Why Boston Globe ‘Capital’ with an A?

August 8, 2014

It’s been a couple of months since the Boston Globe launched its weekly section Capital, and for the most part it seems pretty fat (12 pages) and happy (exuberant layouts). The only thing even vaguely controversial about the sections is the spelling of its name.

Globe editor Brian McGrory has a running gag with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH radio about why it’s Capital with an a not an o. McGrory keeps wriggling out of revealing the paper’s reasons, but here are three possible ones from today’s edition.

 

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Would those ads likely have run in the A or B section if there were no Capital? Probably. But you have to believe a section geared toward political junkies is a more appealing environment for all three advertisers. For the first two, it’s obvious. For Steward Health Care, it’s a bit more oblique.

From Bruce Mohl’s CommonWealth piece last month on why Steward “is missing from the group of health care competitors that have banded together to fight the consent agreement negotiated by Partners HealthCare and Attorney General Martha Coakley”:

Some think the company decided to sit this one out because of its close ties to Coakley. The attorney general in 2010 approved the acquisition by Cerberus/Steward of six Caritas Christi hospitals owned by the Boston archdiocese. Coakley also retains some regulatory oversight over Steward, including a say in whether the health care system can shut down any of its hospitals.

Steward executives, led by CEO Ralph de la Torre, gave big to Coakley when she ran for the US Senate in 2010 and ponied up again earlier this year as she mounted her run for governor. Campaign finance records indicate de la Torre and his wife Wing led a group of Steward executives and spouses who made $500 donations to Coakley on February 26. More Steward officials contributed to Coakley in late March.

In all, Steward executives have contributed more than $18,000 to Coakley since late last year. No other health care system has taken such an interest in the gubernatorial campaign, which may help explain why Steward is less interested in the legal fight over the Partners expansion plans.

 

Interesting. But back to the original question: Why Capital with an a? Maybe because that’s what it hauls in.

P.S. Needless to say, none of the above ads ran in the Boston Herald.

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Margery Eagan to Boston Globe

July 30, 2014

Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan is taking her talents crosstown to the Boston Globe’s Catholic website, according to Two-Daily Town sources.  She’ll join the vertical the Globe established for John L. Allen Jr., former correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

The feisty local tabloid will be significantly less feisty without Eagan, who’s never been shy about weighing in on all matters Cathoholic.

Check out Boston Public Radio on WGBH radio this afternoon for further details from Globe editor Brian McGrory.

And all best, Margery.

UPDATE: Here’s the Globe press release.

Margery Eagan Named Spirituality Columnist For Crux, A New Website Covering Catholicism

BOSTON (July 30, 2014) – Margery Eagan, a well-known Boston columnist and radio talk show host, will become the spirituality columnist for Crux, a website devoted to Catholicism being launched by Boston Globe Media Partners in early September.

Eagan has been a columnist at the Boston Herald since the early 1980s, interrupted by a stint as a senior writer at Boston Magazine. She will continue to co-host “Boston Public Radio,” a daily current events talk show, with Jim Braude on WGBH Radio (89.7 FM).

In her column for Crux, Eagan will explore issues of spirituality, contemplation, and devotion, drawing on her personal experience with her Catholic faith, as well as that of other Catholics and those of various religious traditions.

“Margery has had a longstanding fascination with issues around spirituality and has spent no small part of her adult life exploring deep issues involving her Catholic faith,” said Globe editor Brian McGrory. “We couldn’t be more delighted to add her smart, engaging voice to our strong roster of reporters and columnists that will be the backbone of this new site.”

Crux will be a standalone website that covers the institution of the church, with particular focus on how the words and actions of Pope Francis affect Catholics worldwide. It will delve into the practices and challenges of living a Catholic life, and publish the wide-ranging thoughts and opinions of Catholics and others. It will be found atwww.cruxnow.com. Readers can follow Crux on Twitter, @Crux, and Facebook,facebook.com/crux.

