Poor CommonWealth Magazine: No Credit for Its Scoop

February 28, 2014

Yesterday, CommonWealth Magazine broke this story on its website:

Walsh reviewing Red Sox deal

Agreement makes permanent Van Ness Street arrangement

THE ADMINISTRATION OF Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said it is reviewing an agreement the city struck with the Boston Red Sox in October that formalized a long-standing arrangement allowing the club to close off Van Ness Street during Fenway Park events.

The agreement, signed by Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and Mayor Thomas Menino’s police and transportation commissioners, makes permanent what appears to have been an informal arrangement between the club and the city allowing the team to close off the section of Van Ness next to Fenway during games. The Red Sox typically used part of the street for employee parking, paying no fee to the city to do so.

“We are currently reviewing the agreement, and compensation is one of the issues that we will consider during this review,” said Walsh spokeswoman Kate Norton.


As day follows the night, today’s Boston Herald featured this piece of xerox journalism:

Marty Walsh digs into Fenway’s deals

The Walsh administration said yesterday it is examining two 2013 contracts the city inked with the Red Sox granting the team exclusive rights to public BI1E6414.JPGstreets — arrangements made in the final months of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s tenure.

“We are currently reviewing the agreement, and compensation is one of the issues that we will consider during this review,” Kate Norton, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh, said of a little-known “public safety order” city officials signed in October giving the Red Sox permission to seal off Van Ness Street during game days and other major events at Fenway.


Nowhere in the piece is CommonWealth given credit.

Ditto for these other news organizations, which picked up the story from the Associated Press. (Before anyone gets all shirty about it, news outlets add info to AP reports all the time. Just not in this case.)

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The Boston Globe, meanwhile, played catch-up, posting a piece to its website at 6 am.

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But at least the Globe gave credit where credit’s due.

The Walsh review was first reported by Commonwealth Magazine online Thursday.


Cold comfort, but better than the nothingburgers CommonWealth got from everyone else, yeah?


Hark! The Herald! (DCF Edition)

February 28, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

As the hardreading staff has repeatedly noted, the Boston Herald has been on the tragically inept Massachusetts Department of Children and Families like Brown on Williamson.

But it’s never official until the feisty local tabloid salutes itself.

Consider it official. From today’s Herald:


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Special bonus from the firsty local tabloid: this editorial (“Lying on the record”), which – hold on to your hat! – actually quotes the Boston Globe. Twice.

(There’s also this report on yesterday’s lost cover teen being found unharmed, and a thoroughly predictable Michael Graham column.)

Crosstown, the Globe front-paged the story that the paper had posted on its website yesterday.

So now both local dailies are on the case(workers). As they should be.


Jack Connors Ad-mires Julie Joyce

February 28, 2014

Fact #1: Jack Connors – former Hill Holliday and Partners Healthcare honcho – is wired like Con Ed.

Fact #2: Connors ran this ad in Thursday’s Boston Globe, celebrating the 25th anniversary of his consigliere Julie Joyce.


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For the tiny-type impaired:


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Fact #3: Julie Joyce is now wired like Con Ed.


Boston Globe No Longer AWOL on DCF

February 27, 2014

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, the Boston Globe has been trailing the Herald in covering the nightmare known as the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

Exhibit Umpteen:  Page One of today’s feisty local tabloid.




Crosstown, today’s print edition of the Globe has nothing on DCF. But look what hit the web around 10:45 this morning:


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It’s a doozie:

Hundreds of children may be missing in state child welfare system




Foster child Alisia Laboa just turned 16 this month — but there was no traditional Sweet 16 party for her.

Laboa ran away from a state-supervised group home in New Bedford in December, prompting State Police to issue a public appeal for help in finding her. Laboa’s name and photo are posted on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website under the headline, “Help Bring me Home.”

On any given day, as many as hundreds of children in Massachusetts’ welfare system are missing, including 134 foster children as young as 13 whom the state listed as “on the run” as of Feb. 2. Social workers stopped checking on another 13 children recently because their parents were uncooperative, rebuffing caseworkers or moving without leaving a forwarding address.


Beyond that, the state doesn’t even track kids who flee from allegedly abusive parents or guardians.

And yet, the Globe report says, DCF commissioner Olga Roche “told lawmakers at a hearing last month that she was certain there were no other children in her agency’s care who were in danger or missing like Jeremiah Oliver, the 5-year-old Fitchburg boy who disappeared last year while under the state’s watch.”

Whereupon this exchange took place:

“Can you give me and the other 6 million people of the Commonwealth the assurance that you know that every single one of those 36,000 children in your care today are present, alive and healthy?” asked state Representative David P. Linsky, chairman of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. “Can you give me that assurance that there are no other Jeremiah Olivers out there today?”

