A Trial of Two Cities

August 25, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

There are currently two high-profile trials in the Boston area involving young people, but the local dailies only see one. Different ones.

The Boston Herald has gone all in on the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michelle Carter, who prosecutors say hounded New Bedford teen Conrad Roy into committing suicide last year.

Saturday’s Page One:

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.32.15 AM

 

 

And page 5:

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.32.41 AM

 

Today’s Herald gives Jessica Heslam’s piece all of page 3.

‘We’re doing horrible’

Grandmother: No ‘moving on’ from tragic death

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.32.02 PM

Janice Roy stood in her Mattapoisett backyard looking out at beautiful Buzzards Bay as she 
recalled her oldest grandchild, who prosecutors say took his own life last summer under pressure from his girlfriend.

A few hours earlier yesterday, Janice had sat through a gut-wrenching hearing in New Bedford Juvenile Court, where the attorney for Michelle 
Carter — the Plainville teen charged with causing the death of her beloved grandson — argued to have the involuntary manslaughter charge against her thrown out.

In one of thousands of text message exchanges, Carter told 18-year-old Conrad Roy III that his family would “get over” his suicide and “move on.”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Crosstown, the Boston Globe has limited its coverage of the Michelle Carter trial to a B2 news brief today.

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.19.38 AM

 

On the other hand, the stately local broadsheet is all over the case of Owen Labrie, the prep-school graduate accused of raping a 15-year old girl last year. We count seven pieces on the trial in the past week, with this one on Metro Page One today.

Labrie said he had sex with girl, peers testify

N.H. prep school classmates recall night of alleged rape

CONCORD, N.H. — In often crude language, four current and former students at St. Paul’s School testified Monday that Owen Labrie told them he had sex with a 15-year-old ed789e33046541b9ba64600606788ffe-3917df13d7c9453ea550a242d1384656-0girl who accuses him of rape, undercutting claims by Labrie’s defense team that the two did not have intercourse.

Andrew Thomson, who was Labrie’s roommate at the elite Concord prep school, testified that Labrie told him on the night of the alleged attack in May 2014 that he had taken the teenager’s virginity.

“He seemed a little taken aback, but overall happy” after the encounter, said Thomson, now a student at Brown University. “He seemed to be in a good mood.”

 

Not so much anymore, though.

The feisty local tabloid, meanwhile, has had nothing about the Labrie trial in its print edition, and just this Associated Press report on the web.

The hardreading staff isn’t sure there’s some deeper meaning in the split decision by the papers; we just know – say it with us – it’s good to live in a two-daily town.

Advertisements

Different Cos and Effect in Boston Dailies

February 7, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The Boston Herald has been making hay-hay-hay over the Bill Cosby rumpus in advance of his two performances this weekend at the Wilbur Theatre. Yesterday the not-so-funnyman got front-page treatment in the feisty local tabloid.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 3.21.18 PM

 

And today Cosby gets his say in Gayle Fee’s Page 2 piece:

Bill Cosby has defiant message for foes

Bill Cosby

Accused sexual predator Bill Cosby yesterday responded to Boston critics who plan to protest his shows at The Wilbur Theatre tomorrow, saying “Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m far from finished,” igniting even more anger from advocates calling for him to cancel the appearances.

“Dear Fans: GOD has Blessed me with a wonderful gift to share with all of you,” Cosby said in a statement released to the Herald. “For 53 years I have continued to master this gift, which heals the soul and warms hearts. Laughter! I thank you, the theatre staff (Wilbur Theatre), the event organizers and the Boston Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment. Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m Far From Finished.”

 

Oy Oy, Oy.

Beyond that, Herald scribe Joe Fitzgerald gives the protestors a bit of a dressing-down in his column today.

Angry mob wrong to try to go after easy target in Bill Cosby

While Bill Cosby is preparing for a couple of shows at The Wilbur Theatre tomorrow, a group of protesters is making its preparations, too, putting final touches on placards it intends to wave along busy, snow-packed Tremont Street.

They want us to know how very upset they are about violence toward women.Bill Cosby

Please. Who isn’t? They’re not the only ones on that high road.

