Boston Herald: A Year in Picture

December 31, 2012

The hardreading staff has long been baffled by, which is to news websites what the Edsel was to automobiles.

Exhibit Umpteen: The Herald’s online Year in Pictures, which features up to one photo:

Picture 4


We’re looking forward to Monday’s print edition – Still Only $1! – for the full picture(s).

Howie Carr’s WTKK Drive-By

December 29, 2012

Boston Herald columnist/WRKO squawker Howie Carr is experiencing an extreme bout of Howenfreude over the demise of FM talk station WTKK. (Full disclosure: The hardreading staff did a weekly segment on the Jim & Margery show.)

Today’s triumphant nyah-nyah from Carr:

PL6Q0092.JPGTalk radio’s not dead, just moonbats’ radio

WTKK wouldn’t be turning off the lights next week if I could have just gotten over there back in 2007. No brag, just fact. And by the way, I’m still damn sorry I didn’t make good my escape from the AM band.

But here in Massachusetts, in the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls. And you wonder why I dismember so many state judges. Payback is a bitch, you hacks.

Still, WTKK’s failure is not the end of talk radio in Boston. Nature abhors a vacuum, and having no talk station on FM is a gaping hole. Less than 20 percent of the radio audience ever listens to AM radio — and it’s a mighty old audience, too. They don’t call it “Ancient Modulation” for nothing.


In his gleeful victory dance, however, Carr gets his feet all tangled up.

Harry Truman used to say, “If you give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they’ll vote for the Republican every time.”

Here’s WTKK’s epitaph: “If you give listeners a choice between NPR and NPR, they’ll pick NPR every time.”

Sorry, Jim and Margery, nobody was giving up “All Things Considered” for you guys.


First of all, what Harry Truman actually said was this: “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.” That makes sense, as opposed to Carr’s mushbrained quote.

Second, Jim and Margery are up against “Morning Edition,” not “All Things Considered.”

Not to get technical about it.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the Namesniks have  a slightly kinder – and slightly more optimistic – take.

WTKK to abandon talk radio for music

For an all-talk station, the folks at WTKK aren’t saying much. But we’re told the rumors are true: News Talk 96.9 FM is ditching its lineup of loudmouths in favor of music. The format change, which will take place right after the new year, means no more Michael Graham, who was sent packing last Friday, or midday host Doug Meehan, who actually left Boston a few weeks ago, or Rick Shaffer, cohost of the weekend “Money Show.” We’re told Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will be on the air as usual Wednesday morning, but that will be their last day at WTKK. Fans of “Jim and Margery” will be happy to learn, however, that they’re very likely to show up elsewhere on your radio dial sometime soon. No word on what sort of music 96.9 will be playing, but let’s hope it’s more soothing than Graham’s rants.


Or Howie Carr’s, for that matter.

Herald Can’t Make Up Mind About Markey

December 28, 2012

First today’s Boston Herald tells us this:

keating31Mr. Ed draws yawn in Senate horse race

Seriously, is this the best the Democrats can come up with? Ed Markey?

This is a guy who has been in Congress for 36 years — the ultimate Washington insider.

A guy who didn’t even own a home in his own district for the first 20 years of his career.

This is a career politician who has never had a serious re-election challenge in decades.


And etc.

Then the feisty local tabloid tells us this:

(Boston MA)112512)  (Photo by Faith Ninivaggi)Republicans cheer ‘tired’ Ed Markey’s entry into election

U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey became the first Bay State congressman to jump into the U.S. Senate special election yesterday, with an announcement that gleeful Republicans called a late Christmas gift for Republican Scott Brown.

“This is a huge positive for Scott Brown,” said GOP consultant Rob Gray, noting that Markey, in Congress for 36 years, is seen as a consummate insider. “This looks like the first in a series of non-bigfoot candidates that Democrats are putting forward.”


Or the last. To all appearances the Democratic establishment is trying to pull the ladder up behind Markey.

Here’s the Herald web piece:

2V0R1860.JPGKerry, Vicki endorse Markey in Senate race

U.S. Sen. John Kerry and Victoria Reggie Kennedy are giving their hearty backing to Congressman Ed Markey, who yesterday became the first Democrat to throw his hat in the ring in the race for Kerry’s seat — an indication of the eagerness of Bay State Dems to anoint a candidate swiftly and painlessly before what is expected to be a bruising battle with likely GOP nominee Scott Brow [sic].


Which still leaves this question for the Herald: Endorsements aside, is Markey drawing yawns or cheers?

Not that it really matters.

Our Dogged Local Tabloid II

December 27, 2012

Sad to say, the Boston Herald’s gala two-part series on the Boston Police K-9 Unit ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. What earned Page One treatment yesterday (plus a 17-paragraph, tw0-video report) is shuffled off to page 11 today, and doesn’t appear anywhere on the Herald’s homepage or News & Opinion page.

(If you plug the reporter’s name – Robert Greim – into the search box, you still don’t get the story. We tried to plug “Crime Biters,” the name of the two-part series, into the search engine but that was a bust too.)

Finally! Got the piece via the Googletron:

IMG_3409.JPGPartners on job, at home they’re family

When the criminals are cuffed and the workday is done, the police officers and dogs in Boston’s K-9 unit don’t part ways — they head home together.

The K-9 crime biters and their human handlers who make up the Boston Police Special Operations K-9 Division work and live together 24/7, fostering a special bond that lasts even after the dogs retire.

“They really do become part of the family,” said Officer Joseph Fisher, a handler in the K-9 unit.

It goes on from there for eight more heartwarming paragraphs, some of which feature multiple sentences. There’s also a “K-9 Dogs at Home” video, which might sound redundant but probably doesn’t look that way.

All in all, a disappointing end to a series that started with so much promise.

Our Dogged Local Tabloid

December 26, 2012

The Boston Herald, God love it, is always scrapping to retain its foothold in the local news media, which leads to enterprising front pages like Wednesday’s (via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):



Part One of the series focuses on the K-9 Unit’s preparation for drug- and bomb-sniffing duty.

121212copdogmg001.JPGK-9 squad keeps Hub’s streets clean

Barking up the right tree

Before the giant LNG tankers are allowed into the city, Boston’s crack bomb-sniffing K-9 squad sweeps the gargantuan ships seven miles out at sea.

If a bullet, spent magazine or gun must be found, these crime biters are called.

The U.S. Postal Service, DEA, ATF and area schools all have Boston Police Special Operations K-9 Division on speed dial.

“It’s just amazing what these dogs can do,” said Sgt. Frank Flynn, commander of the K-9 unit. “They won’t quit until we tell them to stop.”


Just like the Herald, yeah?

As the feisty local tabloid is wont to do these days, it also features videos of the dog-training on its website.

Given all that, would it be unfair of the hardreading staff to point out that Part One of the series is all of 17 paragraphs long? That compared to, say, the Boston Globe’s 68 Blocks series, this is sort of Nerf journalism?

Yes, it would be unfair.

The Herald newsroom has fewer than a dozen general-assignment reporters, with stripped-down crews across the board. In some ways, it’s a miracle they get a paper out every day.

So, in the holiday spirit, let’s all appreciate the Herald for what it brings to the table every day, shall we?

Doggone it.

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.

Happy Holidays from the Hardreading Staff!

December 19, 2012