Something Rotten in MA-3 Video Hit on Rufus Gifford

August 27, 2018

To beat or not to beat? That is the question editors at news organizations have to answer when they come into possession of anonymous attacks on political candidates.

Today, Boston Herald editors chose the former.

Rufus Gifford, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark and current candidate in the MA-3 Democratic congressional primary, got whacked by the sketchy local tabloid in this Hillary Chabot column.

Gifford: Political Hit ‘Out of Context’

Video compilation smears 3rd District contender

Top Democratic congressional contender Rufus Gifford says politicians “are pretty good at faking it,” discusses his lack of ties to Boston and details the exhausting process of walking a red carpet in a cringeworthy video released yesterday.

The video, a compilation of Gifford’s own words from Netflix reality series “I Am the Ambassador,” was posted Saturday on an anonymous Dropbox account as an apparent political hit on Gifford. It casts him as an elitist outsider, complete with VIP access to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at Gillette Stadium.

“If I was in L.A. or D.C., I’d probably know more people than I would in Boston ’cause I’ve never lived here as an adult and I’ve never worked here,” Gifford says while watching the game in a luxury suite. He then answers his cellphone.

Punchline: “‘Yeah, it’s a great game. We’ll leave at half time,’ Gifford says.”

Ouch.

Gifford told the Herald that it’s “really unfortunate and extremely disappointing” that someone “would . . . twist my words, take them out of context, and use them in a nasty campaign smear.”

He likely also thinks it’s really unfortunate that the Herald decided to report on the video.

To be sure graf goes here.

To be sure, editorial calls like this one are tough to make, and the Dropbox video would absolutely be newsworthy if it came from one of the other candidates in the 3rd District race.

But given the obscurity of the video and its questionable provenance, somehow this feels more like like the Herald making the news than reporting it.

Two be sure graf goes here.

Before any of you splendid readers level the same charge at the hardworking staff, please consider that 1) we’re engaged in media criticism, not reporting, and 2) we don’t have 40,000 readers.

We should live so long.

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How a Two-Daily Town Works (Tito Jackson Edition)

January 2, 2017

Anatomy of a Local News Cycle

On Thursday, this Meghan E. Irons piece appeared on BostonGlobe.com.

In year-end note, Jackson makes his case to Boston

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City Councilor Tito Jackson, who is considering a run for mayor, has posted a polished, well-laid-out case for himself on social media, articulating his 2016 accomplishments.

The message, complete with glossy pictures of the councilor talking to students, rallying crowds, and holding a bullhorn at City Hall, was not specifically addressed to residents in District 7, which he has represented since 2011. Instead it was directed at the entire city.

“Dear Boston,’’ reads Jackson’s message, which appears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “It has been an eventful year for us all.”

 

With possibly an even more eventful one to come, if Jackson takes on Boston mayor Marty Walsh.

Then, as surely as day follows night, here came Friday’s Boston Herald, Page One.

 

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The story inside:

More signs Tito to take on Marty

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Operatives working for City Councilor Tito Jackson have registered the website titojacksonformayor.com and have drafted the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, further proof the Roxbury pol is gearing up to take on Mayor Martin J. Walsh next year.

Jackson also just posted a flashy “Dear Boston” online message to supporters citywide — pushed out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — outlining what could be his platform for running for mayor . . .

Jackson, the District 7 councilor, has said he’s considering a challenge to Walsh and has increased his campaign fundraising and spending over the past several months.

 

Great sidebar: Bill Hyers, the aforementioned campaign manager for Bill de Blasio, is a partner at the political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions.

But . . .

Hyers is officially “moonlighting” for Jackson, since Hilltop’s New England office is “firmly in Walsh’s camp for the upcoming election,” according to the Herald.

Bring a food taster to their next office party, eh?

(Other Tito takes in Friday’s pushy local tabloid: A sidebar headlined From the ‘Dear Boston’ letter, and Hillary Chabot’s column Trump could give councilor a boost.)

Follow-up on the Tito Watch in Friday’s Globe: Uh . . . no.

So . . .  on to Saturday’s editions.

Once again the Herald was on Tito like Brown on Williamson, devoting all of page 5 to teeing Tito up (Inexplicable Little Green Numbers sold separately).

 

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Crosstown at Saturday’s Globe: Still no.