Teresa Hanafin, editor of the new site, said Eagan’s exploration of her own spirituality through retreats and extensive reading will add a valuable dimension to Crux. “There are many, many Catholics who engage in a very deep, spiritual examination of their faith and their personal relationship with God,” Hanafin said. “Margery is of that world. She understands it, she experiences it, and now she will discuss it with the readers of Crux.”

A native of Fall River, Massachusetts, Eagan received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University. She has written for the Fall River Herald News, the New Bedford Standard Times, the Burlington Free Press in Vermont, Boston Magazine, and the Globe. She has appeared on CNN and Fox News, and is a regular panelist on “Beat the Press,” a media criticism show that is part of the “Greater Boston” public affairs show on WGBH television.

 


Boston Chinstrokerati Play Jared Remy Blame Game

May 28, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

Today’s Boston dailies bury the needle on the Contrast-O-Meter in the assigning of blame phase of Jared Remy’s first-degree-murder trial. In the wake of Remy’s preemptive guilty plea, local columnists cast their gimlet eye on very different subjects. Start with Yvonne Abraham’s front page piece in the Boston Globe.

Rampager makes one more  attack on his victim

WOBURN — What a bizarre mix of contrition and blame-shifting we saw in Middlesex Superior Court Tuesday. What a spectacle of the depths to which people can sink. What a vividly detailed map of the wasteland brutality leaves behind.rathe_remy_met07a

Standing in that low-ceilinged, fluorescent lit courtroom, Jared Remy called Jennifer Martel, the woman he murdered with gruesome force at least partly witnessed by their 4-year-old daughter, “an angel.”

He’s the one at fault for killing her, he said. No share of the blame should go to his parents, who his lawyer said had been unfairly maligned, held partly responsible by some for not doing more to rein in a violent son who had been spiralling blatantly out of control for years.

 

Right – tell that to the Boston Herald, where columnists Margery Eagan and Joe Fitzgerald engage in a slapfight over Jared Remy’s father Jerry, whose career as a Red Sox sportscaster could be – some say should be – collateral damage in this tragic affair.

Count Eagan among the latter.

 ‘RemDawg’ benefits from a blatant double standard

Jared Remy has spared his daughter Arianna and Jennifer Martel’s family the anguish of a gruesome trial. He has also spared his father AN3V8624.JPGJerry and helped him keep his job behind the NESN microphone broadcasting Red Sox games.

Sox fans are clearly divided over whether the sins of the son should be visited upon the father. But they might feel differently about Jerry Remy’s lighthearted banter if they heard Martel’s murder described in stomach-churning testimony by neighbor Kristina Flickinger Hill.

 

And they’d definitely feel differently, Eagan writes, “if it were Phoebe Remy’s career on the line. If a mother spent thousands of days on the road while all three of her children were having run-ins with the law, they’d say she abandoned her children, cruelly and selfishly, when they needed her most. She’d also lose her job in a nanosecond.”

Fitzgerald, for his part, decries “armchair quarterbacks who have turned the misery of Jared’s parents into a merciless cottage industry.”

“What kind of parents were they?”

“Were they enablers, thus creators of the monster he became?”

“Should Jerry continue as a Red Sox broadcaster?”

It’s contemptible.

 

Actually, what’s contemptible, as Abraham points out, is Jared Remy’s explanation of the brutal murder.

“I always told Jen she could leave,” he said. “But do not threaten me with my child. That night, Jen had a knife in her hand and threatened me with my daughter, so I killed her. I don’t think it’s right when women use their kids against their fathers.”

It was chilling, appalling, this matter-of-fact assertion of cause and effect. His twisted invocations of his rights as a father — he mentioned it once on the stand and again in his statement — mocked all of the lofty talk of accepting responsibility that preceded it. Even as he sat in handcuffs and leg chains, admitting he had done something unspeakably awful, he was blaming his victim.

 

One town, three different worlds, no waiting.

 


Boston Dailies Are Papal Tigers

April 27, 2014

From our Santo Subito! desk

The local dailies both play the home-away game in their coverage of this weekend’s Saintorama in the Eternal City.

