Two-Cartoonist Town (Aaron Hernandez Edition)

April 17, 2015

From our Late to the Guilty Party desk

The hardreading staff is always pleased when the editorial cartoonists at the Boston dailies attack the same subject, and the verdict in the Aaron Hernandez trial is no exception.

Yesterday’s Boston Herald featured Jerry Holbert’s take.

 

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And yesterday’s Boston Globe featured Dan Wasserman’s take.

 

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Take that, yeah?


Not Just the Globe: Herald Has Stripped Comics Too

April 16, 2015

For the past several days, the hardgrieving staff has lamented the loss of Tank McNamara, the comic strip the Boston Globe dropped from its Sports pages last week.

But now splendid commenter Mark weighs in with his own lament.

What about the carnage in the Herald comic pages? You could see the handwriting on the wall for The Knight Life when the cartoonist took strong anti-cop positions after Ferguson. But what did Lio do to piss off the Howie Carr Fan Club? He’s been dumped for the long-dead Charles Schultz and 45-year-old Peanuts strips!

 

For the uninitiated: The Knight Life and Lio.

(To be frank graf goes here.)

To be frank, we had no idea all that was happening; the hardchuckling staff hasn’t read the Boston Herald comics page since it dumped Mark Parisi’s Off the Mark umpteen years ago.

Regardless, here’s the current incarnation of the flighty local tabloid’s comics pages.

 

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Carnage, indeed.

We feel your pain, Mark.


Why the Boston Globe Dropped ‘Tank McNamara’

April 15, 2015

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Globe Sports section no longer features the Tank McNamara comic strip.

In its place, the stately local broadsheet runs something like this:

 

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Distressed, we contacted Globe editor Joe Sullivan and Bill Hinds, the pen behind Tank McNamara, to ask what happened.

And both of them graciously replied.

Joe Sullivan:

Our goal was to provide a comprehensive weekly calendar for sports fans and to find the correct landing spot for it. We decided it should be one the scoreboard page and we felt that it would be more valuable to our readers than to continue to run Tank.

Joe Sullivan
Sports Editor/Boston Globe

 

Bill Hinds related much the same story, but a bit more plaintively.

I’m told that they need the space for other things. They may have cut back on pages. The editor says they like Tank, and he likes me personally, but it was just a matter of math. Breaks my heart. Boston was one of my big clients. Hopefully someone will write a letter.

 

Consider us that someone.

Regardless, here’s what we’re missing today:

 

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Tanks for the memories, Bill.

P.S. We’ll especially miss Tank’s Sports Jerk of the Year awards.

The 2014 nominees:

 

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And the 2014 big loser – er, winner.

 

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Richly deserved.


Ads ‘n’ Ends from the Boston Dailies

April 13, 2015

The headscratching staff noticed a couple of odd ads in the local papers today, starting with this quarter-page in the Boston Globe.

 

 

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From our Readability desk:

 

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New federal law, eh? We couldn’t find one, but we did find this at The Motley Fool.

While the option of getting free channels via an HDTV antenna has been around since 2009, cable companies have little interest in letting their paying customers know they don’t actually need to pay.

 

The Fools added this wrinkle – “The biggest wild card is what stations will be picked up in your area” – which the ad failed to mention. Either way, it was funny to see this ad in the Globe and not the Boston Herald.

Instead, the sippy local tabloid featured this half-page.

 

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Readability squad:

 

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The Strike 3 Foundation . . . is it just us, or is that tantamount to naming the organization You’re Out? The About section never mentions the origin/significance of the name, so maybe we’re just whiffing on this one.

Regardless, the foundation – “a charitable agency that heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for childhood cancer research” – is hosting a gourmet fundraiser at the WGBH Studios in Brighton. Excellent idea. Excellent cause.

But running the ad in the Herald?

Huh.

Crisscross, anyone?


Globe Sports Section Goes in the Tank (McNamara)

April 13, 2015

The hardreading staff is a longtime fan of Bill Hinds’s Tank McNamara comic strip, which has run in the Boston Globe for a . . . well, for a long time.

Until last Friday. When the Globe apparently dropped the strip.

In its stead, this appeared:

 

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Ditto Saturday and Sunday.

So Globe readers missed this, in particular:

 

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Rest assured, the headscratching staff is contacting Bill Hinds and Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan.

We’ll keep you posted.


Boston Dailies Are a Hung Jury on Tsarnaev Fate

April 9, 2015

As we await the start of the sentencing phase of the Boston Marathon Bomber trial, the local dailies are – not surprisingly – seeing justice in very different outcomes for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Boston Herald goes for the trifecta in today’s edition: editorial, op-ed column, editorial cartoon – all reaching the same conclusion.

From the Herald editorial (under the headline No mercy for Tsarnaev):

Thirty counts. Thirty guilty verdicts. But that is only the beginning. The toughest part is yet to come — the issue of life or death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. May this jury show him as little mercy as he showed the victims whose lives he so callously took.

