The Yin & Yang of the Globe & Herald

July 18, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk (in cooperation with our Late to the Party desk)

Yesterday’s Boston dailies provided a textbook compare ‘n’ contrast case study on several fronts.

Start with the Boston Herald’s front page:


Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.39.27 AM


What followed was Jessica Heslam’s page 2 column about sports radio moron Kirk Minihane’s gutless bitching about FOX Sports fox Erin Andrews’ lame All Star Game interview of groovy St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright:

Vulgar put-down of Erin Andrews won’t score points for WEEI

Super Bowl Football

Boston sports radio station WEEI — which has been trounced by rival “98.5 The Sports Hub” and is taking a ratings beating because of the cellar-dwelling Red Sox — found itself in hot water yesterday after one of its jock talkers made vulgar on-air comments about a female sportscaster.

“Dennis & Callahan” sidekick Kirk Minihane ended up apologizing for his demeaning remarks about Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews, but not before the whole brouhaha had some wondering whether it was all a desperate bid to boost ratings.


Groovy. But here’s how the Boston Globe reported it, Metro page 1:

Martha Coakley rips WEEI host for Erin Andrews rant

Stomping onto the dangerous turf of talk radio, gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley called out a WEEI radio host for an on-air tirade in which he lambasted FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews, cursing about her and telling her to “drop dead.”

b7e8a90fbff64d66b9be7bd63c803427-b7e8a90fbff64d66b9be7bd63c803427-0The rant on the “Dennis & Callahan Show” Wednesday morning prompted Coakley to contact a reporter covering the story to weigh in and later prompted an apology from the radio personality.

“Everybody understands fair criticism,” Coakley told “But when it becomes personal, when it’s demeaning, and when it goes over the line as this did, that language is inexcusable, and it’s offensive. I just felt it was important for me to weigh in.”


Yeah, that’s really “dangerous turf” – taking a bold stance against sexist buffoonery. The Bay State needs more Profiles in Courage like that.

Meanwhile, here’s what the stately local broadsheet featured on its front page:


Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.28.00 AM


That stands in stark contrast to the frosty local tabloid’s take:

Gov urged to just say no

Bay State lawmen and lawmakers are urging Gov. Deval Patrick to reject President Obama’s request to shelter some of the thousands of children who have been surging across the nation’s southern border illegally, while immigration advocates are calling the crisis a Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.35.37 AMhumanitarian issue requiring immediate action.

“As long as there are signals being sent out that people can come here illegally and we’re just going to take care of them, then they’re just going to keep on coming,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said yesterday from the Texas border on a fact-finding tour. “Neither the president nor the governor have come down to the border to see what’s happening — had they taken the time to come down, they would understand why sending people to Massachusetts is not the answer.”


(Can we just interject here that Tom Hodgson is the biggest media slut this side of Kim Kardashian? Thank you.)

That’s not even to deal with the hiss & hiss treatment of the BRA in yesterday’s local dailies. (Roll your own.)

It’s swell to live in a two-daily town, yeah?

Boston Herald Subscription: Biggest. Waste. Ever.(VII)

May 23, 2014

As one of the 17 home subscribers the Boston Herald boasts, the hardreading staff has drastically reduced its expectations of the local daily. But the paper has failed to clear even that low bar. Actually it failed to jump at all today.

The foisty local tabloid told us it had “printing problems” last night. But of course the Herald has printing problems every night, BECAUSE ITS PRINTER IS ALSO ITS CROSSTOWN RIVAL.  So for the most part either 1) the Herald’s early edition gets printed – what? – 24 hours in advance, or 2) it doesn’t get printed at all.

Neither of those fates, unsurprisingly, is ever visited upon the Boston Globe.

Regardless, here’s the front page that did not land at the door of the Global Worldwide Headquarters this AM.


Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 4.20.10 PM


Sleepy’s, eh? Sounds about right.


Hark! The Herald! (I’s on the Prize Edition)

March 26, 2014

It’s all hands on deck at the feety local tabloid today. First sports columnist Steve Buckley decides to get into the Marathon mix.