So . . . on to Sunday’s editions.

The fading local tabloid featured only this 2017 prediction in a column by Boston Herald Radio yakker John Sapochetti.

• Mayor Martin J. Walsh will narrowly win his re-election bid over Tito Jackson.

 

Crosstown at Sunday’s Globe: Even more no.

So . . . today’s editions.

Tito stories in toto: Zero.

See ya next cycle.


Extra! Boston Herald Credits Globe Twice in One Day!

April 25, 2016

From our Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

In the course of covering local events, the Boston dailies often piggyback on one another’s stories, most often without acknowledging that the rival paper got there first. (See, for example, the Boston Globe’s routine drafting off the Boston Herald’s Grand Prix of Boston coverage.)

But sometimes one of the dailies does the right thing. Spoiler alert: It isn’t the Globe.

Page One of yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe featured this piece about Mayor Martin J. Wiretap.

Walsh is drawn into federal labor probe

Before he was mayor, when Walsh was a labor leader, he was heard on a wiretap saying he had warned a developer using non-union workers. Walsh denies it.

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A sweeping federal investigation into allegations of strong-arm tactics by unions has triggered a wave of subpoenas to union leaders, developers, and Boston City Hall staff, bringing scrutiny to Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration and his work as a labor leader before taking office in 2014, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

At issue in the investigation is whether labor officials threatened developers and business people who hired nonunion workers on their projects. Walsh, though apparently not an early focus of the probe, became drawn into it through wiretaps on which he was recorded in 2012, saying he had told a development company it would face permitting problems on a planned Boston high-rise unless it used union labor at another project in Somerville, according to people familiar with the tapes.

 

Well that’s a big story and you knew right off it would be in the Herald today and sure enough it gets a two-page spread.

 

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Nothing unusual there. But what does stand out are the two times the Globe is credited with breaking the story, first in Hillary Chabot’s piece:

Walsh yesterday shook off suggestions that a federal inquiry into labor strong-arming has any connection to his work as mayor. The Boston Globe reported that Walsh as the head of Boston Building Trades Council was heard on a wiretap in 2012 saying he had warned a developer to get union workers on a Somerville project or risk losing Boston permits.

 

Then a second time in this piece by Jack Encarnacao and Laurel Sweet:

The wiretapped statement was captured during a conversation between Walsh, then-head of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, and Laborers Local 22 leader Anthony Perrone, the Boston Globe reported yesterday citing unnamed sources.

 

Good for you, Heraldniks!

And, hey, you Morrissey Boulevardiers: Take a lesson, wouldja?


Boston Herald Radio All Pimped Out to Advertisers

February 20, 2015

As the hardreading staff noted several months ago, the Boston Herald is not exactly covert in its catering to the few advertisers it manages to attract.

The Herald Runs on Dunkin’

As our Walt Whitman desk attests on a regular basis, the Boston Herald is a past master at using its newshole to promote . . . that’s right – the Herald. And now apparently, the fuzzy local tabloid is offering the same sort of ad-itorial package to its advertisers.

Witness the latest installment of the paper’s daily plug for Boston Herald Radio, the webcast that up to several people a day listen to.

 

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Nice bit of venial synergy for Dunkin’ Donuts, eh? Lede of the “interview” at left:

Todd Wallace, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, joined Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” with Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld to talk about the iconic coffee chain’s new products.

 

Now comes this piece from the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Joseph Lichterman about local newspapers that hope online radio can become significant revenue generators. Along the way, Lichterman nails the coffin shut on the thirsty local tabloid’s unabashed willingness to pimp out any part of its editorial content to advertisers.

Advertising has also been slow for Boston Herald Radio, but the station has been able to introduce new forms of advertising by integrating advertisers into segments of its shows. Last fall, a marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts appeared on the Herald’s morning show to promote Dunkin’s new dark roast coffee.

“Sales love it, we love it in programming, and the clients love it,” said Herald Radio executive producer Tom Shattuck.

 

The first and third of those make perfect sense. But . . . we love it in programming?

That’s just sad.


Boston Globe ‘Biden’ Its Time on Touchy-Feelygate?

February 18, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The Boston dailies continue to reside in parallel universes. Page One of today’s Boston Herald:

 

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Hillary Chabot’s column provides the details of the Washington Maul.