But they could have made more of a statement and been less of a nuisance just a few days earlier when a Superior Court judge, E. Susan Garsh, had the audacity to lecture a mother — “Maintain your emotions. You are not to cry!” — when the latter was about to view a photo of her murdered son’s lifeless body displayed on a table.

 

Fitzgerald’s bottom line:

He’s been accused of bad stuff, but never charged, much less convicted, which doesn’t seem to matter to those who’ll gather to pass judgment tomorrow . . .

Cos has a right to be on that stage tomorrow, and those who still find him amusing and admirable have a right to enjoy the show.

What is so complicated about that?

 

Don’t even know where to begin . . .

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, meanwhile, there has been zero coverage in the print edition over the past few days.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 3.17.11 PM

 

There is, however, this posted on the web:

Activists to protest Bill Cosby performance at Wilbur

01335e6d7484442a9c3d10098a59d899-8e55be225e41476ebb711214ac4815ab-0

Activists are gearing up for protests at the two Bill Cosby shows at The Wilbur Theater, hoping to call attention to allegations that Cosby sexually assaulted more than two dozen women throughout his career.

“We plan on protesting as long as the show is scheduled to continue,” said Brandie Skorker of Boston, who began organizing the demonstration in January and now has the backing of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
Cosby is scheduled to perform two back-to-back shows at the Tremont Street venue, beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are still on sale. Wilbur officials could not be reached for comment.

 

Huh – ’cause theater owner and promoter Bill Blumenreich had plenty to say to the Herald’s Fee yesterday. We’ll see which paper gets the last laugh after tomorrow’s shows.


Boston Dailies Have Different Answers to Ballot Questions

October 22, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

With Election Day just around the corner, we’ve officially arrived at Endorsement Season, when the local dailies weigh in with their voting recommendations. (The Boston Herald, for example, endorsed Scott Brown for U.S. Senate today.)

Last week the frisky local tabloid made its recommendations on the four ballot questions facing voters this fall, starting with Yes on Question 1, which would repeal the automatic gas tax hikes Massachusetts lawmakers enacted last year.

What Question 1 seeks to do is merely repeal the automatic nature of that tax hike. It does not roll back the tax. It does not take a penny of existing revenue out of state coffers. It would simply require that in the future if lawmakers want to hike the gasoline tax they would have to vote to do that — just as they did in 2013.

They would have to go on record and be counted. Is that so very difficult? It’s what they are elected to do.

A “yes” vote on Question 1 will do nothing more or less than making our legislators vote in the open the next time they want to hike the gas tax.

 

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, today’s edition featured an emphatic No on Question 1.

Proponents of the ballot question say they aren’t against gas taxes, but instead have what is basically a philosophical objection to indexing the gas tax, or any other tax, to inflation. Each of the automatic increases, they argue, represents a separate tax hike — a form of taxation without representation, because the Legislature won’t vote each time.

But this argument is disingenuous. Characterizing the increases as a hike ignores how inflation affects buying power. Raising the cents-per-gallon tax in sync with inflation ensures that the pinch will feel the same as time goes on, not that it’ll go up.

 

Who’s right? Pick ’em.

Ditto for expanding the state’s existing bottle deposit law. The Herald says No on Question 2.

The environmental argument has long since gone by the boards as community after community has moved to curbside recycling for homes and businesses and put separate recycling barrels in parks and other public spaces. Those recycling programs provide cities and towns with yet another source of income.

Yes, there is money in those empties, money that communities will miss out on if this ballot measure passes with its myriad rules and regulations about who would be required to accept those millions of new empties.

The Legislature for the past several years has been getting this one right. Expanding the bottle bill is more than just another inconvenience; it’s another tax. And one this state doesn’t need.

 

The Globe counters with Yes on Question 2.

Opponents of the measure, funded largely by the bottling and beverage industries, claim that curbside recycling is already deeply ingrained in the Commonwealth, making the expansion of the current law a nuisance. But Question 2 opponents have been using questionable data to make their case, including claiming in an ad that 90 percent of Massachusetts residents had access to curbside recycling; in fact, the correct number is 67 percent. Regardless, promoting the recycling of beverage containers isn’t the only goal of the bottle bill; the availability of curbside recycling doesn’t particularly discourage litter.

