The Essential Difference Between the Boston Dailies

December 11, 2015

From our One Towne, Two Different Worlds desk

As the hardreading staff has (we trust) dutifully noted, the local dailies rarely see eye-to-eye on any particular story.

Yesterday was no exception.

But it was particularly illuminating. And it all revolved around fan safety at Fenway Park, where most fans go to 1) see a Red Sox victory, and 2) avoid any major head injuries.

Boston Globe Page One:

SAFE AT HOME

Sox to heed MLB’s recommendation for additional protective netting

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NASHVILLE — Major League Baseball on Wednesday took steps to protect those fans who want to sit close to the action, recommending that all teams extend protective netting between the dugouts for any field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate.

The Red Sox immediately announced they would comply and are making plans to extend the netting behind home plate to the dugouts. Team president Sam Kennedy said the Sox are evaluating what the size and type of the netting will be.

 

The Globe piece also included this helpful graphic about fans injured in Major League ballparks each year:

 

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To illustrate one example, the stately local broadsheet mentioned this in paragraph 11:

On July 10, a woman sitting [near the edge of the backstop screen] was hit in the forehead by a foul ball. Stephanie Wapenski, 36, of Branford, Conn., required more than 40 stitches.

 

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, Stephanie Wapenski was no footnote – she was the hitchy local tabloid’s Cover Girl.

 

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From the estimable Peter Gelzinis:

Field of Dreams: Fan Nets Fairy Tale Fenway Ending

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Even if the Red Sox didn’t plan to extend the protective netting along the first- and third-base lines, Stephanie Wapenski had no intention of staying away from the ballpark she loves. And now, in a fairy-tale ending to her hard luck story, she’s going back for love.

Wapenski was six rows up from the third-base line, watching the Sox play the Yankees last July. She recalled telling her fiance, Matt Fraenza, “We’re going to catch a ball tonight.”

What this Connecticut woman wound up catching on that night was a 100 mph line-drive foul from Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius that ricocheted off her forehead and landed in short left field.

 

But then . . .

“When the Red Sox asked what they could do for us,” Stephanie recalled, “we mentioned that we weren’t interested in pursuing any legal action. We told them we were rabid baseball fans who would love to be married at Fenway.”

The Red Sox didn’t need to be asked twice. They waived the $10,000 fee other couples, who have not been beaned by a line drive, must pay to be married on the field.

 

Excellent!

And an excellent example of the gap between the rational local broadsheet and the emotional local tabloid.

So we say . . . long live Two-Daily Towns!

Or at least what’s left of them.


Boston Herald’s Gelzinis Nails Lyin’ Brian Williams

February 8, 2015

At this point, it’s really Cryin’ Brian Williams, as the NBC anchor gets pummeled from all sides for fabricating a harrowing tale of danger during hisIraq war coverage in 2003. Typical of today’s coverage is this New York Times Wire Service pickup in the Boston Sunday Globe.

 

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Some, of course, has been tougher, like Times Op-It Girl Maureen Dowd’s piece today.

NBC executives were warned a year ago that Brian Williams was constantly inflating his biography. They were flummoxed over why the leading network anchor felt that he needed Hemingwayesque, bullets-whizzing-by flourishes to puff himself up, sometimes to the point where it was a joke in the news division.

But the caustic media big shots who once roamed the land were gone, and “there was no one around to pull his chain when he got too over-the-top,” as one NBC News reporter put it.

 

But for our money, the toughest – and most damning – is this piece by Peter Gelzinis in today’s Boston Herald.

Brian Williams’ snub of vets no laughing matter

Back in the fall of 2006, long before Brian Williams confessed to “conflating” his helicopter adventures over Iraq, Neal Santangelo knew the NBC news anchor was a fraud.

Santangelo, a Boston firefighter, former president of Local 718 and a proud veteran of the Navy submarine service, served on a committee that brought the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to Boston that year for its national convention.

About six months before the society’s gala banquet at the Convention Center, Williams agreed to serve as master of ceremonies.

But when he arrived on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006, Williams told committee members Tom Lyons and Neal Santangelo that a “pressing engagement” back in New York prevented him from doing much more than greeting the audience of more than 1,000 guests … and leaving.

 

That pressing engagement? Parachuting into that night’s Weekend Update sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”

 

SNL-BRIAN WILLIAMS

“I … cannot believe that you left us for this,” Neal Santangelo wrote in a letter to Williams a week after the banquet. “In an act of egotistical, blatant self-promotion, you deceived the (Medal of Honor) Recipients, declined to break bread with them and disrespected them.

“You placed comedy before courage … Your conduct was irreverent, insulting, incomprehensible and shameful. You may attempt to ‘spin’ the issue to support your position, but that will do nothing but bring you further shame in my eyes.”

