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?

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Boston Herald Finally Turns on Globe

April 11, 2016

As the hardreading staff has noted, the Boston Herald has been alarmingly lax lately about holding its crosstown rival to task, both regarding the Boston Globe’s recent home delivery meltdown and last week’s Let’s remake the paper! We can use John Henry’s garage! memo from editor Brian McGrory.

But the feisty local tabloid is back on the job today, spurred on by yesterday’s front-page faux pas in the Globe’s Ideas section.

To (half)wit:

 

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Well today’s Herald is on that like Brown on Williamson, giving it classic jump-the-gutter treatment (Inexplicable Little Green Number sold separately).

 

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We’ll leave it to you splendid readers to decide whether you want to sample the goods: there’s a media reax piece and a thumbsucker from Jack Encarnacao, while Howie Carr mails in another shopworn litany of Globe mortal sins.

At least we know they’re awake on Fargo Street. Finally.


Boston Globe Keeps ‘Spotlight’ Off Its Own Reporters

March 16, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn – among others – vociferously protested the portrayal of him in the movie Spotlight. As Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen wrote last November:

After seeing the film at the Loews theater across from Boston Common, [Dunn] stepped onto the sidewalk and threw up.

The movie sickened him because he is portrayed as someone who minimized the suffering of those who were sexually abused, as someone who tried to steer Globe reporters away from the story, as someone invested in the coverup.

 

Dunn’s lawyer subsequently “sent a letter to the filmmakers, demanding that the offending scene be deleted from the movie.”

Well, that hasn’t happened, but this has, as Mark Shanahan reports in today’s Globe:

B.C. dialogue fiction, ‘Spotlight’ studio says

Open Road Films, the studio that distributed the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” issued a statement Tuesday acknowledging that dialogue attributed in the movie to Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn was fictional.

When “Spotlight” was released last fall, Dunn expressed outrage, saying that he was depicted as someone who downplayed the suffering of people who were sexually abused by priests. He enlisted a lawyer to contact Open Road and demand the removal of a scene in the movie in which his character discusses whether previous administrators at Boston College High School were aware of sexual abuse there.

 

At issue was a scene depicting Dunn in a 2002 meeting with Globe reporters Walter “Robby” Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer (played by Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams). The topic: Allegations of sexual abuse at BC High. The offending dialogue from the character playing Dunn: “It’s a big school, Robby, you know that. And we’re talking about seven alleged victims over, what, eight years?”

The Globe piece includes this statement from Open Road Films:

“As is the case with most movies based on historical events, ‘Spotlight’ contains fictionalized dialogue that was attributed to Mr. Dunn for dramatic effect. We acknowledge that Mr. Dunn was not part of the Archdiocesan coverup. It is clear from his efforts on behalf of the victims at BC High that he and the filmmakers share a deep, mutual concern for victims of abuse.”

What the Globe piece does not include is Robinson’s and Pfeiffer’s previous backing of the movie version (tip o’ the pixel to splendid reader Ember2378 for the link). But the Boston Herald’s Jack Encarnacao helpfully fills in the details.

The [studio’s] statement comes after both the Globe’s Walter Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer said the scene in the movie captured Dunn’s “spirited public relations defense of BC High” during their first Spotlight team interview with him in 2002 during the paper’s probe of clergy sexual abuse.

 

Robinson and Pfeiffer did not respond to the Herald’s calls seeking comment. We’ll see if anyone else has better luck.


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.