Hark! The Herald! (Charlie Baker’s House! Edition)

November 7, 2014

The Boston Herald has its promo mojo working overtime today.

From Joe Battenfeld’s piece:

National office for Charlie Baker? Nope, and you can believe it

Sick of governors with a flair for fancy speeches and a nose for the national

Massachusetts, here comes your man.

“Not to worry,” Gov.-elect Charlie Baker said in a Boston Herald interview. “I will not be a governor who gets involved in national politics.”

Sure, you’ve heard that one before. Michael Dukakis. Bill Weld. Mitt Romney. Deval Patrick. They all said they just wanted to be a great governor — right before they booked flights to Iowa.

But with Baker, he probably means it.


Accent on “probably.”

And accent on “Boston Herald interview,” as if the flirty local tabloid was the only girl Baker danced with yesterday. (His spotlight dance with the Boston Globe is here. In that interview – in his home – he also “expressed little desire to get involved in national Republican politics.”)

Just so you don’t forget, the Herald photo captions also tell the tale.


Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 11.35.44 AM


Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 11.36.37 AM


And, even better than the Heraldniks going to Charlie’s house, he went to their house this morning.


Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 11.36.10 AM


Isn’t that special?

Gov. Patrick’s Driving Ban Didn’t Keep This Carr Off the Road

February 11, 2013

First, a personal note:

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y, victory victory that’s our cry!

The hardlyreading staff went out earlier today to find some actual newspapers – and we actually did. As we carried them triumphantly back to the Two-Daily Town Global Worldwide Headquarters, we discovered inside the front door – newspapers!

The Sunday papers. And Saturday’s papers. Big shoutout to our delivery guy.

Result: An embarrassment of dailies.

As we plowed through the weekend’s storm coverage, one topic stood out: Gov. Deval Patrick’s “extraordinary step,” as Saturday’s Boston Globe dubbed it, that banned driving during the storm.

From the stately local broadsheet:

Travel ban surprises many, pleases some

Governor Deval Patrick’s strict travel ban Friday stunned pizza deliverers and police chiefs alike, shuttering shops, befuddling taxi drivers, and leaving police officers wondering if they had to ticket drivers dashing to the store for a gallon of milk.

Some criticized the governor for his last-minute edict and the stiff penalties it carried — up to a year in jail and a $500 fine to any nonemergency personnel on the road after 4 p.m. — while others doubted that storm-swamped police would have time to enforce the ban.

But those who recalled the nightmare highway strandings in the Blizzard of ’78 praised Patrick’s order — including the former governor who wished he’d taken similar action sooner 35 years ago.

“There’s no question that the governor’s doing exactly the right thing — have people home, get them off the streets, and just cool it,” said former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, speaking from Southern California, where he now teaches at UCLA. [Where it rarely snows, not to get technical about it.]


Others, however, called the ban “tyrannical.” Crosstown at the Boston Herald, it was “absolutely draconian,” according to one local cabbie. But Herald columnist Joe Battenfeld disagreed:

Finding NemoPatrick does it right

Learning from Dukakis’ error, gov still takes heat

You can’t blame Gov. Deval Patrick for not wanting to pull a Michael Dukakis.

In the blizzard of 1978, the state was woefully unprepared for the massive storm. Gov. Dukakis did issue a travel ban but it came too late — after dozens died and thousands were stranded on the roads.

So now Patrick tries to prevent deaths by banning cars on the road and he gets trashed by critics who say it’s an example of government gone too far.

Can you imagine the outrage if Patrick had done nothing and the blizzard ends up claiming lives?


That, of course, is nothing compared to the outrage of fellow columnist Howie Carr for the inconvenience Patrick cost him.

801O7669.JPGDriving ban? Take a hike, gov

Hey Gov. Patrick, didn’t your mother ever teach you about the magic word “please”?

You know, you’d ask her for something, and she’d say, “What’s the magic word, Deval?”

I guess she didn’t because I didn’t hear it Friday, when you ordered everyone in the state off the roads at 4 p.m. Like everyone else, I did hear about the $500 fine and/or one year in jail for violating your order, which you had said the previous day you probably weren’t going to issue.


Carr proceeds to take a predictable swipe at “the bow-tied bumkissers . . .  already falling all over themselves lauding you for your ‘wise’ decision to shut down business statewide and arrest anybody who had the audacity to try to get home from work.” (So Joe Battenfeld is a “bow-tied bumkisser,” Howie?)

But then Carr gets at the real pathos of the travel ban:

Myself, I’d hired a guy to drive me home Friday night. I was going to leave my car warm and safe in a garage in Brighton. But then he heard about the year in jail, and he chickened out.

So I called Veterans Taxi. At 5 p.m., Veterans called back and said the cops had just ordered them off the road. In other towns, the police were doing robo-calls, a chance to throw their weight around, too.

I wasn’t that worried driving home. I had press credentials, and if any cops had stopped me, I figured I would just tell them I was Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis’ son.


