Boston Herald’s Gelzinis Nails Lyin’ Brian Williams

February 8, 2015

At this point, it’s really Cryin’ Brian Williams, as the NBC anchor gets pummeled from all sides for fabricating a harrowing tale of danger during hisIraq war coverage in 2003. Typical of today’s coverage is this New York Times Wire Service pickup in the Boston Sunday Globe.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 5.47.11 PM

 

Some, of course, has been tougher, like Times Op-It Girl Maureen Dowd’s piece today.

NBC executives were warned a year ago that Brian Williams was constantly inflating his biography. They were flummoxed over why the leading network anchor felt that he needed Hemingwayesque, bullets-whizzing-by flourishes to puff himself up, sometimes to the point where it was a joke in the news division.

But the caustic media big shots who once roamed the land were gone, and “there was no one around to pull his chain when he got too over-the-top,” as one NBC News reporter put it.

 

But for our money, the toughest – and most damning – is this piece by Peter Gelzinis in today’s Boston Herald.

Brian Williams’ snub of vets no laughing matter

Back in the fall of 2006, long before Brian Williams confessed to “conflating” his helicopter adventures over Iraq, Neal Santangelo knew the NBC news anchor was a fraud.

Santangelo, a Boston firefighter, former president of Local 718 and a proud veteran of the Navy submarine service, served on a committee that brought the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to Boston that year for its national convention.

About six months before the society’s gala banquet at the Convention Center, Williams agreed to serve as master of ceremonies.

But when he arrived on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006, Williams told committee members Tom Lyons and Neal Santangelo that a “pressing engagement” back in New York prevented him from doing much more than greeting the audience of more than 1,000 guests … and leaving.

 

That pressing engagement? Parachuting into that night’s Weekend Update sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”

 

SNL-BRIAN WILLIAMS

“I … cannot believe that you left us for this,” Neal Santangelo wrote in a letter to Williams a week after the banquet. “In an act of egotistical, blatant self-promotion, you deceived the (Medal of Honor) Recipients, declined to break bread with them and disrespected them.

“You placed comedy before courage … Your conduct was irreverent, insulting, incomprehensible and shameful. You may attempt to ‘spin’ the issue to support your position, but that will do nothing but bring you further shame in my eyes.”

The three-page letter Neal Santangelo wrote out of pure rage and emotion was never sent.

 

Well, thanks to Gelzinis, it’s out there now.


Hark! The Herald! (Whole in Their Head Edition)

January 12, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The selfie local tabloid seems determined to run a Whole Foods/Herald story as often as possible.

It started with this piece last Wednesday.

Whole Foods design honors Herald legacy

_17A1132.JPG

In the South End landmark where ink once flowed and the Boston Herald’s presses roared, shoppers will now enjoy frangipane tarts, cooked-to-order ramen and a milk + honey spa at Boston’s newest and most innovative Whole Foods.

The 50,000-square-foot gourmet supermarket is part of National Development’s Ink Block project on the site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.

 

(Boston Magazine’s Eric Randall immediately had a smart piece chronicling the Herald’s “screeds against the half of the country that columnist Howie Carr sometimes collectively refers to as ‘Whole Foods nation'” along with a roll call of the Herald’s Whole lotta love.)

Then Saturday’s Herald featured this update from Donna Goodison:

It’s a Whole new story at 
old Herald site

117A1123.JPG

Whole Foods Market debuted its newest Boston store in the South End Friday — its second largest in the region and considered a flagship for its North Atlantic division — and co-CEO Walter Robb sees room in the Hub for another of its size.

“We’ve seen the city evolving, so we have lots of plans,” the Boston native said. “The opportunity to come in here and get 50,000 square feet — that’s hard to do these days, and I do think there’s another one (in the future pipeline).” . . .

Its South End supermarket is in National Development’s $200 million Ink Block project, the former Boston Herald headquarters site for more than half a century, and it memorializes the newspaper’s history throughout its decor.

 

Of course it does.

Then yesterday, there was this thoroughly readable piece from Peter Gelzinis:

From press to produce

The legendary author Thomas Wolfe was misinformed when he wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again.”117A1228.JPG

I’m here to say you can. But when you do, you’ll discover home has been transformed into the biggest Whole Foods store in Boston.