BC scrapper inspires run for ALS cure

I wish I had video highlights of Pete Frates’ entire baseball career.

If I did, I’d seek out the longest home run he ever hit, the greatest catch, and the hardest, dirtiest takeout slide he ever made at second CE1_4810.JPGbase, and then I’d somehow combine them into one rock-’em-sock-’em, in-your-face Pete Frates Baseball Moment.

And even then, it would look like a game of backyard ring toss compared with the aggressiveness and determination that Pete is showing in his fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

That’s why I’m running this year’s Boston Marathon:

As he has done with so many others, Pete Frates, a Beverly native and former Boston College baseball captain, has inspired me to help him help find a cure for ALS.


A thoroughly admirable enterprise.

Several pages on, all-purpose columnist Jessica Heslam’s jumps feet-first into step dancing

Herald columnist kicks up heels with Irish dance cast

Who doesn’t dream of dancing on Broadway?

Until yesterday, the closest I came was a few birthdays ago when I went to see the rock musical “Hair.” At the end of the show, the cast DSC_7279.jpginvited audience members on stage to sing and dance to “Let the Sunshine In.”

I was in heaven.

So I was thrilled — and very nervous — to get yesterday’s assignment: Take part in a master dance class taught by the dancers of “Heartbeat of Home” — a new dance sensation by the producers and director of the Broadway hit “Riverdance” — opening today at Boston’s Citi Wang Theatre.



Thereby producing a nifty piece of newsvertising for the show.

Video evidence here:



Those crosstown Globeniks better step lively if they want to keep up.

UPDATE: Apologies to our Walt Whitman desk for not crediting it earlier.



Boston Dailies Split Marty Walsh Family

March 14, 2014

Over the past two days the local dailies have wishboned those closest to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

Yesterday the Boston Globe front-paged Walsh’s longtime galpal Lorrie Higgins.


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It struck the hardreading staff as odd that the piece would identify Higgins as “the intensely private waitress and legislative aide,” especially because it later reports she has taken a temporary leave from waitressing. But why get technical about it.

Not to be outdone, today’s Boston Herald pulls rank on the Globe.

Mom dishes on Marty Walsh

Mary Walsh — the mayor’s mom — would love to see her oldest son marry his longtime girlfriend.TED_7856.jpg

“Oh, I would some day. I would love it,” she tells me when I ask her if she’d like to see her boy, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, tie the knot with his Savin Hill sweetheart, Lorrie Higgins.

“I love Lorrie and I love Lauren,” she said of Higgins and her daughter. “I love her whole family. They’re great people.”

But there’s no pressure.

“I never tell my kids what to do,” she said.


So in the end it’s all about the girlfriend. One way or another.


Globe Retweets From Its Patrick-Third-Term Gaffe

March 21, 2013

So Gov. Deval Patrick made a joke yesterday about running for a third term and wouldn’t you know some people took him seriously and faster than you can say tweet tweet it was out there on the social media wire.

From today’s Boston Globe:

Patrick trips online firestorm with reelection joke

For a few minutes early Wednesday afternoon, the Massa chusetts political world was in flames.

Governor Deval Patrick’s attempt at humor during an appear ance at the University of Massachusetts Boston went viral, leading many to believe that he would seek a third term. That would have been news, indeed, since Patrick has long professed to be satisfied with two terms.

And, while there is no law prohibiting a third consecutive term, there is no modern precedent.

“#Breaking: @MassGovernor announces he’s running for a third term” New England Cable News network tweeted at 1:10 p.m. to its more than 19,000 followers.

That ignited a firestorm of retweets, online exclamations of disbelief, and panicked phone calls by news organizations looking to catch up on a story that would dramatically remake the state’s political landscape.


It turned out to be a false alarm, but what the Globe piece fails to mention is that one of its own was among the retweeters. It was left to our feisty local tabloid to reveal the full story.

From today’s Boston Herald:

NECN tweets from the hip

A red-faced NECN chalked its social media gaffe up to “human error” yesterday after firing off a mistaken tweet declaring Gov. Deval Patrick was running for a third term — a blunder experts say newspeople can avoid by thinking before they tweet.