There’s your man of the people, Herald readers, whining that “now my car is in the driveway, totally buried in snow.”

Boo hoo, Howie. Welcome to the real world.

Two Guys Named Mo

January 31, 2013

Remarkably, the local dailies pull a crisscross in their editorials today about Gov. Deval Patrick’s appointment of his former chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan to fill the U.S. Senate seat just vacated by John Kerry (D-I Am Secretary of State Now) until the special election this summer.

The Boston Herald’s surprisingly upbeat editorial:

Diversifying the Senate

Yes, Gov. Deval Patrick is inordinately fond of “firsts.” And by appointing his former chief of staff and chief legal counsel Mo Cowan to the U.S. Senate he will double the number of African-Americans currently in that branch, making it the first time since Reconstruction two black men will be serving in that body at the same time — although neither was elected. (South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley earlier named Republican Rep. Tim Scott to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Jim DeMint.)

There is something to be said for bringing a little diversity to a body badly in need of same. But Cowan is also smart, energetic, a consummate professional and at age 43 really just at the start of a promising career that come summer will take him back to the private sector. He is also unflaggingly loyal to the governor he has served since 2009. Patrick won’t have to lose any sleep wondering what Cowan will do or say next.

Which brings us to the best part — he’s not Barney Frank.


From the Boston Globe’s surprisingly downbeat editorial:

12132010_13cowanpic-7799105In naming Mo Cowan to Senate, Patrick lessens state’s clout

IN CHOOSING an interim senator to serve for almost five months, a governor should have one overriding priority: Providing the best possible representation for the people of Massachusetts. The quality of that representation can be measured not only by the character of the person chosen, but by the amount of clout the appointee brings to a short tenure in the Senate.

William “Mo” Cowan, Governor Patrick’s choice to fill the next four months of John Kerry’s term, has the requisite character, a solid knowledge of statewide issues, and has sounded the right notes of confidence and humility. But at 43, with only his stints as Patrick’s legal counsel and chief of staff as top-level credentials, Cowan counts as a surprising — and disappointing — choice. Simply put, Massachusetts is brimming over with political talent, including many potential picks of greater stature than Cowan, and many with vastly greater national experience.


Namely, former Massachusetts governor and failed presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, Ted Kennedy widow Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and – wait for it – unemployed and unlamented former Congressman Barney Frank.

The hardchoosing staff? We would have picked the Duke, who earned a Final Act with his block precinct work to get Deval elected  in the first place.

But, apparently, Cowan’s Mo-mentum trumped all that.

Mass. State Police Drug Lab(yrinth)

October 1, 2012

The current Massachusetts crime-lab rumpus is nicely revealing the true nature of Boston’s local dailies.

From Sunday’s Boston Globe (boink! sorry, paywall):

How a chemist dodged lab protocols

Close supervision is key in a lab, specialists say, and Annie Dookhan’s appeared to lack it

State drug lab chemist Annie Dookhan labeled the vials as containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. But when another chemist ran the vials through a machine to confirm Dookhan’s analysis, one had little THC, and another was mixed with morphine and codeine.

The second chemist sent the vials back to Dookhan to resolve the discrepancies, asking her to repeat the screening test the lab used to tentatively identify the drugs in an evidence bag. When she resubmitted them, the machine showed the vials contained pure THC.

The incident, detailed in a 100-page State Police report obtained by the Globe last week, illustrates one of the many ways Dookhan was able to circumvent safeguards intended to ensure that drug evidence was properly handled and analyzed by workers in a now-closed lab formerly run by the state Department of Public Health.

Forensics specialists interviewed by the Globe say the lab’s procedures appear to have been fairly standard, including having two chemists test every sample, but they were still not enough to prevent an ambitious chemist’s rampant breaches of lab protocol, apparently to boost her performance record. In the process, investigators say, Dookhan has jeopardized the reliability of drug evidence used in 34,000 cases during her nine-year career.

Substantive, no?

Not so in Sunday’s Boston Herald:

Lab-freed ‘villains’ eyed as Deval’s downfall

Horton effect could sink gov’s future

Every accused drug dealer sprung from jail thanks to the state crime-lab fiasco could be another Willie Horton waiting to snuff out Gov. Deval Patrick’s aspirations for higher office, political watchers say.

“If Deval Patrick were to run for president, this would be a huge issue,” former state treasurer Joe Malone, a Republican, said. “This is a case where every American would understand that this kind of malpractice on his administration’s part puts criminals back on the street. Willie Horton certainly comes to mind.”

Horton is the convicted murderer whose violent crime spree while on weekend furlough from prison under Michael Dukakis’ watch was the subject of an infamous attack ad that helped sink the former governor’s 1988 presidential bid.

And now Patrick, who has said he will not run for re-election and is seen as a rising Democratic star on the national stage, must watch as offenders in potentially thousands of cases try to use evidence tainted by alleged rogue chemist Annie Dookhan, who was arrested Friday, as their ticket to freedom.

No investigation. Just speculation.

That’s right: The Herald.