Hark! The Herald! (Gingerbread House Edition)

December 3, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

Question: When is a Gingerbread House Decorating Competition more than just flinging some frosting around?

Answer: When a Boston Herald scribe is one of the judges!

First, here’s how the Boston Globe’s Namesniks name-dropped the story:

Local celebs support Home for Little Wanderers

Home_GingerBread-5

There was some fierce competition at The Home for Little Wanderers’ annual Gingerbread House Decorating Competition, held Tuesday at Showcase Cinema de Lux at Legacy Place in Dedham. Among those constructing homes worthy of Hansel and Gretel were former TV anchor Bianca de la Garza, “American Hustle” actresses Erica McDermott and Melissa McMeekin, actress-producer Christy Scott Cashman, Magic 106.7’s Candy O’Terry, Summer Shack’s Jasper White, and baseball scribe Peter Gammons. The event raised $30,000 for The Home for Little Wanderers, which is one of New England’s largest child welfare agencies.

 

That’s okay, but the frosting local tabloid gave a clinic on how to hit the sweet spot.

For starters, give it the top of Page One.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 12.44.43 PM

 

Then give it all of page 16.

 

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Holiday nut graf:

I was lucky enough to judge the competition with Joan Wallace-Benjamin, the president of the Home, our very own Kerry Byrne, Celtics mascot Lucky, Boston Magazine’s Leah Mennies and Magic 106.7’s Chris Shine.

 

And that, my friends, is how it’s done.

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Boston Herald Thinks NAACP = Not Accepting Any Critical Provisions

October 6, 2014

Call it the Watermelon Summit.

The editorial cartoon rumpus at the Boston Herald has arrived at its inevitable destination: A sitdown between Herald editors and the local chapter of the NAACP.

From Sunday’s edition of the flavory local tabloid.

Herald vows to work with Boston NAACP

Curry: Obama cartoon ‘perpetuates stereotype’

The Boston Herald will work with the Boston chapter of the NAACP to address the issues raised by the publication of an editorial page cartoon last week.

The cartoon, focusing on security breaches at the White House, depicted President Obama brushing his teeth as an intruder suggested he try watermelon-flavored toothpaste. Cartoonist Jerry Holbert said he intended no racial overtones and apologized as did the newspaper.

The NAACP yesterday called the Herald apologies “inadequate” and said the publication of the cartoon on the paper’s opinion page “reopened the wounds of race” in Boston. It requested a series of remedies including a community meeting to discuss the editorial page cartoon.

 

That would be Boston NAACP president Michael Curry in the subhead, who got this response from a Herald statement:

​”The Herald has made it clear that this editorial page cartoon was unacceptable in its insensitivity and racial overtones . . .  We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NAACP and meeting with them to address the concerns that arose as a result.”

 

But crosstown at the Boston Globe, the Herald seemed to have a very different message for the NAACP.

Curry said that Herald executives told him they were ready to hear from the black community but had not yet committed to pursuing any action beyond a meeting.

“They said to me that they’re willing to do whatever and they’re expecting to hear from the community at this forum,” he said. “I think what’s important here is they’ve said no to nothing at this point.”

 

Then again, they’ve also said yes to nothing, yes?

Yes.


Whoopi Goldberg Defends Herald Watermelon Man

October 3, 2014

From our Late to the Rescue Party desk

So, to recap:

On Wednesday Boston Herald editorial cartoonist Jerry Holbert sparked a watermelon-flavored rumpus with this ill-advised (and ill-supervised) drawing in the clueless local tabloid.

 

 

holberts-10-01-cartoon

 

Much mishegoss ensued.

(The redoubtable Dan Kennedy has a smart recap of the fiasco here.)

And then . . .

Whoopi.

Via Mediabistro’s FishbowlDC:

Whoopi Goldberg Defends Boston Herald Cartoonist on ‘The View’

In response to a controversial cartoon that appeared in yesterday’s Boston Herald, ”The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg defended the cartoonist on today’s show.

Following information that the Sept. 19 White House fence-jumper made it to the East Room of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue rather than just past the North Portico doors as earlier reported, Jerry Holbert‘s cartoon contribution in yesterday’s print edition portrayed President Barack Obama brushing his teeth with a man behind him asking, “Have you tried the watermelon toothpaste?” and the caption “White House Invader Got Farther Than Previously Thought.”

[Thursday] morning, Goldberg addressed the controversy on “The View,” saying “I don’t believe he did it on purpose. I don’t think he was thinking about it.”

 

Here’s the clip:

 

 

Just for the record: Rosie Perez was having none of it.

Regardless, this is likely the end of it:

 

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Of course, taste was never the Herald’s strong suit, was it?


Boston Herald Editorial Cartoonist Jumps the Fence

October 1, 2014

As the hardreading staff has said on numerous occasions, Boston is blessed not only to be a two-daily town, but a two-cartoonist town as well.

