Globe Columnist Ignores Herald’s Ayla Brown Scoop

December 26, 2016

TO: Boston Globe columnist Renée Graham

FROM: The hardreading staff

RE: Your Sunday op-ed

First, we hasten to stipulate that we yield to no man in our professional respect for Boston Globe chinstroker Renée Graham.

However . . .

We must needs take issue with her latest piece in the Boston Sunday Globe.

Musicians lead the resistance

Nobody wants to play with Donald Trump.

Or, to be more precise, no one wants to play for Trump. Less than a month before his inauguration, the president-elect and his minions are flapping about trying to convince somebody — anybody — to perform at his various inaugural events. Last week, pop-opera tenor Andrea Bocelli declined Trump’s invitation after some of the singer’s fans threatened to boycott his concerts and albums if he sang a single note at the inauguration.

Bocelli’s refusal joins snubs from Elton John, Garth Brooks, and Celine Dion. So far, no A-list performers are willing to do anything that might suggest support for Trump, especially on a day he likely views more as a coronation than a swearing-in. Mark the moment: This is the first perceptible proof of life for an anti-Trump resistance that has been more bark than bite since Election Day. This is a silent but effective protest from artists usually thrilled to make a joyful noise.

 

Graham adds this: “So far, Trump has booked Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old former “America’s Got Talent” runner-up, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the latter somehow feeling like yet another swipe at Mitt Romney.”

That’s all well and good.

But what Ms. Graham fails to note is Saturday’s Boston Herald front page.

 

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Ayla, of course, is the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Scott Brown), who is currently jockeying to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(We’ll pass over in silence that every other candidate for the post is far more qualified than Brown.)

Regardless, an offer from a 2006 American Idol round-of-16er is something the Trump inauguration team – or Renée Graham – should hardly ignore.

In our humble opinion.


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?


How Many People Turned Out for Warrenpalooza?

January 19, 2015

From our newly launched Tale of Two Lizzies desk

As the hardworking staff duly noted, the Run Warren Run crowd ran ads in New Hampshire papers the other day promoting a rally to urge U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Sort of No) to enter the 2016 presidential bakeoff.

And how many Lizziacs showed up?

Hard to tell from the Boston dailies.

James Pindell’s Boston Globe Metro piece:

In N.H., activists back run by Warren

Democrats push populist message

MANCHESTER, N.H. – They gripped signs and took T-shirts with the words “Run Warren Run,” but the 50 Democratic activists who attended the New Hampshire kick-off of an organization hoping to persuade senter0001-002Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president came for different reasons.

Some had already publicly committed to Hillary Clinton, should she run again for president, but want Clinton to adopt a more populist message. Others said they like it when Warren speaks out on issues like income inequality but want to learn more about her personally before backing her as a presidential candidate. A handful were interested in a potential presidential bid from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont but wonder whether he is the best person to push a progressive message.

 

So . . . whatever.

But crosstown at the Boston Herald, the crowd was much larger.

From Lindsay Kalter’s report:

Hope was a recurring theme at the launch rally yesterday, hosted by Democracy for America and MoveOn.org, which have promised to invest $1.25 million in Iowa and New Hampshire to convince Warren to run for president. About 250,000 people have signed a petition asking Warren to run, even though she has repeatedly said she isn’t jumping into the race.

About 125 people attended, organizers said, many donning free red, white and blue T-shirts decorated with the “Run Warren Run” logo. Sixteen locals signed up to host house parties to spread the word and convince more people to join the cause.

 

To recap:

A crowd roughly the size of a) The Kardashians, or b) Mitt Romney’s grandchildren showed up for Lizorama.

Sounds more like Shun Warren Shun to us.


A Tale of Two Lizzies

December 16, 2014

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Present Tense) has routinely refused to rule out a 2016 presidential run, saying only “I am not running for president.” Here’s a typical exchange, from yesterday’s interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, who brought up all the people urging Warren to run.

Would you tell these independent groups, “Give it up!” You’re just never going to run.
I told them, “I’m not running for president.”
You’re putting that in the present tense, though. Are you never going to run?
I am not running for president.
You’re not putting a “never” on that.
I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?

 

Fabulously non-responsive, no?

But in today’s edition the Boston Globe’s Noah Bierman came up with a clever way to shift Warren to the future tense.

Warren has answered the question more definitively before. Last year, the Globe asked her at a news conference in Boston whether she would make a a more ironclad pledge to serve out her Senate term, which 72cf5cc5506b43c0a9b4fac1d2a7af7e-72cf5cc5506b43c0a9b4fac1d2a7af7e-0ends in January 2019.

“I pledge to serve out my term,” she said at the time.

On Monday, Warren’s spokeswoman, Lacey Rose, was asked by the Globe in an e-mail whether the senator stood by that pledge.

