3rd Time: Where’s the Globe’s Wayne Woodlief Obit?

August 23, 2017

From our Are You Kidding? desk

As the headscratching staff has been asking for two weeks now, why has the Boston Globe failed to run an obituary for Boston Herald reporter/columnist Wayne Woodlief, who died at the age of 82 on August 12?

The Herald, of course, memorialized Wayne right away. As did the Nieman Foundation.

Wayne Woodlief, NF ’66 and former political columnist, dies at 82

Longtime Boston Herald political columnist and 1966 Nieman Fellow Wayne Woodlief died on Aug. 12 at the age of 82.

A graduate of Duke University, he began his journalism career as a sportswriter and later a city politics reporter for the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Va. He then moved on to join The Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star’s Washington, D.C., bureau.

In 1974, Woodlief became the Boston Herald-American’s Washington correspondent. He was promoted as the newspaper’s political editor in 1977 but missed the beat and returned to reporting.

 

But still nothing from the Globe.

Bad form, Globeniks. Bad form.

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Where’s the Boston Globe’s Wayne Woodlief Obit?

August 16, 2017

The redoubtable Wayne Woodlief – a gentleman journalist if there ever was one – died last week at the age of 82.

His Boston Herald colleague Rachelle Cohen wrote a lovely tribute to Wayne this past weekend.

This gentle man, still with a trace of a southern drawl — a legacy of his Virginia roots — always had time to answer a question, to share a bit of political history, to put a harried day into perspective for those who thought they would never make it through to deadline.

There was no “crisis” that the man couldn’t talk you through.

Alzheimer’s robbed us first of the man we all knew — the man who could list all the possible Democratic candidates in the 8th Congressional District race of 1986. Then early yesterday morning, it claimed the rest of him, when he died peacefully in his sleep.

 

Joe Fitzgerald, a Herald columnist who rarely agreed with Wayne politically, also had kind words for him.

We ribbed and teased each other so mercilessly that our friendship began to resemble a comedy routine, especially after this column left its longtime home in sports and moved onto Wayne’s turf, which was politics.

That offered a mother lode of conversational ammunition, since he regarded this writer as something to the right of Attila the Hun while he was seen here as slightly to the left of whatever passes for normal these days.

But you don’t poke fun at someone you don’t like, and Wayne was more than liked here. Indeed, he was admired, so much so that there was no better feeling than knowing you had earned his approval.

 

But . . .

Not a word yet from the Boston Globe.

C’mon, Globeniks – you were quick enough to eulogize WBZ legal eagle Neil Chayet, another local media stalwart who passed away last week.

Do the write thing and give Wayne Woodlief his due.


Boston Globe Stiffs Herald on Korean War POW Story

August 16, 2016

From our No Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

Nice piece by Laura Crimaldi in today’s Boston Globe about the return of a Korean War vet who died in a prisoner-of-war camp.

Remains of Korean War POW coming home to Cambridge

US Army Corporal Ronald M. Sparks spent his last night in Cambridge more than 65 years ago, baby-sitting for his three young nephews before he left to fight in the Handout_13soldier01_metKorean War.

The night made a lasting impression on one of the boys, 3-year-old Bob, who woke up and found Sparks reading a newspaper in his family’s living room.

Sparks, who was 19 then, never returned.

But Bob, who met Sparks for the first and only time that night, has found his lost uncle and is bringing him home decades after he died in a prisoner-of-war camp in North Korea.

 

The Globe piece has everything you want in a human-interest story – drama, history, valor, persistence, and a happy, if bittersweet, ending.

It’s missing only one thing: A nod to Boston Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald, who had the story in yesterday’s paper.

‘Uncle Ron is home at last’

Quest brings Korean War casualty back for burial

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Bob Sparks was almost 4 the first time he saw his uncle Ron.

“It was just before he shipped out,” Sparks remembers. “He was babysitting me.

“When I awoke and saw him, I was frightened. I asked, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘I’m your Uncle Ron, your dad’s little brother.’ He was in his uniform, and when I asked ‘Are you a soldier?’ he smiled and gave me this crisp salute. It’s my only personal memory of him.”

Ron Sparks, 19, then left the family home in Cambridge, bound for the Korean War with the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division . . .

