Boston Globe Whiffs on BPD Commish Dish

June 30, 2018

It started Thursday night with WBZ-TV’s report that Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is leaving the department.



The Boston Herald’s Dan Atkinson and Antonio Planas reported the requisite denials in today’s edition.

Evans: I Hate These Rumors

Hub’s top cop denies he’s leaving post

An exasperated police Commissioner William B. Evans denied that he’s leaving his post as rumors about him departing to Boston College dogged the city’s top cop on the eve of one of the most violent times of the year.

Community leaders said the confusion about Boston Police Department leadership doesn’t help as neighborhoods gear up for a weekend before Fourth of July likely to see shootings in the city’s neighborhoods.

WBZ reported Thursday that Evans, who Mayor Martin J. Walsh named commissioner when he took office in 2014, was leaving to take over the Boston College police force. Walsh and Evans have furiously denied the reports and a BC spokesman said the university had no comment.


Crosstown at the Boston Globe, reporter Danny McDonald had a story about Evans, but not the story.

City police wary ahead of Fourth celebrations

Boston police will have extra patrols in the city’s neighborhoods to deal with large parties in coming days, as the temperature heats up and the Fourth of July approaches, city officials said Friday.

Speaking at a press conference in front of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the holiday is “always a challenging time” for the department. Last year, 15 people were shot over July Fourth weekend in 10 separate incidents, said Evans.

“Traditionally, it’s been a violent weekend,” he said.

The department worries about large, loud parties throughout the city, as well as people setting off fireworks illegally, he said.


No word in the Globe, however, about whether the department worries about losing its leader.

MA Newspaper Publishers Do Support Anti-Tariff Ad

June 28, 2018

From our Stop the Presses desk

Earlier today the hardreading staff noted that the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association did not appear in this ad protesting the Trump administration’s knee-buckling tariffs on newsprint from Canada.



Shortly after we left a voicemail for MNPA executive director Robert Ambrogi, he called back to say the group actually was part of the Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers coalition and hadn’t realized that the MNPA wasn’t included in the ad or listed on the STOPP website. Moreover, he said his group strongly supports efforts to get the tariffs lifted.

In addition, he just sent us an email saying that at some point tonight, the MNPA’s name and logo will be on the STOPP website.

Happy to set the record straight.

Mass. Newspaper Publishers Bail on Anti-Tariff Ad

June 28, 2018

Except for the Boston Herald, that is, where this full-page ad ran on Page 11 of today’s edition.



The ad comes from a coalition called Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers, which describes itself as “printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors that represent mostly small businesses in local communities that employ more than 600,000 workers in the United States.”

We have joined together to fight proposed government tariffs on newsprint that have been initiated by petitions filed by a single newsprint mill, NORPAC, an outlier in the industry that is owned by a New York hedge fund, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally. The proposed tariffs will force our member companies to cut jobs not only at newspapers, commercial printing, and book publishing operations, but throughout the supply chain, such as paper manufacturers, ink suppliers, fuel producers, and equipment manufacturers.


Here’s a better look at the list in the ad (the latest news on NORPAC – the North Pacific Paper Company  – is here).




Upon close inspection, there’s one name that does not appear on that list: the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association. (For the record, the ad did not run in today’s Boston Globe.)

So we put a call in to MNPA executive director Robert Ambrogi to ask what was up with the group’s conspicuous absence.

We will, as is our wont, keep you posted.

Everett Casino Ad a Wynn/Wynn for Boston Dailies

June 18, 2018

Coincidence? You tell us.

Four days ago Boston Globe reporter Mark Arsenault wrote about a new Suffolk University poll.

Plurality of likely voters say Wynn Resorts should retain license

Nearly 80 percent of likely Massachusetts voters are aware of the sexual misconduct accusations against former Wynn Resorts chief executive Steve Wynn, but a plurality want the company to remain the owner of its casino resort in Everett, according to a Suffolk University poll released Thursday.

The poll of 500 likely midterm voters, conducted by Suffolk’s Political Research Center, also showed a large gender gap in public opinion on the casino giant, which is building a $2.5 billion resort casino on the Mystic River.

Overall, 46 percent of respondents said Wynn Resorts “should continue to be the builder and operator of the Everett casino,” known as Encore Boston Harbor. About 38 percent said the company should not remain owner and operator, and about 16 percent were undecided or declined to answer.


Not exactly a full-throated endorsement. Beyond that, 48% of women wanted Wynn Resorts gone, unsurprising given Steve Wynn’s record of sexual harassment.

(To be sure graf goes here.)

To be sure, Wynn has left his eponymous company, but the sexual misconduct problems at Wynn Resorts Ltd. go far beyond him. Exhibit A: This piece in today’s Wall Street Journal.