Hey Joe: Try being a little less hands-on going forward

Perhaps Joe Biden is already breaking out the charm offensive he’s honed for the 2016 presidential trail and he’s code named it: Joe Biden,  Stephanie CarterLady Killer.

The notoriously inappropriate vice president breached one woman’s personal boundaries yesterday as he swore in Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in the Roosevelt Room.

The gaffe-prone VP put his hands on Carter’s wife’s shoulders from behind for a long time, leaned over and whispered something into her ear, creating an Internet sensation that rippled far throughout the presidential primary battlefield.

 

Plug “Joe Biden” into the Googletron and you get a taste of said Internet sensation.

 

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And that’s not even counting all the tweets that hit the fan.

Crosstown, meanwhile, the Boston Globe has nothing in today’s print edition and just this AP piece up on the web.

New defense secretary vows to protect troops’ safety, dignity

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Ash Carter, sworn in Tuesday as President Barack Obama’s fourth secretary of defense, pledged to offer his most candid strategic advice and carefully consider decisions about sending troops into harm’s way.

Vice President Joe Biden issued the oath of office from the White House, on a Bible held by Carter’s wife, while most of the federal government was closed because of snow. Biden said Carter faces ‘‘many tough missions,’’ ranging from battling Islamic State militants and strengthening the NATO alliance, to technological advancements and budget cuts.

‘‘This is the guy that fits the job,’’ Biden said, calling Carter a ‘‘profoundly capable manager.’’

 

Just not capable of protecting his wife’s dignity, eh?


A Tale of Two Lizzies

December 16, 2014

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Present Tense) has routinely refused to rule out a 2016 presidential run, saying only “I am not running for president.” Here’s a typical exchange, from yesterday’s interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, who brought up all the people urging Warren to run.

Would you tell these independent groups, “Give it up!” You’re just never going to run.
I told them, “I’m not running for president.”
You’re putting that in the present tense, though. Are you never going to run?
I am not running for president.
You’re not putting a “never” on that.
I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?

 

Fabulously non-responsive, no?

But in today’s edition the Boston Globe’s Noah Bierman came up with a clever way to shift Warren to the future tense.

Warren has answered the question more definitively before. Last year, the Globe asked her at a news conference in Boston whether she would make a a more ironclad pledge to serve out her Senate term, which 72cf5cc5506b43c0a9b4fac1d2a7af7e-72cf5cc5506b43c0a9b4fac1d2a7af7e-0ends in January 2019.

“I pledge to serve out my term,” she said at the time.

On Monday, Warren’s spokeswoman, Lacey Rose, was asked by the Globe in an e-mail whether the senator stood by that pledge.

“Yep, nothing has changed,” Rose replied.

 

Of course, everything is different in the Boston Herald. Top of Page One:

 

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Inside, there’s Hillary Chabot’s piece (with Matthew Stout) about Warren’s local political posse.

Bay State heavyweights eye Warren bandwagon

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U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III — whose late uncle Edward M. Kennedy famously snubbed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential contest — kept the door open yesterday to another game-changing Kennedy endorsement should U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren enter the 2016 race.

“He has no doubt she will continue to be a tremendously effective leader wherever her career takes her,” Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Brown said yesterday when asked of the congressman’s thoughts about Warren as president.

The comment comes after U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Somerville) offered his support to Warren if she jumps into the presidential contest, despite the likelihood that former Secretary of State Clinton will enter the field.

 

Joe Battenfeld adds a column about Warren’s likely prospects and this Tale of the Tape:

 

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As usual with the local dailies, we have another split decision.


The Herald Runs on Dunkin’

September 29, 2014

As our Walt Whitman desk attests on a regular basis, the Boston Herald is a past master at using its newshole to promote . . . that’s right – the Herald. And now apparently, the fuzzy local tabloid is offering the same sort of ad-itorial package to its advertisers.

Witness the latest installment of the paper’s daily plug for Boston Herald Radio, the webcast that up to several people a day listen to.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.08.46 PM

 

Nice bit of venial synergy for Dunkin’ Donuts, eh? Lede of the “interview” at left.

Todd Wallace, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, joined Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” with Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld to talk about the iconic coffee chain’s new products.

 

You gotta hear this segment to believe it. Those Heraldniks sure can take the r out of radio.