Today, however, it’s a decidedly mixed blessing.

Both line men address the same topic today, but with very different sensibilities – not to mention sensitivities.

The Boston Globe’s Dan Wasserman:

 

1001toonwasserman

 

The Boston Herald’s Jerry Holbert:

 

holberts 10-01 cartoon

 

Seriously? Watermelon flavored?

Quick – get me re-draw.

UPDATE: Actually, someone did call re-draw. From BostonMagazine.com:

[A] similar cartoon posted to an archive of Holbert’s work on GoComics.com doesn’t use the watermelon stereotype—in that version, the toothpaste is raspberry-flavored, even though the rest of the cartoon is drawn up exactly the same:

Obama-1

It’s unclear at what point the choice to use “watermelon” was made before the cartoon went to print and appeared in Wednesday’s newspaper.

 

In fact, it was the other way around, as BoMag‘s update indicates:

Holbert clarified Wednesday that it was his intention to include the term “watermelon” in his cartoon, not thinking about the racial connotations, and the switch to “raspberry” was made by outside editors since his cartoons are syndicated.

Holbert told [Boston Herald radio] that on Tuesday night someone wrote to him and asked if they could change the watermelon reference, and he was “confused” by the request. “I changed it to raspberry and sent it back to them,” he said.

 

Maybe he should have kept it instead.


More Slop on the John Henry/Marty Walsh Hand-Holding in the Boston Globe

June 30, 2014

So, to recap for the umpteenth- hell, just see here.

The question is this: How did Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools wind up as a full-page ad in last Wednesday’s Boston Globe?

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

On Friday, CommonWealth Magazine (which came late – but smart – to the party) reported the issue thusly:

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.

 

But Ms. Clegg had previously told the hardreading staff this:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

C’mon – “[donating] an ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono” and kowtowing to the mayor of Boston aren’t even in the same zip code.

Regardless, Ms. Clegg perpetuated the split decision yesterday in these post-CommonWealth answers to our pre-CommonWealth questions, which took her initial explanation at face value:

• When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh?

Yes.

• Who did the creative/production of the ad?

The Globe’s advertising department.

• Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would appear you donated the ad to Mayor Walsh, raising questions about the appearance of compromising the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

The Globe’s newsroom is independent from the business side of the organization, and from the Globe Foundation, and had no involvement here.

I’m sure you’ve seen the newsroom’s recent scrub of Mayor Walsh’s hiring record (link below). I have confidence that our journalists will continue to scrutinize public officials and powerful institutions, including City Hall.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/09/mayor-martin-walsh-full-time-hires-are-predominantly-male-and-most-are-white/iJMJu3tzDjsXUCrpBgvOVO/story.html

 

Frankly, we’re more interested in scrubbing Ms. Clegg’s record of telling the hardreading staff one thing and CommonWealth another.

From the start of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox, the paper pretty consistently ignored conflicts of interest in his business dealings with the Menino administration (see here and here). If Henry is now dancing to Marty Walsh’s tune, he should own up to that, too.


Wait! Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry IS Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh

June 29, 2014

To recap one more time again:

Last Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

That got the headscratching staff to wondering who paid for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools. So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation (see lower left in the ad) asking just that: Did Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) foot the bill? Did the Globe Foundation? Did no one?

And here’s what Globe lifer Ellen Clegg replied:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

(The hardquizzing staff followed up with an email that asked Ms. Clegg these questions: 1) When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh? 2) Who did the creative/production of the ad? 3) Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would look like you donated the ad not to the BPS but to Mayor Walsh, appearing to compromise the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

(We have yet to hear back.)

Meanwhile, as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed out to us, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed us to this piece in Commonwealth Magazine, where it seems to us Ms. Clegg told a very different story to CommonWealth Magazine (which, frankly, came late to the party):

Globe Foundation gives full-page ad to Walsh

Mayor approached CEO Sheehan for space

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.

 

Yes, well, Ms. Clegg might want to focus on her own message(s). Clearly, she gave us a mere bag of shells.

Wish you hadn’t done that, Ms. Clegg. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. (See 4:45)

 

 

The hardreading staff will call Ms. Clegg tomorrow and try to clarify all this, because turning your newspaper into a mayoral Make a Wish fund is a lot different from “donating an ad to the Boston Public Schools.”

But don’t hold your breath.


Is Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh? (Globe Response Edition)

June 27, 2014

To recap:

On Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

That got the headscratching staff to wonder, Who picked up the tab for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools?

So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation, whose logo appears lower left, asking if they could tell us if Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) paid for the ad space or the Globe Foundation did or if any money changed hands at all.

And here’s the reply we received from Globe stalwart Ellen Clegg:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

Ms. Clegg graciously offered to talk with the hardquizzing staff and we have a call in to her.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.