But back to the Suffolk University survey. Hard on the heels of the Globe piece comes this ad, which appears in both the Globe and the Boston Herald today. (Its appearance in the thirsty local tabloid indicates how seriously Wynn takes this issue.)



No question those workers want to keep their jobs, but the smart money says they neither set up nor paid for the two ads.

We’d certainly bet on it.

Boston Globe Still Won’t Note Nancy Gertner Conflict

June 7, 2018

One week ago the hardreading staff noted that the Boston Globe allowed former federal judge Nancy Gertner to sandblast Gov. Charlie Baker in an op-ed for opposing “Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley’s [sentencing] of [Manuel] Soto-Vittini to probation for possession with intent to distribute 15 grams of heroin and a small amount of cocaine.”

As we wrote then:

But wait – isn’t Nancy Gertner a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez? It sure appears that way from this item in Lauren Dezenski’s Politico Massachusetts Playbook last fall.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Former US Federal Judge Nancy Gertner hosted a fundraiser for Dem gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez at her Brookline home last night, the Gonzalez campaign tells me.

Globe readers might have wanted to know that in considering Gertner’s takedown of Charlie Baker, don’t you think?


Well, Globe readers still don’t know that, even as the Judge Feeley rumpus hits 11. Memo to Globe editorial page editor Ellen Clegg: Time to fess up, yeah?

Then again, the Globe isn’t alone in giving Gertner a free pass.

CommonWealth Magazine’s Michael Jonas also failed to note her conflict of interest (“[Baker’s] remarks appear to have been the last straw for former federal judge Nancy Gertner, who pens an op-ed in today’s Globe ripping Baker’s comments as a “Trump lite” echo of the president’s habit of “trashing judges with whom he disagrees.”), and MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius also links to Gertner’s op-ed with no disclaimer.

In the end, it’s absolutely Gertner’s responsibility to disclose her vested interest in attacking Charlie Baker. But news outlets should be exercising due diligence as well.

State of the Cuisinart Marketing in the Boston Dailies

June 5, 2018

It’s not as if the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald have stuck advertising and editorial into a blender and hit puree. But they’re getting closer. Take, for example, today’s editions of the local dailies.

Here’s page 23 of today’s Herald.



What we have here is a half-page ad for Parker Professional Driving School right beneath an article about the school with this sort-of byline.



So, from all appearances, Parker paid for roughly five-sixths of the page but only half of it is clearly an ad. About a week ago there was a similar aditorial in the Arts section of the stealthy local tabloid.



(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, transparency is the responsibility of the media outlet, not the advertiser. Here’s how the aditorial dance works: The less it appears to be an ad, the better it is for the advertiser, since the content can bypass the consumer’s factory-installed skepticism about advertising. As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the trend at the Herald is definitely toward minimal transparency.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the $tately local broadsheet has allowed a marketer to get to second base with Love Letters columnist Meredith Goldstein. As we previously noted, ever since April the column has been leased out to – sorry, presented by – the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Today, the relationship got even chummier.



(To be clear graf #2 goes here)

To be clear, there’s no stealth involved in this pairing – it’s all entirely transparent. But there’s a growing monetization of editorial content occurring at the Globe (see here and here) that brings to mind the term “slippery slope.”

Watch this space.

Boston Globe & Herald Provide a Tale of Two RFKs

June 4, 2018

In a city where opinions about the Kennedy family have been a jump ball for, like, ever, it’s no surprise that yesterday’s Boston dailies would deliver decidedly different remembrances of Robert F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his murder in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen.

Let’s begin with this front-page piece in the Boston Sunday Globe by David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and former Boston Globe Washington bureau chief.

A voice stilled at 42, but still very much alive

RFK’s assassination made his mark in history forever a question of why might have been

For 12 weeks he traveled the country, up and down the coasts, to Indiana the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed; to Nebraska, where he won a vital primary in a devoutly conservative state; to Oregon, where he suffered the first political loss by any member of his family; and then to California, where he vowed to go on to the Democratic convention “and let’s win there,’’ only to walk through a hotel kitchen where it all — the campaign against a long war, the campaign for a new sense of national purpose — tumbled to an end with an outstretched arm and spray of gunfire.

And then, for 50 years — a half-century of memories and myths — men and women of a certain age, and millions of Americans uncertain of what might have been, have disagreed about the meaning of Robert F. Kennedy’s life but have a curious, almost eerie, agreement about the meaning of that presidential campaign. Many he touched, and even some who were not moved by his insurgency against a sitting president of his own party, cursed his death at the time — and today almost inevitably employ a four-letter word to describe the meaning of his final years:

“He had a sense of hope for a better life for people of color,’’ said Antonia Hernandez, a former Edward M. Kennedy aide on Capitol Hill who now is president of the California Community Foundation.


