Boston Dailies: Charlie Baker Has Sex Change!

October 30, 2014

When Cryin’ Charlie Baker turned on the waterworks during Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate with Martha Coakley, he gave the local media all kinds of grist for their mills. Both Boston’s dailies,for instance, had the same basic thought: What if Charlie were Charlene?

Boston Globe Metro columnist Yvonne Abraham framed it this way:

Turning the tables

Watching Charlie Baker dissolve in tears in Tuesday night’s debate — a moment that defied Democrats’ attempts to cast him as a heartless technocrat — I couldn’t help wondering: What if he were treated the way women candidates so often are? What would it be like if we focused on his fragility under pressure, his manner, his appearance, as we do on theirs? What if we pinned the same labels on him as we do on them?

The reaction to that debate might look like this:

Do we really want a weepy governor?

Republican Charlie Baker was going along nicely in Tuesday night’s debate, exuding competence, speaking with authority about taxes and paid sick leave.

Then the gubernatorial hopeful came apart, telling of meeting a fisherman ruined by federal catch rules. “I may not make it through this story,” he began, promptly succumbing to tears.

This is why it can be so hard to imagine men as leaders.

 

Hah!

Crosstown, the Boston Herald recruited local business consultant Judith Bowman to put the pump on the other foot.

No crying not a choice for Martha Coakley

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What if it were Martha Coakley who cried?

Charlie Baker broke down 
in tears on the gubernatorial 
debate stage as he told the story of a fisherman’s family plight.

It was received by most, including me, as a genuine, justified show of human emotion. A real moment in the artificial world of politics.

But what if it were Martha?

No such luck. Professional women don’t cry. Not if they want to be leaders.

 

Well, one thing we’re sure of: That Herald headline should make any writer cry.

Sorry – sniff – we have to go now.


Merry Christmas Carroll!

December 25, 2013

From our One Town, Two Places desk

The local dailies published their traditional year-end poems yesterday, and they couldn’t be more different.

First up, the Boston Globe’s annual holidays card to readers, in verse compliments of Joseph P. Kahn.

Greetings of the season, all.

In setting up this conference call

To wish you cheer these holidays

We pray beseech the N.S.A.24poem

To please refrain from scooping data.

(OK, we’ll talk. But maybe later?)

For feeling in the yuletide mood

Our disposition’s not improved

With thoughts of clandestine surveillance

By Santa-suited federal agents.

We’d much prefer the privacy

Of carols trilled around the tree,

Children’s laughter in the air,

Stockings hung with affordable care,

Missives filled with peace and love

And swift access to HealthCare.gov.

 

And Kahn is off to the races.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald delivers its annual words of good cheer compliments of Track Gal Gayle Fee.

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And on the Fast Track,

Not a creature was stirring

They were all in the sack.

The Track Shack was cluttered

122413TrackToon13With our worn-out Jimmy Choos.

We’d taken them off.

It was time for a snooze.

The Tracklets were nestled

All snug in their beds,

While visions of iPads

Danced in their heads.

The Track was curled up

In our jammies so snug.

After a whole year of gossip,

We were resting our tongues!

 

Until they weren’t.

What’s interesting is how little intersection there is in the two ditties.

The feisty local tabloid devotes six stanzas to Boston sports; the stately local broadsheet, just this:

First, pour a whiskey, single-barrel,

For all the hirsute Sons of Farrell:

Pedey, Papi, Daniel Nava,

Closer Koji Uehara.

Salud to bullpen cop Steve Horgan,

Donna Tartt, and Freeman, Morgan.

 

Name-dropping in the Herald: Kim Kardashian, the Wahlbergs, Ben Affleck, Whitey Bulger.

Name-dropping in the Globe:

Among pals we’ve wrapped presents for

Are Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Ivan Klima, Omar Sy,

And brave Malala Yousafzai.

Wassail to you, Jennifer F. Boylan,

Mark Pollock, Ben Cherington,

Mireille Enos, Janet Yellen

And ageless Sir Ian McKellen.

 

Finally, references to crosstown rivals.

Herald:

He filled all the stockings,

Winked and pulled on a lobe.

“All the good stuff’s for the Herald.

Coal for John Henry’s Globe!”

 

Globe:

What crosstown rival?

And then there’s this from the hardreading staff:

Merry Christmas!

(Bill O’Reilly, eat your heart out.)

P.S. Family lore has it that my old man wanted to name his first-born Mary Christmas Carroll. Cooler heads (read: Jackie’s Agnes) prevailed.