Boston Globe Has Latest Example of Regan-omics

February 15, 2016

The hits from the Suffolk You! rumpus just keep on coming.

From Laura Krantz’s piece in the Boston Sunday Globe:

Connected PR firm soon to lose another college contract

After Suffolk cancellation, UMass authority won’t renew Regan Communications pact

Public relations firm Regan Communications Group, whose contract with Suffolk University was canceled last week, stands to soon lose another lucrative deal with the UMass Building Authority — an agreement originally executed by an authority leader who is also a Suffolk trustee.

The building authority, responsible for construction and renovation projects for the five-campus system, has paid Regan’s firm a $10,000 monthly retainer since 2011, contracts show.


Not to get technical about it, but it’s apparently unclear 1) why exactly the UMass Building Authority needs a PR firm, and 2) what exactly the ten grand a month retainer covered. According to Krantz, “[t]he two-page contract’s wording is vague. It says Regan Communications agrees to provide ‘services in the field of public relations as it may deem appropriate and as directed by [the building authority].'”

In other words, bill us for . . . whatever.

That’s so Regan!

Any predictions on the next shoe to drop on the centipedal PR poobah? These things do tend to come in threes, don’t they.

UPDATE: We have a winner!

From Adrian Walker’s column in today’s Globe: “The last shoe may not have dropped, either. UMass Online has a $3,500-a-month contract with Regan that may be under review, too.”

George Regan as barefoot boy, with cheek of tan (or orange)?

We can dream, can’t we?

Stith in Delayed Time at the Boston Globe

April 20, 2015

From our Late to the Pity Party desk

Former US ambassador to Tanzania and current director of Boston University’s African Presidential Center Charles Stith has a beef with BU.

(Full disclosure: The hardreading staff is a non-tenured professor at BU so we – seriously – have no dog in this fight.)

Saturday’s Boston Herald featured this opening salvo:

Envoy slams closure of BU African center

Rev. Charles Richard Stith

Former U.N. Ambassador to Tanzania Charles R. Stith is slamming Boston University for shuttering a school center dedicated to promoting democracy and market reform in Africa, calling the June 30 closure a “great loss for the city of Boston.”

“The president of Boston University has made the decision to defund the African Presidential Center,” Stith, the center’s founder and director, told the Herald, referring to BU president Dr. Robert A. Brown.

“We are obviously disappointed. … But I’m not surprised because it is consistent with the university’s marginalization of African-Americans in the BU community. Quite frankly,” Stith said, “I think it is a great loss for Boston University and a great loss for the city of Boston.”


The Boston Globe has been a day late and a dolor short on the BU dustup, but Adrian Walker inserts the stately local broadsheet into the mix in his Metro column today.

Fight over African center heats up at BU

There’s nothing diplomatic about the battle being waged between Boston University and the Rev. Charles R. Stith, the former US ambassador to Tanzania and longtime civil rights activist.

BU has decided to pull the plug on the African Presidential Center, which Stith founded in 2001, when he returned to Boston from his diplomatic posting. The center’s stated purpose is to further understanding of Africa, particularly its political and economic trends. It hosts former African presidents as visiting dignitaries, participates in conferences, and sponsors research.

Barring something unforeseen, the center will close at the end of this academic year, and the dispute over its closing is being waged in unusually blunt terms. Stith describes it as a part of a pattern of marginalizing blacks on campus. BU says Stith simply hasn’t honored his obligation to raise enough money to keep the center’s doors open; it is no more complicated than that.


Walker’s bottom line:

The issue of racial insensitivity is not new for BU. In December, Brown’s refusal to appear at a City Council hearing exploring campus diversity irritated councilors. He relented only under the imminent threat of a subpoena from the council.

And in a 2012 report, BU’s Faculty Senate did the math on the school’s diversity, and the results were terrible. Of roughly 2,000 faculty members, a total of 73 identified as black or Latino. The student body was 3 percent black.

“While there are aspects of the city of Boston that make this particularly challenging, no other Boston-area university has ratios as low as ours,” its authors wrote of the faculty breakdown.



BU spokesman Colin Riley said in a statement that “Boston University did not ‘defund’ the center” and that “We met with Ambassador Stith to discuss the fact that the APC would not have sufficient funds to operate through the end of the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2015, and that in the absence of the center acquiring those funds, it would have to close. … APC assured us on several occasions that funding to continue was forthcoming, yet it was not.”