 

It’s not unusual for one of the Boston dailies to draft off the other on certain stories, and it’s not like the Herald bats a thousand in the credit where credit’s due department. But still . . .

C’mon, Globe editors. Be a mensch.


Prouty Garden Fight Gets Even More Tangled

February 26, 2016

Children’s Hospital, already engaged in an increasingly public skirmish with advocates fighting to save the medical facility’s Prouty Garden, now faces an even bigger and potentially more damaging battle. From Page One of today’s Boston Globe.

‘I’m very angry,’ teen says of ordeal

Pelletiers sue Children’s Hospital, cite misdeeds

 

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Nearly two years after she returned home in the arms of her father, Justina Pelletier was back in the spotlight Thursday, speaking in a small, slightly shaky voice about the 16 months she spent in state custody, much of it in a locked psychiatric ward.

Justina, whose case drew national attention to the power of medical professionals to override parental rights, said she remains outraged that she was placed in state custody in 2013 after Boston Children’s Hospital accused her parents of interfering with her care.

The 17-year-old Connecticut girl clutched a purple stress ball, fingernails painted turquoise, as she spoke from a wheelchair in front of the State House, where her parents had convened a press conference to discuss the lawsuit they recently filed against Children’s Hospital.

 

Boston Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald frames it as a jump ball:

[W]hat we’re seeing in the heart-wrenching case of Justina Pelletier is a drama that defies easy answers, a high-stakes confrontation in which what we do not know is infinitely more important than what we do know.

 

There’ll be plenty of headlines to make Children’s officials cringe as this case plays out. Meanwhile, the hits just keep on coming in the Prouty Garden rumpus.

Yesterday there was this front-page piece in the Business section.

Amid backlash, hospital defends expansion plan

When Dr. Sitaram Emani, a cardiac surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, heard about the baby from Springfield with the failing heart, he knew he could help.

But Emani quickly realized there was no room for the boy at the overcrowded hospital. Under sedation, the boy Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.21.18 AMwaited for weeks until Emani could fix the holes in his heart.

It’s a story that doctors and executives at Children’s, the region’s dominant pediatric care center, tell again and again: They don’t have enough beds, surgeries are being delayed, patients are being turned away and sent to other hospitals. And it’s why executives say they need to complete a $1 billion expansion of their Longwood Medical Area campus, a project that would create an 11-story tower with more room for doctors and nurses to treat more patients.

 

Except for those pesky Prouty people.

Yet the hospital’s message has been undercut recently by a group opposed to the proposal for reasons that have nothing to do with surgeries or beds. They object to the plan to build the tower over the Prouty Garden, a tranquil refuge for countless sick and dying children and their families. And many have emotional stories to tell.

 

But it’s the hospital’s story that’s mostly told in the Globe piece, which includes this:

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.28.43 AM

 

Advantage: Children’s.

Then there’s the paid portion of the $tately local broadsheet’s edition yesterday: this full-page ad on A12.

 

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(To be sure graf goes here.)

To be sure, there’s no reason to say that the Globe’s financial interest play into the paper’s coverage. It’s just that they sometimes do seem intertwined.

Regardless, the Prouty dustup is back in the Globe headlines today with this front-page Business piece.

Opponents lobby to keep Prouty

Opponents of Boston Children’s Hospital’s proposed $1.5 billion expansion asked the hospital to disclose all the alternative locations it considered before settling on a plan to build an 11-story tower on the site of the beloved Prouty Garden.Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.46.00 PM

They asked state public health officials to deny Children’s application, arguing that hospital executives have not met the state requirements for proving cost effectiveness, particularly regarding poorer patients.

The expansion project, which would add a pediatric heart center, neonatal intensive care unit, and private rooms, has attracted opposition from some patients’ families and doctors, including renowned pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, who say that the half-acre garden has served as an oasis for families struggling with serious illness.

 

Maybe even the Pelletiers, eh?


To Know Trump . . . Just Read the Herald

July 13, 2015

Donald Trump – the GOP’s one-man clown car – had a good weekend, as this piece from New York’s Daily Intelligencer notes.