The cyber slip spread like wildfire to Washington, D.C., where it was retweeted by a Boston Globe reporter, and the governor’s press office was forced to field a barrage of calls. Social media experts say the blame lies with shoddy journalism.

“Twitter’s not dangerous — the people who use it can be,” said Al Tompkins of the journalism think tank the Poynter Institute.

Added “Twitter for Dummies” lead author Laura Fitton: “It doesn’t matter where that person published it. People tend to blame the tool. People will blame Twitter, but that’s just bad journalism.”



Here’s the twitstream:

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A spokeswoman for our stately local broadsheet told the Herald’s Jessica Heslam that reporter Matt Viser followed the newspaper’s social media policy. “He retweeted a trusted source, NECN,” she said,”and the second NECN said it made a mistake, Matt retweeted that. All of this took place within a minute.”

Hey – maybe that’s why the Globe didn’t report it today. It happened too fast.

Boston Globe Herald Hostage, Day Two

February 22, 2013

The Schadenfreude Gazette is at it again today:

Picture 1


Obligatory two-page spread:

Picture 2


Helpful chart:

Picture 4


Oh, yes – don’t forget Jerry Holbert’s editorial cartoon:
holberts 02-22 cartoon


Highlight of the Herald’s coverage: Jessica Heslam’s interview with the reptilian Michael Wolff about News Corp. Dark Knight Rupert Murdoch as a potential buyer:

“Rupert would be terrifically interested in the Boston Globe,” said Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Wolff, author of “The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.” “Rupert is now in the process of shopping for American newspapers but doing that in the context of that this is the bottom of the market.”

So what would be the right price for Murdoch?

“Practically free,” Wolff told me. “Assuming that there is cash flow, he would buy it on a heavily, heavily, heavily, heavily discounted basis. Rupert, at this point, is an economic buyer.”


But an unlikely one, says old friend Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. “The prospect of Rupert going head-to-head with the Boston Herald seems somehow un-American. That’s his baby. … That would surprise me.”

Crosstown at the stately local broadsheet meanwhile, Globe columnist Kevin Cullen has a message for the Heraldniks:

The change that is coming is about business, not journalism. As for the delight fully delusional people who see a change of ownership as a death sentence, the natural consequence of the Globe being part of the vast left-wing conspiracy, please, sit back, crack another cold one and adjust your tinfoil hats. Ask Sal DiMasi, John Tierney, and Mike McLaughlin, just recent examples, if they think the Globe goes easy on Democrats.

The Globe isn’t going anywhere. It’s changing owners.


Message: Stick that in your pipe, Howie.

WGBH = Whacked Good By Herald

December 26, 2012

From our While We Were Out desk

While the hardreading staff was down the Big Town, the Boston Herald gave WGHB a real thrashing last Friday, featuring this Jessica Heslam column on Page Two:

_TED0358.jpgHigh-living WGBH owes $300G

Public TV behemoth WGBH has to pony up more than $300,000 as part of a federal civil settlement for what authorities said yesterday was shoddy record keeping of federal grant money.

Under a deal struck with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, WGBH must fork over the money for failing to “properly track and account for” federal grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, according to an announcement yesterday by Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

In 2011, a Herald review found that more than a dozen WGBH execs at the taxpayer-subsidized flagship station were making more than $200,000 a year while working in an $85 million multimedia headquarters dubbed the “Taj Mahal.”

“This settlement underscores that recipients of federal grant money must be scrupulous in their accounting for how those funds are spent, and in making accurate reports to federal grantors,” Ortiz said.


At issue: WGBH’s “inadequate accounting system” for the over $60 million in federal grants the station received from 2003 to 2010.

A Herald website news report on the fine included this comment from Doug708:

The left wing screaming liberal media will make sure this story gets buried. The only place anyone will see this story is the Herald.


If by “left wing screaming liberal media” Doug708 means the Boston Globe, he’s right. The hardsearching staff got this result for “WGBH federal fine” from the Globe’s website as of Monday at 1:27 AM:

Picture 1


Meanwhile, a Googletron search of WGBH federal fine produced this:

Picture 2


Take a bow, Doug708.

