Brian Maloney Middlesex Truck & Coach Edition

July 31, 2012

From our compare and contrast in clear idiomatic English desk

Joan Vennochi’s 7/22 Boston Globe op-ed:

A business built on hard work – and government

Moments before a jeans-clad Mitt Romney strode into a garage bay at a Roxbury truck repair company, a campaign aide carefully wiped grit from a tool chest slated to share the spotlight with the candidate.

Too much reality spoils a good picture. Just as his campaign put a gloss on the tool chest, Romney put a gloss on the truth about Middlesex Truck & Coach.

“This is not the result of government,” he declared. “This is the result of people who take risk, who have dreams, who build for themselves and for their families.”

Yet owner Brian Maloney acknowledged that his business did receive some government help, via a low-interest loan given for new development and start-ups. “The only way I was able to come here, because I had no money, was with an industrial-revenue bond,” Maloney told Jon Keller of WBZ-TV.

Joe Battenfeld 7/30 Boston Herald column:

Liberals attack

The vile, hate-filled messages started showing up soon after Mitt Romney and the national press corps left Brian Maloney’s truck repair shop in Roxbury.

“It was incredible,” Maloney tells the Herald. “It was crude, abusive, mindless garbage.”

Maloney hadn’t committed a crime, but to some Democrats and liberals he had done something far more heinous: He had dared to criticize President Obama.

Two different worlds. That’s American politics – and news media – these days.

Get used to it.


Boston Globe Child Pornography Edition

July 30, 2012

Sunday’s Boston Globe featured a front-page report by Jenifer B. McKim on the monumental effort by law-enforcement officials to identify and prosecute child pornographers, who far more often than not are child rapists as well.

Photo e-mailed from Mass. man led to vast global child pornography network

As soon as they saw the terrified boy’s photo three years ago, federal agents Peter Manning and Gregory Squire had the same thought: we have to save him. The blue-eyed child, about 18 months old, was naked from the waist down and clutching a stuffed rabbit for comfort. There was no doubt he had been sexually abused. But that doesn’t begin to describe his suffering.

“He looked like he had been crying for three days,” Squire recalled in a recent interview.

It’s not as if Manning and Squire hadn’t been faced with this kind of image — and worse — before. Assigned to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston, their job is to track down child pornographers and victims. Over the years, they’ve become painfully familiar with some of the hundreds of thousands of child pornography pictures and videos online. Many depict almost unimaginably grotesque attacks on infants and toddlers and are traded like baseball cards by men using obscure Internet outposts to revel in their depravity.

But that single image of the distraught boy with the toy bunny became a crucial piece of evidence for Manning and Squire. It had been e-mailed to them by a Milford man who thought he was sharing it with fellow child-pornography voyeurs. His miscalculation sparked an investigation that would spread around the world, thus far leading to 42 arrests and the discovery of 140 children who were violated. The youngest was 19 days old.

What follows is a stomach-turning chronicle of the painstaking process of tracking and bringing to justice predators like Robert Diduca, the Milford man who inadvertently triggered the investigation that brought down so many of his fellow rapists.

Which, in turn, is but one more example of why the Boston Globe is an invaluable civic institution that deserves to be financially supported by the local populace.

That’s not to say the Boston Herald doesn’t do solid investigative work of its own.

Just not as often and not as in-depth as the Globe.

So, yes, it’s good to live in a two-daily town.

But it’s better to live in a major-league town with a major-league newspaper.


Boston Globe Feasts on Chick-fil-A Edition

July 30, 2012

The hardreading staff has already noted the Boston Herald’s insatiable appetite for the Chick-fil-A kerfuffle over gay marriage.

Now it’s the Boston Globe’s turn to chow down.

For starters, the Sunday Globe Ideas section featured numerous Letters to the Editor about the poultry rumpus. Representative sample:

Mayor deserves thanks for standing up to incendiary views of food chain’s president

We disagree with the Boston Globe editorial board, which questioned Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s reaction to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s incendiary remarks about marriage equality (“Boston shouldn’t block chain because of president’s views,” July 25).