“Yep, nothing has changed,” Rose replied.

 

Of course, everything is different in the Boston Herald. Top of Page One:

 

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Inside, there’s Hillary Chabot’s piece (with Matthew Stout) about Warren’s local political posse.

Bay State heavyweights eye Warren bandwagon

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U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III — whose late uncle Edward M. Kennedy famously snubbed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential contest — kept the door open yesterday to another game-changing Kennedy endorsement should U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren enter the 2016 race.

“He has no doubt she will continue to be a tremendously effective leader wherever her career takes her,” Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Brown said yesterday when asked of the congressman’s thoughts about Warren as president.

The comment comes after U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Somerville) offered his support to Warren if she jumps into the presidential contest, despite the likelihood that former Secretary of State Clinton will enter the field.

 

Joe Battenfeld adds a column about Warren’s likely prospects and this Tale of the Tape:

 

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As usual with the local dailies, we have another split decision.


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
stage?

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.

 

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

 

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Isn’t that special?


Mitt Romney Is Front (Page) and Center in Boston Dailies

February 17, 2014

Two-time presidential loser Mitt Romney is the Great Mentioner’s main squeeze right now, a regular Page One Pin-up Boy.

Start with this front-page story in Saturday’s Boston Globe (mercifully below the fold).

 

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Money quote:

 “Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no,” Romney told The New York Times.

 

But . . . “in recent weeks, a strange thing has happened: Some supporters and donors, pollsters and pundits are starting to suggest — without irony — that the former Massachusetts governor run for president in 2016.”

Romney, not surprisingly, says all the right things in pooh-poohing the possibility he could go for the hat trick, while adding a few Mitticisms along the way that are as awkward as he is.

As the redoubtable Dan Kennedy noted on Facebook:

Mitt Romney on presidential losers: “Mike Dukakis, you know, he can’t get a job mowing lawns. We just brutalize whoever loses.” (http://b.globe.com/1fodGJN) Haw haw haw! Michael Dukakis has been an important part of the Northeastern community for many years. But why let the facts get in the way of a bad joke?

 

Why indeed.

Crosstown, Romney graces the front page of today’s Boston Herald.

 

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The take here is different from the Globe’s, in that the Herald piece operates under the assumption Romney is not a potential 2016 contender.

Mitt Romney — the GOP’s uptight 2012 presidential nominee known for his family-man image and awkward sound bites — just might turn into the Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 12.35.44 PMRepublican Party’s top 
attack dog in 2016.

“He will be the one who carries the fight and makes the arguments and shows the contrasts,” said Tom Rath, a New Hampshire GOP consultant who helped Romney’s 2012 bid. “He fills the void while we are waiting to select a nominee, and he can be a very effective and compelling spokesperson who doesn’t have to be anything but be himself.”

 

Of course, being himself is what made him a two-time loser. But why get technical about it.

 


For Once, Boston Globe at a DisADvantage

January 27, 2014

As the hard reading staff has noted on numerous occasions, it’s normally the Boston Herald that gets shortchanged in the full-page-ad department, especially in terms of advocacy ads.

But not today.

Page 11:

 

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The outfit that funded the ad, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, describes itself as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization working in strategic partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority.”

And Ed Markey? He’s co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. So good idea to suck up to him, although not sure why the Herald is the place to do it.

Regardless, here’s another thing today’s Herald has that the Globe doesn’t: coverage of Chet Curtis’s wake yesterday.

 

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Nice coverage, unfortunate photos.

Finally, the Herald has also cornered the market on Romney Redux reporting, with the normally level-headed Kimberly Atkins speculating that two-time presidential loser Mitt Romney might go for the hat trick.

Oy.

So the feisty local tabloid goes two-for-three today. Better than average, yes?

 


Pope or Dope on Boston Front Pages

January 18, 2014

A nifty little criss-cross has religion and politics switching places in the local dailies today.

Boston Herald front page:

 

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Inside the story gets two pages: a news report that seems to be mostly AP material, and his ‘n’ her columns from Ray Flynn and Margery Eagan.

On page 3 of the feisty local broadsheet, there’s this piece:

Mitt aide rues blocking doc

Right off the top, the documentary “Mitt” shows a defeated Mitt Romney teary-eyed and searching for help in crafting a concession 011614mitt001speech — and the personal number for President Obama.

“By the way, someone have a number for the president?” a dejected Romney asks on election night Nov. 6, 2012, in his hotel suite in Boston.

“What do you say in a concession speech?” he adds.

 

Seriously? Anyway, the point of the piece is this: “[A] top Romney adviser and friend admitted the campaign blew it by repeatedly opposing the release of the documentary, which could have helped Romney shed his stiff, robotic image.”

