Boston Dailies Engage in Olympic Gamesmanship

March 21, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

In the wake of the new WBUR poll that registers a knee-buckling 52% opposition to Boston’s 2024 Summer Olympics bid, the major players have decided it’s time to buckle down. And to pick a local daily to get the word out.

Not surprisingly, Mayor Marty Walsh has drifted toward the Boston Herald, while Boston 2024 gets a front-page boost from the Boston Globe.

Start with the latter:

Boston 2024 goes campaign-style

Bid committee uses political tactics and operatives

It was the ideal place to launch a grassroots movement: a Roxbury basketball tournament that drew a who’s who of political players, from the governor and mayor to city councilors and ward committee activists.

And right inside the entrance were three young people handing out Boston 2024 wristbands and urging anyone 1200_olympics_tlumackiwithin earshot to volunteer for the city’s Olympic bid.

“Whether you’re for or against, we want to hear your voice,” Willie Bodrick II proclaimed as he pitched the Games to a local lawyer and nonprofit executive.

Bodrick, a 27-year-old pastor who worked on Martha Coakley’s gubernatorial bid, is part of a sophisticated campaign-style operation that the local Olympic organizing group has built to persuade skeptical Bostonians to embrace efforts to land the 2024 Summer Games.

 

Michael Levenson’s piece continues, “the organization now looks much like a well-funded candidate’s operation, with digital media strategists, field teams, fund-raisers, liaisons to clergy and to ethnic media, and consultants who have worked on the biggest races in Massachusetts politics.”

And they all get trotted out here, from uber-consultants Doug Rubin and Will Keyser to “voter-mobilization guru” John Walsh to the ubiquitous Rev. Jeffrey Brown.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald channels Marty Walsh in Richard Weir’s piece.

Walsh hits reset button in quest for Olympic gold

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh, amid nosediving public support for Boston’s Olympics bid, is looking to hit the “reset button” in hopes of restoring confidence in the push to host the 2024 Summer Games and cutting his own political losses, according to City Hall insiders and observers.

Walsh called out former Gov. Deval Patrick Thursday over his controversial $7,500-a-day lobbying fee for the group behind the bid, Boston 2024, just hours before Patrick finally relented and said he would forgo pay for his work.

“Mayor Walsh has hit the reset button on the Olympic effort given that this is his city and he has the most to lose politically,” said one insider close to the Walsh administration.

 

Yeah – especially since he told WGBH’s Boston Public Radio last month that he’d consider 70% support for the Boston Olympics “satisfactory.” We’re a long way from that, Mistah Mayah, and headed in the wrong direction.

(Cheek by jowl with Weir’s piece is a Joe Battenfeld column calling for Mitt Romney to take over the whole mess, and a Joe Fitzgerald rumination on Deval Patrick’s $7500-a-day hubris.)

This could get interesting if the Globe becomes the preferred conduit for the Boston 2024 machers, and the Herald generally serves as the unofficial newsletter of the Walsh administration.

We shall see, eh?


Boston Herald Radio All Pimped Out to Advertisers

February 20, 2015

As the hardreading staff noted several months ago, the Boston Herald is not exactly covert in its catering to the few advertisers it manages to attract.

The Herald Runs on Dunkin’

As our Walt Whitman desk attests on a regular basis, the Boston Herald is a past master at using its newshole to promote . . . that’s right – the Herald. And now apparently, the fuzzy local tabloid is offering the same sort of ad-itorial package to its advertisers.

Witness the latest installment of the paper’s daily plug for Boston Herald Radio, the webcast that up to several people a day listen to.

 

screen-shot-2014-09-29-at-12-08-46-pm

 

Nice bit of venial synergy for Dunkin’ Donuts, eh? Lede of the “interview” at left:

Todd Wallace, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, joined Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” with Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld to talk about the iconic coffee chain’s new products.

 

Now comes this piece from the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Joseph Lichterman about local newspapers that hope online radio can become significant revenue generators. Along the way, Lichterman nails the coffin shut on the thirsty local tabloid’s unabashed willingness to pimp out any part of its editorial content to advertisers.

Advertising has also been slow for Boston Herald Radio, but the station has been able to introduce new forms of advertising by integrating advertisers into segments of its shows. Last fall, a marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts appeared on the Herald’s morning show to promote Dunkin’s new dark roast coffee.

“Sales love it, we love it in programming, and the clients love it,” said Herald Radio executive producer Tom Shattuck.

 

The first and third of those make perfect sense. But . . . we love it in programming?

That’s just sad.


Herald Hit on Hillary ‘Warrens’ a More Honest Look

December 20, 2014

The Boston Herald jumps all over some Kennedy-on-Clinton action today, giving Page One over to Joe K 3.0.

 

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Inside, reporter Matt Stout elaborates:

Kennedy: ‘Companies clearly create jobs’

U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III said yesterday that “companies clearly create jobs,” putting distance between himself and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose controversial comments on the Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 12.29.35 PMsubject are expected to be fodder for Republicans this upcoming election cycle.

One of the Bay State’s rising political stars, Kennedy said in a Herald interview yesterday that Congress needs to embrace policies geared toward economic equality as it prepares to return next month under Republican control. But he said helping businesses, big and small, to “flourish” needs to remain part of that, as Democrats — increasingly galvanized by the populist bullhorn wielded by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — try to beat back criticism that they’re anti-business.