Chick-fil-A has donated millions of dollars to organizations such as Family Research Council and Exodus International, which work to promote discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and to create a hostile climate in which homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia can thrive. These hateful actions cause real harm to millions of individuals and families across this country, and are one of the reasons that LGBT people — even here in Massachusetts — face higher rates of youth suicide attempts, youth homelessness, HIV infection rates, stress, and poor health just because of who they are.

This is not just about policies; it’s about people. For using his public position to ensure and forcefully point out the obvious — that Boston strives to be a wonderfully welcoming and affirming city for LGBT people — Menino deserves our thanks. No doubt, his leadership has improved and even saved lives.

Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A’s Cathy is also learning a lesson in the obvious: It does not pay to discriminate.

Kara S. Suffredini

Executive director



Other letters here and here and here and here.

But wait . . . there’s more!

Tom Keane op-ed:

Rejecting Chick-fil-A is good power play for mayor

Boston Mayor Tom Menino wants to keep fast-food chain Chick-fil-A out of Boston because the company opposes same-sex marriage. Legally, Menino may in the wrong. Yet he is also completely in the right. The dustup has been portrayed as a First Amendment issue. In truth, it’s more about smart politics, mayoral power and — like it or not — Menino’s ability to make the city in his own vision.

Jennifer Graham op-ed:

Skip the boycotts; handle this with love

Apologies to Colonel Sanders, but no one makes a better chicken nugget than S. Truett Cathy, nor does a better job of marketing them.

Chick-fil-A’s billboards are three-dimensional fixtures in the South, with black-and-white cows perched on scaffolding and ladders, putting up signs that say, “Eat mor chikin.” The award-winning advertising campaign, launched in 1995, remains hilarious and fresh, and even has its own website, populated with interactive, spelling-challenged Holsteins. The chain’s “cow parachutists” television ad, which can be seen on YouTube, is classic Chick-fil-A humor.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the gay and lesbian community could learn a few things from the cows. Most important is this: You catch more flies with honey-mustard sauce than you ever will with vinegar.

Okay: Everybody Chick-fil-Uh Chick-fil-A?

Let’s hope so.


Herald Still Mittsing in Action Edition

July 28, 2012

The hardreading staff was sure that after publishing zero pieces yesterday about Mitt Romney’s English muffin’, the Boston Herald would bounce back today with lots of zingy coverage.

No such luck.

The only mention of Romney in today’s paper was this lede to a piece headlined, “ROMNEY ROCKS PREZ ON GROWTH”:

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, knocked on his heels by Olympic gaffes overseas, was back on the offensive yesterday, blasting President Obama in the wake of a mediocre GDP report.

Unless there are some serious Mittigating circumstances, the feisty local tabloid has really screwed the pooch on this story.

But they’ve broiled the Chick(-fil-A) pretty good, although they did cut back to two-plus pages and five pieces today (vs. four-plus and eight yesterday).

The latest offerings include a taste test (apparently not online, but Popeyes won), a preview of the National Same-Sex Kiss Day slated for next Friday, reader reactions (“Mayor’s a turkey), a Joe Fitzgerald column decrying the intolerance shown to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, and a dueling mayors dustup (“Bloomberg fillets Menino over stance”).

Question for the Herald editors: Had your fill of this story yet? We have.

UPDATE: Saturday’s Boston Globe added this to the chix mix:

In online chat, Brown is brought into Chick-fil-A fray

Senator Scott Brown, who has earned kind words from Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino despite their differing political parties, treaded carefully Friday when asked during a chat about the mayor’s spat with Chick-fil-A over its opposition to gay marriage.

“I disagree with what the CEO from Chick-fil-A said. I was glad he spoke further and said that his company does not discriminate,” Brown wrote from his South Boston campaign headquarters.

