Boston Globe Namesniks Done Alan Cumming Wrong

April 30, 2014

Start with full disclosure: The hardreading staff met Masterpiece Mystery man Alan Cumming at his Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center Friends Speakers Series appearance Monday night and found him to be the sweetest guy ever.

Exhibit A: His Twitter feed that featured this selfie with his mum:

 

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So we were a bit dismayed when we saw this Names item in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

The comings and goings of Alan Cumming

 

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Alan Cumming spent a busy day in Boston Monday. The Scottish actor, who stars on CBS’s “The Good Wife” and is currently reprising the role of the lascivious emcee in “Cabaret” on Broadway, began the afternoon at WGBH’s Calderwood Studio, taping a series of intros for the new season of “Masterpiece Mystery.” Then it was off to BU’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, where Cumming talked about his life and work. The actor was adorable as ever, even if The New York Times, in its review of “Cabaret,” called him a “little softer around the jaw.”

 

(Fuller disclosure: The hardreading staff has numerous connections to the Gotlieb Center, which we’re happy to detail upon request.)

Not to get technical about it, but said Times review  of “Cabaret” was a full-throated endorsement of Cumming’s reprise of his 1998 performance as the M.C.:

Alan Cumming, who won a Tony as the nasty M.C. in 1998, is back, offering a slightly looser, older-but-wiser variation on the same performance . . . Mr. Cumming’s M.C., who commandeered a part that Joel Grey would have seemed to own exclusively, has become the new model for most interpretations of the role . . .

So that Names item might have been a little soft around the jawboning, yeah?

 


NYT Elizabeth Warren Full-Page Book Ad: Paging Howie Carr . . . Paging Mr. Howie Carr

April 23, 2014

Okay, so this full-page ad ran in Tuesday’s New York Times:

 

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And okay, the liberal mainstream media might have given Warren a total pass on the Indian thing, as this piece by Tim Stanley in The Telegraph contends.

Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Native American’ claims: if she was a Republican, the media would call her a racist

 

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Imagine if a Republican candidate claimed, confidently, that she was part Native American. Imagine if she had actually used that identity to have herself listed as a minority at Harvard, qualifying her for special treatment and celebration as proof of how diverse and progressive her department is. Imagine if, many years later, it turned out that her claims to Native heritage were dubious and, when pressed for proof, she offered her “high cheekbones.” Oh, and she once contributed a recipe to a Native American cookbook called “Pow Wow Chow” (that may even have been plagiarised).

Chances are, that Republican candidate would be hounded night and day by the press, branded a racist and probably be winding down her political career. Right now, she’d be sitting by the phone, praying for a call from the producers of Celebrity Apprentice (gotta pay the mortgage on that wigwam somehow).

The incredible thing is that all this has happened to a Democratic senatorial candidate called Elizabeth Warren. And not only has she been given a pass by her party, which normally treats race with the respect it deserves, but also by the mainstream media . . .

 

So Boston Herald Pow Wow Chowdahead Howie Carr:

Are you on this or what?

 


Dear Boston Globe: Meet Rick Berman

March 12, 2014

Chalk up another win for Dr. Evil.

From yesterday’s Boston Globe:

Ad attacks ‘radical’ backers of minimum-pay hike

In wage fight, echoes of the Cold War

 

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Wellesley College economics professor Julie Matthaei is a Marxist living in a modern-day commune in Cambridge who has carved out an academic niche questioning the status quo. She is unapologetic about her beliefs, describing herself on her Wellesley Web page as a “Marxist-feminist-anti-racist-ecological-economist.”

But she was stunned recently when this description was used against her in a full-page advertisement in The New York Times by a murky pro-business group opposed to raising the minimum wage. Matthaei was among 600 academic economists who signed a petition supporting a minimum-wage increase, which the ad tried to discredit.

 

The Times ad:

 

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The Globe piece noted that “[t]he Times ad, taken out by the nonprofit Employment Policies Institute in Washington, had a distinctly 1950s flavor, employing excerpts from quotes that used derivatives of ‘Marx’ four times, praised Soviet-style socialism, and questioned official accounts of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

It also noted this:

It is unclear who is funding the Employment Policies Institute; research director Michael Saltsman declined to name the businesses, foundations, and individuals who are major donors.

 

It might be hard to name “the businesses, foundations, and individuals who are major donors” of the Employment Policies Institute, but it’s totally clear who’s behind it: the Berman-industrial complex detailed here.

Hey, Globeniks: Get hip – Rick Berman is the King of Potemkin non-profits.

Helpful cheat sheet:

 

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You’re welcome.

 


Hark! The Herald! (Howie Carr-toon Edition)

March 11, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

The hardreading staff knows the definition of news is changing (see virtually any David Carr column in the New York Times), but only in the Boston Herald can its own columnist’s humping his cut ‘n’ paste books be considered worthy of space in the newshole.