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Romney moves up to the front page.

 

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This “Mitt” piece has Romney’s son Tagg doing the lamenting:

“I was frustrated that we were not able to get an accurate portrayal of who my dad was out there,” Tagg said in an interview Friday, as he discussed the film. “The campaign team wanted to present a very controlled image. . . . The movie shows a very real human being: a flawed person with weaknesses but someone who is much more real and understandable.”

 

Meanwhile, it’s the Pope who gets page 3 in the stately local broadsheet, also via the AP.

Pope said to defrock 400 priests in 2 years

VATICAN CITY — A document shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over two years for sexually molesting children.

The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked. Before that, it had only revealed the number of alleged cases of abuse it had received and the number of trials it had authorized.

While it’s not clear why the numbers spiked in 2011, it could be because 2010 saw a explosion in the number of cases reported in the media in Europe and beyond.

 

Here endeth the criss-cross.

 


Boston Herald Jumps the Snark

October 23, 2012

Say, the Boston Herald didn’t like all that sarcasm Barack Obama threw at Mitt Romney in last night’s debate, did they?

Start with Page One (via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):

Then the columnists got in on the action.

Paging Howie Carr, paging Mr. One-Note Carr.

Once they got beyond the boring foreign policy part of the foreign policy debate, they reverted to form.

Obama was petulant and petty and, of course, he wants higher taxes on “the wealthiest.” He condescendingly lectured Romney on naval matters, and on these new “ships that go underwater … nuclear submarines.”

Next up, Joe Battenfeld:

The president’s snarky one-liners — such as lecturing Romney that “we have these things called aircraft carriers” — may have alienated some voters and will definitely fire up Republicans.

Certainly worked for Boston Globe columnist Farah Stockman:

At his best, [Romney] came off sounding like a diluted version of the president we already have.

By contrast, Obama sounded comfortable with the material. My favorite moment was after Romney brought up his often-repeated line about the US Navy having fewer ships now than it did in 1916, Obama said: “We also have fewer horses and bayonets . . . We have these things called aircraft carriers. Planes land on them.”

So, obviously, do newspaper columnists.

 


‘Binder’ Blinders at the Boston Herald?

October 18, 2012

The Binders Full of Women rumpus,the latest screaming meme in the flogosphere, has turned the spotlight on Mitt Romney’s hiring record as Massachusetts governor from 2003-2007. The local dailies both take a look at that record today, with differing results (stop the presses, eh?).

From the Boston Herald:

Mitt Romney’s ‘binders of women’ comment is going full clip

The frenzy whipped up by Mitt Romney’s claims of poring over “binders full of woman” to ensure his cabinet wasn’t male-dominated drew a sharp response from both sides of the aisle yesterday — Democrats disputing the notion he actively sought out female candidates and Republicans rushing to defend his Bay State record.

Romney, in Tuesday’s debate, said his administration “took a concerted effort to go out and find women” for his cabinet, adding he turned to women’s groups, who provided “binders full of women” . . .

Kerry Healey, Romney’s former lieutenant governor, noted women in top positions included Chief of Staff Beth Myers and policy adviser Cindy Gillespie.

“He has surrounded himself with talented women’s voices,” Healey said last night. The Herald reported during Romney’s administration that the percentage of women in top jobs rose only slightly, from 30 percent to 31 percent, but MassGAP did not fault him, telling the Herald in 2006 three-fourths of top jobs had holdovers.

The Boston Globe, however, tells a different – and less flattering – tale:

The story behind Mitt Romney’s ‘binders full of women’

WASHINGTON — In the debate on Tuesday night, Mitt Romney said that he made every effort to find qualified women for Cabinet positions when he was governor of Massachusetts.

“Well, gosh,” he said he told his staff who had an abundance of male applicants, “can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”

“I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ ” Romney added. “And they brought us whole binders full of women.”

The awkward turn of phrase — “binders full of women” — immediately took off online and triggered a day of back and forth between Democrats and Republicans over who can best represent concerns of women. A Facebook page, called “Binders Full of Women,” was created and by midday had nearly 300,000 likes. Dan Lacey, an artist known for political parodies, was selling a painting on eBay of Romney holding two binders with female legs coming out of them. A Tumblr page, with spoof images, was created, and President Obama resurrected the line during a campaign stop in Iowa.

That’s not the less flattering part, though. This is:

About midway through Romney’s four-year term, 42 percent of his 33 new appointments were women, according to a study done by the UMass Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy using some of the data collected by MassGAP.

But over the next two years, women made up only 25 percent of the 64 new appointments Romney made. By the end of his term, women made up 27.6 percent of those in high-ranking positions overall, which was slightly lower than it was before Romney took office.

As always in this post-truth presidential election, pick the numbers that suit you best.