Boston Globe Still Won’t Note Nancy Gertner Conflict

June 7, 2018

One week ago the hardreading staff noted that the Boston Globe allowed former federal judge Nancy Gertner to sandblast Gov. Charlie Baker in an op-ed for opposing “Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley’s [sentencing] of [Manuel] Soto-Vittini to probation for possession with intent to distribute 15 grams of heroin and a small amount of cocaine.”

As we wrote then:

But wait – isn’t Nancy Gertner a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez? It sure appears that way from this item in Lauren Dezenski’s Politico Massachusetts Playbook last fall.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Former US Federal Judge Nancy Gertner hosted a fundraiser for Dem gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez at her Brookline home last night, the Gonzalez campaign tells me.

Globe readers might have wanted to know that in considering Gertner’s takedown of Charlie Baker, don’t you think?

 

Well, Globe readers still don’t know that, even as the Judge Feeley rumpus hits 11. Memo to Globe editorial page editor Ellen Clegg: Time to fess up, yeah?

Then again, the Globe isn’t alone in giving Gertner a free pass.

CommonWealth Magazine’s Michael Jonas also failed to note her conflict of interest (“[Baker’s] remarks appear to have been the last straw for former federal judge Nancy Gertner, who pens an op-ed in today’s Globe ripping Baker’s comments as a “Trump lite” echo of the president’s habit of “trashing judges with whom he disagrees.”), and MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius also links to Gertner’s op-ed with no disclaimer.

In the end, it’s absolutely Gertner’s responsibility to disclose her vested interest in attacking Charlie Baker. But news outlets should be exercising due diligence as well.

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State of the Cuisinart Marketing in the Boston Dailies

June 5, 2018

It’s not as if the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald have stuck advertising and editorial into a blender and hit puree. But they’re getting closer. Take, for example, today’s editions of the local dailies.

Here’s page 23 of today’s Herald.

 

 

What we have here is a half-page ad for Parker Professional Driving School right beneath an article about the school with this sort-of byline.

 

 

So, from all appearances, Parker paid for roughly five-sixths of the page but only half of it is clearly an ad. About a week ago there was a similar aditorial in the Arts section of the stealthy local tabloid.

 

 

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, transparency is the responsibility of the media outlet, not the advertiser. Here’s how the aditorial dance works: The less it appears to be an ad, the better it is for the advertiser, since the content can bypass the consumer’s factory-installed skepticism about advertising. As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the trend at the Herald is definitely toward minimal transparency.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the $tately local broadsheet has allowed a marketer to get to second base with Love Letters columnist Meredith Goldstein. As we previously noted, ever since April the column has been leased out to – sorry, presented by – the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Today, the relationship got even chummier.

 

 

(To be clear graf #2 goes here)

To be clear, there’s no stealth involved in this pairing – it’s all entirely transparent. But there’s a growing monetization of editorial content occurring at the Globe (see here and here) that brings to mind the term “slippery slope.”

Watch this space.


Boston Globe & Herald Provide a Tale of Two RFKs

June 4, 2018

In a city where opinions about the Kennedy family have been a jump ball for, like, ever, it’s no surprise that yesterday’s Boston dailies would deliver decidedly different remembrances of Robert F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his murder in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen.

Let’s begin with this front-page piece in the Boston Sunday Globe by David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and former Boston Globe Washington bureau chief.

A voice stilled at 42, but still very much alive

RFK’s assassination made his mark in history forever a question of why might have been

For 12 weeks he traveled the country, up and down the coasts, to Indiana the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed; to Nebraska, where he won a vital primary in a devoutly conservative state; to Oregon, where he suffered the first political loss by any member of his family; and then to California, where he vowed to go on to the Democratic convention “and let’s win there,’’ only to walk through a hotel kitchen where it all — the campaign against a long war, the campaign for a new sense of national purpose — tumbled to an end with an outstretched arm and spray of gunfire.

And then, for 50 years — a half-century of memories and myths — men and women of a certain age, and millions of Americans uncertain of what might have been, have disagreed about the meaning of Robert F. Kennedy’s life but have a curious, almost eerie, agreement about the meaning of that presidential campaign. Many he touched, and even some who were not moved by his insurgency against a sitting president of his own party, cursed his death at the time — and today almost inevitably employ a four-letter word to describe the meaning of his final years:

“He had a sense of hope for a better life for people of color,’’ said Antonia Hernandez, a former Edward M. Kennedy aide on Capitol Hill who now is president of the California Community Foundation.

 

Shribman’s piece is The Full Bobby, complete with four consecutive “hope” quotes and this declamation:

“In some ways, he and Malcolm X were bigger losses than John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, because Malcolm and Bobby were both evolving figures,’’ said Douglas D. Ross, assistant secretary of labor in the Clinton administration and author of “Robert F. Kennedy: Apostle of Change,’’ published shortly after the senator’s assassination. “Today he stands as the last person to put together minorities and white working-class voters. . . . Bobby was the only political figure who could create a different kind of coalition.’’

 

But . . .

Bobby was also a political figure who could create a different kind of . . . depiction.

Cue Boston Herald columnist and professional Kennedy hater Howie Carr.

