Brownout at the Boston Globe, But Rivers Flows

September 30, 2013

The Boston Herald, which constantly asks itself What can we do for Brown?, scores a hat trick for former Sen. Barn Jacket in today’s edition.

Start with this page-twofer:


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Then Hillary Chabot puts on the pom-poms.

081819brown06Message to Brown: Give N.H. a shot

Be careful what you wish for, Jeanne Shaheen.

The New Hampshire senator and her fellow Democrats have spent the past few days crying wolf about Bay State Republican Scott Brown’s rumored run against Shaheen, blasting out fundraising emails ahead of Brown’s appearance tonight in Hampstead, N.H.

Brown’s former foe, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), chimed in on Friday, and yesterday even failed presidential candidate Howard Dean jumped in, crowing, “New Hampshire deserves a voice, not a Karl Rove pawn.”


Dean the Scream mocking you, Scott? That’s bad. So, Chabot says,  “prove ’em wrong.”

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Brown’s an afterthought sitting at the bottom of Page 3.


Picture 3


But it’s a whole nother story at the local dailies when it comes to Eugene Rivers. Rather than let him hijack the front page the way the Herald did last week, the Globe actually covers the prattlin’ preacher. From Adrian Walker’s Metro column:

He says vote, but doesn’t

The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers 3d struck such a forceful pose and tone on the cover of the Boston Herald Thursday, in a lament for what he viewed as the black community’s wasted opportunity in last week’s preliminary mayoral election.

In an op-ed column, the cofounder of the Boston TenPoint Coalition castigated black voters for a litany of sins, many of them related to the supposedly unsophisticated failure to coalesce around a single candidate of color.

To Rivers — an energetic advocate for former state representative Charlotte Golar Richie — his community’s failure led to the apparently heartbreaking result that two white Irish men are facing off in the final election for mayor of Boston.

Rivers was especially troubled by the fools who didn’t even bother to vote.


The punchline, of course, is that Rivers himself did not vote. Hasn’t for more than 10 years.

So who’s foolin’ who?


Two-Daily Town Primer (Puppy Doe/Calle Edition)

September 30, 2013

(First in an occasional series illustrating the essential difference between the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald)

The Sunday Boston dailies provided a stark contrast in what they’re willing to devote major real estate to in their newsholes.

Start with the Boston Herald, which is obsessed with Puppy Doe, a pit bull that “was severely beaten, starved, burned and stabbed in the eye” after being adopted from the Craigslist pet section – and eventually euthanized.

Representative sample from a week ago:


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Now comes yesterday’s two-page spread (complete with the Herald’s ever-present E-edition Random Little Green Numbers – because the feisty local tabloid apparently has Joe Cocker as its webmaster).


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Crosstown at the Boston Sunday Globe, a very different tragedy occupied its attention.

Page One piece by Meg Murphy and Steven Wilmsen:


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The jump is four full pages of heartwarming heartbreak about five-year-old Caroline Cronk’s battle with cancer .


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Draw your own conclusions.


Our Boston Globe/John Henry Watch (Landsdowne Street Air Rights Edition II)

September 28, 2013

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, Thursday’s Boston Globe failed to mention the paper’s relationship to Red Sox principal owner and soon-to-be Globe owner John Henry in a piece about the Sox getting a sweetheart deal for rights to Fenway Park’s adjoining streets.

Friday’s Globe follow-up, however, came to Jesus.

Despite objections, Red Sox win rights to street use


Despite objections from residents and one board member, the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Thursday authorized a $7.3 million deal to let the Red Sox use two public streets near Fenway Park for gameday concessions and seating over the Green Monster.

The arrangement grants the Red Sox permission to close a 17,000-square-foot strip of Yawkey Way for concessions for as long as the baseball team plays at Fenway. It also gives the team air rights over Lansdowne Street to allow for seating over the ballpark’s famed left-field wall . . .

The principal owner of the Red Sox, John W. Henry, is purchasing The Boston Globe and related properties from The New York Times Co. for $70 million.


Better, yes?


Local Dailies Cop Different Attitudes on Boston Police Pay (II)

September 28, 2013

Once again the Boston dailies have very different front-page approaches to the knee-buckling pay hike an arbitrator awarded Boston police patrolmen.

Boston Herald:


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Boston Globe:


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But wait! There’s more!

Today Rep. Marty Walsh issued this statement:


Many working families across the city have seen no raises, or have even seen drops in their family income over the past few years. I believe the raises awarded by the arbitrator are clearly out of line with the current economic environment and unsustainable for the City of Boston. Because Mayor Menino has chosen to pursue irresponsible negotiating tactics, he has put the City in the untenable position of choosing between an exorbitant arbitration award or reneging on the basic tenets of collective bargaining.

