at the Herald Talk to Each Other? desk

So the hardreading staff betook ourselves to the porch yesterday morning (as is our wont of a Sunday) to read the feisty local tabloid, and here’s what we saw on Page 8.

 

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Then here’s what we saw in the Sports section.

 

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Hey, Heraldniks – we’ve talked about this before. Do you know what you’re webcasting or not? ‘Cause no one else does either.


Conduct ‘Unbecoming’ in Mass. AG’s Race

August 28, 2014

Today’s local dailies have very different takes on the political rumpus du jour: Attorney General hopeful Warren Tolman (D-Teamsters AFL-CIO) calling AG hopeful Maura Healey (D-Hoopsters Teamsters) “unbecoming” for hectoring him about his lobbying work. [Apologies for the mixup.]

The Boston Globe is on the story like Brown on Williamson, starting Page One Metro.

 

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Tolman’s moonwalking, of course, accomplished nothing with the umbrage-industrial complex, exemplified by this response:

Barbara Lee, of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which is dedicated to getting more women involved in politics, tweeted: “Code for close race = #unbecoming #unladylike #cold #bossy. Men always try to knock women off pedestal[s] like this in #mapoli and beyond.”

 

#Seriously? #Whatpedestal?

On the op-ed page of the stately local broadsheet (yikes! can we still use that term?), columnist Joan Vennochi tried to inject some reality into the conversation.

Unbecoming issue in the AG race

ATTORNEY GENERAL candidate Maura Healey was ruthlessly pushing Democratic rival Warren Tolman to explain what she describes as his record as a lobbyist, when Tolman, who contends he never lobbied anyone, replied: “Maura, it’s just unbecoming. I’m surprised you continue to push these issues rather than talk about the issues people care about.”

Tolman said he’s sorry now. But before he apologized, the word “unbecoming” triggered an urgent fundraising letter from Marty Walz, a Healey backer and president of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. “It means unattractive, indecorous. It’s not a word you hear men on Beacon Hill use about each other,” wrote Walz.

True enough. And, with Tolman in the lead in a tight, increasingly nasty race, it’s no surprise the Healey campaign would jump on her opponent’s use of it. After all, the word “unbecoming” holds a special place in Massachusetts politics. But overplaying it is a mistake. It didn’t help the last female candidate who tried.

 

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, an editorial entirely underplayed it.

Time to get real

How did it come to this? How did two really smart contenders for attorney general, two people who have already served the public and seem committed to the notion of public service, get caught up in a meaningless war of words?

Warren Tolman, a former state senator (and a sometime writer for these pages), took issue in a Tuesday debate with his Democratic primary opponent Maura Healey, a former assistant attorney general, when she criticized his work as a lobbyist.

“You go down this path, Maura, it’s just unbecoming,” he said.

Well, you would have thought from the reaction of the sisterhood that the man had just suggested she tie on an apron and return to the kitchen.

 

Right. Better both candidates should get back to business.


At Boston Globe, WBZ=We Bring Zilch

August 27, 2014

Big shakeup in the news department at WBZ yesterday, as Boston Herald Inside Track gal Gayle Fee reported.

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, though, it was all quiet on the ‘BZ front (at least in the paper delivered to the hardreading staff).

Nothing on BostonGlobe.com either as of 2:45 pm.

 

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Take your victory lap, Gayle.


That’s Just So . . . Sad! (Lena Dunham Edition)

August 26, 2014

Girls gal Lena Dunham has a track record of being aggressively afashionable (see here for details) but last night’s Emmy getup was entirely beyond the pale (pink).

From today’s Boston Herald (far right):

 

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Good Lord! Doesn’t she have any friends to tell her not to wear that? Or at least a mirror?

The Boston Globe was kinder to Dunham (and the reader):

 

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Really, it’s time for A&E’s Intervention to step in.


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