Funding might not be forthcoming, but fireworks most assuredly are, now that both local dailies are in the mix.

We will, as always, keep you posted.

One Town, Two Different Worlds (Edition Umpteen)

April 11, 2014

The parallel universes of the local dailies proceed apace today.

Boston Herald, Page One:


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Story inside:

State stuck with duds

Busted digital signs leave drivers in dark

Gov. Deval Patrick, with great fanfare, is slated to unveil new, state-of-the art highway message boards for Cape Cod today, even as dozens of similar pricey ASTU1441.JPGelectronic road signs remain broken statewide, leaving tax- and toll-paying motorists in the dark about everything from traffic accidents and tie-ups to Amber Alerts, a Herald review found.

Among the 184 so-called “variable” message boards statewide, 43 are permanently out of service and cannot be fixed due to a lack of replacement parts, according to a Department of Transportation document obtained by the Herald through a public records request.


There’s even video that goes with:



Classic Herald: Good digging, splashy packaging.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Metro Page One:


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That report is a follow-up to Adrian Walker’s bombshell yesterday about a “troubling demand” by a coalition of local community activists that Keolis North America, which just got the contract to run Boston’s commuter rail system, do more to promote diversity in its ranks. And by “troubling demand,” of course, Walker means an invoice for $105,000. No word on what the vigorish is, though.

Rev. Bruce Wall, who is moonwalking away from the controversy as fast as he can, is really just collateral damage here. The central figure in this rumpus is longtime local con artist Eugene Rivers III, who met with a Keolis spokeswoman and told her he was “below the radar” and “secret ops.” (Rivers denies saying either.)

Today’s piece has Wall and others in the so-called DRM Advisory Group playing Twister trying to explain away an invoice for services not performed or even contracted. Take some Dramamine before reading.

The folks at the editorial page are also reeling.

Rivers, Wall err badly in seeking funds from rail firm

THE REV. Eugene Rivers 3d, a prominent minister in Boston, blundered badly last month when he presented Keolis North America with a $105,000 invoice for services related to promoting diversity in the hiring and ridership of the state’s commuter rail system. This startling document, which was signed by Dorchester minister Bruce Wall, came across as a self-serving pressure tactic, and it only harmed the cause of promoting diversity in public contracting.


And etc.

Classic Boston Globe: good digging, enlightened tut-tutting.

Can’t do better than a Two-Daily Town.


Irish Ayes for Boston Globe’s St. Pat’s Coverage

March 17, 2014

The hardreading staff, which is three-quarters Irish (and a proud citizen of Ireland, to boot), has always disliked St. Patrick’s Day with its amateur drinkers and Irish for a Day idiots. (The old man used to say we had an Irish sense of work and a German sense of humor.)

Back then we lived at 89th and 3rd, just three blocks from where the St. Patrick’s Day Parade ended, so each year we spent the next morning sweeping the drunks off every stoop on the block.

We don’t like the fauxliday any better up here, what with all the annual knee-jerk nonsense that goes on in South Boston. But this year there was the new wrinkle of State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry hosting the traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, and we expected some lively coverage in the local dailies.

Not so fast, Armaugh Boy.

Surprisingly, the Boston Herald’s coverage was flat as yesterday’s beer.


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Laurel Sweet got all of seven paragraphs for her piece on the breakfast, and the parade coverage got the same.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, by contrast, Dorcena Forry was the Cover Gal.


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The Metro section featured two reports on the parade – here and here – along with columnist Adrian Walker waxing enthusiastic about the breakfast.

Linda Dorcena Forry rescues breakfast




You could spot a difference in the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast right from the start this year: The comedic opening was actually funny.

There was a video of Linda Dorcena Forry in front of the convention center sticking Bill Linehan in a cab and then explaining to the driver, in subtitled Haitian Creole, “Remember what we talked about. You need to take him on a long, long ride.”

And with that video Dorcena Forry strode into the breakfast, leading the crowd in the St. Patrick’s favorite, “Step Into the Parlor.” It had taken her roughly two minutes to completely own the event.


The same way the Globe owned the coverage in the Daily Bakeoff.