For that reason, I am calling today on Mayor Menino and the BPPA to come back to the bargaining table and jointly negotiate a deal that would better protect the taxpayers while addressing the concerns of our hardworking police officers who have gone years without a contract. As Mayor, the buck would stop with me and I would not leave the future of city’s fiscal health to an arbitrator’s decision. We need a resolution of this issue that protects taxpayers first, and the only way to do that is for the Mayor and the BPPA to return immediately to the bargaining table.


Councilor John Connolly, as far as we can tell, is still ducking and covering.


Local Dailies Cop Different Attitudes on Boston Police Pay

September 28, 2013

From our Compare and Contrast in Clear Idiomatic English desk

Everything you need to know about the two Boston dailies is encapsulated in their front-page stories yesterday about the arbitration award of Boston police patrolmen’s pay.

Boston Herald:


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Boston Globe:


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Actually, the arbitration hike turns out to be a knee-buckling 25.4%.

The hardreading staff will detail today’s front-page rumpus shortly.


Our Boston Globe/John Henry Watch (Landsdowne Street Air Rights Edition)

September 27, 2013

(Two-Daily Town is proud to introduces this new feature tracking the Boston Globe’s disclosure of Red Sox principal owner John Henry’s Globe purchase)

The hardreading staff is, as you may have gathered, an eternal optimist. But this piece in Thursday’s Boston Globe gives us pause.


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Nut graf:

Cahill said the BRA is attempting to “give away rights to a public street without reasonable public notice, without public advertisement, and without utilizing a public process.” There were no public hearings about the deal, though the board will vote during a public meeting.

Cahill also said the city should not sign a lifetime contract with the Red Sox and should seek a slice of the revenue generated by the team’s use of Yawkey and Lansdowne — a total of about $4.5 million annually, according to the team.


Sweet(heart), yeah?

The problem here isn’t the Globe story – reporter Callum Borchers does a perfectly reasonable job of examining both sides of the issue. The problem is, nowhere does the Globe disclose that Red Sox principal owner John Henry is the boss of them – something the Globe should absolutely overdisclose.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald is less, shall we say, nuanced.

NEL_9829.JPGCrying foul over Boston Sox deal

Watchdogs to review $7.3M pact

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino balked yesterday at intervening in a proposed $7.3 million deal between the BRA and the Red Sox for air rights over Lansdowne Street and game-day concessions on Yawkey Way as the state Inspector General’s office said it would review the deal and an independent watchdog group called it “financially irresponsible”

“Why should I?” Menino asked. “It’s a good deal. (The Boston Redevelopment Authority) got much more money than they got in the past. Think about what the Red Sox mean to the city: jobs, taxes, vitality, heads on beds.”


The Herald piece doesn’t mention the Globe’s opaque coverage of the story.

Not sure that will be the case for long.


Mayoral Race Black-and-White in Local Dailies

September 26, 2013

Same town, different places.

The Boston dailies have very – wait for it – different takes on how candidates of color fared in Tuesday’s mayoral preliminary. Start with the front page of today’s Boston Herald.


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Inside story, with Rivers’ byline:

CE1_4373.JPGFractured minority bloc defeated itself

Of the Irish it has jokingly been said by members of their own community that they love to fight and hate to win. And of the Palestinians it is frequently observed, again by their own, that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

My experience in this mayoral contest has confirmed the belief that we blacks appear to be a combination of the two observations above.


(Just wondering: how is it that Eugene Rivers winds up in the news pages of the Herald when his piece clearly belongs on the op-ed page? The paper should be covering the guy, not embedding him in the newshole.)

After establishing that he was a “very public and outspoken” supporter of Charlotte Golar Richie (although, he writes, “this is not a brief for Richie”), Rivers proceeds to blame the absence of a black candidate in the general election on the black community’s failure to unite behind one candidate. “[W]e could have rallied around the individual who was most likely to survive the preliminary election and have a shot at becoming the first minority leader of the city.

That individual, of course, would have been Charlotte Golar Richie. Not to get technical about it.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe didn’t consider it a total loss.

kreiter_richie3_metIn loss, city’s diverse candidates made a mark

They had come this far.

Each had slogged through countless handshakes, participated in numerous debates, and struggled to raise money, while trying to make history as the first minority mayor.

When polls closed and ballots were counted Tuesday, the six candidates of color had collectively garnered 34.7 percent of the votes.

But none of those candidates made the final cut.


According to one political observer, the race was a success in “[showing] that these diverse candidates are qualified to be mayor and can get nearly 40,000 votes in the primary.”  But it was a failure in terms of actual political power.

The Globe piece called it a “solid showing” and added this:

More people are engaged in conversations about affordable housing, educational achievement, and jobs for at-risk youths, and the mayoral contenders attribute that to having a diverse pool of candidates in the race, political observers said.


Cold comfort, no?

Interestingly, there’s no specific mention of the too-many-candidates-of-color issue, but Darnell Williams, president of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts,  promised a “come-to-Jesus meeting . . . to put the needs of the community before individual interests.” And, he added, that called for “trustworthy ambassadors.”