“Yes,” Roche said firmly. Asked whether she was “100 percent confident,” Roche again said yes.


This whole mess becomes more disgraceful by the day. Welcome to the cleanup, Globeniks.


For Boston Herald, DCF=Don’t Cease Flogging

February 26, 2014

The feisty local tabloid has been on the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families like Brown on Williamson for weeks now. And today is no exception, starting at the top of Page One.


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Then there’s the over-the-top page 5.


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From Laurel Sweet’s report:

The devastated victim of a sexually abusive DCF-approved therapist today described his “torture,” moments before his predator was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“I find it ironic that a person who claims to be helping kids was actually destroying their lives. And he nearly destroyed mine,” the now-17-year-old boy told Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine M. Roach. “I will never fully get over the despicable things he did to me. Despite this, I will face this awful truth in my past and fight to stay in control of my feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, and betrayal. One thing that would go a long way in my healing would be that this man, who stands before you today in judgment, faces serious consequences for what he has done so he can pay the price for his evil actions. This man is a cruel and abusive man who needs to be kept from other children so they will never have to experience the torture he perpetrated on me.”


It’s yet another indictment of a state agency that has thoroughly lost its way.

The (unlicensed) therapist, Kenneth Edwards of Dorchester, received “the mandatory state minimum sentence of 10 years for sexually assaulting the boy when he was 13.”

That was not well-received by “Edwards’ family and church supporters.”

It also was not covered by the Boston Globe.

Not to get technical about it.



Text-book Case of Boston Herald’s Appeal

February 25, 2014

Remember those two knuckleheads who had the bright idea of scamming the One Fund Boston out of $2.2 million by claiming an aunt had been maimed in the Marathon bombings?

Last we heard from them, Branden Mattier had filed suit against the State Police and FedEx in December for “[violating] his constitutional rights when he was arrested in July after allegedly signing for a bogus $2.2 million check from One Fund Boston.”

Well, they’re back.

And knuckleheaded as ever, which Laurel Sweet’s Boston Herald report confirms.

‘Real Tears of Joy, Dawg’

Texts show alleged scammers rejoicing over cash

A South End rapper texted his brother he was moved to “real tears of joy, dawg,” upon learning The One Fund Boston had approved them for a $2.2 070213onefundmillion payday based on their bogus claim that a long-dead aunt had lost both her legs to last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombings, according to grand jury testimony their lawyers have filed in the case.

Branden “The Real SouljaBoy” Mattier, 23, told Domunique Grice, 28, the pair would be moving to “a place where only royalty lives” courtesy of their newfound wealth and the black Mercedes-Benzes they’d soon be driving.


Those are just a few of the roughly “40,000 texts between them police said they recovered from Mattier’s iPhone, according to voluminous documents filed Friday in Suffolk Superior Court.”

Here are a few more:


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According to Sweet, “[t]he brothers were due to face a jury next month on charges of conspiracy, identity fraud and attempting to commit a crime, but the trial has been postponed indefinitely.”

But SouljaBoy will be in court on Thursday hoping to suppress recorded statements he made to police last July.

Maybe the Boston Globe will cover that. Because right now this one is all the Herald’s.


Globe Still Won’t Chew Over Fenway Food Expansion

February 24, 2014

The Boston Red Sox are engaged in yet another Fenway land grab, as the Boston Herald noted on Saturday.

Fenway franks to go?

Sox seek OK to sell food during non-ballpark hours

It appears Red Sox Nation can’t get enough of Fenway franks.

The team is seeking city approval for a takeout concession on Lansdowne Street, near Gate C, that would be open during non-ballpark hours.040912fenwaynl19

“It would be located within the ballpark in a space next to the WEEI broadcast booth,” Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran said. “It’s a new, small concession stand that would have its own entry door off of Lansdowne Street” . . .

The team’s takeout concept is the latest in a string of non-baseball game money-makers designed to make the most of America’s oldest ballpark, which Red Sox owner John Henry this week said has a shelf life of another 30 years.


The Boston Globe, as the hardreading staff has noted, did not cover this story on Saturday. Or Sunday. Or today.

The stately local broadsheet did, however, report on that 30-year shelf life of Fenway Park.

John Henry says Fenway Park has 30 more years of life




FORT MYERS, Fla. — There is an expiration date on Fenway Park, Red Sox principal owner John Henry said on Wednesday. But it won’t come due for another 30 years or so.