A Guide to Donald Trump’s Weekend Circus

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Donald Trump, who is ahead or tied for the lead in three recent polls tracking GOP presidential candidates, had a very busy weekend. At campaign events Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona, Trump delivered separate but equally rambling speeches that touched upon everything from legitimate national issues to Trump’s self-assessed intelligence to a joke about ISIS trying to compete with him by building a hotel in Iraq. Said Trump, who seemed to be improvising the speeches, “You know I don’t use TelePrompTers like the president — I speak from the heart.”

 

Right – a heart that’s filled with the buttermilk of human kindness.

On top of his good weekend, Trump is having a good Monday in the Boston Herald. Start with Joe Fitzgerald’s column.

The Donald adds something vital to ’16 prez race

Admit it, if he walked away from the presidential race this morning there is something about Donald Trump you would miss.

Perhaps not his politics.

Maybe not his temperament.

And certainly not his hubris.

Yet, there’s something refreshing about a candidate who doesn’t measure every word, who doesn’t wait to be told by parasitic handlers what his or her positions ought to be, and who doesn’t curry favor by pretending to embrace what special interests want to hear.

 

In her Lone Republican column today, Holly Robichaud sounds a similar note:

At a time when Republican candidates should be talking about the economy, the national debt, cyber-security and so much more, PC police have hijacked the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

They are having a collective hissy fit over Donald Trump’s candidacy and his comments about illegal immigrants. They have falsely accused him of being a racist for having the courage to speak out against 
illegal immigrants and the results of porous borders.

When Trump would not retract his statements, the media turned their focus on other GOP contenders, asking them to respond to the Donald’s comments. Now there is a push to kick Trump out of the debates.

As if it is dangerous to have free speech on the stage!

 

Free-of-common-decency speech, that is.

(The Unsinkable Adriana Cohen has also weighed in on Mr. We Shall Overcomb, but that reading is optional.)

One oasis of sanity in today’s Herald: Jerry Holbert’s editorial cartoon.

 

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Any way we can ground him until Election Day?


Boston Dailies Are a Hung Jury on Tsarnaev Fate

April 9, 2015

As we await the start of the sentencing phase of the Boston Marathon Bomber trial, the local dailies are – not surprisingly – seeing justice in very different outcomes for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Boston Herald goes for the trifecta in today’s edition: editorial, op-ed column, editorial cartoon – all reaching the same conclusion.

From the Herald editorial (under the headline No mercy for Tsarnaev):

Thirty counts. Thirty guilty verdicts. But that is only the beginning. The toughest part is yet to come — the issue of life or death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. May this jury show him as little mercy as he showed the victims whose lives he so callously took.

 

From the op-ed piece by Rachelle Cohen:

In a strange way the death penalty seems too good, too easy for Tsarnaev who also wrote that he envied his brother Tamerlan’s martyrdom. Death won’t dissipate the anger that lingers. It won’t bring back those taken from us. And it will surely take years to actually be carried out — such is the American way of justice. But it is the only just end for this unrepentant terrorist.

 

Jerry Holbert’s editorial cartoon:

 

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Crosstown, the Boston Globe does the Herald one better: editorial, two op-ed pieces, editorial cartoon – all pleading the opposite case.

From the Globe editorial (under the headline Now, a harder task for jury: Spare Tsarnaev death penalty):

As the trial now moves into its sentencing phase — the jury must unanimously vote to execute Tsarnaev, or else he will receive a life sentence — the defense team may also raise legal mitigating factors. Tsarnaev was 19 at the time of the bombing; he was apparently a heavy drug user; he had no prior criminal record. By themselves, none of these would seem like a particularly good reason to spare him, but taken as a whole, and alongside evidence of his brother’s dominant role, they should plant seeds of doubt.

In sorting through such life-and-death considerations, jurors face an unenviable task — and mixed precedent. The Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was put to death. The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, wasn’t. Tsarnaev obviously should spend the rest of his life in prison. His defense has already made a good case that he does not meet the exceptionally high standards for a federal execution.

 

From Nancy Gertner’s op-ed: “The choices for the government should not be a death finding in a civilian court, or a death finding in a military tribunal, lethal injection or a firing squad. Countless others accused of heinous crimes have pled guilty to a life without parole. There was another way. There still is.”