 

We-think-she’s-nuts graf:

Republicans once galvanized by President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comment in 2012 were re-energized in late October when Clinton sent shock waves through the Twittersphere when she told Democrats in Boston, “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”

 

(Columnist Joe Battenfeld piles on with this piece, in which he speculates that Joe K 3.0 “may help derail Clinton’s White House path by endorsing her potential 2016 opponent, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, much the same way the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy backed Barack Obama in 2008.”)

The problem with this Hill-steria on the Herald’s part is that it conveniently overlooks this:

 

 

Yeah – that was Elizabeth Warren two years ago, not two months ago like Clinton. So you could say Warren was the Granny of that particular sentiment.

But the Herald wouldn’t say that. Doesn’t fit their storyline, does it?


A Tale of Two Lizzies

December 16, 2014

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Present Tense) has routinely refused to rule out a 2016 presidential run, saying only “I am not running for president.” Here’s a typical exchange, from yesterday’s interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, who brought up all the people urging Warren to run.

Would you tell these independent groups, “Give it up!” You’re just never going to run.
I told them, “I’m not running for president.”
You’re putting that in the present tense, though. Are you never going to run?
I am not running for president.
You’re not putting a “never” on that.
I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?

 

Fabulously non-responsive, no?

But in today’s edition the Boston Globe’s Noah Bierman came up with a clever way to shift Warren to the future tense.

Warren has answered the question more definitively before. Last year, the Globe asked her at a news conference in Boston whether she would make a a more ironclad pledge to serve out her Senate term, which 72cf5cc5506b43c0a9b4fac1d2a7af7e-72cf5cc5506b43c0a9b4fac1d2a7af7e-0ends in January 2019.

“I pledge to serve out my term,” she said at the time.

On Monday, Warren’s spokeswoman, Lacey Rose, was asked by the Globe in an e-mail whether the senator stood by that pledge.

“Yep, nothing has changed,” Rose replied.

 

Of course, everything is different in the Boston Herald. Top of Page One:

 

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Inside, there’s Hillary Chabot’s piece (with Matthew Stout) about Warren’s local political posse.

Bay State heavyweights eye Warren bandwagon

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U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III — whose late uncle Edward M. Kennedy famously snubbed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential contest — kept the door open yesterday to another game-changing Kennedy endorsement should U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren enter the 2016 race.

“He has no doubt she will continue to be a tremendously effective leader wherever her career takes her,” Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Brown said yesterday when asked of the congressman’s thoughts about Warren as president.

The comment comes after U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Somerville) offered his support to Warren if she jumps into the presidential contest, despite the likelihood that former Secretary of State Clinton will enter the field.

 

Joe Battenfeld adds a column about Warren’s likely prospects and this Tale of the Tape:

 

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As usual with the local dailies, we have another split decision.


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?


Hark! The Herald! (Charlie Baker’s House! Edition)

November 7, 2014

The Boston Herald has its promo mojo working overtime today.

From Joe Battenfeld’s piece:

National office for Charlie Baker? Nope, and you can believe it

Sick of governors with a flair for fancy speeches and a nose for the national
stage?

Massachusetts, here comes your man.

“Not to worry,” Gov.-elect Charlie Baker said in a Boston Herald interview. “I will not be a governor who gets involved in national politics.”

Sure, you’ve heard that one before. Michael Dukakis. Bill Weld. Mitt Romney. Deval Patrick. They all said they just wanted to be a great governor — right before they booked flights to Iowa.

But with Baker, he probably means it.

 

Accent on “probably.”

And accent on “Boston Herald interview,” as if the flirty local tabloid was the only girl Baker danced with yesterday. (His spotlight dance with the Boston Globe is here. In that interview – in his home – he also “expressed little desire to get involved in national Republican politics.”)

Just so you don’t forget, the Herald photo captions also tell the tale.

 

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And, even better than the Heraldniks going to Charlie’s house, he went to their house this morning.

 

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Isn’t that special?


Boston Herald Tears Up Over Charlie Baker

October 29, 2014

Republican gubernatorial wannabe (Two-Time) Charlie Baker may have turned on the waterworks in last night’s debate with Democratic gubernatorial wannabe Martha Coakley, but today’s Boston Herald turned the firehose on.

Start, as usual, with Page One.

 

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That’s just an appetizer. Here’s Joe Battenfeld’s piece:

Fluffy debate finale was a crying shame

Martha Coakley, Charlie Baker

Forget about Charlie Baker crying. The ones who should be crying are the voters.

Would you rather win the Lottery or the election?

What’s your signature dish in the kitchen?

What’s the best Halloween costume for your opponent?

Those were actual questions in a debate that will be the last time most voters see Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley in a televised, face-to-face confrontation.

Baker’s cry will get the most attention in this bizarre debate showdown. And that’s not a bad thing for a Republican accused of being a heartless budget cutter. Baker’s cry did not look contrived — he looked like a dad watching the last scene of “Field of Dreams.” And it certainly won’t hurt him among the most important voters in this race — women.

 

Former Boston mayor and current chinstroker Ray Flynn went even further.

Candidates show heart, give hope

The real winners of last night’s final gubernatorial debate were … the voters.

Both Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley gave real insight into their character and heart. It was the best political moment I ever saw.102814debateTA003

They proved that politics is not about hate and division, but about decency and love. Call it naive on my part, but last night’s showdown was the best example of what government should be about. When a teary-eyed Charlie Baker told the story of a beleaguered New Bedford fisherman and his two sons trying to keep the family business from going under because of the burden of federal fishing regulations, I could identify with that hard-working father, and it reminded me of why elections are so important.

 

Yeah, except if the family business couldn’t support the old man, how was it gonna support the three of them? We were confused.

But we did mist up a bit.


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