The three-page letter Neal Santangelo wrote out of pure rage and emotion was never sent.

 

Well, thanks to Gelzinis, it’s out there now.


Hark! The Herald! (Whole in Their Head Edition)

January 12, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The selfie local tabloid seems determined to run a Whole Foods/Herald story as often as possible.

It started with this piece last Wednesday.

Whole Foods design honors Herald legacy

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In the South End landmark where ink once flowed and the Boston Herald’s presses roared, shoppers will now enjoy frangipane tarts, cooked-to-order ramen and a milk + honey spa at Boston’s newest and most innovative Whole Foods.

The 50,000-square-foot gourmet supermarket is part of National Development’s Ink Block project on the site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.

 

(Boston Magazine’s Eric Randall immediately had a smart piece chronicling the Herald’s “screeds against the half of the country that columnist Howie Carr sometimes collectively refers to as ‘Whole Foods nation'” along with a roll call of the Herald’s Whole lotta love.)

Then Saturday’s Herald featured this update from Donna Goodison:

It’s a Whole new story at 
old Herald site

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Whole Foods Market debuted its newest Boston store in the South End Friday — its second largest in the region and considered a flagship for its North Atlantic division — and co-CEO Walter Robb sees room in the Hub for another of its size.

“We’ve seen the city evolving, so we have lots of plans,” the Boston native said. “The opportunity to come in here and get 50,000 square feet — that’s hard to do these days, and I do think there’s another one (in the future pipeline).” . . .

Its South End supermarket is in National Development’s $200 million Ink Block project, the former Boston Herald headquarters site for more than half a century, and it memorializes the newspaper’s history throughout its decor.

 

Of course it does.

Then yesterday, there was this thoroughly readable piece from Peter Gelzinis:

From press to produce

The legendary author Thomas Wolfe was misinformed when he wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again.”117A1228.JPG

I’m here to say you can. But when you do, you’ll discover home has been transformed into the biggest Whole Foods store in Boston.

 

It’s a sweet trip down Memory Lane with Bert McNeil and Mike Bello, Danny and Dennis Messing, and especially Gelzinis himself.

But there’s also a subtext to all that Wholesomeness: “Herald publisher Patrick J. Purcell [is] a minority investor in the $200 million Ink Block project, which also will include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants.”

So – a Whole lotta money involved.

And today?

Wholly absent.

But we don’t expect that to last long.


Herald Front Page Hits the Trifecta

October 17, 2014

The Boston Herald is at its most Heraldish today, with a trio of Page One stories that feature drugs, crime, greed, and, well, TV.

 

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For our money, the best of the bunch is this one:

No love lost between sibs

Con who killed parents sues bro for granny’s $$

A killer con — behind bars for cold-bloodedly murdering his parents for their insurance money more than 25 years ago — is back in court suing his brother over an inheritance from their grandmother, saying he has the dough coming to him.

“That money was supposed to be for me if I got out on parole,” William Duclos, 45, told the Herald in a jailhouse interview yesterday. “My brother was supposed to hold that money for me.”

 

Not surprisingly, the situation is a little more complicated than that. Check the feisty local tabloid for details.

Also not surprisingly – you won’t find them in the Boston Globe.


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.

 


One Town, Two Different Worlds (Jeremiah Oliver Edition)

April 19, 2014

Page One Pop Quiz:

Which of the local dailies has already made up its mind about this story?

Boston Globe:

 

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Boston Herald:

 

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Answer:

That’s right. The Herald.

 


Walsh Inaug: Herald Trumps Globe in Local Crookerati

January 7, 2014

Both local dailies did a good job covering Marty Walsh’s inauguration as Boston’s 48th (or 54th or 58th) mayor.

The Boston Globe gave it it nearly four full pages in the A section, along with the requisite sonorous editorial.

The Boston Herald seemed to throw its entire newsroom at the torch-passing: eight columnists, seven reporters, twelve pages, and a cautiously optimistic editorial.

But, not surprisingly, it was in the boldface coverage of the day-long shindig where the Herald proved superior, especially in noting the less-than-luminaries who attended.

The Globe pointed out the Big Three:

Even some whose political legacies are shadowed by controversy showed up. Dianne Wilkerson, a former state senator, who was released from prison last fall after serving time for a bribery conviction, was in the audience. So, too, was Thomas Finneran, the former House speaker who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in 2007, and former state treasurer Tim Cahill, whose trial on public corruption charges ended in a mistrial, probation, and a fine.

 

Howie Carr also gave a nod to the if-you’re-indicted-you’re-invited set. But the Inside Track had a little something extra:

 

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Score one for the feisty local tabloid. Don Forst must be smiling somewhere.