On the Cover of the Roiling Stone

July 18, 2013

First off, it should be noted that the Boston Herald broke this Rolling Stone story on page 3 of yesterday’s edition (don’t ask about the little green numbers – no idea why they keep popping up):

 

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Today, the feisty local tabloid went for broke:

 

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The one dissenting voice was columnist Margery Eagan, but she was drowned out by the other coverage, which included a couple of news reports and the always-enlightening comments of Herald readers.

 

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Our personal favorite among the reader responses:

 

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But wait – the paper’s not done yet. There’s also a smashmouth editorial, along with a venomous column from Michael Graham:

BomberRollingstoneMagazine’s the picture of desperation

‘McDreamy’ photo won’t get oldies loser Rolling

Hey, Rolling Stone magazine! Next time you want to prove how provocative and edgy you are, put a flattering photo of George Zimmerman on your cover.

Right. Like that’s ever going to happen.

And that’s part of the reason for Boston’s completely righteous anger over the magazine’s “Terrorist Teen Beat” cover featuring Dzhokhar McDreamy. It’s insulting and stupid, and they know it.

But if it sells magazines (or even better — drives up Web traffic), they don’t care.

 

Sounds a bit like the Herald itself.

Crosstown rival Boston Globe has a more evenhanded debate on its front page:

 

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There’s also a news report and this comme ci comme ça editorial:

[T]he magazine’s advance hype for the story — “a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster” — hinted at a somewhat more sympathetic portrayal of Tsarnaev than many readers might expect.

Then again, the cover also identifies him as a bomber — going farther in asserting Tsarnaev’s guilt than the criminal justice system has at this point. All of which suggests that Rolling Stone is better at trying to create buzz than at recognizing the sensitivity of a recent incident that led to four Boston-area residents’ deaths and inflicted horrifying injuries on many more. Still, readers shouldn’t assume that a cover story about a suspected evildoer represents an attempt to glamorize him. This issue of Rolling Stone should be judged not by its cover, but on the information that it brings to the public record.

 

Well . . . judge for yourself.


Herald Gets Its Ads Kicked . . . Again

July 18, 2013

Do we detect a pattern emerging here?

For the third time in three weeks, Boston Herald readers have been snubbed by a full-page ad aimed at the local citizenry.

(First it was the Marriott at Tudor Wharf memorializing fallen Boston firefighter Stephen F. Minehan; then it was the Chicago Blackhawk saluting the Boston Bruins.)

Now it’s the Employees & Management of Demoulas/Market Basket, who ran this ad in Wednesday’s Boston Globe:

 

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Notice the ad did not mention Arthur S. Demoulas, the “other” member of the Board of Directors and the motivating force behind the power play, as the Globe noted here:

Market Basket CEO faces revolt led by his cousin

 

arthurs

At a typical corporation, the chief executive is expected to be beholden to the board of directors. But Market Basket grocery titan Arthur T. Demoulas asserted otherwise one day when some board members challenged his authority to spend money as he saw fit.

 

“There’s only one boss in the company,” Demoulas told directors in August 2012, according to a transcript of the board meeting. “There’s not two. There’s not three. There’s not five. There’s only one boss.”

For more than two decades, Market Basket has been anything but typical.

Even for the most contentious boardrooms, Demoulas’s statement underscores the strong-willed personalities in his extended family, which built the Market Basket chain into a regional powerhouse despite spending much of their time fighting one another. The latest battle again pits Arthur T. Demoulas against his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, who is moving to oust the former after finally gaining control of the board this year.

 

Excellent dustup, and well worthy of a newspaper ad war (the hardreading staff is hoping for an Arthur T. rebuttal in Thursday’s Globe.)

But apparently not in the Herald, which the Employees & Management of Demoulas/Market Basket deemed unworthy as an advertising platform.

Perhaps they don’t value the readers of the feisty local tabloid.

Or maybe it’s because of backhanded coverage like this in Saturday’s Herald:

 

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You tell us.


Baby I Can Drive My Carr (Merciful End Edition?)

July 17, 2013

From our Walt Whitman desk

Boston Herald hack Howie Carr gets another spotlight dance with himself as he devotes today’s column to his favorite topic:

DSC_2683.JPGA case of what might have been

I got cut. Whitey gave me my outright release yesterday from his defense-witness list.

