Politico’s Jack Shafer Cheap-Shots Globe Writers

June 28, 2016

The hardreading staff generally admires media criticism from the peripatetic Jack Shafer, but his latest Politico piece is a little low-hanging-fruitish.

Uh-Oh. Here Come the Brexperts.

Reporters: Don’t know much about Brexit? Don’t let that stop you.

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Who could have predicted that the press harbored so many experts on the repercussions of Brexit? Following Thursday’s vote by the British electorate to leave the European Union, these whizzes crowded the airwaves, clogged the newspapers and swamped their websites with assessments of the breakup’s meaning.

Obviously, some outlets that specialize in finance and cover the Eurozone—like the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and CNBC—have a handle on the subject; they’d been covering it long before Thursday. But as you stray from these specialists for the generalists, whose job it is to report on whatever Topic A might be that day (weather, politics, infectious disease, baseball), the more the Brexit coverage begins to resemble one long amateur hour.

 

Yeah, except most of journalism is amateur hour: generalists interviewing specialists to cobble together something that sounds vaguely reasonable. And, very often, reasonably vague.

Regardless, here’s Shafer’s Boston Globe nuts-to-you graf:

At the Boston Globe, for example, reporter James Pindell dug deeply into his bag of journalistic clichés last week to deduced that the Brexit vote was “about the economy, stupid” and that if Brexit caused a recession it would “dramatically change the conversation of the presidential race.” No kidding! Michael A. Cohen, a regular on the Globe op-ed page, concluded that it was not David Cameron’s fault Brexit passed, nor was it Jeremy Corbyn’s, nor could it be blamed on the EU elites who pushed immigration. It was “actual voters.” Another astonishing finding.

 

C’mon, Jack – you can do better than to beat up on what’s essentially beat reporting (in every sense of that phrase). Besides, you’re always a lot more interesting when you go after the high-hanging fruit.

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Boston Globe’s Capital Section Lacks, Well, Capital

June 4, 2016

Back in 2014 when the Boston Globe introduced its new weekly Capital section, it was a fat 12 pages with lots of advertising, as the hardreading staff noted at the time.

By the next year, however, Capital had started to dwindle, as we also noted.

Boston Globe’s Capital Withdrawal

Well the hardreading staff was leafing through the Boston Globe this morning and here’s what we found on Metro Page One:

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Sure enough, the former stand-alone section occupied all of four Metro pages that featured – motheragawd! – exactly zero ads.

 

And now it’s come to this . . . one lonely page in yesterday’s edition of the Globe.

 

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The only Capitalization in sight was Steward Health Care System’s promotion of James Pindell’s Ground Game, but even that lacked its usual full-page companion ad.

Looks like Capital might be the Globe’s latest strand of spaghetti that didn’t stick to the wall.


Boston Globe Shows Us the Money in Capital

January 22, 2016

The Great Editorial Bake Sale proceeds apace at the Boston Globe.

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the $tately local broadsheet is the NASCAR of newsprint, with logos peppered on it every which way. Take, for the latest example, today’s edition of Capital, starting Page One upper left.

 

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That’s bookended by the strip across the bottom of the page.

 

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And echoed in this page 3 ad.

 

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Moving on, we have James Pindell’s Ground Game, brought to you by Steward.

 

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Not coincidentally, Steward Health Care System also bought the back page.

 

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Last, and sort of least, the Globe mortgaged its Politics Cafe to Capital One, a natural fit for this particular section..

 

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So to recap: There are now a myriad of ways to use the pages of the Boston Globe to plug your products or services. Nothing especially egregious in most of the above, except allowing Steward to attach itself to editorial content.  That’s a slippery slope the mately local broadsheet really should stay off.


Boston Globe Extends Editorial Bake Sale to Arts

December 14, 2015

As the hardreading staff has recently noted, the Boston Globe has lately been auctioning off various sections of the paper to the highest marketing bidder.

Call the roll of recent acquisitions:

First the $tately local broadsheet mortgaged past of its Business section to Rockland Trust.

Then Suffolk University turned the Globe’s Capital Section into a satellite campus – especially Joshua Miller’s Political Happy Hour.

Representative sample from yesterday’s Business section:

 

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Beyond that, Steward Health Care System is co-paying for James Pindell’s Ground Game coverage of the presidential primaries.

Now comes the Boston Globe Arts Auction.  First there was this tease on Page One of yesterday’s Arts section.

 

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Then there was this two-page spread by Mark Feeney about the upcoming Star Wars release.

 

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Note the Showcase MX4D ad at upper left. Sure looks like paidvertorial, doesn’t it?

Then note this ad one page later.

 

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Do we see a pattern emerging here?

Better question: Is there any Boston Globe editorial content that’s not for sale?

Just wondering.


Boston Globe Lends Capital to Suffolk University

December 4, 2015

It wasn’t that long ago that the Boston Herald served as a sort of satellite campus for Suffolk University, teaming up on everything from polling to webcasts to editorial content.

But now Day Hop U has transferred out of the flunky local tabloid and enrolled in the Boston Globe’s Capital section.

Page One of today’s $tately local broadsheet (see bottom).