There will be a cost to consumers, but only if they choose not to recycle. (It should be noted, unclaimed nickels would go to a dedicated fund to support environmental programs that would pay for parks cleaning and improve recycling.) And there are municipal savings: A 2009 study commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Protection estimated that savings due to reduced collection and disposal costs to cities and towns would be between $4 million and $7 million per year.

 

Okay then. Two down, two to go. Catch you on the flip-flop.


Boston Globe Redacts Redactions in Wynn Lawsuit

March 15, 2019

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The Boston Globe is shooting blanks on the Steve Wynn/Massachusetts Gaming Commission rumpus, which involves a lawsuit over documents that the disgraced casino mogul says are covered by attorney-client privilege.

Here’s how the stately local broadsheet handled the story in today’s edition.

It’s not until the 13th graf that the piece even mentions this fact: “The meeting minutes included substantial redactions, something [commission chairwoman Cathy] Judd-Stein said was necessary because the sessions included ‘a significant amount of attorney-client privileged communications.’”

No longer crosstown at the Boston Herald, Page One says it all.

 

 

Inside, the story gets the deluxe double-truck treatment.

 

 

Hey, Globeniks, you taking notes?

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, the web version of the Globe piece does have a visual component.

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, though, it’s a photo of the almost-finished Encore casino, not any of the redacted documents.

Score one for the snappy local tabloid.


Boston Globe’s NFL/CTE Last Graf Is Herald Headline

June 3, 2016

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The local dailies have duly noted this week’s Boston University School of Medicine shindig to kick off a seven-year, $16 million study called DIAGNOSE CTE, which will examine the relationship of head injuries to the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

That, of course, is a subject the National Football League has a $12 billion a year interest in.

Interestingly, that interest got very different play in yesterday’s local papers.

Kay Lazar’s Boston Globe Metro Page One piece:

Study to test brain damage in living

Why do some athletes who suffer repeated head injuries develop a devastating brain disease, while others seem immune? And can this degenerative disease be treated or even prevented?

A team of scientists from across the country gathered Wednesday at Boston University School of Medicine to launch a pioneering study aimed at detecting chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a disease that silently destroys the minds of athletes after years of repetitive blows to the head. But this time, unlike so much of the research preceding it, the studies will be conducted in people who are alive.

 

The NFL connection was relegated to the story’s final graf.

[A] congressional committee last week issued a scathing report saying it found evidence top NFL officials improperly tried to influence the selection of scientists for government-funded research on CTE. That interference, the report found, concerned the grant eventually awarded to the team led by BU’s [Robert] Stern.

 

But the National Finagling League’s interference was headline material in Lindsay Kalter’s Boston Herald report.

Doc: we won’t fumble

Despite NFL cries, CTE project rolls on

Boston University neuroscientist Dr. Robert Stern said his groundbreaking study on head trauma, which was Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 12.28.45 AMofficially launched yesterday, will not be sullied by the long-brewing controversy over the NFL’s alleged attempts to strip him of his funding.

“I’m just so unbelievably excited to get this science moving right now,” Stern told the Herald. “This is the time to do this science.”

He added, “We’re now going to move forward.”

 

As will the Boston dailies, each on its own track.


Boston Dailies Split on Freedom-Seeking Killers

February 4, 2016

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

How odd is this?

Wednesday’s Boston dailies separately – or is that respectively? – featured two heinous murderers seeking redemption for the umpteenth time.

The Boston Globe front-paged one of them.

More pain as killer again bids for parole

NATICK — Every five years, in a hushed parole board hearing with the family he traumatized and tore apart, Richard turner020216METRO03parole17Seymour apologizes to his ex-wife and daughter, and to the memory of the teenage son he beat to death in a drug-fueled rage.

And each time, his family remains unmoved, refusing to forgive him for a brutal crime that has already kept him behind bars for three decades.