Let’s not polish halo for St. Bobby just yet

Stand by for a torrent of slobbering stories about Robert F. Kennedy as the 50th anniversary of his assassination approaches Wednesday.

The main speaker at the official ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery will be Bill Clinton. I kid you not — Bill Clinton!

Look, of course it’s terrible that RFK was murdered at the age of 42, leaving behind all those kids and Ethel pregnant with the last of them. But since his passing, there’s been even more historical revisionism about Bobby than with almost any of the other liberal icons.

 

Drive liberals nuts grafs:

As attorney general in 1963, RFK authorized the FBI bugs on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That’s why he lost the Oregon primary just before he was assassinated. Hoover dropped a dime on him, although of course Bobby had his reasons for signing off on that earlier FBI Spygate.

Hoover had just killed a Senate investigation into one of JFK’s favorite White House hookers, an alleged East German spy named Ellen Rometsch, and … well, one hand washes the other in the Deep State, then as now.

Despite all the millions of gallons of ink that have been spilled about his “growth” and “evolution” in the groovy Sixties, Bobby was indisputably a homophobe and an anti-Semite.

 

Pick your poison – or your person – yeah?


Boston Globe Ignores Gertner Conflict of Interest

June 1, 2018

Today’s Boston Globe features this op-ed from retired federal judge and Harvard Law professor Nancy Gertner.

Irresponsible attacks on a fine judge

Just when we have finally come to see the opioid crisis as both a public health and public safety problem, Governor Charlie Baker and others would have us careen in the opposite direction.

Take the case of Manuel Soto-Vittini of Peabody. Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley sentenced Soto-Vittini to probation for possession with intent to distribute 15 grams of heroin and a small amount of cocaine. Soto-Vittini had no criminal convictions, just a dismissed drug-possession charge from a decade ago, when he was 22.

 

Gertner says, “Judge Feeley’s decision to impose probation was or should have been unremarkable. Instead, it was greeted with protests, vituperative newspaper columns, and most outrageous of all, calls for his impeachment.”

First one in Gertner’s dock: Charlie Baker.

Governor Charlie Baker called Judge Feeley’s sentence “ridiculous and outrageous.” Worse, in a moment that can only be called “Trump lite” in its resemblance to Trump’s habit of trashing judges with whom he disagrees, Baker suggested that the courts deal with Judge Feeley just as it had with the judge who was suspended for inappropriate sexual conduct in his chambers.

 

Gertner ends the piece with this: “Governor Baker, you should know better.”

But wait – isn’t Nancy Gertner a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez? It sure appears that way from this item in Lauren Dezenski’s Politico Massachusetts Playbook last fall.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Former US Federal Judge Nancy Gertner hosted a fundraiser for Dem gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez at her Brookline home last night, the Gonzalez campaign tells me.

 

Globe readers might have wanted to know that in considering Gertner’s takedown of Charlie Baker, don’t you think?


Boston Herald Diaspora Landing at Boston Globe

June 1, 2018

As our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town noted in their Hexit Watch™ a couple of months ago, it didn’t take long for former Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen to get back in the newspaper business after exiting the shrinky local tabloid.

Two months ago her Globe op-ed Befriending the Stranger featured this tag.

Last month her op-ed on the Democrats’ Pelosi problem had a slimmer tag.

Today, Cohen’s op-ed about John Kasich has her on (editorial) board at the Globe.

Good move by the Globe adding a smart, tough, reasonable voice to their opinion pages.

Another Herald escapee – Matt Stout – seems to have gone in a reverse direction. Stout jumped to the Globe in early March, starting off with this web piece.

 

 

So there he’s Globe Staff. But since then, he’s been Globe Correspondent.

 

 

So the headscratching staff went to – where else? – Twitter for the tiebreaker.

We’ll just leave it at that.

 

 


Mass. DPH Ad Strokes Boston Globe, Not Herald

May 15, 2018

From our Late to the Get Well Party desk

The hardreading staff has been remiss in failing to note this half-page ad that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health ran over the weekend in the Boston Sunday Globe.

 

 

The ad – wait for it – did not run in the Boston Herald.

We have no statistical basis for this, but the hardguessing staff can’t believe that Herald readers don’t experience strokes in proportionally equal numbers to Globe readers.

So we’ll be contacting the DPH to ask why the ad did not also run in the thirsty local tabloid.

We will, as always, keep you posted.


Boston Detective Union Heralds Sean Gannon Salute

May 11, 2018

Most of you splendid readers know the story of Yarmouth police Sgt. Sean Gannon, who was killed last month serving an arrest warrant in Marston Mills.

Today’s Boston Herald features an update in which Jordan Frias reports on “detailed information about the moments leading up to the shooting death of Yarmouth K-9 Sgt. Sean Gannon and the surrender of his alleged shooter Thomas Latanowich.” The new details come from Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe’s office.

Several pages before that piece, Herald readers saw this full-page ad.

 

 

Interestingly, the ad did not run in the Boston Globe, which presumably was no less sympathetic to the fallen officer than the Herald was.

Regardless, the hardsearching staff was unable to find any connection between Sgt. Gannon and Roger Berkowitz or George Regan. So we contacted the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society for enlightenment. We’re still waiting for an answer but we will, as always, keep you posted.