Boston Dailies (wait for it) Diverge on Gates-gate

April 24, 2015

From our Late to the Ancestral Party desk

The current Henry Louis Gates Jr./Ben Affleck/PBS/Sony Entertainment/WikiLeaks rumpus over the excising of Affleck’s slave-owning ancestry from Gates’s documentary series Finding Your Roots got very different play in Thursday’s local dailies.

Let’s let the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr set the scene.

Lessons in inconvenient truths

Affleck revelation shows that nothing stay hidden nowadays

This week’s celebrity tempest in a teapot is brought to you by Ben Affleck, Henry Louis Gates Jr., PBS, and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. Oh, and WikiLeaks, which, if it had hands, would be rubbing them together 8917b9a34d2c47788d1664887d6c02e1-8917b9a34d2c47788d1664887d6c02e1-0in adolescent glee.

The website, whose editor in chief, Julian Assange, is still living in political asylum at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, recently released tens of thousands of documents left over from the Sony hack late last year — the ones that the original hackers (North Koreans or whoever; the jury’s still out) hadn’t bothered to make public. Among those memos is a back-and-forth between Harvard professor Gates and Lynton about whether to expose the fact that Affleck had ancestors who owned slaves on Gates’s PBS documentary series, “Finding Your Roots.”

 

Affleck asked Gates to omit that part of his ancestry. Gates turned for guidance to Lynton, who said “all things being equal, I would take it out.” But Gates clearly knew it would be wrong to do so, telling Lynton that if the issue ever became public, “It would embarrass [the star] and compromise our integrity. . . . Once we open the door to censorship, we lose control of the brand.”

Well, consider it lost, Henry, since you did omit the Affleck family’s slave-owning past and, according to the lamest press statement since Mark Sanford hiked the Appalachian Trail, “focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry.”

Uh-huh.

Burr’s conclusion: “The stain isn’t that Affleck had ancestors who owned slaves. It’s that he thought we’d think less of him — or his celebrity brand — if we knew. And now, poor schmo, we do.”

A Globe editorial also spanked Affleck: “This Cambridge homeboy needs a reality check. You can edit truth out of movies, but not out of family history.”

Actually, it’s the Boston Globe that needs a reality check.

The issue here isn’t Ben Affleck, who did what most people might instinctively do. The issue is Skip (Journalism 101) Gates.

And the Boston Herald’s Mark Perigard nailed him on it in Thursday’s edition.

‘Roots’ censorship shows host Gates has got to go

Faces of America

Stop stalling, PBS.

You know what needs to be done.

Either cancel “Finding Your Roots” or fire host, executive producer and Harvard professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr.

 

As Perigard notes, Gates could have used this whole kerfuffle as a “teachable moment.”

He could have reminded [Affleck] he is not responsible for the sins of his ancestors.

He could have appealed to his ego and told him his reputation would only be enhanced by 
acknowledging this shameful bit of family history.

He could have informed him that previous guests — including Anderson Cooper, Derek Jeter and Ken Burns — have discovered slave owners lurking in their family trees.

Most critically, Gates should have recognized his own obligation to the truth.

 

But he didn’t.

The great Henry Louis Gates Jr. tried to cover his ass.

And, as Mark Perigard says, his ass should now be fired.

(More, no doubt, to come as we head downstairs for today’s papers.0

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Boston Globe Scooped by Derek Jeter

March 28, 2015

[Editor’s Note: We’ve been told by someone we respect that our previous headline (“More on Dan Shaughnessy’s Papi Smear”) was offensive, and so we have changed it. Your recriminations go here.]

Well this is an excellent rumpus Red Sox stalwart David Ortiz and the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy are having, no? In case you’ve been snowed under by more trivial matters, it started with this piece by Ortiz on Derek Jeter’s website The Players’ Tribune. Most notable, at least in local media terms, was this passage:

In 2013, I came off the DL and started hot. My first 20 games I was hitting like .400. And the reporter with the red jheri curl from The Boston Globe comes into the locker room says, “You’re from the Dominican. You’re older. You fit the profile of a steroid user. Don’t you think you’re a prime suspect?”

He’s saying this with a straight face. I had taken like 70 at-bats. Anybody can get hot and hit .400 with 70 at-bats. I was stunned. Boston Red Sox v New York YankeesI’m like, I’m Dominican? I fit the profile? Are you kidding me?

I wanted to kill this guy. But you can’t react. That’s what they want. They want you to get angry so they can bury you. So I just smiled at him and asked for his address.

“Why do you want my address?” he said.

“Because I just got tested two days ago.” I said. “I’ll mail you the f****ing results.”

(Shaughnessy dismantles Ortiz’ claims in his column today.)

But there’s also this sidebar, via FishbowlNY: “There’s an interesting collateral detail in Richard Sandomir’s NYT look at The Players’ Tribune’s rookie year. When March 26 essay ‘The Dirt‘ was added to the Derek Jeter portal by editor-at-large David Ortiz, it hit the Red Sox paper of record in the gut.”