Start, naturally enough, with Page One of the Boston Herald.

 

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The faithy local tabloid follows up with four pages of Pope-O-Scope coverage, most notably former Boston Mayor/Vatican Ambassador Ray Flynn’s filing from Rome.

World’s Catholics celebrate the faith

O’Malley, Boston represented well

Vatican Popes Saints

VATICAN CITY — The great and the good have gathered in this lovely city, flocking from all corners of the world — ambassadors and cardinals, presidents, prime ministers and royalty.

They are meeting in hotels and embassies and gorgeous residences in the Eternal City, and many gathered together for joyous reunions last night on the eve of today’s double canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

It is a tribute to the remarkable occasion, the convergence of so many diverse and powerful leaders for the first time two popes will be canonized in a celebration presided over by two living popes — Pope Francis and the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

 

But there’s an even more important constituency in town, Flynn writes.

Yet there is a far greater tribute, below the glittering halls, past the motorcades and speeding police escorts and throngs of media.

Down in the streets of St. Peter’s Square, thousands of humble pilgrims gathered to sleep last night. They lay on the cobblestones in the spring chill, the clouds and stars above them, waiting for the dawn, waiting for one of the great moments in our faith.

 

There’s also Margery Eagan on John XXIII, Marty Walsh reminiscing about JP II’s 1979 Hub visit, journalist-turned deacon Greg Piatt on his vocational switch, and Peter Gelzinis on local-boy-mage-seminarian Kevin Leaver, who’ll be at the hoedown in St. Peter’s Square.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the front page features this:

 

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The lordly local broadsheet has Cathoholic Czar John L. Allen Jr. in Rome, while Lisa Wangsness and Jeremy C. Fox patrol the local parishes.

From Allen’s piece (website version):

Francis accents unity with halos for superstar popes

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ROME — Oct. 11, 1962, brought a beautiful moonlit night to Rome. Pope John XXIII was in an ebullient mood because of that morning’s launch of the Second Vatican Council, a gathering conceived by the pontiff in which bishops from around the world would throw open the windows of the Catholic Church to the modern world.

The first pope of television’s Golden Age, “Good Pope John” had a roly-poly, grandfatherly persona and seemingly inexhaustible cheer that won fans everywhere, though the changes he set in motion also stirred up critics, then and now. That night, the pope looked out over St. Peter’s Square at the vast crowd praying for the council, and made some off-the-cuff remarks that passed into history as his “Sermon on the Moon” . . .

“Tonight, when you get home, you’re going to find your kids,” Pope John said. “I want you to give your kids a caress . . . and tell them that this caress comes from the pope!”

No one could recall hearing a pope address the faithful in quite that way.

 

Today’s papal twofer is unique as well.

 


Eagan v. Remy, Round 2

April 1, 2014

As the hardreading staff previously noted, last week Herald columnist Margery Eagan went sour on NESN broadcaster Jerry Remy’s return to the booth, and, in an interview on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, Pres. Red Sox Nation returned the flavor, ripping Eagan’s column without naming her. (Neither, oddly, did the Herald in reporting the Remy interview.)

Ding!

Today the Boston Strong Girl is back in the ring, counterpunching with this piece.

Put anger aside, do what’s right, Jerry Remy

They tell me I ticked off Jerry Remy.

Last week I wrote a column asking why Jerry and Phoebe Remy would seek custody of their granddaughter Arianna. Their son is in jail, accused of stabbing W2ST6100.JPGArianna’s mother to death. Remy’s other two children also have a history of arrests for violent attacks.

Questioning his ability to be Arianna’s grandparent made Jerry Remy mad. He went on WEEI with Herald columnist Gerry Callahan and called what I wrote “disgusting.”

Well, I may disgust him again today for asking why he won’t do the right thing by Red Sox Nation and step aside at NESN.

 

(Fun fact to know and tell: Eagan went to high school in Fall River with Phoebe Remy.)

