BG’s Mark Shanahan Stiffs Another Local Journo

May 16, 2017

As the hardreading staff has noted on multiple occasions, Boston Globe Names columnist Mark Shanahan regularly, er, re-curates the work of other Boston journalists.

Exhibit Umpteen: The Dennis Lehane/Emerson College Commencement Rumpus.

Monday’s Names column featured this Lehane interview with Emily Sweeney.

Representative sample:

What are some of the places you miss out here in Boston?

Oh God, I miss everywhere. I miss everywhere. The list is truly endless. I get jealous when my friends call me and bitch about [expletive] weather. Just the list of places is just too long to go into. I miss everything about that city.

Well, we miss you, too.

Aaaaw . .


But this Boston Magazine Daily piece by Spencer Buell yesterday presented a very different portrait of Lehane.

Dennis Lehane Apologizes for Using the N-Word in His Emerson Speech

“I should have known better.”

Author Dennis Lehane has apologized after receiving backlash for his use of the n-word during his Emerson commencement speech Sunday.

“Hurting people with the use of that word, of all words, was about as far from my intention as one could get, but I take ownership of the result,” he says in a statement. “I should have known better.”

In the speech, which cautioned against romanticizing the past, Lehane told a story about growing up in the 1970s during Boston’s busing crisis, when racial divisions in the city spiked over school desegregation.

He described driving with his family in a car through a swarm of protesters on Broadway in South Boston. The demonstrators had “hung effigies” of federal judge Arthur Garrity Jr. and Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, and were “lighting them on fire with torches,” he recalled. He added, “They were screaming, ‘N—s out.’”


That’s all well and good: Two different news outlets with two different news angles. Business as usual.

The problem comes today, with this no-attribution follow-up from Shanahan.

Dennis Lehane apologizes for using racial slur in Emerson speech

Author Dennis Lehane has apologized for using a racial slur during his commencement speech at Emerson College Sunday. Lehane, a Dorchester native best known for his novels “Mystic River” and “The Given Day,” used the N-word while talking about the protests in South Boston during the busing crisis of the 1970s.

“I will never forget this for the rest of my life. We were trapped in the back of a car,” Lehane told graduates. “We couldn’t move. We could just be buffeted down the street. And they had hung effigies of Arthur Garrity, who was a judge at the time, of Teddy Kennedy, and they were lighting them on fire with torches. And they were screaming, ‘N—s out.’”

There were apparently complaints after the speech because Lehane issued a statement Monday morning apologizing for using the slur.


Here’s our complaint: Once again, Shanahan has cribbed material from another reporter without attribution.

Google News time check around midnight Monday:



C’mon, man – be a mensch and give credit where credit’s due, yeah?

That Dog Gone Tessa (Psychic Friend Edition)

February 20, 2013

When last the hardreading staff heard from estimable local author Dennis Lehane, he seemed to have come to his senses regarding the Lehane family’s Javertesque search for its lost dog, Tessa. Via the Boston Herald (the go-to site for Tessanalia) last month:

2b852b_lehaneLehane says he’ll take down missing dog fliers

Crime scribe Dennis Lehane says he’ll take down the fliers volunteers have posted around Brookline in the quest to find his missing dog after the town said they violated town bylaws.

“I can see the town of Brookline’s point. And there’s no reason we should expect preferential or selective treatment because of my last name,” Lehane said today in the statement.

The town yesterday told Lehane that the hundreds of fliers put up all over town had to be taken down by Monday.


Cut to the We Hear section of yesterday’ Inside Track:

Picture 1


The item:

Picture 4


Seriously? An elderly couple in Lynn?

Only in the Herald.

That Dog Gone Tessa (Lehane Exits Brookline Edition)

January 12, 2013

According to our dogged local tabloid, Dennis (Call Me Javert) Lehane is giving up his Brookline canine patrol for his runaway pooch Tessa.

From today’s Boston Herald (web edition):

2b852b_LehaneLehane says he’ll take down missing dog fliers

Crime scribe Dennis Lehane says he’ll take down the fliers volunteers have posted around Brookline in the quest to find his missing dog after the town said they violated town bylaws.

“I can see the town of Brookline’s point. And there’s no reason we should expect preferential or selective treatment because of my last name,” Lehane said today in the statement.

The town yesterday told Lehane that the hundreds of fliers put up all over town had to be taken down by Monday.


But wait! There’s more!

From today’s Boston Globe:

People Dennis Lehane Dog.JPEG-03d81Brookline will hold off on removing Lehane’s fliers

Brookline is going to sit on an order to remove numerous fliers posted around town for author Dennis Lehane’s missing dog, Tessa. Town Administrator Melvin Kleckner said in an e-mail Friday night that, with an offer by the Animal Rescue League to facilitate, he’s directed Brookline’s Department of Public Works to hold off on taking down the signs “in the hopes that a more coordinated and reasonable approach on posting signs can be worked out.”


Actually, there’s been more than enough coordination in this doggie crusade.

But reasonable?

You tell us.

That Dog Gone Tessa (Mean Brookline Edition)

January 11, 2013

Last week the hardwalking staff at Campaign Outsider reported on the flood of Lost Dog flyers in the Brookline Village area compliments of local author Dennis Lehane, whose pursuit of his runaway pooch Tessa is positively Javertesque.

