Boston Globe Editorial Board Snipes at Newsroom

October 18, 2017

From our Late to the Party Pooper desk

As the Great Amazon Headquarters Bakeoff approaches it denouement, interested parties are starting to answer last call with one final plea.

Thus the Boston Globe weighed in yesterday with this editorial.

Boston is primed for Amazon

Amazon is offering one city a winning lottery ticket. The home selected for its second headquarters campus can expect a concentration of tens of thousands of men and women with talent, education, and the resources to flourish.

No surprise, then, that dozens of communities around the country are tripping over themselves to vie for the prize. Stonecrest, Ga., pledges to de-annex 345 acres and name the new burg “Amazon.” Tucson, Ariz., sent the online retailer a 21-foot tall cactus. Vancouver is touting Canada’s liberal visa policy in its pitch to win the sweepstakes.

But the Commonwealth doesn’t need gimmicks. Nor do we need to brag . . .

 

No need to brag? Then what was that four-page mash note to Jeff Bezos labeled “Newsroom Commentary” that wrapped the Metro section in Sunday’s Globe?

 

 

Is it possible that the Globe’s editorial nose is out of joint because of the “commentary” part at the top of that first page? Say what you will, but the hardreading staff loves a good turf battle at the stately local broadsheet.

Especially since the turf at their new headquarters is so much smaller than before.

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Boston Globe Puts on the Pom Poms for Amazon HQ2

October 16, 2017

The Great Amazon Headquarters Bakeoff has generated some very, well, imaginative proposals for Jeff Bezos’s second home, as Leanna Garfield at Business Insider has chronicled.

Amazon has triggered a $5 billion bidding war — here are the craziest proposals for its new headquarters

After Amazon announced in September that it will build a second headquarters in an undetermined location, more than 50 North American cities concocted bids to persuade the company to choose them.

The company’s new campus, called HQ2, will bring 50,000 new jobs. Amazon will invest $5 billion in its construction, making the offer one of the largest corporate-civic opportunities in recent American history.

Proposals are not due until October 19, but many cities have already disclosed their plans to woo Amazon. And some are more extreme than others.

 

Our favorite: The offer from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-Donald Trump’s Meatloaf) of $5 billion in tax breaks, according to The Observer. That means Amazon would get its headquarters for free, yes?

No wonder Mr. 5×5 is out of a job.

But none of the pitches, to our knowledge, is quite like the four-page “Newsroom Commentary” that wrapped the Metro section of yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe.

 

 

 

 

 

(Readable version here.)

Not surprisingly, the hardreading staff has questions.

Question #1: Shouldn’t this be labeled “Editorial Commentary”? The newsroom is supposed to focus on, well, news – not commentary. That’s the bailiwick of the editorial pages.

Question #2: Isn’t this a bit Chamber of Commerce Pep Squad-ish? (Interesting that Shirley (You Jest) Leung has the only byline in the four-page spread.)

Funny, we thought the Globe was the umpire, not the pitcher.

We must be wrong.


EF Education First Puts PR First in Boston Globe Ad

October 2, 2017

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

Some of you splendid readers might be scratching your heads over this full-page ad in today’s Boston Globe.

 

 

EF is Education First North America, which loves the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation for millions of very good reasons.

To wit:

EF Education First Breaks Ground on Third Building in Cambridge, Creating International Education Campus Along Charles River

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and many Commonwealth and City of Cambridge leaders today joined EF Education First North America CEO Dr. Edward Hult to break ground on the company’s third new building in Cambridge’s North Point neighborhood, which will result in the creation of 300 new jobs, acres of new public parkland and recreational amenities, and a new permanent operations and maintenance facility for the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

 

The press release also notes this: “In 2014, the Massachusetts State Legislature unanimously passed special legislation allowing EF to acquire a 125,000-square-foot parcel of land owned by DCR and MassDOT for $20.4 million USD, which previously housed a temporary maintenance facility for DCR. The proceeds from the land sale will fund the construction of a permanent maintenance facility for DCR on one portion of the parcel, which represents an important unmet Big Dig mitigation obligation.”

Swell.

But wait, there’s more – this item ran in the Business section of today’s Globe, a sort of gift-with-purchase.

 

 

Interesting that the press release didn’t mention the $31 million state handout, but, hey, you can’t have everything.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, however, they pretty much can’t have anything. Education First might love the DCR, but it doesn’t care a fig for the thirsty local tabloid, presumably on the assumption that Herald readers aren’t interested in language classes and overseas education trips.

Huh.


Equifax to Boston Herald Readers: Fax You!

September 25, 2017

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

As you splendid readers no doubt know, the credit-monitoring firm Equifax has faxed up in a major way, both in letting sensitive information about 143 million users get hacked, then in its response to the breach, as Wired’s Lily Hay Newman has reported.

ALL THE WAYS EQUIFAX EPICALLY BUNGLED ITS BREACH RESPONSE

THE BREACH OF the credit monitoring firm Equifax, which exposed extensive personal data for 143 million people, is the worst corporate data breach to date. But, incredibly, the mistakes and the superlatives don’t end there. Three weeks since the company first publicly disclosed the situation, a steady stream of gaffes and revelations paint a picture of Equifax’s deeply lacking response to catastrophe.