Noting that Massachusetts has strong antidiscrimination laws that could prevent problems should the company decide to set up shop in Boston, Brown added, “If they move forward with the location proposal, I trust the mayor and other officials will ensure that those laws are honored.”

Very diplomatic, no?

Saturday’s Wall Street Journal also checked in:

First Amendment Trumps Critics of Chick-fil-A’s Views

CHICAGO—The First Amendment is coming to the rescue of a chicken-sandwich chain that has drawn the ire of politicians outraged by its president’s public opposition to gay marriage.

One by one, local officials here and in Boston have revised their comments regarding the entrepreneur’s stance against gay marriage, tiptoeing between their disapproval of remarks he made on the subject and his right to say them.

Okay, then. We have democratic equilibrium at last.

Boston Herald editors: Do you read us?


Romney Gone Mittsing at the Herald Edition

July 28, 2012

Friday’s Boston Herald was all hands on duck – sorry, deck – covering the local filleting of Chick-fil-A over statements by its anti-gay-marriage CEO Dan Cathy. Page One alone gives you a sense of the Herald’s flood-the-zone coverage of the big buck-buck-bucks faceoff over the chicken chain’s expansion into Boston.

Via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages:

The hardcounting staff tallied four-plus pages and eight separate pieces (enough for a Chick-fil-A bucket?) in Friday’s Herald devoted to the dustup.

Which meant there was no one left to adequately mock Mitt Romney for his five-ring circus in London.

In fact, Friday’s Herald had exactly zero stories about Romney’s Olympic Mittshaps. That task fell to Friday’s Boston Globe, which featured:

1) This front-page report

Romney words on Olympics readiness draw British riposte

British Prime Minister David Cameron and England’s famously tough media tweaked Mitt Romney Thursday after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee suggested that London might not be ready for its Olympic moment.

“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” said Romney, who ran the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. “There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

Those comments prompted a quick rebuke from Cameron. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” Cameron told reporters after visiting the venues where the 2012 Summer Olympics will begin Friday. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere” — an apparent reference to Salt Lake City.


2) This Brian McGrory column

Mitt Romney, lost in translation

To the good, hard-working people of London, please allow me to apologize on behalf of my former governor, Mitt Romney.

When he basically told an interviewer that you Brits were a bunch of layabouts and that your Olympics would almost certainly be a total disaster, he didn’t mean for you to take it personally. Actually, he didn’t really even mean to say it. That’s just what he does, and it takes getting used to.

Will today’s Boston Herald make up for its lack of Romney snark attacks?

We’ll see.


The Herald Feasts on Chick-fil-A Edition

July 27, 2012

The Boston Herald has sunk its teeth into the Chick-fil-A/gay marriage kerfuffle, and the feisty local tabloid is not about to let go.

It started last week with this piece:

Mayor Menino on Chick-fil-A: Stuff it

Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston — possibly to a popular tourist spot just steps from the Freedom Trail — after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

That’s a mayor-for-life talking – and shredding the First Amendment – but fast forward to today’s paper, and the Herald has Menino moonwalking like Michael Jackson:

Menino says he can’t actively block Chick-fil-A

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino repeated today that he doesn’t want Chick-fil-A in Boston, but he backed away from a threat to actively block the fast-food chain from setting up shop in the city.

“I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there,” Menino said, referring to company president Dan Cathy, who drew the mayor’s wrath by going public with his views against same-sex marriage.

For all the stuff that happened in between, see here.

Meanwhile, crosstown rival Boston Globe has come late to the party.

The local broadsheet had a single story last week (which seems to be a web piece featuring a :19 clip from NECN).

But the Globe is playing serious catch-up in today’s edition (see here and here and here.)

Regardless, the Herald owns this story.

DOMA v. Sex Offender Registry Edition

July 26, 2012

Different papers, different perspectives.