Herald Doubles Down on Boston Casino Coverage

August 29, 2013

This is what the Boston Herald lives for.


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Our feisty local tabloid devotes nearly four full pages to the casino-industrial complex today.


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Picture 5


Corruption! Rampant patronage! Zero accountability!

For the Herald, this deal is the grift that keeps on giving.

Crosstown, by contrast, the Boston Globe has this nothingburger of a story in today’s Metro section:


Picture 4


Aside from some mild finger-wagging by columnist Adrian Walker over Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s ram-rodding this deal through, our stately local broadsheet has had nary a discouraging word about the proposed billion-dollar gambling hell – sorry, hall.

C’mon, Globeniks – get on this stick. Where’s that righteous indignation about gambling? Or even some of your trademark tsk-tsking?

You gonna let the Herald have all the fun?


Brown Is the New Block(head)

August 19, 2013

Of all the nudnik 2016 presidential wannabes (Peter King! Martin O’Malley! Come on down!), Scott Brown (R-Fox News) ranks among the most delusional. But you’d never know that from reading the Boston Herald.

Today’s Page One:


Picture 1


Inside, the feisty local tabloid is plenty giddy itself, starting with a sunnyside up semi-news story.

081819brown01Nation may learn what Scott Brown can do for U.S.

National Republicans rushed to give former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s presidential trial balloon a thumbs up yesterday, saying the Bay State moderate’s impassioned plea for a big tent party could be the 2016 anecdote to debilitating GOP infighting.

“I’m thrilled he’s here. I see 2016 as wide open both nationally and in Iowa — especially if a candidate can come here and make a strong case,” said Iowa Republican committee chairman A.J. Striker. “I think having a diverse field actually strengthens and grows the party.”


Certainly grows the coffers of the Iowa Republican committee, yeah?

Then there’s this legit opinion piece by Kimberly Atkins:


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Wait – more good news in the Scott Brown Gazette! His daughter Arianna just got engaged! To “a paralegal specialist at the Department of Justice and a former Brown Senate office intern”!


Picture 3


The only skunk at the Herald garden party was this letter writer:

Brown’s betrayal

Bona fide registered Republicans, who share conservative fiscal values and liberal social views, wish Scott Brown would just go back to his obscure role as a member of the corrupt Massachusetts House or Senate (“Brown: ‘Infighting’ aids Dems,” Aug. 16).

He has disappointed a majority of Republicans and moderates who elected him on a false belief he shared their views of less government intervention in their lives. Unfortunately, like every other RINO, he blindsided us with his decisive vote on the Consumer “Destruction” Act. Shame on him for scolding the members of his party who support Republican values.

— Todd Douglas, Weston


So Brown’s disappointed Republicans and moderates? That won’t put much giddy-up in a presidential campaign, will it?

Which is essentially what Adrian Walker writes crosstown in the Boston Globe today.

I don’t want to make light of Brown’s presidential prospects. It’s just hard to believe that he has any presidential prospects. For starters, he lost his last election by a substantial margin, something unusual for a sitting senator.

And his so-called brand of politics is far out of step with the leadership of his own party. There’s not much reason to believe the GOP wants a nominee whose main qualification is that he can draw support from Massachusetts moderates. Why would a party that got trounced with Mitt Romney in 2012 turn around and nominate Scott Brown?


Walker’s conclusion is that Brown can’t stand being out of the spotlight, so “[t]he quest for attention has become his never-ending campaign.”

At least he’s raised his sights, though. Here’s what the Herald reported yesterday about Brown’s fondest wishes:

Brown, who’s tapped into his musical side since his November defeat to Elizabeth Warren, said he’ll make his “debut” next month playing guitar with his daughter, Ayla, when she opens for the Charlie Daniels Band on Sept. 8 in Webster.

A beginner five months ago, Brown said he’s religiously practiced each night before bed to the point he can strum more than a half-dozen songs . . .


Great – he can always live off Ayla if this presidential thing doesn’t work out.


Herald: No College Credit for UMass/Dartmouth

May 6, 2013

From our Two Different Worlds desk

Another 7-10 split in the local dailies today, this time over the relationship between UMass/Dartmouth and suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Start with Rachelle Cohen’s op-ed in the Boston Herald:

Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev, Dzhokhar TsarnaevUMass flunking Marathon test

Secrecy on detained students 
is suspect

UMass/Dartmouth officials continue to stonewall on the issue of releasing information on the records of four students now in custody in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing.