One minute I’m there, the 
next I’m gone, kicked down the stairs like I’m Aaron Bleepin’ Hernandez or somebody.

Around the courthouse yesterday, it was like the Monday before the start of the NFL season in September. People milling about in confusion, not knowing what to do now that they’d been placed on witness waivers.

 

Well, Carr knew what to do: spend the rest of the column fantasizing about what he would have said if he had been called on to testify.

Representative sample:

If I had been called, and it was always a long shot, I had been planning to start by dropping a few words and phrases in here and there, no matter what question his lawyer Jay Carney hit me with.

“Well, Mr. Carney, your client used to stare at me — Sal Mineo — whenever I’d drive around the rotary — Hank Garrity — and I’m told he wanted me to come in — Jacques — and … what was the question again?”

 

Uh-huh. That would’ve happened right around the time Carr won a Pulitzer.

Funny, though – no fake testimony about all the money he split with John “Hitman” Martorano, whose 20 murders netted him a short 12 years and a sweet six-figure book deal.

Far more convenient to take the Fifth, eh?

 


Globe Ignores Dan Conley’s ‘Don’t Buy Boston’ Ad Production

July 17, 2013

Now that the Bay State’s umpteenth U.S. Senate special election is done, the Boston news media can turn their attention to the first real mayoral race we’ve had here in Mayberry since 1993.

From Tuesday’s Boston Globe:

Conley set to launch television ads

Suffolk DA’s are 1st of Hub mayor’s race

conley-big-8947

Boston mayoral candidate Daniel F. Conley, leveraging his significant fund-raising advantage over 11 opponents, will launch the first television advertising campaign of the race Tuesday, part of a sustained blitz that will continue through the Sept. 24 preliminary election.

Conley’s campaign has paid for five ads, at least four of which will begin running Tuesday on local and cable television stations. The Conley campaign declined to say how much it is spending on the ad campaign, making it difficult to determine the frequency and prominence of the ads.

The Suffolk district attorney’s ads will be quickly followed Thursday by a commercial buy from Felix G. Arroyo. The first ad from the Latino city councilor will be in Spanish and will air only on Spanish-language media.

 

And then there’s this:

The ads were produced by Joe Slade White and Co., a media strategy firm that has worked on campaigns with other Democrats, including Joe Biden when he was running for reelection to the US Senate from Delaware. Conley’s campaign has paid the company $23,000 for its work, according to campaign expenditures filed with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance.

 

First of all, $23,000 for producing five ads? Those guys need management.

Second of all, Joe Slade White and Co. is carpetbagging in this race.

Home page:

 

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That’s New York/Texas/DC in the lower bar for oldies like us.

Client list (click to expand):

 

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Funny, Dan Conley doesn’t appear on this expanded client list either.

Then again, 23 grand doesn’t exactly put you on the radar screen.

Oddly enough, Tuesday’s Boston Herald reported this:

DSC_4981.JPGConley, Arroyo plan TV ad blitz

The air war in the mayor’s race has officially begun as Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley launches a series of TV ads today and City Councilor Felix G. 
Arroyo follows later this week with what may be the first Spanish-language-only ads in a Hub mayoral race.

Conley’s campaign is launching five new ads to begin airing on cable and local TV today. In one spot, created by a Portland, Ore., production company, he talks about “cracking down on illegal guns” and how he created a Suffolk County gun court that has a 90 percent conviction rate. Other ads focus on education and the city’s innovation economy.

 

(The web version of the piece calls it a “Buffalo, New York, production company” – no correction appended. The Herald doesn’t do corrections.)

Buffalo – Portland, Ore. (not even Maine?) – whatever. The ads were not produced in Boston.

Surprisingly, neither local daily made a big deal of it.

But the hardreading staff is.


Hark! The Herald! (Zimmerman Verdict Edition)

July 16, 2013

From our Walt Whitman desk

Stop the presses! The Boston Herald made The Newseum’s Top Ten Front Pages on Monday.

 

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Here’s the text:

In the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin 17 months ago, people took to the streets Sunday in cities across the country to protest the not-guilty verdict. The power of the story lies in the front-page images of people’s reactions and questions about where Zimmerman and the country go from here.

 

Also noteworthy but too small to read: the New York Daily News Page One.