From today’s flacky  local tabloid.

 

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To the best of our knowledge Howie Carr is no relation to David Carr (much to the latter’s relief, we’d guess). Even so, Howie’s just bustin’ his buttons, isn’t he?

Please check all sharp objects at the door.

 


Doug Mohns Nothing to the Boston Globe

February 14, 2014

Splendid reader Bob Gardner sent this comment to Two-Daily Town yesterday in response to our post Lauren Bacall Killed by Boston Herald.

On the other hand, I haven’t been able to find any mention in the Globe today of the death of Doug Mohns. Mohns was one the great Bruins from the 1950′s and “60′s. Mohns was considered to be one of the best Bruin players at that time and (if I remember right) was one of the few players of that era who wore a helmet.
Mohn’s death was reported in the NY Times today but my search of Boston.com turned up nothing. That’s especially ironic, since not only did he play in Boston, but (according to the Times) was a resident of Bedford Mass at the time of his death.

 

New York Times obituary:

Doug Mohns, N.H.L. Player for 22 Seasons, Dies at 80

Doug Mohns, a durable and versatile skater who lasted 22 seasons in the National Hockey League, playing in seven All-Star Games, MOHNS-obit-web-master180died on Friday in Reading, Mass. He was 80.

The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disorder, said his wife, Tabor Ansin Mohns.

For most of his career, which extended from 1953 to 1975, Mohns was a stalwart of the old, compact N.H.L. — when there were only six franchises, rivalries were especially intense, no one wore a helmet, and players were intimately acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of players on every other club.

He played 11 seasons for the Boston Bruins . . .

 

As Gardner says, the Globe has essentially ignored the passing of Doug Mohns. Plug his name into the Globe’s search box and you get this (as of midnight Thursday):

 

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The Boston Herald hasn’t done much better. There’s only this mention that was tagged onto the February 9th Bruins Notebook (no link because the Herald is the Bermuda Triangle of search engines).

 

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Rest in peace, Doug Mohns.

Just not in the Boston dailies.

 


‘Would He’ Allen? Herald’s Eagan Says Yes

February 9, 2014

Filmmaker Woodycame to his own defense today. This New York Times piece aims to rebut allegations from last Sunday’s Times that Allen had sexually molested his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow.

Allen writes:

TWENTY-ONE years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought. We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy. The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn’t even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer.

I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was . . .

 

Then again, maybe not. Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan blowtorches Allen in this piece today.

Rebuttal does little for Allen

Better to keep your mouth shut and just appear to be a pedophile than open it and remove all doubt.082003stars3

Or most doubt anyway.

I know, I know. We cannot say with certainty that filmmaker Woody Allen sexually assaulted his then-7-year-old adopted daughter Dylan Farrow two decades ago.

But, in an apparent tit-for-tat against that daughter, Woody Allen doesn’t just open his mouth but shoves his foot right in it. He’s written a loathsome and skin-crawling rebuttal to Dylan Farrow printed in the New York Times, his hometown paper.

 

And etc.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe relegated Allen’s response to a largely nonjudgmental item in the Names column. The hard waiting looks forward to some judgmental action from Globe columnists soon.

Meanwhile, roll your own here.

 

 


Herald Scribes Hand-Wring Over ‘Would He?’ Allen

February 4, 2014

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof kicked off quite a rumpus with his Sunday piece in which Dylan Farrow accused her adoptive father Woody Allen of sexually molesting her when she was seven years old.

Dylan Farrow’s Story

WHEN Woody Allen received a Golden Globe award for lifetime achievement a few weeks ago, there was a lively debate about whether it was appropriate to honor a man who is an artistic giant but also was accused years ago of child molestation.

Allen’s defenders correctly note that he denies the allegations, has never been convicted and should be presumed innocent. People weighed in on all sides, but one person who hasn’t been heard out is Dylan Farrow, 28, the writer and artist whom Allen was accused of molesting.

 

Well, she has been now – Kristof posted this on his blog over the weekend.

An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led dylan-farrow-blog480-v3me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like . . .

 

Compelling stuff, and enough to draw two columns in the Boston Herald today.

First up: Margery Eagan, who calls the allegations “sickening.”

In the days leading up to the Oscars, we’ll likely hear that Dylan is lying, crazy or both. Or we’ll hear the old dodge of critics, that we must separate the 082003stars3man from the art. Many artists — male artists, anyway — are creeps, scoundrels and worse.

But how can we separate Woody Allen’s art from the nauseating, criminal allegations Dylan Farrow first told her mother and police two decades ago? Last night, I tried watching “Annie Hall” again. Whenever Allen appeared, I didn’t see a cinematic genius. I saw a sick, monstrous father in that dim attic with his shattered little girl.

 

Next up: James Verniere, who asks this question:  “Are ‘Annie Hall’ and ‘Blue Jasmine’ any less great if their creator did what Farrow says he did?”