You too, Jessica H.

Herald: Baron Jumps Sinking Ship?

November 14, 2012

Today’s Boston Globe has the front-page story on the exodus of editor Marty Baron.

11-year Globe editor Martin Baron to depart

Will take reins at Washington Post

Martin Baron , the editor of The Boston Globe who led the news organization as it won six Pulitzer Prizes over the past decade, will become executive editor of The Washington Post in January, both papers said Tuesday.

The Globe will launch a search to fill Baron’s job, said publisher Christopher M. Mayer. While citing the talent within the newsroom, he said he would also consider outside candidates. Mayer said his aim is to fill the position as quickly as possible.

“We’re looking for the right person at the right time to really carry on the quality journalism that’s the embodiment of everything we are doing today,” Mayer said in an interview.

In his valediction to the Globe newsroom, Baron asserted that his departure has nothing to do with the fiscal fitness of the paper.

Noting that he navigated through difficult times for the news business, Baron said New England’s largest newspaper has emerged as a sound institution. “We’re on solid footing here at the Globe,” he said. “The Globe has a good future ahead of it. “

Not if you listen to the Boston Herald, which says it has the inside story.

Globe editor departing for gig at Washington Post

Baron successor all the talk

The long-rumored departure of Boston Globe editor Marty Baron for the top slot at The Washington Post — the beleaguered broadsheet’s third bigwig to jump ship in recent months — has roiled the Morrissey Boulevard newsroom and set tongues wagging about a possible fire sale.

“He may think that the clock is ticking, it’s time to get out,” said Benchmark Co. analyst Edward Atorino. “The Post is going to be around forever, whereas the Globe — not sure.”

Of course, that’s exactly what you’d expect a Herald piece to say. But at least columnist Jessica Heslam spiced it up with some speculation:

Scuttlebutt has it that Times metro editor Carolyn Ryan, a former Herald and Globe staffer, could come in as a caretaker editor in a move that could signal a sale of the paper.

Among the inside candidates bandied about: Globe editorial page editor Peter Canellos, deputy managing Sunday editor Mark Morrow, associate editor and metro columnist Brian McGrory and managing editor Caleb Solomon.

(The Globe’s kissin’ cousin down in New York just teased readers: “Three internal candidates [at the Globe? the Times?] have been named as possible successors. A spokesman for the Times Company said a national search would be conducted.”)

No dish from the Globe yet. At least not in the paper.

Our Condolences to Joe Fitzgerald

November 1, 2012

The hardreading staff has had its differences with Boston Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald over the years, but we have only sadness over the loss of his beloved wife, Carol.

From Jessica Heslam’s lovely tribute in today’s Herald:

‘I can’t imagine a better marriage’

For Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald, she “swept” him off his feet.

She was home from college for the summer, working at a hamburger joint, when he first laid eyes on her in St. Johnsbury, Vt. — where he’d landed his first newspaper job at the Caledonian-Record.

“I can still remember now, the first time I saw her,” Fitzgerald recalled yesterday. “I was watching her from a little distance but just the way she smiled and her easygoing way — I thought, ‘Wow. This is one classy lady.’ ”

Carol Fitzgerald remained classy throughout the rest of her life.

After 46 years of marriage, and after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, Carol Fitzgerald died last Thursday. She was 65, a beloved mother and grandmother.

“It was like I was on a date for 46 years, that’s how I felt about her, and right to the very end. … I had the feeling, from the coon hunt to this room, and all this machinery, of what a lucky guy I’ve been,” Fitzgerald said. “She was remarkable.”

Joe and Carol raised three children and “shared a passion for old hymns and Southern gospel music.”

She had a big heart and a sweet spirit, Fitzgerald said, and he was “lucky enough” to marry her.

“The honeymoon never ended. At this point in our life, we’d sit every morning for an hour or two, I’d have two or three cups of coffee, and we would just talk about everything, about nothing,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the good stuff.

“I can’t imagine a better marriage,” he added, “than the one we had.”

And we can’t imagine a better epitaph than that.



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