Our feisty local tabloid does a Page One drive-by on the Boston Globe’s three-part taxidermy of the city’s cab industry.
The story in question? Globe reporter Bob Hohler’s takeout yesterday on renewing his hackney license from the ’70s and driving the streets of Boston for eight nights.
As a Globe reporter discovered over eight nights as a licensed Boston cabbie and throughout a nine-month Spotlight Team investigation, the city’s newest taxi drivers join thousands already navigating through two Bostons: a luminous city of gleaming towers and vast opportunity whose workers and visitors they shuttle about daily, and the city’s struggling underclass, of which most of them are a part.
Laboring 12 to 24 hours a day as independent contractors, without job protections or benefits, they will endure shifts of public service and private indignities, outsized risk and systemic exploitation.
Many will be cheated by their taxi owners and customers. They will confront hazards more potent than potholes: violent crime, distracted and impaired drivers, and their own debilitating fatigue.
Not to mention car crashes, which Hohler actually does:
Boston Cab . . . charges [a] $5 waiver to subsidize its self-insurance program. The Globe reporter purchased that insurance Nov. 4 hours before a motorist ran a red light at Stuart and Clarendon streets, totaling the 2011 Camry hybrid taxi he was driving.
The cabbie and his two passengers are taken by ambulance to Tufts Medical Center. The passengers suffer facial injuries, the reporter a minor head injury.
Which maybe affected his memory, because the Herald has a different story:
Globie’s cab crash raises eyebrows
Drove taxi while reporting story
A Boston Globe reporter masquerading as a Hub taxi driver gave a disputed version of a two-car crash that sent him and his two passengers to the hospital in a front-page story yesterday that’s raising questions about liability and whether he misrepresented himself.
The one-sided account of the crash, included in a report about Boston’s cab industry, also came after the reporter appeared to conceal his Globe employment in an application to the cab company that hired him.
Here’s the Herald’s two-sided account:
Hohler initially told cops that “while he had a red light,” another car “came out of nowhere” and struck the left side of his cab, causing him to slam into a traffic light, according to the report.
But in a handwritten supplemental police report filed six days later, Hohler said he in fact had a green light and the other driver had run a red light, citing “confusion on the scene” to explain the “misinformation.”
The other motorist, driving a gray Nissan Maxima, told police he believed he had the green light all along and instead was struck by the cab, according to the first police report. As of yesterday, no one had been cited in the crash, according to state Registry of Motor Vehicles officials.
The Herald piece proceeds from there to the topics of lawsuits, journalistic ethics, and general skullduggery.
Plenty of material, in other words, for multiple follow-up stories.