The taxpayers, whose hard-earned dollars keep the place in business, should be outraged.

“We are prohibited from releasing such records by [the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act],” insisted school spokesman John Hoey. “Our interpretation of the law indicates that that information is confidential.”

Note that little “our interpretation” caveat.


Not buying it, eh, Shelly?

After pointing out the academic deficiencies of Tsarnaev and his “buddies, Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, both Kazakhstan nationals, and Cambridge resident Robel Phillipos” (not to mention the “cash cow” status of the two full-freight-paying Kazakhs), Cohen concludes thusly:

There is a level of moral bankruptcy at play here — not just on the part of these “students” — and we do use the word loosely. Yes, these three, had they spoken up instead of covering up, might have saved the life of MIT police officer Sean Collier and saved the community 24 hours of trauma.

But there is also a kind of moral bankruptcy on the part of university officials who are now complicit in withholding records that might reflect as badly on the administration of this school as they do on the former students now in federal custody.


Crosstown at the Boston Globe, almost predictably there’s a more empathetic take on the UMass/Dartmouth administration. From Adrian Walker’s column:

UMass Dartmouth a shaken campus

walkera.pngDARTMOUTH — Gazing out at the college quad, the new chancellor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth wonders whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had watched his classmates as they gathered to mourn the three people he allegedly had helped murder the day before. A hastily organized vigil was attended by 300 faculty and students on April 16, after Tsarnaev had returned to campus.

“Of all the things that shock me, one of the things that really blows my mind is that he came back here,” Chancellor Divina Grossman said Friday. “He came back to our dorm. He came back to use the gym. He was among us. That is incomprehensible to me.”

Grossman, who is completing her first year at the helm of the school, suddenly finds herself presiding over an institution in crisis.


In the course of an stunningly uncritical piece, Walker does note this: “The arrests have prompted self-examination at the school, Grossman said. The students’ poor grades have raised questions about how they managed to stay in school at all. One of them, Dias Kadyrbayev, had flunked out.”

And then come the ten most feared words in the English language:

“It’s clear to me that we need a task force,” she said. “We need to review all our policies and procedures. We have to look at everything we did. We owe it to the Commonwealth, we owe it to the people who died, and we owe it to the faculty and students here.”


Just one question: Could Shelly Cohen be on the task force?

A Tale of Two Columnists (Jason Collins Edition)

May 1, 2013

Joe Fitzgerald plays yin to Adrian Walker’s yang in the local dailies today regarding Jason Collins’ coming-out party. Here’s how Walker starts out his Boston Globe column:

Jason Collins’ quiet facilitator

When Jason Collins got in touch with his friend US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III a few weeks ago, Kennedy had little idea what he wanted to talk about.

The former Stanford roommates agreed to meet in person, before the Marathon bombing upended Kennedy’s schedule. When they finally caught up by phone, Collins had major news: He was gay, and he was going to become a trailblazer, by becoming the first active major-sport American athlete to come out.

Kennedy told him, “This has been a long week, but you just put a smile on my face,’’ the congressman recalled in a telephone inter view.


Later in the piece, Joe K 3.0 says “Jason is a great guy and a great friend . . . He is someone I’ve literally and figuratively looked up to. He’s a historical figure now, but he’s still the same great friend I know.”

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, Joe Fitzgerald isn’t so impressed:

STON3693.JPGJason Collins isn’t courageous; just trendy

In telling the world of his sexuality through a cover story in Sports Illustrated, a now openly gay NBA journeyman named Jason Collins is being hailed as courageous and heroic, two weeks after we saw what those words really mean here on the streets of Boston.

Courageous? Heroic? Please.


Later in the piece, Joe Fitz elaborates:

Collins took no risk at all, knowing he’d be the darling of the media, indeed the personification of political correctness. He now has the admiration and affection of multitudes who didn’t know his name two days ago.

That’s heroic? No. Honest? OK. So he’s honest.

But, let’s get real: Being gay in 2013 is no more daring than being a Rotarian.


Yeah, maybe. In Boston. But get back to us after Collins has finished his next road trip.