Your conclusion goes here.


Globe – Not Herald – Has Inside Track on Red Sox Sweetheart Deal

September 22, 2013

The John Henry Era™ at the Boston Globe has officially begun.

From Saturday’s edition of the estately local broadsheet:


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It’s not until the 13th graf of that front-page piece that the Globe deigns to disclose.

Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry is currently in the process of purchasing The Boston Globe and its related properties from The New York Times Co. for $70 million.

Though Yawkey and Lansdowne are public streets, the BRA did not put the lease of those properties out to competitive bid, which would have given other businesses the opportunity to challenge the Red Sox for the rights. Indeed, earlier this year, a businessman from Everett told the BRA he was interested in securing Yawkey Way concession rights.

The BRA did not consider his offer, and officials said it would be difficult to put Yawkey and Lansdowne out for public bid because the Red Sox, as an abutting property owner, would effectively have the power to block a competitor from gaining those rights. Since the 2003 season, the Sox have had the exclusive right to sell concessions on that portion of Yawkey Way.


Okay, then. Business as usual in MeninoWorld.

Crosstown, Saturday’s Boston Herald, not surprisingly, was clueless.

Unfortunately, Sunday’s Herald edition isn’t any cluefull.

Boston dailies, we have a problem.


Crushin’ Kerry

September 20, 2013

As if Secretary of State John Kerry didn’t have enough mishegoss in his life, he gets a couple of dope slaps in the local dailies today.

Start with this piece in the Boston Globe:

fc32fb5d4df04f27916882bed2947259-fc32fb5d4df04f27916882bed2947259-0Despite a number of verbal miscues, John Kerry’s star rising

Statements have at times haunted the new secretary

WASHINGTON — John F. Kerry has a history of speaking his mind, both in speeches and in off-the-cuff remarks. It is a habit that over the course of his long public career has sometimes haunted him.

He became a national figure in 1971, when he said many members of the military in Vietnam, including himself, had committed atrocities, a statement his detractors criticized during his 2004 presidential run. During that failed campaign, he was also accused of being a “flip-flopper” for the clumsy way he explained his votes on Iraq War funding: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Now, as secretary of state, where carefully articulated positions are the ingredients of successful international diplomacy — and where misstatements of policy or inartful comments can reverberate through foreign capitals — Kerry has made several remarks this year that his staffers have been forced to clarify or disavow.


Speaking of clarify or disavow, there’s this facewash from the Boston Herald’s Inside Track:


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The Kerry folks insist that Long Jawn hasn’t had any work done (“That’s not a denial, that’s a fact”), but others beg to differ.

“He had a ton of fat grafting into his lower face,” said Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Boston University Medical Center. “If you look at his face before, he was very gaunt. The side of his cheeks were sunken in and hollow.”

Spiegel didn’t think much of the work the secretary of state had done, either.

“He’s been a little over-injected, I would say . . . “


I say!


Boston Herald Redefines Exclusivity

September 17, 2013

The Boston Herald was on the proposal by state Rep. Marty Walsh (D-Boston Mayoral Race) to redevelop City Hall Plaza like Brown on Williamson.

Monday’s front page:


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Inside story:

Marty Walsh pushes City Hall redevelopment

Mayoral candidate state Rep. Martin J. Walsh is pushing a dramatic downtown development plan that would put a new City Hall under private ownership and open up Boston’s most coveted site to a hotel, apartments and stores.

“You could put a hotel boutique here. [We think he meant boutique hotel.] You could put a full hotel here. You could have an office building. You could put so much in this area,” Walsh told the Herald while walking through the vast, deserted brick plaza yesterday morning. “We could have shops … that would fit in with 
Faneuil Hall Marketplace.”

The Dorchester Dem­ocrat’s plan, which he 
unveiled exclusively to the Herald yesterday . . .


That is, of course, if by “unveiled exclusively to the Herald” you mean “also unveiled to the Boston Globe.”

From Monday’s Globe Metro front page (print edition headline):

Walsh proposes City Hall sale

Boston mayoral candidate state Representative Martin J. Walsh announced a proposal Sunday to revitalize downtown by selling City Hall Plaza to a private developer and moving government services somewhere nearby — an idea sharply criticized by some of his opponents.

“This area must evolve from a 9-to-5 weekday government-dependent culture to a culture economically driven to add value 24/7,” Walsh said in a statement from his campaign.


Apparently a nonexclusive statement.

Not to get technical about it.

Fun fact to know and tell:

Both dailies reported that City Hall could “fetch” between $125 million and $150 million. But the Globe added this:

The idea of moving City Hall has been discussed for decades. In 2006, Mayor Thomas M. Menino proposed selling the plaza to private developers for between $300 million and $400 million and using that money to build a new City Hall on the South Boston Waterfront.


So, wait – City Hall is now worth half as much as it was seven years ago?

Tom Menino has some ‘splainin’ to do.