On Tuesday, Seymour’s family renewed the painful ritual of arguing against his release, telling the state’s parole board they are haunted by the thought of Seymour being set free. Their grief over Patrick Seymour’s death, they said, has never left them.

 

You can read the gruesome details, but the bottom line is this:

The decision of the board is not expected for several months. According to the most recent study by the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety, about one-quarter of parole requests are granted for inmates serving life sentences.

This year, Patrick Seymour would have turned 48.

 

And this year Jeffrey Curley would have turned 29. But Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari brutally murdered him in 1997. And now Jaynes, like Seymour, is looking to wiggle free of his punishment.

From Wednesday’s Boston Herald:

Child killer Jaynes seeking new trial

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.57.55 AM

Charles Jaynes, the self-styled Wiccan serving life for the 1997 kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley of Cambridge, is 
imploring a panel of federal appellate justices to either grant him a new state trial or set him free, arguing the public was wrongfully barred from his first one — and that he was the victim of lousy lawyering.

A three-justice panel that includes retired U.S. 
Supreme Court Justice David Souter took Jaynes’ appeal under advisement yesterday as Jeffrey’s father Robert Curley endured yet another court hearing, 19 years after his son was kidnapped and killed by Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari, his body dumped in a river in Maine.

 

It’s heartbreaking what these families have to endure in the wake of their unimaginable tragedies.

It’s also the American justice system.

Your objections go here.


To Know Trump, Read Both Boston Dailies

December 29, 2015

From our One Towne, Two Different Worlds desk

Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump (R-Donald Trump) gets the coveted Boston Herald Pooh-Pooh Platter (pat. pending) today, with the target being Bill Clinton.

Page One:

 

MA_BH

 

Inside spread (with bonanza of Inexplicable Little Green Numbers):

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 4.30.15 PM

 

We’ll leave you to read the cartoon columnists for yourself (here and here). But we do want to point out this quote in the news report from Lori Davis, a member of the “Women for Trump” Coalition in New Hampshire.

“Hillary has some issues with how Mr. Trump views women. She claims Mr. Trump is sexist,” Davis said. “Meanwhile, her husband can’t seem to stay monogamous — not to mention even discreet. Perhaps she might want to rethink things before she starts tackling Mr. Trump. She should clean up her own house.”

 

That’ll be an interesting leitmotif to follow as the Big Dog hits the campaign trail.

Rounding out the frothy local tabloid’s Trumpa Stumpa coverage, columnist Kimberly Atkins proposes in her usual levelheaded way that maybe Bill could help Hill. There’s a special place reserved in heaven for anyone who can maintain a measured voice at the Herald, and Atkins seems a mortal lock for first-ballot entry.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the GOP’s Hair Apparent gets the usual treatment in a balanced trail report from Jim O’Sullivan (representative sample: “[Trump] assured New Hampshire residents that their first-in-the-nation primary would be secure if he were elected, even though the chief executive has no direct authority over party primary calendars.”). And columnist Joan Vennochi weighed in with some observations about Hillary’s Bill problem.

In other words, everyone ran true to form today on the local dailies front.


The Essential Difference Between the Boston Dailies

December 11, 2015

From our One Towne, Two Different Worlds desk

As the hardreading staff has (we trust) dutifully noted, the local dailies rarely see eye-to-eye on any particular story.

Yesterday was no exception.

But it was particularly illuminating. And it all revolved around fan safety at Fenway Park, where most fans go to 1) see a Red Sox victory, and 2) avoid any major head injuries.

Boston Globe Page One:

SAFE AT HOME

Sox to heed MLB’s recommendation for additional protective netting

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.41.37 AM

NASHVILLE — Major League Baseball on Wednesday took steps to protect those fans who want to sit close to the action, recommending that all teams extend protective netting between the dugouts for any field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate.

The Red Sox immediately announced they would comply and are making plans to extend the netting behind home plate to the dugouts. Team president Sam Kennedy said the Sox are evaluating what the size and type of the netting will be.

