December 5, 2016
As the hardreading staff painstakingly chronicled, the Boston Globe dropped Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead comic strip last August. At the time of the Zipectomy, we had this to say about the management at the stately local broadsheet:
Boston Globe editor Brian (Hey – let’s reimagine the paper! We can use John Henry’s garage!) McGrory has now become a first-ballot entry into the Comic Strip Hall of Shame.
Well, we officially take that back, because Zippy himself is back. McGrory’s media culpa appears on page 2 of today’s Globe.
From our Before ‘n’ After desk, here are Saturday’s comics pages.
And here are today’s.
And the triumphant return of Zippy.
We’d like to think we had something to do with the Globe’s coming to its senses, but we doubt that’s the case. Still, live and let learn, that’s our slogan.
November 25, 2016
As both the Boston Globe and the New York Times noted several weeks ago, Zoë Madonna has started a 10-month gig as classical music critic for the Globe, which is receiving financial support from the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation (details on the SCFM pilot program here).
Madonna filed what seems to be her maiden piece on November 10 (hard to know for sure because the Globe’s search engine is a total trainwreck), but today she got the whole Names page.
In the Globe story announcing Madonna’s arrival, editor Brian McGrory had this to say:
“We could not be more delighted to participate in this novel experiment with such worthy partners. We are excited about the benefit to our industry, to some of the great cultural institutions of Boston, and most especially to our readership, which will very much appreciate the proven talents of this young critic.”
The Times piece, on the other hand, addressed the part that might not be so beneficial: “[T]he new Globe arrangement raises journalistic questions, since some of the nonprofits that will help foot the bill for its critic come from the very music world Ms. Madonna will assess.
McGrory told the Times the Globe “would be on the lookout for potential conflicts and work to avoid them.”
The hardreading staff has no reason to doubt the purity of the Globe’s intentions or the integrity of Ms. Madonna’s work. We wish them both good luck in keeping the camels out.
November 17, 2016
Uniqlo has come to Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, an opening the giant Japanese retailer announced with a four-panel wrapper around today’s Boston Globe that featured this:
But here’s what the headscratching staff found puzzling: When we picked up today’s Boston Herald, we found something different.
Wait, what? The store is open today for Globe readers but not until tomorrow for their tabloid counterparts?
Is Uniqlo worried about some kind of Jets and Sharks rumpus?
Or do they just not want the riff and faff cluttering up the store its first day.
November 10, 2016
Is there anything that is not for sale at the $tately local broadsheet?
The hardreading staff has chronicled many a money-making scheme at the Globe over the past several years, from double-dipping on the Prouty Garden dustup at Boston Children’s Hospital to Garden-variety promotion for Delaware North/Boston Properties real estate developments to the Globe’s Citgo sign conflict of interest.
Then there was this in yesterday’s Election Hangover edition of the paper.
Apparently, the Globe is willing to slap an advertiser’s logo on virtually any piece of editorial content. (See also how Suffolk University and Steward Health Care colonized the Globe’s Capital section a while back.)
But . . . Herb Chambers? On an electoral map? What – we’re supposed to drive across the border before president-elect Donald J. Trump gets a chance to wall us in?
Then again, don’t look for logic from the Globe nowadays. Just logos.
November 7, 2016
As we approach ski season, the Boston Globe revived its Chill section yesterday (totally useless Globe search engine link here), which was created specifically to attract winter sports advertisers, but apparently does not.
Ironic Page One headline:
Now call the (pay)roll:
There are two quarter-page ads (one for Summit Ski Shop, one for Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods) and one full-page ad (for Country Ski & Sport) in the 12-page section, but all the other ads are for the Boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo, including this two-page center spread.
In other words, Chill is just a big house ad for one of the Globe’s extracurricular activities.
The whole thing reminds us of the Chad Mitchell Trio’s classic “Super Skier.”
And two one-legged skiers went from there . . .
Sounds like the Globe moving to State Street, yeah?
October 18, 2016
This is getting really flagrant.
As the hardreading staff has noted multiple times, the Boston Globe has put on a full-court press over the past week promoting the proposed expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital.
Last week it was an op-ed piece from former Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation president Michael Widmer urging state officials to get off their duffs and approve the expansion, already. Problem was, the Globe failed to mention that Widmer sits on the hospital’s Board Committee for Community Service.
On Sunday, this Globe editorial urged the state’s Public Health Council to approve the project.
Now today comes this op-ed by Jack Connors Jr., chairman emeritus of Partners HealthCare. The piece ends this way:
Hospitals around New England and beyond are referring their most challenging pediatric cases to the talented professionals at Boston Children’s Hospital. These clinicians have dedicated their lives to caring for children with the most complex medical needs. We need to come together and give them our support. We need to let them prepare for a better future for our children and grandchildren. There are so many families who rely on Boston Children’s today — and will rely on it in the future — who will be eternally grateful.
So, that’s three pro, no con for those of you keeping score at home.
As the Globe has been stacking the deck editorially, Children’s has been running full-page ads in the paper also touting the expansion. Here is today’s ad-ition:
At this point, the only balance the Globe seems concerned with is its checking account balance.
October 17, 2016
At this point, it’s hard not to think that the Boston Globe is so far in the tank for the proposed Children’s Hospital expansion, they should be wearing scuba gear on Morrissey Boulevard.
As the hardreading staff noted last week, the Globe ran this op-ed piece by former Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation president Michael Widmer on Wednesday. Widmer argued that there’s been too much shilly-shallying over approving the expansion and that state agencies should step aside and let Children’s get on with it.
What did not get mentioned in the op-ed piece is that Michael Widmer sits on the hospital’s Board Committee for Community Service.
Making things look even worse, this full-page ad also ran in last Wednesday’s Globe.
Sure looks like the left hand does know what the right hand is doing. (Another full-page Children’s ad ran last Friday.)
And then came this editorial in yesterday’s Globe.
A yes for Children’s Hospital project
A STATE PANEL’S upcoming vote on a $1 billion building project proposed by Boston Children’s Hospital comes down to this: Will allowing one of the nation’s most prestigious pediatric care centers to become bigger also drive up medical spending statewide and cause irreparable harm to Children’s competitors? The short answer: It doesn’t have to. Concerns about the project’s ripple effects are legitimate, but they don’t outweigh the need to upgrade a hospital that provides life-saving care to thousands of children from Massachusetts and around the world.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, it’s quite possible that everyone at the Globe is just swimming in their own lane and there’s no concerted effort to boost the fortunes of a deep-pockets advertiser. (We count at least six full-page ads over the past seven months.)
But when the paper won’t even properly identify a Children’s board member using the Globe’s op-ed page to flack for the hospital, you really start to wonder.