 

From the op-ed piece by Rachelle Cohen:

In a strange way the death penalty seems too good, too easy for Tsarnaev who also wrote that he envied his brother Tamerlan’s martyrdom. Death won’t dissipate the anger that lingers. It won’t bring back those taken from us. And it will surely take years to actually be carried out — such is the American way of justice. But it is the only just end for this unrepentant terrorist.

 

Jerry Holbert’s editorial cartoon:

 

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Crosstown, the Boston Globe does the Herald one better: editorial, two op-ed pieces, editorial cartoon – all pleading the opposite case.

From the Globe editorial (under the headline Now, a harder task for jury: Spare Tsarnaev death penalty):

As the trial now moves into its sentencing phase — the jury must unanimously vote to execute Tsarnaev, or else he will receive a life sentence — the defense team may also raise legal mitigating factors. Tsarnaev was 19 at the time of the bombing; he was apparently a heavy drug user; he had no prior criminal record. By themselves, none of these would seem like a particularly good reason to spare him, but taken as a whole, and alongside evidence of his brother’s dominant role, they should plant seeds of doubt.

In sorting through such life-and-death considerations, jurors face an unenviable task — and mixed precedent. The Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was put to death. The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, wasn’t. Tsarnaev obviously should spend the rest of his life in prison. His defense has already made a good case that he does not meet the exceptionally high standards for a federal execution.

 

From Nancy Gertner’s op-ed: “The choices for the government should not be a death finding in a civilian court, or a death finding in a military tribunal, lethal injection or a firing squad. Countless others accused of heinous crimes have pled guilty to a life without parole. There was another way. There still is.”

From Harvey Silverglate’s op-ed:

The feds overstepped in asserting their superior claim to jurisdiction in this case in anticipation of this very moment, and Massachusetts citizens should pay close attention as prosecutors make their case for execution. When our state outlawed the death penalty in 1984, did we really intend for that prohibition to be conditional? Tsarnaev’s crimes indeed are particularly heinous, but we cannot let emotions cloud judgment. Regardless of the jury’s sentencing decision, this trial has starkly illustrated a decline in Massachusetts’ state sovereignty in deciding — literally — life-or-death matters.

 

Dan Wasserman’s editorial cartoon:

 

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It doesn’t get much more opposite than that.

UPDATE: The redoubtable Dan Kennedy ventured farther afield in the local dailies, pointing out the following at Media Nation:

Metro columnists Kevin Cullen and Yvonne Abraham weigh in [against the death penalty] . . .  (Columnist Jeff Jacoby has previously written in favor of death for Tsarnaev.)

Over at the Boston Herald, the message is mixed. In favor of the death penalty [is] columnist Adriana Cohen . . . Columnist Joe Fitzgerald is against capital punishment for Tsarnaev. Former mayor Ray Flynn offers a maybe, writing that he’s against the death penalty but would respect the wishes of the victims’ families.

 

Sorted.


Track Whacks Globe Over Non-Disclose

April 8, 2015

Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry gets batted around in the Boston Herald’s Inside Track today, thanks to this Eric Wilbur piece on boston.com.

Boston is Still a Red Sox Town Even if Tom Brady is King

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Who rules Boston: the Red Sox or Patriots?

Ultimately, there is no clear front-runner in the debate over whether Boston has ultimately become a football town, or if it maintains its long-time status as a bastion of baseball devotees.

The correct answer is both. It’s a Red Sox town. And it’s a Patriots town.

 

And boston.com is a Henry town, although the piece never mentions that. Which led Track Gal Gayle Fee to mention this:

SURPRISE! GLOBE SITE CITES SOX #1

Stop the presses: “Boston is Still a Red Sox Town Even If Tom Brady Is King.”NEL_5931.JPG

That’s according to Boston.
com, the digital arm of the Boston Globe. But nowhere in the commentary by sports blogger Eric Wilbur does he mention that the Red Sox, the Globe and Boston.com are all owned by the same man — John Henry!

Which makes Wilbur’s conclusion — that without Brady, the Patriots would be chopped liver, fanwise — somewhat suspect, don’t cha think???

 

Full disclosure: The hardreading staff believes that any publication owned by Henry should disclose the connection every time it reports on the Boston Red Sox or the Liverpool Football Club or Roush Fenway Racing or Fenway Park or anything Henry has purchased since we started this post. Some people we greatly respect believe we’re over-fastidious in this matter (hi, Dan!), but we’ve learned to live with that.

Then again, some have learned to live without.

Boston.com editor Tim Molloy, who has been on the job just under a month, said he has not even met John Henry, let alone been told what to write by the Sox boss. And Molloy said he saw no problem in Wilbur’s not disclosing the boss’s mutual ownership in the piece.

“I think that’s pretty well known,” he told the Track. “It’s not anything we disguise or try to keep secret. And I’ve had absolutely no contact with Mr. Henry in terms of anything editorial.”

 

That last, of course, is entirely beside the point. Regardless, Molloy told the Track that “if Henry’s ownership of the paper, the website and the team were disclosed in Wilbur’s piece, it should be disclosed ‘every time we write about the Red Sox.'”

Exactly.


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