From Sandomir’s piece:

Within a half-hour of Ortiz’s post being published on The Players’ Tribune on Thursday night, The Boston Globe rushed onto its website a similar article, the product of an interview Ortiz gave March 11 to one of its reporters, Bob Hohler. That piece had been held since last week so it could be the centerpiece of The Globe’s Major League Baseball preview April 5.

“When he filed it, we were wary,” said Joseph Sullivan, the Globe’s sports editor. “I worried about ESPN or Yahoo or The Boston Herald somehow doing a similar story. But I didn’t think about The Players’ Tribune.”

Sullivan added: “Last night was not a good night for me.”

Then again, this morning wasn’t so great for Ortiz.


GlobeSox Owner John Henry Buys Boston Herald!

September 29, 2014

The hardreading staff was cruising through the Boston Globe Sports section this morning and amid the final final farewells to the irreplaceable Number Two, Derek Jeter, Number Two (but not at Fenway Park), we came across this full-page ad.

 

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Our first thought: Yeah, thanks suckers.

Our second thought: Wonder if Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry ran the same ad in crosstown rival Boston Herald.

Oh yes he did.

 

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Good for him, eh?

Only question left: Will the fans be back?

Oh yes they will. Dan Shaughnessy notwithstanding.


Hub Dailies Bid #2 Adieu

September 28, 2014

It’s Sendoff Sunday for Yankee great Derek Jeter as he says so long to baseball and the Fenway Faithful. So it’s not surprising that the local dailies have some parting gifts for the splendid shortstop who, as far as we know, never got a nickname.

From the Boston Globe, it’s a bouquet of stats – Jeter’s career relative to the Red Sox. (On the web here, but graphics not really working.)

 

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Close-up of Jeter’s numbers:

 

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Nice, but a little cold and calculating.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, the sendoff is much warmer.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.19.46 PM

 

And the feisty local tabloid goes into extra innings, as Track Gal Gayle Fee tracks Jeter’s dating average.

 

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Tip o’ the cap to the Herald on this one.


The Yin & Yang of the Globe & Herald

July 18, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk (in cooperation with our Late to the Party desk)

Yesterday’s Boston dailies provided a textbook compare ‘n’ contrast case study on several fronts.

Start with the Boston Herald’s front page:

 

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What followed was Jessica Heslam’s page 2 column about sports radio moron Kirk Minihane’s gutless bitching about FOX Sports fox Erin Andrews’ lame All Star Game interview of groovy St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright:

Vulgar put-down of Erin Andrews won’t score points for WEEI

Super Bowl Football

Boston sports radio station WEEI — which has been trounced by rival “98.5 The Sports Hub” and is taking a ratings beating because of the cellar-dwelling Red Sox — found itself in hot water yesterday after one of its jock talkers made vulgar on-air comments about a female sportscaster.

“Dennis & Callahan” sidekick Kirk Minihane ended up apologizing for his demeaning remarks about Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews, but not before the whole brouhaha had some wondering whether it was all a desperate bid to boost ratings.

 

Groovy. But here’s how the Boston Globe reported it, Metro page 1:

Martha Coakley rips WEEI host for Erin Andrews rant

Stomping onto the dangerous turf of talk radio, gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley called out a WEEI radio host for an on-air tirade in which he lambasted FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews, cursing about her and telling her to “drop dead.”

b7e8a90fbff64d66b9be7bd63c803427-b7e8a90fbff64d66b9be7bd63c803427-0The rant on the “Dennis & Callahan Show” Wednesday morning prompted Coakley to contact a reporter covering the story to weigh in and later prompted an apology from the radio personality.

“Everybody understands fair criticism,” Coakley told Boston.com. “But when it becomes personal, when it’s demeaning, and when it goes over the line as this did, that language is inexcusable, and it’s offensive. I just felt it was important for me to weigh in.”

 

Yeah, that’s really “dangerous turf” – taking a bold stance against sexist buffoonery. The Bay State needs more Profiles in Courage like that.

Meanwhile, here’s what the stately local broadsheet featured on its front page:

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.28.00 AM

 

That stands in stark contrast to the frosty local tabloid’s take:

Gov urged to just say no

Bay State lawmen and lawmakers are urging Gov. Deval Patrick to reject President Obama’s request to shelter some of the thousands of children who have been surging across the nation’s southern border illegally, while immigration advocates are calling the crisis a Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.35.37 AMhumanitarian issue requiring immediate action.

“As long as there are signals being sent out that people can come here illegally and we’re just going to take care of them, then they’re just going to keep on coming,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said yesterday from the Texas border on a fact-finding tour. “Neither the president nor the governor have come down to the border to see what’s happening — had they taken the time to come down, they would understand why sending people to Massachusetts is not the answer.”

 

(Can we just interject here that Tom Hodgson is the biggest media slut this side of Kim Kardashian? Thank you.)

That’s not even to deal with the hiss & hiss treatment of the BRA in yesterday’s local dailies. (Roll your own.)

It’s swell to live in a two-daily town, yeah?