Shribman’s piece is The Full Bobby, complete with four consecutive “hope” quotes and this declamation:

“In some ways, he and Malcolm X were bigger losses than John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, because Malcolm and Bobby were both evolving figures,’’ said Douglas D. Ross, assistant secretary of labor in the Clinton administration and author of “Robert F. Kennedy: Apostle of Change,’’ published shortly after the senator’s assassination. “Today he stands as the last person to put together minorities and white working-class voters. . . . Bobby was the only political figure who could create a different kind of coalition.’’


But . . .

Bobby was also a political figure who could create a different kind of . . . depiction.

Cue Boston Herald columnist and professional Kennedy hater Howie Carr.

Let’s not polish halo for St. Bobby just yet

Stand by for a torrent of slobbering stories about Robert F. Kennedy as the 50th anniversary of his assassination approaches Wednesday.

The main speaker at the official ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery will be Bill Clinton. I kid you not — Bill Clinton!

Look, of course it’s terrible that RFK was murdered at the age of 42, leaving behind all those kids and Ethel pregnant with the last of them. But since his passing, there’s been even more historical revisionism about Bobby than with almost any of the other liberal icons.


Drive liberals nuts grafs:

As attorney general in 1963, RFK authorized the FBI bugs on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That’s why he lost the Oregon primary just before he was assassinated. Hoover dropped a dime on him, although of course Bobby had his reasons for signing off on that earlier FBI Spygate.

Hoover had just killed a Senate investigation into one of JFK’s favorite White House hookers, an alleged East German spy named Ellen Rometsch, and … well, one hand washes the other in the Deep State, then as now.

Despite all the millions of gallons of ink that have been spilled about his “growth” and “evolution” in the groovy Sixties, Bobby was indisputably a homophobe and an anti-Semite.


Pick your poison – or your person – yeah?

Boston Globe Ignores Gertner Conflict of Interest

June 1, 2018

Today’s Boston Globe features this op-ed from retired federal judge and Harvard Law professor Nancy Gertner.

Irresponsible attacks on a fine judge

Just when we have finally come to see the opioid crisis as both a public health and public safety problem, Governor Charlie Baker and others would have us careen in the opposite direction.

Take the case of Manuel Soto-Vittini of Peabody. Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley sentenced Soto-Vittini to probation for possession with intent to distribute 15 grams of heroin and a small amount of cocaine. Soto-Vittini had no criminal convictions, just a dismissed drug-possession charge from a decade ago, when he was 22.


Gertner says, “Judge Feeley’s decision to impose probation was or should have been unremarkable. Instead, it was greeted with protests, vituperative newspaper columns, and most outrageous of all, calls for his impeachment.”

First one in Gertner’s dock: Charlie Baker.

Governor Charlie Baker called Judge Feeley’s sentence “ridiculous and outrageous.” Worse, in a moment that can only be called “Trump lite” in its resemblance to Trump’s habit of trashing judges with whom he disagrees, Baker suggested that the courts deal with Judge Feeley just as it had with the judge who was suspended for inappropriate sexual conduct in his chambers.


Gertner ends the piece with this: “Governor Baker, you should know better.”

But wait – isn’t Nancy Gertner a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez? It sure appears that way from this item in Lauren Dezenski’s Politico Massachusetts Playbook last fall.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Former US Federal Judge Nancy Gertner hosted a fundraiser for Dem gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez at her Brookline home last night, the Gonzalez campaign tells me.


Globe readers might have wanted to know that in considering Gertner’s takedown of Charlie Baker, don’t you think?

Boston Herald Diaspora Landing at Boston Globe

June 1, 2018

As our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town noted in their Hexit Watch™ a couple of months ago, it didn’t take long for former Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen to get back in the newspaper business after exiting the shrinky local tabloid.

Two months ago her Globe op-ed Befriending the Stranger featured this tag.

Last month her op-ed on the Democrats’ Pelosi problem had a slimmer tag.

Today, Cohen’s op-ed about John Kasich has her on (editorial) board at the Globe.

Good move by the Globe adding a smart, tough, reasonable voice to their opinion pages.

Another Herald escapee – Matt Stout – seems to have gone in a reverse direction. Stout jumped to the Globe in early March, starting off with this web piece.



So there he’s Globe Staff. But since then, he’s been Globe Correspondent.



So the headscratching staff went to – where else? – Twitter for the tiebreaker.

We’ll just leave it at that.