A better question might be, should the Times have run Kristof’s column at all? That’s the one Times public editor Margaret Sullivan asked on her blog yesterday. She doesn’t provide an answer, but she does write this: “I urge those who who have not yet done so to read Robert B. Weide’s illuminating article [in The Daily Beast]. It provides essential context.”

And a good place to start.

UPDATE: Margery Eagan replies, “Better place to start Maureen Orth’s piece — Weide completely underwhelming, plus he big time in woody camp.” Possible tiebreaker: this Guardian piece by Michael Woolf.

 


Ask John Henry: What Exactly Does a COO Do?

January 9, 2014

Boston Red Sox/Boston Globe owner John Henry made a rare public appearance at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday and made news with his announcement that he might sell the Morrissey Boulevard property and will appoint a new COO of the Globe maeda_09henry_biz2now that publisher Christopher Mayer has stepped down.

The question is, what is a COO?

The Globeniks better hope it’s nothing like the chief content officer position Time, Inc. recently established for its publications.

As the hardtracking staff at Sneak Adtack noted last fall, Time, Inc. CCO Norman Pearlstein is now the person that both the business side and the editorial side report to, “leading some to wonder whether business interests would now trump those of edit.”

According to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, Pearlstein “praised the model being developed by Forbes magazine, which includes ‘sponsored’ content alongside the work of its staff writers. He said that the business side would not be able to hire an editor unless he went along with it.”

Be afraid, Globeniks. Be very afraid.


Globe Fails to Deliver Delivery-Fail Story

December 26, 2013

From our One Town, Two Places desk

Once again the local dailies live in parallel universes.

Today’s Boston Herald front page:

 

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The inside story:

A Christmas delivery meltdown that saw retailers and shippers failing to del­iver gifts on time for the holiday could spur an upheaval — and even a backlash — in online shopping, experts said yesterday, as consumers took to social media to vent their spleen.A UPS delivery man prepares to deliver packages on Christmas Eve in New York

“I think too much was promised because the 
industry and the carriers
 underestimated how much demand there will be for
that last-minute type of delivery. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a lot of consumers and stores alike were really besieged at the last moment,” said Jon Hurst, president of the 
Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

 

Reaction by Herald commenters was decidedly mixed.

 

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Inevitably, the feisty local tabloiders wound up turning on each other:

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the story was . . . lost in transit.

Today’s stately local broadsheet has nothing on the carriers putting the X in Xmas, but it did have this helpful primer on returning gifts.

The garish sweater from your aunt. The Chia Pet from your brother-in-law. The PlayStation game from a grandmother who forgot you have an Xbox. Getting rid of unwanted gifts is as much a holiday tradition as receiving them.AP103518433181

About one-third of consumers returned at least one gift last year, according to the National Retail Federation, and many still do it the old-fashioned way: at a store’s customer service counter.

But before you get in line, take some basic steps to make it less aggravating.

Most crucially, if you received a receipt with your gift, keep it until you are sure you won’t be returning the item, said Edgar Dworsky, the Somerville-based founder of the consumer advocacy and education site ConsumerWorld.com.

 

Really? A lot of people include a receipt with their Christmas presents? The hard gifting staff had no idea.

One last thing: This time, at least, the Herald had the better nose for news. The Wall Street Journal had the carrier meltdown on its front page today, and the New York Times ran it on D1 of the Business section.

Season’s Beatings in the daily bakeoff, eh?


All Helle Breaks Loose at Boston Herald

December 12, 2013

Our selfie-obsessed local tabloid is back at it again today, as if yesterday’s examination of Barack Obama’s shutterbug diplomacy at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service wasn’t enough.

Today’s Page One:

 

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From there readers got the usual left-right punches from Margery Eagan and Howie Carr, along with a thumbnail sketch of Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the dame who started the whole rumpus. Topping it all off: a piece that featured the local chinstrokerati tsk-tsking that Obama should have known better.

Uh-huh.

Crosstown rival Boston Globe has been more selfie-possessed: The stately local broadsheet ran a New York Times wire story yesterday and has pretty much given the Great Dane the air.

But cruise down I-95 to the Big Town, and the New York Post more than makes up for the Globe’s selfie-restraint.

 

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Post firebrand Andrea Peyser really unloads on Obama’s merry memorial. We’ll skip right to the climactic conclusion:

Thorning-Schmidt attempted to laugh off the whole thing, saying, “It was not inappropriate.’’ Not inappropriate?SAFRICA-MANDELA-MEMORIAL

Pairing a black suit and blue tie is not inappropriate. Giving your wife grounds for divorce might be seen as otherwise.

But people won’t soon forget the escapades of the people whose salaries they pay.

President Obama has some ’splaining to do. To the woman he married. To his daughters. To the people of South Africa. And to the scandalized folks here at home.

He owes the world an apology.

 

Wow. Talk about selfie-righteous, eh?


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