 

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Mediaite called it an effort to “irresponsibly gin up hatred and sell newspapers” in contrast to the “measured” editorial that ran in the same edition.

But back to our award-winning local tabloid. Here’s how it celebrated in today’s edition:

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The hardreading staff is not on this earth long enough to spend time finding out if any other Top Tenners toss the confetti in their own papers, but we’re guessing they don’t. Just one more way the Herald is special.


Gabriel Gomez Hosts Globe, Stiffs Herald

July 15, 2013

Former U.S. Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez apparently learned at least one thing during his special-election campaign against Ed Markey: The broadsheet is mightier than the tabloid.

From today’s Boston Globe:

gomez900Gabriel Gomez could be up for another run

‘Nothing’s off the table,’ he says of federal or state campaign

COHASSET — Less than three weeks after losing a special US Senate election, Republican Gabriel E. Gomez said he is open to making another run for political office.

“If something does pop up and I’ve got the same passion that I had for this last race, then I would be interested in it,” he said.

In his first postelection interview, Gomez was reflective about his US Senate run, admitted to some missteps in his initial high-profile bid for elective office, but appeared to be at peace with the results.

 

So the Globe gets the at-home sit-down with Gomez while the Boston Herald gets . . . what?

Secondhand slop.

STON3488.JPGGabriel Gomez prime for 2014 run

Election-battered GOP newcomer Gabriel E. Gomez is back, mulling a return to the political scene just weeks after losing his freshman U.S. Senate bid, with Republican sources saying he is eyeing a 2014 statewide race, and a top aide saying he’s open to any office — including the state’s top job.

“Gabriel Gomez has a strong future in Massachusetts should he decide to run, and no office is off the table,” his former campaign manager, Lenny Alcivar, said. While Alcivar added that Gomez is currently “focused on Little League games and spending time with his family,” other Republican sources said the Cohasset businessman is considering a 2014 run.

While most state Republicans said that Gomez likely would stay out of the gubernatorial showdown if Charlie Baker or Scott Brown decide to enter, political analysts agreed a quick Gomez comeback is feasible.

 

The Herald piece also mentions treasurer and attorney general as possible statewide slots for Gomez to seek. The Globe reports that “[l]ast week, US Representative Greg Walden, the Republican charged with keeping his party in control of the US House of Representative, hinted to a Capitol Hill newspaper that Gomez should consider a bid against Democrat William R. Keating, who represents the Ninth District.”

Right now, though, we’re betting the only thing Gomez is seeking is a fence-mending session with a Herald reporter.

 


Globe Herald Hostage (Lowball Edition)

July 13, 2013

Once again the Boston Herald is a day late, but it’s the dollar short that’s interesting.

Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured this update on the sale of the paper:

Field of bidders for Globe reportedly narrows

Groups with local ties – Taylor family Henry, equity group – remain in contention

At least three investor groups with local ties apparently remain in contention to buy The Boston Globe and its related businesses, according to people briefed on the matter.

The narrowed field of bidders includes members of the Taylor family that formerly owned the Globe; Boston Red Sox owner John Henry; and Robert Loring, a Massachusetts native who owns the Tampa Tribune, said people briefed on the process.

The owner of the U-T San Diego newspaper is a possible fourth finalist, but the status of the bid could not be confirmed Thursday.

 

And then the money quote: “The competing bids range from $65 million to $80 million, according to the people briefed on the matter.”

Here’s how that translates into Heraldese:

Boston GlobeBids in for Globe – and they’re low

With bids reportedly at a disappointing $65 million to 
$80 million, The Boston Globe’s impending sale is shaping up as more of a real estate deal than a newspaper buy, experts said yesterday, even as one of the four purported finalists told the Herald they’ve lost interest in the broadsheet.

“The implication is kind of obvious that the Globe as a straight business venture is not very highly valued on the market right now because clearly that amount is probably — at least the majority of it, maybe more — is valued land and the building,” said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute.

 

Ouch. It’s true that estimates of the New York Times Co.’s local media group – the Globe, its websites boston.com and bostonglobe.com, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette – were running between $70 million and $120 million, so the current bids aren’t good news. It just hurts twice as much coming from the Globe’s crosstown rival.

And the feisty local tabloid had even more bad news for the Globeniks: “U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch told the Herald they’re out of the running.”

And then there were three.