From Wednesday’s Boston Globe:

Coakley asks high court to sink DOMA

Attorney General Martha Coakley has asked the country’s highest court to uphold a landmark federal ruling in Boston that granted equal rights to same-sex married couples in Massachusetts, urging the high court to officially strike down a federal law that defines marriage solely as a union of a man and a woman.

In a 27-page petition Tuesday, Coakley asked the US Supreme Court to uphold a federal appeals court decision in June that the federal Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against same-sex couples who are legally married, in violation of equal protection laws. That ruling has been stayed until the top court decides whether it will hear the case.

No mention of that in the Boston Herald.

But . . .

From Wednesday’s Herald:


The state’s Level 2 sex offenders — from rapists to child porn purveyors — are not listed on any online registry, because some lawmakers are throwing up a roadblock in the name of protecting privacy rights of convicts, advocates charge.

The move is also costing Massachusetts hundreds of thousands in lost crime-fighting bucks and not even Gov. Deval Patrick has been able to convince the holdout legislators to act.

No mention of that in the Globe.

So the hardreading staff went for the tiebreaker.

Only the Inside Track had this:

Oh, baby! Gi’s sooooo pregnant

Well, well, well, wethinks we can take the Gisele Bundchen pregnancy out of the rumor category and file it under confirmed. Because here’s Mrs. Tom Brady[stats] on the beach in Costa Rica with 2-year-old Benjamin sporting an unmistakable baby bump!

The Brazilian supermodel, baby Benji, their dog Lua and other family members were snapped by the paps at as they frolicked on the shore near Gi’s vacation home. Brady was not part of the beach party, which is not surprising considering he is due to report for duty down in Foxboro today for the New England Patriots [team stats] 2012 training camp.

IGTLTDT scorecard: Herald 2, Globe 1.

Boston Globe Slashes Staff Edition

July 25, 2012

Tough sledding at the Boston Globe.

No snow.

(Tip o’ the pixel: Marvelous Marvin Sutton.)

From crosstown rival Boston Herald:

Globe slashing up to 53 jobs with layoffs, buyout offers

The Boston Globe has offered buyouts to 20 newsroom staffers and 23 advertising employees, at the same time it laid off 10 people from across the publication, according to the paper’s publisher.

The cutbacks come amid plummeting circulation at the beleaguered broadsheet and renewed speculation that the New York Times Co. is looking to sell the Globe and its sister paper, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The Herald piece proceeds to chronicle other Globe woes (“The latest audit in May saw the Globe’s daily print circulation fall below the 200,000 mark for the first time in its history” and “The Herald also reported in May that the Globe was shuttering its suburban bureaus to avoid taking on any more leases”) that may or may not be true.

Meanwhile, over at the Globe, “several” is apparently a double-digit number:

Boston Globe offers buyouts, lays off several

The Boston Globe on Monday offered buyouts to 43 editorial and advertising employees and laid off about 10 people.

The Globe notified 23 people in advertising and 20 in the newsroom they were eligible for a buyout. The packages are voluntary. Monday’s layoffs did not affect reporters or editors.

But the buyouts surely will.

The hardreading staff’s best suggestion: Monitor the Globe and the Herald, and split the difference.

Defending Vicki Kennedy Edition

July 24, 2012

Yesterday the hardreading staff noted the Sunday Boston Globe piece detailing trouble in Kennedyville, with Patrick and Ted K Jr. complaining that Vicki is pushing them around – and out – in the development of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate.

The already frayed relationship between Vicki Kennedy and her late husband’s children is at the breaking point, with the two sons growing increasingly convinced that she is jeopardizing the senator’s legacy and mishandling the creation of the $71 million institute that bears his name.

Much of the conflict centers around the construction and governance of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, a project that faces potential cost overruns, according to a close family friend who was authorized by some family members to speak on their behalf, but who declined to be named.

Just like a hitman, wanting to remain anonymous.

But today Boston Herald columnist Joe Battenfeld rode to Vicki’s rescue in this piece:

Brat boys’ attack on Vicki Kennedy means family name is . . . 

