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.

Globe Fails to Deliver Delivery-Fail Story

December 26, 2013

From our One Town, Two Places desk

Once again the local dailies live in parallel universes.

Today’s Boston Herald front page:


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The inside story:

A Christmas delivery meltdown that saw retailers and shippers failing to del­iver gifts on time for the holiday could spur an upheaval — and even a backlash — in online shopping, experts said yesterday, as consumers took to social media to vent their spleen.A UPS delivery man prepares to deliver packages on Christmas Eve in New York

“I think too much was promised because the 
industry and the carriers
 underestimated how much demand there will be for
that last-minute type of delivery. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a lot of consumers and stores alike were really besieged at the last moment,” said Jon Hurst, president of the 
Retailers Association of Massachusetts.


Reaction by Herald commenters was decidedly mixed.


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Inevitably, the feisty local tabloiders wound up turning on each other:


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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the story was . . . lost in transit.

Today’s stately local broadsheet has nothing on the carriers putting the X in Xmas, but it did have this helpful primer on returning gifts.

The garish sweater from your aunt. The Chia Pet from your brother-in-law. The PlayStation game from a grandmother who forgot you have an Xbox. Getting rid of unwanted gifts is as much a holiday tradition as receiving them.AP103518433181

About one-third of consumers returned at least one gift last year, according to the National Retail Federation, and many still do it the old-fashioned way: at a store’s customer service counter.

But before you get in line, take some basic steps to make it less aggravating.

Most crucially, if you received a receipt with your gift, keep it until you are sure you won’t be returning the item, said Edgar Dworsky, the Somerville-based founder of the consumer advocacy and education site


Really? A lot of people include a receipt with their Christmas presents? The hard gifting staff had no idea.

One last thing: This time, at least, the Herald had the better nose for news. The Wall Street Journal had the carrier meltdown on its front page today, and the New York Times ran it on D1 of the Business section.

Season’s Beatings in the daily bakeoff, eh?

Michael McLean Is an Equal-Opportunity Opportunist

November 15, 2013

Among the many Battle of the Bulger subsidiaries is this one from Michael McLean, son of  James J. “Buddy McLean.

Via Amazon:

The Irish King of Winter Hill: The True Story of James J. “Buddy” McLean

The Irish King of Winter Hill is the story of the rise and fall James J. “Buddy” McLean, from his humble beginnings as a hardworking 41qwK++Q3lL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_truck driver in Boston, to leading the original and now infamous Winter Hill Gang, to his untimely murder in 1965. He will best be remembered for eliminating the McLaughlin Gang from Charlestown during the 1960s McLean-McLaughlin Irish gang war. Buddy, who worked on the Boston docks in the late 1950s and early 1960s with his father’s union card, was also a teamster from Local No. 25. This was a time when gangsters ran the docks. This story is written by Michael McLean, who says, “I have read all the books and the information on the Internet about my father, and most of it is wrong. After talking to his closest friends, I decided I would set the record straight.”


And run ads in the local dailies.

From the Boston Globe:


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From the Boston Herald:


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Like we said: Equal-opportunity opportunist.

And we mean that in the most positive sense.

Whitey Wars in Local Dailies

April 10, 2013

From our Dueling Excerpts desk

For the past three days, the Boston Herald has been excerpting columnist Howie Carr’s new book Rifleman: The Untold Story of Stevie Flemmi, Whitey Bulger’s Partner.

(The hardreading staff suspects that lots of the book is Carr’s Already Told Story of Stevie Flemmi, but we can’t say for sure since we have no intention of actually reading the book or the excerpts.)

Regardless, today’s Herald features the final excerpt in the three-part series:

010504rico‘Rifleman’: Agent Rico and Stevie like blood brothers

FBI always had a place for the thug

Gangster Stevie “the Rifleman” Flemmi is due in Boston in June to testify in his longtime underworld partner Whitey Bulger’s federal murder trial. In today’s excerpt from my new book, “Rifleman,” based on Flemmi’s 2003 confession, he details some of his dealings with corrupt FBI agent H. Paul Rico:

When they first met in 1958, Rico was a young FBI agent and Flemmi was an up-and-coming hoodlum. Pretty soon they were, you might say, thick as thieves.


And etc.

Previous excerpts include this:


Picture 1

And this:


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All three come in the wake of the Boston Globe’s relentless promotion of the Kevin Cullen/Shelly Murphy book Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice. From the Globe’s February 10 front-page advertorial:

51YOYTrt7cLA window into Whitey’s brutal life and mind

New biography traces Bulger’s rise, reign, and the reckoning ahead

As he sits brooding in his drab cell awaiting trial, South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger is telling friends that while he feels tortured by his cramped captivity, with its isolation, strip searches, and dismal food, he is ready and eager for “the big show” — the trial where he will defend his sense of honor if not exactly his innocence . . .

Bulger’s generous view of himself, not as a cunning killer and cynical informer but as a criminal with scruples and a kind of noble romantic, is detailed in a new and comprehensive biography of Boston’s most infamous criminal, to be published this week. Also detailed are all the reasons not to accept his self-serving self-portrait, from his long and murderous career as a gangster to his well-documented history of providing information to the FBI.


That would be Cullen and Murphy’s book, which was not only flogged on the Globe’s front page, but in numerous fiull-page ads like this as well:


Picture 3



The hardguessing staff’s conclusion: The Cullen/Murphy book will do a lot better than Carr’s cut ‘n’ paste job.

We’ll leave it to you to check the Amazon numbers.