Boston Dailies Take Turns Beating One Another

January 14, 2016

. . . on the dopey Chandler Jones story, that is.

Yesterday it was all Boston Herald, starting with this Erin Smith/Laurel Sweet story on page two.

Details of Chandler Jones’ ER visit remain murky

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones was rushed to Norwood Hospital Sunday morning after he showed up at the Foxboro Police Department with a medical Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.11.19 PMemergency, police dispatch records show.

But police officials won’t say what the emergency was and the police chief confirmed information was deleted from dispatch records before they were released to the Herald yesterday.

Dispatch records show Jones arrived at the police station at 7:42 a.m. Sunday and was evaluated by fire and EMS officials before being transported to Norwood Hospital just after 8 a.m.

 

Regardless, Foxboro police Chief 
Edward T. O’Leary did an end run around the Herald’s questions, “[denying] his department and officers had any dealing with Jones over the weekend and 
[adding] the only time he’d ever seen Jones was being interviewed on television.”

That proved to be entirely false. But why get technical about it.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe ate the firsty local tabloid’s dust, running a story on D5 that mentioned the Herald six times in 11 paragraphs.

But today the tables were turned.The Morrissey Boulevardiers have this Jim McBride/Christopher Gasper piece on D1.

Bad drug reaction cited

Source: Jones used synthetic marijuana

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FOXBOROUGH — Chandler Jones had a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana leading to his admittance to Norwood Hospital Sunday, a source familiar with the situation told the Globe Wednesday.

The source said Jones lives near the Foxborough police station and walked there to seek help after he had the reaction.

 

Crosstown the other way, the Fargo Street Gang has a solid follow-up today, but not all the details.

Dispatch records show a Foxboro officer also secured Jones’ residence during the Sunday incident.

“The front door’s open,” the officer says when he arrives at Jones’ home, which is about a block from the station, and later reports: “Yeah, I got his keys off the kitchen table. I was able to lock the front door. If you want to just pass along to the fire he was definitely involved in Class D — Delta — before this happened, just so they know.”

Delta is a police call sign to denote the letter D, while Class D is a category of controlled substances under the state’s drug laws, according to a law enforcement source. Class D drugs include marijuana and some prescription drugs, which can be legal.

 

So there’s more difference between the Boston dailies than how they spell Foxboro(ugh). That’s just swell.

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Boston Heraldsteria! (Prez Ad Spend Edition)

September 1, 2015

First in what we expect will be an endless series

The chronically overcaffeinated Boston Herald jumped on the 2016 presidential campaign ad bandwagon yesterday with this Herald Special Report by Erin Smith and Jack Encarnacao.

Campaign ads will have Mass. appeal

$18M in local spots already booked for 2016

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Presidential candidates and super PACs have already booked more than $18 million worth of ad time on local television through next year — just the start of a more than $300 million presidential bonanza for area TV stations.

With ad buys variously targeting women, men and both older and younger demographics, the campaigns and PACs could make 2016 the most moneyed campaign season ever. But it could also be the last big presidential election of the TV age, before the Internet starts cutting deeply into broadcast ad revenues.

 

First of all, 2016 will not be the last big presidential election of the TV age. Internet ads can mobilize, but nothing amplifies the way television spots do.

Second of all, this part of the Herald piece is pure fantasy:

“There’s so much money that’s going to be spent on television advertising that they will run out of spots,” said Kip Cassino of Borrell Associates, a media research company. “There is going to be more political spending — from last Fourth of July until Election Day 2016 — then [sic] has ever been spent in the history of the nation. It’s going to be more than $16 billion.”

 

$16 billion? Seriously?

Let’s consult a more sober-minded source, shall we?

From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal piece by Patrick O’Connor:

Kantar Media, which tracks TV advertising, predicts overall spending for the 2016 elections will be about $4.4 billion, up roughly 16% from the $3.8 billion candidates and outside groups laid out for cable and broadcast ads in 2012. “TV remains the best way to reach passive voters who are not necessarily looking for information,” said Elizabeth Wilner, who oversees Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.

 

Interestingly, this WSJ graphic directly contradicts the Herald claims by Borrell Associates’ Kip Cassino.

 

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Notice the source of the graphic?

Borrell Associates!

Go figure.


Hark! The Herald! (Michael Goldman/MBTA Edition)

June 24, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

Today’s Boston Herald features the latest in its series of told-you-so front pages.

 

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Helpful close-up:

 

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The story inside focuses on the $300,000 ad campaign the MBTA’s Boston Carmen’s Union has been running for several months.

ON THE CAMPAIGN RAIL

Carmen spent $300G on ads to battle Baker’s MBTA reform

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The powerful Boston Carmen’s Union, in a bid to derail Gov. Charlie Baker’s MBTA reforms, has spent $300,000 on radio ads, organized campaign-style phone banks and poured thousands into the political coffers of key lawmakers and politicians 
overseeing T policy, a Herald 
review found.

The review shows the 6,000-member-strong labor group’s mounting resistance as a top legislative committee has rebuffed Baker’s key reforms . . .

 

The Herald’s Erin Smith and Matt Stout write, “[t]he carmen have put out three radio spots, at a cost of $300,000, so far, with a fourth expected by the end of the week and the campaign isn’t over yet, according to longtime Democratic campaign operative Michael Goldman, who is coordinating the media strategy for Local 589.” (Listen to one here.)

There’s also a radio blitz on local airwaves from the Amalgamated Transit Union, which Goldman says he’s not associated with. Of the union’s “we’re here to help” ads Goldman says, “[our] thing has been positive commercials.”

Positive, maybe, but not all that reliable, as CommonWealth magazine pointed out last month.