From Harvey Silverglate’s op-ed:

The feds overstepped in asserting their superior claim to jurisdiction in this case in anticipation of this very moment, and Massachusetts citizens should pay close attention as prosecutors make their case for execution. When our state outlawed the death penalty in 1984, did we really intend for that prohibition to be conditional? Tsarnaev’s crimes indeed are particularly heinous, but we cannot let emotions cloud judgment. Regardless of the jury’s sentencing decision, this trial has starkly illustrated a decline in Massachusetts’ state sovereignty in deciding — literally — life-or-death matters.

 

Dan Wasserman’s editorial cartoon:

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.39.52 AM

 

It doesn’t get much more opposite than that.

UPDATE: The redoubtable Dan Kennedy ventured farther afield in the local dailies, pointing out the following at Media Nation:

Metro columnists Kevin Cullen and Yvonne Abraham weigh in [against the death penalty] . . .  (Columnist Jeff Jacoby has previously written in favor of death for Tsarnaev.)

Over at the Boston Herald, the message is mixed. In favor of the death penalty [is] columnist Adriana Cohen . . . Columnist Joe Fitzgerald is against capital punishment for Tsarnaev. Former mayor Ray Flynn offers a maybe, writing that he’s against the death penalty but would respect the wishes of the victims’ families.

 

Sorted.


Boston Dailies Engage in Olympic Gamesmanship

March 21, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

In the wake of the new WBUR poll that registers a knee-buckling 52% opposition to Boston’s 2024 Summer Olympics bid, the major players have decided it’s time to buckle down. And to pick a local daily to get the word out.

Not surprisingly, Mayor Marty Walsh has drifted toward the Boston Herald, while Boston 2024 gets a front-page boost from the Boston Globe.

Start with the latter:

Boston 2024 goes campaign-style

Bid committee uses political tactics and operatives

It was the ideal place to launch a grassroots movement: a Roxbury basketball tournament that drew a who’s who of political players, from the governor and mayor to city councilors and ward committee activists.

And right inside the entrance were three young people handing out Boston 2024 wristbands and urging anyone 1200_olympics_tlumackiwithin earshot to volunteer for the city’s Olympic bid.

“Whether you’re for or against, we want to hear your voice,” Willie Bodrick II proclaimed as he pitched the Games to a local lawyer and nonprofit executive.

Bodrick, a 27-year-old pastor who worked on Martha Coakley’s gubernatorial bid, is part of a sophisticated campaign-style operation that the local Olympic organizing group has built to persuade skeptical Bostonians to embrace efforts to land the 2024 Summer Games.

 

Michael Levenson’s piece continues, “the organization now looks much like a well-funded candidate’s operation, with digital media strategists, field teams, fund-raisers, liaisons to clergy and to ethnic media, and consultants who have worked on the biggest races in Massachusetts politics.”

And they all get trotted out here, from uber-consultants Doug Rubin and Will Keyser to “voter-mobilization guru” John Walsh to the ubiquitous Rev. Jeffrey Brown.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald channels Marty Walsh in Richard Weir’s piece.

Walsh hits reset button in quest for Olympic gold

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh, amid nosediving public support for Boston’s Olympics bid, is looking to hit the “reset button” in hopes of restoring confidence in the push to host the 2024 Summer Games and cutting his own political losses, according to City Hall insiders and observers.

Walsh called out former Gov. Deval Patrick Thursday over his controversial $7,500-a-day lobbying fee for the group behind the bid, Boston 2024, just hours before Patrick finally relented and said he would forgo pay for his work.

“Mayor Walsh has hit the reset button on the Olympic effort given that this is his city and he has the most to lose politically,” said one insider close to the Walsh administration.

 

Yeah – especially since he told WGBH’s Boston Public Radio last month that he’d consider 70% support for the Boston Olympics “satisfactory.” We’re a long way from that, Mistah Mayah, and headed in the wrong direction.

(Cheek by jowl with Weir’s piece is a Joe Battenfeld column calling for Mitt Romney to take over the whole mess, and a Joe Fitzgerald rumination on Deval Patrick’s $7500-a-day hubris.)

This could get interesting if the Globe becomes the preferred conduit for the Boston 2024 machers, and the Herald generally serves as the unofficial newsletter of the Walsh administration.

We shall see, eh?