The oldest ballpark in the majors is structurally sound and the only improvements left to make would be to renovate the press box and other areas in the upper section behind home plate.

“You won’t see major changes. Those, I think, have been explored, thought about and accomplished,” Henry said. “Structurally there is an expiration date. Someone at some point in decades ahead will have to address the possibility of a new ballpark.”


Yes, and someone should have addressed Henry’s ownership of the Boston Globe in that sunny-side-up piece last week.

But no one did.

That’s two strikes in one week. Not exactly encouraging.

Herald More Frank Than Globe About Fenway Food Expansion

February 23, 2014

Saturday’s local dailies present a nifty case study for those who worry that John Henry’s purchase of the Boston Globe will crimp the paper’s coverage of their kissing’ cousin Red Sox.

From yesterday’s Boston Herald:

Fenway franks to go?

Sox seek OK to sell food during non-ballpark hours

It appears Red Sox Nation can’t get enough of Fenway franks.040912fenwaynl19

The team is seeking city approval for a takeout concession on Lansdowne Street, near Gate C, that would be open during non-ballpark hours . . .

The team’s takeout concept is the latest in a string of non-baseball game money-makers designed to make the most of America’s oldest ballpark, which Red Sox owner John Henry this week said has a shelf life of another 30 years.


Far longer (we think) than the shelf life of a Fenway Frank. Not to get technical about it.

Speaking of which, from Saturday’s Boston Globe:

Nothing, as of 1:39 Sunday morning.

But the hardreading staff will wait to pass judgment until the Boston Sunday Globe is published, because of this (via the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation):

  • Boston Globe: Weekdays, 245,572 . . . Sundays, 382,452
  • Boston Herald: Weekdays, 95,929 . . .  Sundays, 73,043

A piece in the Sunday Globe would get 50% more exposure than a Saturday piece, and roughly four times the circulation of Saturday’s Herald.

So . . . [snooze graf goes here]

At 11:45 Sunday morning we check out the Globe and . . . nothing.

Not good, Globeniks.

The concern people have about Henry’s Globe ownership is not so much whether Dan Shaughnessy will keep poking him with a stick, but whether the stately local broadsheet will be as vigilant about off-field matters such as these (also from the Herald):

[I]n December, the team won city approval to extend alcohol sales during baseball games and other events and to sell liquor on Yawkey Way.

The request to increase Fenway alcohol sales came less than three months after the Red Sox reached a controversial $7.3 million deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for an easement to shut down part of Yawkey Way for concessions during games and other events.


John Henry isn’t just a ballclub owner. He’s a real estate/media/financial mogul. The Globe needs to treat him as such.


Boston Globe – Finally! – Passes Judgment on Inexcusably Inept DCF

February 22, 2014

For weeks now the Boston Herald has been on the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families like Brown on Williamson.

Representative sample:




And for roughly the same time, the hardreading  staff has wondered why the Boston Globe has been AWOL on the state agency debacle.

Finally, Globe columnist Kevin Cullen weighed in yesterday.

Olga Roche should fall on her sword

If Olga Roche were British, she would have resigned long ago.

But she’s not, and so she’s still here, with the word embattled forever attached, like a tattoo, to her and the agency she allegedly maeda_24hearing_met8leads, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

I have never met Olga Roche, and for all I know she is a very nice person. I know people who think as much.

But she is presiding over a deeply troubled agency, charged with protecting the most vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth, and her staying in her position, in the wake of such scandal, is the height of arrogance.

It is also, for Massachusetts, typical.



This may be the one and only time Kevin Cullen agrees with the feisty local tabloid.

Alert the media.


Herald’s Holbert Lines Up Boston Globe

February 21, 2014

As the hardreading staff has said on several occasions, not only is Boston blessed with two daily newspapers, but both dailies are blessed with talented editorial cartoonists – Dan Wasserman at the Globe and Jerry Holbert at the Herald.

(Yesyes – Wasserman is technically a syndicated columnist, not a Globe staffer, but he still seems like a member of the family.)

As we’ve noted previously:

Unfortunately, editorial cartoonists are fast becoming an endangered species.

From the American Journalism Review: “Ted Rall, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, says there are fewer than 100 staff cartoonists in the country, down from about 150 in 1990 and about 280 in 1980.”


So . . . back to the present. In today’s edition of the feisty local tabloid Holbert has this followup to yesterday’s Globe/Herald/Scott Brown slapfight over his status as a Fox Newshound.


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For the record, Brown has re-upped with Fox News. And, as far as we know, has nothing nice to say about the Globe.

But more important: Want a piece of this, Mr. Wasserman?

We certainly hope so.