 

The Globe piece also included this helpful graphic about fans injured in Major League ballparks each year:

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.44.25 AM

 

To illustrate one example, the stately local broadsheet mentioned this in paragraph 11:

On July 10, a woman sitting [near the edge of the backstop screen] was hit in the forehead by a foul ball. Stephanie Wapenski, 36, of Branford, Conn., required more than 40 stitches.

 

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, Stephanie Wapenski was no footnote – she was the hitchy local tabloid’s Cover Girl.

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 1.07.26 AM

 

From the estimable Peter Gelzinis:

Field of Dreams: Fan Nets Fairy Tale Fenway Ending

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 1.12.27 AM

Even if the Red Sox didn’t plan to extend the protective netting along the first- and third-base lines, Stephanie Wapenski had no intention of staying away from the ballpark she loves. And now, in a fairy-tale ending to her hard luck story, she’s going back for love.

Wapenski was six rows up from the third-base line, watching the Sox play the Yankees last July. She recalled telling her fiance, Matt Fraenza, “We’re going to catch a ball tonight.”

What this Connecticut woman wound up catching on that night was a 100 mph line-drive foul from Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius that ricocheted off her forehead and landed in short left field.

 

But then . . .

“When the Red Sox asked what they could do for us,” Stephanie recalled, “we mentioned that we weren’t interested in pursuing any legal action. We told them we were rabid baseball fans who would love to be married at Fenway.”

The Red Sox didn’t need to be asked twice. They waived the $10,000 fee other couples, who have not been beaned by a line drive, must pay to be married on the field.

 

Excellent!

And an excellent example of the gap between the rational local broadsheet and the emotional local tabloid.

So we say . . . long live Two-Daily Towns!

Or at least what’s left of them.


Herald: Barack O-bomb-a’s Pats Joke Falls Flat

April 24, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

When the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots went to the White House for the customary presidential pat on the back, here’s what they got to kick off the festivities.

 

 

Pats coach Bill Belichick isn’t the only one who gave Obama’s lame joke the thumbs down. Today’s Boston Herald is in Full Snit over the Deflategate dis.

Start with Page One:

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 2.10.18 PM

 

Then move on to Tom Shattuck’s column:

SPOTLIGHT INTERCEPTED

Barack Obama, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft

It was a day that should have belonged to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, but in a reversal of last February’s fortune it came to a dramatic and sudden halt.

Interception, Obama.

The president called a very different play as the champs gathered at the White House South Lawn to accept an attaboy for their Super Bowl victory.

But the egotist in chief made it all about him.

“I usually tell a bunch of jokes at these events,” he mused, “but with the Patriots in town I was worried that 11 of 12 of them would fall flat.”

 

That one sure did.

Back at the frosty local tabloid,  sports scribe Karen Guregian also weighed in.

Just like so many people at this point, the leader of the free world can’t help but chuckle at what this is, and what it’s become. So right out of the gate, he set the tone for the Patriots visit by taking a poke at Deflategate, and it became the theme of the day Barack Obama, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraftwith Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski later piling on . . .

When Gronk was asked if he had enjoyed himself before the president’s speech, perhaps with a beverage or two, Gronk drew on Obama’s Deflategate remark.

“No, there was no drinking,” he said. “Maybe the president was wasted from his deflate joke. We’re still wondering as an organization about that, right?”

 

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Guregian’s column was mostly about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s foot-dragging in his investigation into the pigskin rumpus. Regardless, look for the umbrage-industrial complex to continue Obama-bashing for awhile.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Ben Volin’s piece about Pats players (as well as owner Robert Kraft and Belichick) visiting wounded vets at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was the main story today:

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 2.34.57 PM

 

 

The Obama joke also got mentioned in Shalise Manza Young’s piece, but it was no big deal.

Obummer, eh Heraldniks?


Boston Herald Gathers No Moss

April 6, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The long-awaited Columbia Journalism School report on the clueless Rolling Stone campus rape investigation (now retracted) gets – wait for it – very different play in today’s local dailies.

Start with Page One of the Boston Herald.

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.21.01 PM

 

Inside, the story gets the bulk of Page 2:

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.25.51 PM

 

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the report gets a New York Times wire service piece on A5.

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.24.22 PM

 

Your conclusions go here.