 

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And Page One of the Capital section (see top and bottom).

 

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Inside, readers get a fuller picture of the Globe/Suffolk collaboration, especially the Suffolk Solutions – what to call it? – marketing initiative that also include Globe reporter Joshua Miller’s Political Happy Hour (which now features a Suffolk University logo). The ad on page 3:

 

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For the body copy-impaired:

 

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If you go to the Suffolk Solutions site embedded in BostonGlobe.com, you find this “Sponsored” home page:

 

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And here’s the video, which features Rachel Cobb, associate professor and chair of Suffolk University’s Department of Government, who’s also featured in the print ad.

 

 

Don’t be surprised if Dr. Cobb also finds her way into some of the Globe’s editorial coverage of local politics.

The Suffolk alliance is the second of these sponsorships the Globe has recently unveiled (the hardreading staff noted this one with Rockland Trust in the Business section last month).

But – wait – there’s yet a third, comfortably nestled in the Globe’s front-page News in brief column:

 

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Yes, apparently the $tately local broadsheet has also auctioned off James Pindell’s Ground Game vertical covering the presidential primaries. The highest bidder? Steward Health Care System.

 

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We look forward to further leasing out of the Boston Globe’s editorial content. Your suggestions go here . . .


Page One Hill-arity Ensues at Boston Dailies

April 21, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Hillarys desk 

(First in what we expect will be a long-running series)

It’s gonna be like this every time Hillary Clinton (D-Chelsea) goes to New Hampshire.

Boston Globe:

 

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From the piece by Annie Linskey and James Pindell:

During a stop at Whitney Brothers, a furniture company in Keene, [Clinton] laid out a tax reform philosophy that would differentiate between businesses like that one and those that “are just playing back and forth in the global marketplace to get one tenth of one percent of advantage” and were “at the root of some of the economic problems that we all remember from 2008.”

She also cast herself as a defender of Social Security and tried to demonstrate that she shares common cause with factory workers struggling to get by.

 

Uh-huh.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, Clinton’s definitely no woman of the people.

 

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From the piece by Matt Stout and Prisca Pointdujour:

Clinton came [to Keene] for her first stop in the Granite State since announcing her 2016 Oval Office campaign. The former U.S. secretary of state toured Whitney Brothers, a family-owned children’s furniture business, and huddled with employees for a much-publicized roundtable — but never pressed the flesh with several dozen people huddled outside.

Most of the ignored backers were also young — a key demographic for the former first lady.

 

Also no doubt struggling to get by. Or at least get acknowledged.

Just for good measure, Herald columnist Joe Battenfeld piled on:

Listen up, voters: Hilary doesn’t have time for you

So it looks like Hillary Clinton’s idea of a “listening” tour is strictly invitation only.

Just ask the good people of Keene, N.H., a liberal hamlet where a half-dozen workers at a business hand-picked by Clinton’s Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.06.06 PMcampaign made the cut. But dozens of unscreened voters standing outside in the rain? Sorry, Hillary won’t be “listening” to you.

And voters better get used to it, because Clinton can pretty much do whatever she wants until next fall. Who’s going to protest, her Democratic primary 
rivals? There aren’t any. The media? Most are in the tank.

 

Not the Herald, though. In all matters Clinton, the feisty local tabloid is the tank.


Boston Globe Coverage ‘Palin’ vs. Herald Sarahfest

January 26, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

Well the GOP had its first 2016 Iowa Presidential Cotillion over the weekend and say, it was . . . swill.

All the GOP kids were there (but not the adults: Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney), including Sarah Palin (R-Drunken Brawl), who got this coverage in James Pindell’s Boston Sunday Globe piece.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin got a standing ovation for a speech in which she referred to President Obama as “a little boy.”

 

Versus this play in the Sunday Boston Herald, starting with Page One.

 

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Then the high-priced spread inside:

 

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Read it at your own peril. (But notice the do-me boots lower left.)

Just for scale, this New York Times piece by Ashley Parker and Trip Gabriel buried Palin in the 29th – and final – graf.

The gathering, called the Iowa Freedom Summit and held at the Hoyt Sherman Place theater, represented a return of the full political roadshow to the state. The forum drew more than 100 out-of-state journalists and a long list of Republican figures. On Friday, Sarah Palin ran into Newt Gingrich; his wife, Callista; and Mr. King in a hotel lobby, where onlookers quickly mobbed them.

 

Not to get technical about it, but Donald Trump got higher play than Palin in the Times. Draw your own conclusions.

Back in Boston, leave it, as often, to Herald columnist Kimberly Atkins to restore some sobriety to the tipsy local tabloid. Under the headline “Entry Trumps all silliness,” Atkins writes today that a Palin presidential campaign is only slightly less absurd than a Trump run.

[A]s absurd as a Palin candidacy sounds, at least her name has appeared on a national ballot. Not only has Trump never run a successful political campaign, his multiple corporate bankruptcy filings belie his claims of robust business acumen, which I assume would be his main presidential selling point.

 

Crosstown, the Globe’s Pindell has this follow-up story on the web (we couldn’t find it in our print editions). Apparently, the Palindrone won’t be stopping anytime soon.