 

Part of that “deeply lacking response” is this full-page ad that ran in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe.

 

 

There’s all kinds of lawyered-up corporate speak in the ad which we won’t bore you with because, well, it’s lawyered-up corporate speak.

But what we will say is this: Hey, Equifax – where’s your “Notice of Breach” to Boston Herald readers?

You think they don’t care about their credit scores? You think they don’t worry about identity theft?

That’s faxed up, yo.


Boston Herald Printing Woes Come Closer to Home

September 15, 2017

For much of the past week, the Boston Herald has been running this Notice to our readers that whacks the Boston Globe – which prints the feisty local tabloid – for, well, not printing the feisty local tabloid.

 

 

As of Wednesday, the S.S. Globe was still listing to port, a fact Globe editor Brian McGrory conceded to WGBH’s Boston Public Radio in a rather roundabout manner (round about 1:41;00).

We’ve been on a difficult run over over here. We’ve had many many good nights putting out the newspaper; we’ve had some bad nights too. This all stems from we opened up a new production plant in the city of Taunton back in the spring; we had to leave Morrissey Boulevard because we’re in the process of selling that property, and it’s proven more difficult than we anticipated to get quality newspapers out in a timely way, and it’s gone on for quite a while.

Decisions were made over here this week to try to get new leadership in place in production and the result is some very very good high quality people are no longer here at the Globe. And that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a major contribution to this place over many many years – they should be proud of what they’ve done. But the decision was made by people at a higher pay grade than me that we needed new leadership. I expect that’s gonna work out well.

 

Uh-huh. Asked whether the Globe is making progress toward fixing the snafus, McGrory said this:

“We think we’re making progress, yeah. We’ve had some very very good stretches – a week, two weeks at a time with some improving quality but then we’ll have significant setbacks. We did this past weekend on Saturday night. A lot of papers didn’t get to our subscribers on Sunday, which is obviously a really important day for us, and, you know, amid the progress there are setbacks and it’s really really frustrating.

“But the overall trendiness are showing improvement, but we need it to come faster and we need to be more consistent. We owe it to our most loyal readers, who are the most sophisticated newspaper readers in this country.”

That’s it – not a word, or a question, about the damage inflicted on the Herald. Just 10 pounds of baloney in a five-pound bag.

Meanwhile, how’s the Good Ship Lollygag doing at the end of the week?

Well, the hardreading staff didn’t get its copy of the Herald this morning. So you tell us.


Lobsters on a Roll in Boston Dailies

September 5, 2017

It was a virtual crustacean collision in the local papers yesterday, as stories about oddly colored lobsters appeared in both.

Start with this piece in the Boston Globe’s Metro section.

Rare-colored lobsters keep turning up

On Wednesday, the New England Aquarium in Boston announced it had received a donation of a rare yellow lobster, a “one in 30 million” catch from the coast of Marblehead.

That same day, the Bangor Daily News reported a Maine man had caught a “one in 100 million” white lobster last week.

Those were just the latest examples of what seem to be increasing reports of good-fortuned lobstermen hauling in crustaceans with exceedingly rare hues.

 

Globe reporter Matt Rocheleau even played oddsmaker, listing a color wheel of rare lobsters.

Other uncommon colors include:

■ Blue: which is said to be a one in 2 million find;

■ Orange: one in 10 million;

■ Red: one in 10 million;

■ Calico: one in 30 million;

■ Split-colored: one in 50 million.

 

But . . .

What are the odds that a lobster of a different color would turn up in the Boston Herald (via the Associated Press) the same day?

 

 

Here’s the ghostly guy himself.

 

 

So, happy ending: One went to the Marian Manor of crustaceans, while the other returned to the briny deep.

Obviously – and mercifully – hold the drawn butter.


Boston Globe Finally Runs Wayne Woodlief Obituary

August 28, 2017

For the past two weeks the hardtsking staff has been on the Boston Globe like Brown on Williamson over the paper’s failure to publish an obituary for Boston Herald stalwart Wayne Woodlief, who died on August 12.

Yesterday the wait ended with this piece in the Boston Sunday Globe.

Wayne Woodlief, 82; longtime Boston Herald political reporter, columnist

With the future of the Boston Herald at stake in 1988, political reporter Wayne Woodlief spent days stalking Senator Edward M. Kennedy, posing the same question wherever he went: “Senator, why are you trying to kill the Herald?” . . . 

“Kennedy’s Vendetta,” the paper’s headlines declared amid revelations that the senator had quietly maneuvered legislation into a catch-all spending bill that would prevent regulators from reconsidering rules preventing [Herald owner Rupert] Murdoch from owning a newspaper and a TV station in the same market.

Mr. Woodlief’s dogged, yet gentlemanly, pursuit of the senator epitomized his devotion to freedom of the press and his character, friends said.

 

Nice lede, nice tribute overall by Globe correspondent J.M. Lawrence.

Last word to Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen: “Wayne Woodlief had a kind word for everyone he met . . . He brought civility and even grace to a highly competitive profession and to the often uncivil world of politics that he covered.”

Amen.