Boston Globe Still Won’t Note Nancy Gertner Conflict

June 7, 2018

One week ago the hardreading staff noted that the Boston Globe allowed former federal judge Nancy Gertner to sandblast Gov. Charlie Baker in an op-ed for opposing “Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley’s [sentencing] of [Manuel] Soto-Vittini to probation for possession with intent to distribute 15 grams of heroin and a small amount of cocaine.”

As we wrote then:

But wait – isn’t Nancy Gertner a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez? It sure appears that way from this item in Lauren Dezenski’s Politico Massachusetts Playbook last fall.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Former US Federal Judge Nancy Gertner hosted a fundraiser for Dem gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez at her Brookline home last night, the Gonzalez campaign tells me.

Globe readers might have wanted to know that in considering Gertner’s takedown of Charlie Baker, don’t you think?

 

Well, Globe readers still don’t know that, even as the Judge Feeley rumpus hits 11. Memo to Globe editorial page editor Ellen Clegg: Time to fess up, yeah?

Then again, the Globe isn’t alone in giving Gertner a free pass.

CommonWealth Magazine’s Michael Jonas also failed to note her conflict of interest (“[Baker’s] remarks appear to have been the last straw for former federal judge Nancy Gertner, who pens an op-ed in today’s Globe ripping Baker’s comments as a “Trump lite” echo of the president’s habit of “trashing judges with whom he disagrees.”), and MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius also links to Gertner’s op-ed with no disclaimer.

In the end, it’s absolutely Gertner’s responsibility to disclose her vested interest in attacking Charlie Baker. But news outlets should be exercising due diligence as well.

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Boston Globe Ignores Gertner Conflict of Interest

June 1, 2018

Today’s Boston Globe features this op-ed from retired federal judge and Harvard Law professor Nancy Gertner.

Irresponsible attacks on a fine judge

Just when we have finally come to see the opioid crisis as both a public health and public safety problem, Governor Charlie Baker and others would have us careen in the opposite direction.

Take the case of Manuel Soto-Vittini of Peabody. Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley sentenced Soto-Vittini to probation for possession with intent to distribute 15 grams of heroin and a small amount of cocaine. Soto-Vittini had no criminal convictions, just a dismissed drug-possession charge from a decade ago, when he was 22.

 

Gertner says, “Judge Feeley’s decision to impose probation was or should have been unremarkable. Instead, it was greeted with protests, vituperative newspaper columns, and most outrageous of all, calls for his impeachment.”

First one in Gertner’s dock: Charlie Baker.

Governor Charlie Baker called Judge Feeley’s sentence “ridiculous and outrageous.” Worse, in a moment that can only be called “Trump lite” in its resemblance to Trump’s habit of trashing judges with whom he disagrees, Baker suggested that the courts deal with Judge Feeley just as it had with the judge who was suspended for inappropriate sexual conduct in his chambers.

 

Gertner ends the piece with this: “Governor Baker, you should know better.”

But wait – isn’t Nancy Gertner a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez? It sure appears that way from this item in Lauren Dezenski’s Politico Massachusetts Playbook last fall.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Former US Federal Judge Nancy Gertner hosted a fundraiser for Dem gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez at her Brookline home last night, the Gonzalez campaign tells me.

 

Globe readers might have wanted to know that in considering Gertner’s takedown of Charlie Baker, don’t you think?