Now comes the backlash. From today’s Boston Herald:

BI1E2289.JPGOfficial hounding Dennis Lehane on fliers

A by-the-book Brookline bureaucrat is giving crime scribe Dennis Lehane until Monday to pull down all the fliers throughout town for his beloved missing beagle.

The heart-wrenching ultimatum all but dooms the search for Lehane’s runaway pooch.

“There is a town bylaw that prohibits that,” said Brookline Public Works Commissioner Andrew M. Pappastergion. “It was a hardship. They were trying to find the dog and we turned our eyes away for a week. They’ve been up there for two weeks and there are hundreds.”


The piece also quotes a Brookline dog owner who says she’s “very, very upset with this town. It’s very disconcerting to me. They are not littering. They are posting on lampposts. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.”

Some Herald readers, however, aren’t as sympathetic. Representative samples:

Picture 2

Picture 1


That’s in bad taste, eh?

But it’s the pitchforks that are out at Lehane’s Finding Tessa Facebook page, as Erin Clossey noted on her Brookline Tab blog last night:

Picture 3


Clossey ends her post, “God, I hope they find this dog soon.”

Amen, Erin. Amen.

Our Dogged Local Tabloid (Dennis Lehane Edition)

January 4, 2013

When the Boston Herald gloms onto a good human interest story, it’s like a dog with a bone.

And that goes double for the sad tale of author Dennis Lehane’s dog Tessa, who’s been missing since Christmas Eve.

Today the feisty local tabloid devotes a full page to the dog hunt:

BI1E2265.JPGLehane family ‘can’t give up’

As temps plunge, desperate search for Tessa

Best-selling crime writer Dennis Lehane and his wife, Angie, announced yesterday they are 
offering a cash reward for the safe return of their beloved beagle, 
Tessa, as overnight temperatures have plunged into single digits and days stretch on without word of where she could be.

“We just want her home — want her back with my kids, back with my dogs — we just want her to be happy,” Dennis Lehane said yesterday, addressing whomever may have the pooch.

“So If you can do that, believe me, there won’t be a single question asked … she just needs to come home,” he said.


This is the umpteenth piece the Herald has run on the runaway pooch. If the Herald web archives weren’t the unmitigated disaster they are, we’d link you to a bunch of them. But this is what you get when you plug Dennis Lehane into the search box:

Picture 3


And then, this:

Picture 4


Anyway, the Boston Globe is also covering the story, but on a more modest level. From today’s Names:

chin010313lehanedog_liv04-Dennis Lehane and friends continue search for lost dog

Boston author Dennis Lehane asked his social media followers on Thursday to help him continue his search for his lost dog, Tessa. Lehane invited supporters to meet him at the Stop & Shop in Brookline and at the McDonald’s in Brighton where he and his family and friends put up signs with Tessa’s picture and contact information. Lehane, who reported the rescue dog’s disappearance late last month, has said that he’ll name a character in his next book after anyone who locates the pup. Tessa is a black and tan beagle. Lehane says that if you see her, don’t chase her. There are tips for approaching lost dogs on Lehane’s Finding Tessa Facebook page.


That’s the long and short of it.

Herald to Globe: Wrong, Baby, Wrong

October 10, 2012

It started out small, the second of two seemingly mundane corrections:

That’s what appeared in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Here’s what appeared in today’s Boston Herald, compliments of the Track Gals (and Megan!):

Globe won’t ‘Live’ down this blunder

Bestselling Boston writer Dennis Lehane blasted the Globe yesterday, saying the Boring Broadsheet called him racist in a Sunday book review. Trouble is, the “Magical Negro” character that the Globe reviewer claimed Lehane created in his new book is white!

“Accusing a writer of engaging in racial stereotypes is accusing a writer of racism,” Lehane told the Track. “That’s not something you should do casually or without your doing your homework. To call me out for creating a racist stereotype of an African-American character when that character is, in fact, Caucasian is offensive on a multitude of levels.”

The reviewer, Eugenia Williamson, wrote this according to the Globe’s website:

The novel’s flaws converge during a stunningly embarrassing scene in which Joe meets a character named Turner John, a wise yet humble bootlegger and self-described “champeen in the snoring.” Although Joe’s been sent to put a hit on him, instead Turner John tugs at his heart strings with a soliloquy written in dialect: “I had me a fine daddy. Only beat me hard when I had it coming and never when he’d taken to drink,” he says. “You want my money, Mr. Coughlin? Well then you best set to working with me and my boys on the mash and helping us work our farm, till the soil, rotate the crops, milk the cows. You follow?” Does Joe kill Turner John or make his father proud? You decide.

Except that’s not all she wrote. The Globe has removed her references to Turner John as “what Spike Lee would call a magical Negro” and an “African-American bootlegger.”

Except he’s not.

Lehane’s pretty lathered up about this, calling the correction a “pseudo retraction” and  telling the Track “For (Globe editor) Marty Baron, (book editor) Nicole Lamy or the reviewer to then not have the simple decency to contact me and say, ‘Sorry we implied you were a racist, Dennis,’ shows a serious lack of class on their part.”

Eric Randall at Boston magazine’s Boston Daily blog has a smart follow-up:

Dennis Lehane got so angry at a Globe review of his new book Live By Night that accused him of creating a stereotypical “Magical Negro” character, that he learned to use Facebook so he could turn the tables and call the review racist. And not because he says his character isn’t an African American stereotype but because he says his character isn’t an African-American at all. Well played, Lehane.

Randall also includes a link to Lehane’s Facebook page.

Go, baby, go.