Tarnished by silver spoons

Ted Kennedy engaged in his share of political mudslinging, but nothing as bad as the smear campaign being waged by his spiteful sons against his still grieving widow.

The anonymous, cowardly attacks against Vicki Kennedy are a new low, even for politics. If Patrick Kennedy and Ted Kennedy Jr. want to whine about their stepmother, they should at least have the guts to do it on their own — not through an unnamed friend.

Fair enough, if a bit overwrought.

For a tiebreker, maybe someone could check in with Hub ubermacher Peter Meade, who resigned as president of the Institute last year. As the Globe reported at the time:

Shortly after construction begins on the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate this spring, its president — handpicked by the senator just before his death — plans to make his exit.

The unexpected resignation of Peter Meade, combined with the recent departure of the chief executive of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, is fueling a growing sense in Boston’s political circles that there is confusion and conflict behind the scenes among the keepers of the vaunted Kennedy legacy.

In an interview, Meade, a longtime team player with the Kennedy family and one of Boston’s leading civic figures, confirmed he is leaving the institute, but insisted his departure is amicable.

Unlikely the politic Meade would say more now, but it’s worth a try, eh?

Tierney Jailbirds Edition

July 23, 2012

Here’s a textbook case of the Globe/Herald perpetual-motion seesaw.

From Sunday’s Boston Globe:

Troubles in paradise Rep. Tierney somehow missed 

Review finds congressman had many chances to learn of illegal actions by his wife’s brothers – and by her

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua — To hear US Representative John F. Tierney tell it, there was nothing unusual three years ago when he and his wife traveled to this tiny Caribbean island 300 miles east of Puerto Rico for dinner with his brother-in-law Robert Eremian.

“Dinner at my wife’s brother’s house. I don’t think that people would think that’s extraordinary,” Tierney said at a recent news conference.

But Eremian was no ordinary brother-in-law. A convicted drug smuggler and tax evader, Eremian had been under investigation, under indictment, or on probation for activities related to illegal gambling almost continuously since 1995. And, as the couple ate dinner on the patio of Eremian’s gated home that fall night, Eremian and his sister were in deep trouble.

As in, prosecutors were about to drop a 442-count federal indictment on Eremian and three of his cohorts. But Tierney had no inkling something like that might happen. Even though he clearly should have, according to the Globe report:

[A] Boston Globe review of court records and other publicly available information shows that John Tierney had ample reason to be wary of his brothers-in-law during his 15 years of marriage to their sister and many opportunities over the last decade to learn that their Antigua-based gambling business was illegally targeting American gamblers.

In fact, John Tierney had reason to be suspicious from the day he married Patrice. At that point, Bob Eremian had fled to Antigua to escape federal prosecution for illegal sports book-making, and had recruited one of Patrice’s children, John Chew, to work with him. After a lengthy federal investigation, Bob Eremian pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the gambling case in 2002.

There’s plenty more where that came from. This is a major takeout, the kind of investigative reporting the Globe routinely undertakes.

Not so much over at the Boston Herald. But that doesn’t mean the feisty tabloid brings nothing to the party.

From today’s edition:

Tierney’s in-law fails at try to shave sentence

An ingenious bid by U.S. Rep. John Tierney’s convicted brother-in-law to lengthen his prison stint by a month in order to become eligible for a one-year reduction in his sentence has been rejected by a federal judge.

In June, U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris sentenced Daniel Eremian to 36 months for operating an illegal offshore gambling website that reaped millions from American bettors. Late last week, Saris issued an order denying the 62-year-old Eremian’s request that his sentence be revised to 37 months.

The Herald owns this story – here’s its earlier report on Eremian’s bid. As far as the hardworking staff can tell, the Globe hasn’t had anything on it.

So there you have one template for this two-daily town: The Globe brings resources to bear, the Herald scrambles for scoops. That’s not always the case, but often enough for a sampler.