 

It’s a sweet trip down Memory Lane with Bert McNeil and Mike Bello, Danny and Dennis Messing, and especially Gelzinis himself.

But there’s also a subtext to all that Wholesomeness: “Herald publisher Patrick J. Purcell [is] a minority investor in the $200 million Ink Block project, which also will include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants.”

So – a Whole lotta money involved.

And today?

Wholly absent.

But we don’t expect that to last long.


Herald Front Page Hits the Trifecta

October 17, 2014

The Boston Herald is at its most Heraldish today, with a trio of Page One stories that feature drugs, crime, greed, and, well, TV.

 

MA_BH

 

For our money, the best of the bunch is this one:

No love lost between sibs

Con who killed parents sues bro for granny’s $$

A killer con — behind bars for cold-bloodedly murdering his parents for their insurance money more than 25 years ago — is back in court suing his brother over an inheritance from their grandmother, saying he has the dough coming to him.

“That money was supposed to be for me if I got out on parole,” William Duclos, 45, told the Herald in a jailhouse interview yesterday. “My brother was supposed to hold that money for me.”

 

Not surprisingly, the situation is a little more complicated than that. Check the feisty local tabloid for details.

Also not surprisingly – you won’t find them in the Boston Globe.


Boston Dailies Are Papal Tigers

April 27, 2014

From our Santo Subito! desk

The local dailies both play the home-away game in their coverage of this weekend’s Saintorama in the Eternal City.

Start, naturally enough, with Page One of the Boston Herald.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 2.13.39 PM

 

The faithy local tabloid follows up with four pages of Pope-O-Scope coverage, most notably former Boston Mayor/Vatican Ambassador Ray Flynn’s filing from Rome.

World’s Catholics celebrate the faith

O’Malley, Boston represented well

Vatican Popes Saints

VATICAN CITY — The great and the good have gathered in this lovely city, flocking from all corners of the world — ambassadors and cardinals, presidents, prime ministers and royalty.

They are meeting in hotels and embassies and gorgeous residences in the Eternal City, and many gathered together for joyous reunions last night on the eve of today’s double canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

It is a tribute to the remarkable occasion, the convergence of so many diverse and powerful leaders for the first time two popes will be canonized in a celebration presided over by two living popes — Pope Francis and the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

 

But there’s an even more important constituency in town, Flynn writes.

Yet there is a far greater tribute, below the glittering halls, past the motorcades and speeding police escorts and throngs of media.

Down in the streets of St. Peter’s Square, thousands of humble pilgrims gathered to sleep last night. They lay on the cobblestones in the spring chill, the clouds and stars above them, waiting for the dawn, waiting for one of the great moments in our faith.

 

There’s also Margery Eagan on John XXIII, Marty Walsh reminiscing about JP II’s 1979 Hub visit, journalist-turned deacon Greg Piatt on his vocational switch, and Peter Gelzinis on local-boy-mage-seminarian Kevin Leaver, who’ll be at the hoedown in St. Peter’s Square.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the front page features this:

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 3.07.57 PM

 

The lordly local broadsheet has Cathoholic Czar John L. Allen Jr. in Rome, while Lisa Wangsness and Jeremy C. Fox patrol the local parishes.

From Allen’s piece (website version):

Francis accents unity with halos for superstar popes

486825123

ROME — Oct. 11, 1962, brought a beautiful moonlit night to Rome. Pope John XXIII was in an ebullient mood because of that morning’s launch of the Second Vatican Council, a gathering conceived by the pontiff in which bishops from around the world would throw open the windows of the Catholic Church to the modern world.

The first pope of television’s Golden Age, “Good Pope John” had a roly-poly, grandfatherly persona and seemingly inexhaustible cheer that won fans everywhere, though the changes he set in motion also stirred up critics, then and now. That night, the pope looked out over St. Peter’s Square at the vast crowd praying for the council, and made some off-the-cuff remarks that passed into history as his “Sermon on the Moon” . . .

“Tonight, when you get home, you’re going to find your kids,” Pope John said. “I want you to give your kids a caress . . . and tell them that this caress comes from the pope!”

No one could recall hearing a pope address the faithful in quite that way.

 

Today’s papal twofer is unique as well.

 


One Town, Two Different Worlds (Jeremiah Oliver Edition)

April 19, 2014

Page One Pop Quiz:

Which of the local dailies has already made up its mind about this story?

Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 11.07.31 AM

 

Boston Herald:

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 11.06.02 AM

 

Answer:

That’s right. The Herald.

 


Walsh Inaug: Herald Trumps Globe in Local Crookerati

January 7, 2014

Both local dailies did a good job covering Marty Walsh’s inauguration as Boston’s 48th (or 54th or 58th) mayor.

The Boston Globe gave it it nearly four full pages in the A section, along with the requisite sonorous editorial.

The Boston Herald seemed to throw its entire newsroom at the torch-passing: eight columnists, seven reporters, twelve pages, and a cautiously optimistic editorial.

But, not surprisingly, it was in the boldface coverage of the day-long shindig where the Herald proved superior, especially in noting the less-than-luminaries who attended.

The Globe pointed out the Big Three:

Even some whose political legacies are shadowed by controversy showed up. Dianne Wilkerson, a former state senator, who was released from prison last fall after serving time for a bribery conviction, was in the audience. So, too, was Thomas Finneran, the former House speaker who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in 2007, and former state treasurer Tim Cahill, whose trial on public corruption charges ended in a mistrial, probation, and a fine.

 

Howie Carr also gave a nod to the if-you’re-indicted-you’re-invited set. But the Inside Track had a little something extra:

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 3.12.46 PM

 

Score one for the feisty local tabloid. Don Forst must be smiling somewhere.


Globe: No Problem with Walsh’s Koh Dependency

January 5, 2014

According to today’s Boston Globe, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh has named a “relative political outsider” who is “relatively young” as his City Hall wingman – and that’s all good.

Walsh announces his chief of staff

Andover native, 29, has worked in politics, at Huffington Post

Boston Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh on Saturday named Daniel Arrigg Koh, currently the general manager of Huffington Post Live, handout_koh_metas his chief of staff — the first major appointment in the administration that takes over control of the city on Monday.

“I’m excited to have Daniel joining our administration and bring a fresh, new energy to the mayor’s office,” Walsh said in a statement issued Saturday afternoon. “He has broad experience about City Hall and a deep understanding of managing a large, fast-paced organization. We have great talent joining us, and I know Daniel will help me transform the way we do things in Boston.”

 

And nary a discouraging word after that.

Not so fast, says crosstown rival Boston Herald on today’s front page.

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 11.58.12 AM

 

Inside, the feisty local tabloid elaborates.

Walsh names neophyte to key position

Some say mayor-elect taking a risk

Picking a 29-year-old political unknown as chief of staff is a bold, unexpected move and a sign that Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh’s 010414Walshjm03administration is shaping up to take a new direction in City Hall — although the hire also is not without risks, experts said.

Daniel Arrigg Koh — an Andover native who last worked as general manager of HuffPost Live and a former adviser through Harvard’s Leadership Fellow Program for Mayor Thomas M. Menino — represents a young, intelligent hire with an impeccable resume, said John Nucci, Suffolk University vice president for government affairs.

 

Or maybe this . . .

Daniel Koh might be too young and too green to navigate the pitfalls of City Hall politics effectively, said Thomas J. Whalen, a Boston University social science professor. Walsh should have compensated for his own inexperience in City Hall by hiring someone well-versed in the political landscape, he said.

“This is a huge job. You think you would have someone who is older, more experienced and more connected,” Whalen said, adding that Koh will have to tangle with the city’s union leaders. “You’ll need a tough guy who can knock heads together. Will they respect someone 29 years old?”

 

Well, we know at least one person who doesn’t.

Leave it, as usual, to Herald graybeard Peter Gelzinis to provide some historical perspective in a piece headlined Koh may be right-hand man, but not clear he’ll be a heavyweight.

In his fifth and final go-round as mayor, Tom Menino looked across the river to Harvard and installed whiz-kid Mitch Weiss as his chief of staff. A beloved old pol craved new blood. And yet the man he trusted to handle the day-to-day life blood of politics was an up-from-the-streets-Southie native, Michael Kineavy.

It was a kind of schizophrenia that just about everyone in City Hall came to understand. “Kineavy was the get-it-done on the ground guy,” one longtime veteran said. “He was the guy that made government work in a way everyone understood.

 

The Herald covered a lot of bases on this story. Presumably, the Globe will play some catch-up tomorrow.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,337 other followers