Eagan concludes with this: “[E]verywhere you look along the long, ugly road that put Jared [in jail], you see Jerry and Phoebe Remy, too. There just can’t be a RemDawg anymore.”

Okay. You’re on deck, BlemDawg.

 


Herald Tells Half the Story on Remy WEEI Interview

March 29, 2014

Today’s Boston Herald features this story about an interview Jerry Remy gave to WEEI’s John Dennis and Gerry Callahan yesterday.

‘Mixed feelings’ for Martel’s father after Remy interview

Jennifer Martel’s father said he has “mixed feelings” about Red Sox icon Jerry Remy’s lengthy and defensive radio interview yesterday, in which the NESN color man admitted he and his wife enabled their alleged killer son but denied coaxing Martel into dropping a China Olympics Beijing Water Cube Bird's Nestrestraining order shortly before her murder . . .

In the interview — Remy’s first extensive comments about his son — the second-baseman turned broadcaster and restaurateur said he never got Jared Remy his Red Sox security job, didn’t know the bodybuilder was using his allowance on steroids, and defended his record as a grandfather to the couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Arianna. A custody settlement reached this week awards the Remys visitation while giving guardianship to Martel’s parents.

 

But the foggy local tabloid left out how Remy “defended his record as a grandparent”  – by attacking Herald columnist Margery Eagan for this piece questioning the wisdom of giving Jerry and wife Phoebe Remy shared custody of their granddaughter Arianna, whose mother, Jennifer Martel, Jared Remy allegedly murdered.

From Eric Randall’s Boston Magazine blog post yesterday:

Jerry Remy Does Not Like To Be Called a Bad Grandparent

Remy shot back at a Herald column that wondered whether he’s fit to see his granddaughter.

NESN Red Sox commentator Jerry Remy gave a fascinating interview to the Dennis & Callahan radio show that shed light on which criticisms gets most under his skin in the wake of his son Jared’s alleged murder.Jerry Remy

Remy won’t be stepping down from his position at NESN, but he acknowledged the calls for him to quit, the accusations that he failed as a parent, and the recent Globe investigation into his son Jared Remy’s criminal history. He only sounded an angry note when seemingly alluding to a Margary Eagan column in the Herald suggesting the Remys shouldn’t have partial custody of their granddaughter.

 

The angry note:

You know I read a column yesterday that comes out and says we’re bad parents and we shouldn’t even be allowed to see our granddaughter because what will we do, have pictures of our son all over the house? I mean we’re not stupid … It’s that kind of reporting that is disgusting to me because what are we going to do, bring our granddaughter into the house, show her pictures of daddy? Give me a break. Have her on the phone with him from the can? Give me a break. Take visitations to jail? Give me a break. I mean, we’re not stupid either. So it’s those kind of things that upset me a bit.

 

Apparently it upset the Herald too, since they left that part out.

 

China Olympics Beijing Water Cube Bird's Nest


Boston Herald Finds Its Olgarithm

February 16, 2014

It’s been All Olga All the Time at the feisty local tabloid this weekend as the Boston Herald wages jihad against embattled Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche.

Start with yesterday’s blowout front page:

 

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Inside there’s double-trouble for Roche. (Inexplicable Little Green Numbers sold separately.)

 

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And, of course, there’s the standard-issue Time to clean house editorial.

Today, on the other hand, Roche is reduced to the top of Page One.

 

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Then again, the DCF commish also gets the traditional His ‘n’ Her columns by Howie Carr and Margery Eagan (they make great parting gifts!), neither of which is especially kind to Roche.

That seems to be the Boston Globe’s department. The stately local broadsheet has barely laid a glove on Roche, as these search results for “Olga Roche” attest:

 

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Where are the editorials? The op-ed columns? Doesn’t anybody at the Globe have an opinion about the dismal state of DCF affairs? We’re not saying the Globeniks should go all Howie on Roche, but damn – something’s in order here, isn’t it?

For the moment, at least, it’s not just Deval Patrick who’s looking disengaged.