One ad says, “Given the advanced age of current equipment and tracks, it’s a miracle that fully 95 percent of the million-plus trips made each year have been completed on time. But the T transit workers won’t be satisfied until that number reaches 100 percent.”

Yeah. Except the Carmen’s Union definition of “completed on time” is . . . “actually happened.” If you define completed on time as “arrived at destination on schedule,” that 95% drops to around 72% (67% this year so far) according to CommonWealth’s Steve Koczlea and Bruce Mohl.

So, once again we see that MBTA=Might Be Totally Accurate.

Or might not.


Hark! The Herald! (Sigma Delta Chi Awards Edition)

April 25, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

Well, the Society of Professional Journalists has announced its annual Sigma Delta Chi awards, and the Boston Herald exercised great restraint by waiting until page 2 to announce its good fortune.

 

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For those of you keeping score at home, that’s Herald reporters Matt Stout and Erin Smith who won a Non-Deadline Reporting award for their coverage of the state’s dreadful foster care system. Congrats to both.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe’s David Abel won a Feature Reporting award for his piece, For Richard family, loss and love. Abel has yet to get a shoutout from the stately local broadsheet, but we’ll give him one here.

Elsewhere in Boston media, WBUR’s Asma Khalid and Shawn Bodden won a Digital Audio award for A Fear Of Going To School: 5 Former Boston Students Reflect On Busing. Kudos to that duo.

A nice haul for the locals, yeah?


Another Advertising UMassage at the Boston Globe

March 19, 2015

As the hardreading staff has repeatedly noted, the University of Massachusetts has slowly been colonizing the Boston Globe, stamping itself on the stately local broadsheet like Marty Walsh on City of Boston signage.

Today’s bit of UMasstery:

 

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If it feels a little unseemly how much UMass and the Globe are joined at the hip pocket, Erin Smith’s Boston Herald piece today only makes it unseemlier.

Institute contractors hit up for Globe mag

UMass PR firm solicited ads for Ted K tribute

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The public relations company representing the University of Massachusetts Building Authority, which hired firms to build the new Kennedy Institute, has acknowledged it solicited those contractors for pricey ads in an upcoming Boston Globe commemorative magazine section.

Julie Kahn, an executive with Regan Communications, said she used a list of vendors provided by the institute, named for the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, to make the sales calls for the ads, which started at $15,000 for a half-page.

 

So. Regan Communications has as clients: 1) the UMass Building Authority, a public agency that “financed and oversaw construction of the Kennedy Institute on the UMass Boston campus;” and 2) the Boston Globe, which is publishing “a special section to mark the opening of the Institute.”

So. Regan Communications gets from one client a list of companies involved in the construction of the Institute and uses it on behalf of its other client to solicit paid ads to celebrate said building.

How convenient.

But . . . how appropriate?

Kahn to the Herald: “It went out to everyone they did business with — everyone who profited. I don’t see a conflict. I was just given a list by the EMK Institute that they wanted me to contact. When you do a roast or someone retires, you call all your vendors to give back. This is very common in this business.”

In the PR business, yes. The question here is about the journalism business.

More of Kahn’s defense:

“A lot of contractors were on that list and most of them said, ‘No, we can’t afford it,’ ” she said. “A handful said yes and 80 or 90 percent said no. If there was pressure, I think we would have had a lot more success.”

 

Fine, but that doesn’t speak to propriety either. Competence, maybe, but not propriety.

(To be sure graf goes here.)

To be sure, the headscratching staff hasn’t settled on whether this mishegoss is the stuff of misdemeanor or felony. We lean toward the former, though. Certainly, it doesn’t sink to the level of the Los Angeles Times/Staples Center train wreck back in 1999.

Even so, given how much the Globe and UMass are playing footsie these days, it really doesn’t look – or smell – all that good for the mately local broadsheet.


Boston Herald Devotes Front Page to Bad Cos

December 11, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

Welcome once again to the parallel universes of the Boston dailies.

Exhibit Umpteen: Today’s coverage of the latest wrinkle in the Decline and Fall of Bill Cosby.

Boston Herald Page One:

 

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The story gets all of page 5, including a column by Bob McGovern and a news report from Erin Smith and Donna Goodison.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the story – not surprisingly – gets buried at the bottom of today’s Names column.

But it’s not just story placement that distinguished the two papers. It’s the language they use that really sets them apart. Just a few examples (feisty tabloid on left, stately broadsheet on right):

embattled funnyman . . . Bill Cosby

potential game-changing legal loophole . . . defamation lawsuit

Cosby’s handlers . . . Cosby’s lawyer and publicist

lurid sexual assault accusations . . .  alleged attack

 

Try it yourself! It’s fun for the whole mishpocheh.


Herald “Undercover” Cab Report Is Underwhelming

July 10, 2014

For two days now the Boston Herald has featured a series called No Fare, which examines the Boston cab industry and holds a bakeoff between the Uber mobile-app car service and traditional taxis. (Sounds like the little brother of last year’s Boston Globe taxidermy of the industry? Let’s not get technical with the filchy local tabloid, eh?)

But the hardreading staff would take issue with today’s front page.

 

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Yeah, that WE GO UNDERCOVER is a bit of an overstatement: The taxis vs. Uber ratings involved Herald reporter Erin Smith’s taking “more than a dozen test trips . . . between Logan International Airport and Kenmore Square, as well as other destinations, over the past week.”

And here’s the result:

 

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Don’t get us wrong – that’s good work, and Smith is hardly responsible for the hyperventilating headlines the Herald editors hatch.

But undercover? C’mon. The Globe had a reporter actually drive a cab in its expose, and better yet, he got into an accident like a real cabdriver.

That’s the Boston way.