Herald Pounds Away at GruberGaffe

November 15, 2014

It’s Day Five of the Jonathan Gruber rumpus and the Boston Herald is still on it like Brown on Williamson.

Today’s front page of the frenzy local tabloid:

 

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Inside, the dustup gets the high-priced spread:

 

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The derail Obamacare piece is especially noteworthy, since it is – as the great Raymond Chandler would say – thinner than the gold on a week-end wedding ring.

MIT professor’s gaffes could derail Obamacare

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Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber — the MIT brainiac caught on video admitting the law’s “lack of transparency” was meant to dupe a gullible American public — could end up becoming Obamacare’s demolition man, with congressional Republicans threatening to hold hearings and experts saying his bombshell comments could impact the Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act.

 

Those “experts” turn out to be one guy from a conservative think tank.

“Justices and their clerks read the news like everybody else does,” said Joshua Archambault, a health care expert at the Pioneer Institute. “I think it will be in the back of their minds.”

 

Then again, maybe not, since the subterfuge was meant to keep Obamacare’s penalties from looking like a tax, while the Supremes have already declared it is a tax.

Whatever.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe has studiously avoided GruberGaffe, with only one report so far, buried in yesterday’s A section. But tomorrow we get this Joan Vennochi column.

‘Stupidity’ comments create new problems for ACA

GIVEN THE ongoing frenzy over photos of Kim Kardashian’s rear end, it’s easy to understand why some people might underestimate the intelligence of the American public.

Yet Jonathan Gruber did more than underestimate it. The MIT economist and architect of the Affordable gruberCare Act trashed his fellow citizens, by attributing the ability of Democrats to pass the law to deliberate duping, aided by the “stupidity of the American voter.”

Those videotaped comments, distributed via social media, created a new problem for an administration dealing with plenty of old ones. Thanks to Gruber, the anti-Obamacare gang suddenly has fresh fodder. As a result, the GOP’s campaign against the health care law “gained new momentum,” reported the Washington Post, and Gruber may be called to testify about remarks he retroactively explained as “off the cuff.”

 

And now Gruber’s getting cuffed – by Vennochi, by the Herald, by the GOP, probably by Pope Francis in the next few days.

Who’s stupid now, eh?

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Herald Immigration Coverage Borders on Obsessive

July 15, 2014

In its perpetual effort to play to the cheap seats, the Boston Herald has been on the current immigration rumpus like Brown on Williamson. Start with Sunday’s Page One:

 

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That day’s tally: One news report, two local columns, one national column.

Yesterday, it was one news report, one local column, one national column, one editorial cartoon.

Today it’s full-tilt boogie: Two news reports (one of them dragging the Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates into the mix), two local columns, one national column, one editorial. (You can get the overall flavor of the Herald’s coverage here.)

As a special bonus, the frisky local tabloid posted this piece on its website earlier today:

Scott Brown slams secret immigrant flights

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U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown called the ongoing immigration crisis at the southern border “a disaster” during an interview today on Boston Herald Radio and blasted federal officials for not coming clean about secret flights of illegals landing in the Bay State.

“The fact that this is being done without people’s knowledge, it’s kind of behind the scenes, is really not appropriate. It needs to be above board, everyone needs to know what’s going on and where we’re going with this whole disaster,” he said. “It is affecting our national security, it is affecting our economic security and to think that we don’t have a secure border and we’re providing these incentives for people to come here illegally is just wrong.”

 

A number of people feel the same way about letting Brown cross the Massachusetts border.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the immigration coverage has been more, well, low-key.

 

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(Not to get technical about it, but the Pope piece seems to be web-only.)

One town, two different worlds, yeah?


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.

 


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.

 


Why the Boston Globe Matters and the Herald – Almost – Doesn’t

December 23, 2013

Exhibit Umpteen: Yesterday’s front pages of the local dailies.

Boston Herald:

 

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Boston Globe:

 

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Call the roll: Three major stories on Page One of the Globe (BRA, Pope FrancisRevere casino) vs. zero major stories on the Herald’s Page One. (To be fair, the feisty local tabloid did make news inside with this Foxy Lady strip club, er, bust.)

So it’s no contest on the issue of content.

More important, though – without the Boston Herald, the Globe is Roger Federer pre-Rafael Nadal: A dominant force with no worthy rival to really challenge it (Federer won Wimbledon in 2003 against Mark Philip-friggin’-poussis for God’s sake).

So once again: We’re lucky to live in a two-daily town.

Regardless of the merits of the two dailies.


Herald Romes Much Farther Than Globe

March 20, 2013

It’s a rare day – and therefore a noteworthy one – when the Boston Herald devotes more resources to a big story than the Boston Globe does.

Welcome to today’s edition of our feisty local tabloid gone global. Note the dateline on Margery Eagan’s column:

Vatican PopePope Francis fever catches on in Rome

ROME — The Roman Catholic Church has been losing the faithful in Italy and much of Europe for decades. Pope Francis has clearly revived interest, if only until his novelty wears off.

Yesterday, for the third time in a week, an estimated 150,000 packed St. Peter’s Square. Police were keeping order in subway stations en route to the Vatican as crowds tried to push onto nearly full trains. Streets all around the Vatican were closed to traffic. But they were filled with what looked like thousands more spectators who showed up too late to fit into the square — meaning they didn’t get here by 7:30 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. Mass.

These thousands watched on at least a dozen Jumbotrons as Pope Francis, just before his inaugural Mass, rode about the square not in the bulletproof glass popemobile, but, unusually, in an open-air model. It allowed him to get on and off and kiss a baby and the forehead of a man who appeared disabled and smiled up at Francis’ face.

 

Today’s Herald also features a thumbsucker on Sean O’Malley’s elevated status after his waltz with the Great Mentioner at the Vatican conclave.

Vatican PopeObservers see O’Malley as papal adviser

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will return to Boston this week a more influential figure than when he left for the papal conclave late last month — with international name recognition, and possibly the prospect of a role in Rome as Pope Francis aligns his inner circle, religious experts said.

“My sense is that Sean O’Malley is happy in Boston and would not be happy at the Vatican. On the other hand, he is a close friend of Pope Francis. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a role for Cardinal O’Malley,” said Thomas Groome, a theology professor at Boston College. “He’ll have a more enhanced role in advising and leadership than he did under Benedict. He certainly is coming home with an enhanced reputation.”

National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen Jr., whose article on O’Malley prior to the conclave helped elevate the Boston archbishop’s profile, said O’Malley has been rumored to take over as leader of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which manages the rules governing priests and nuns.

Meanwhile, crosstown at the Globe, today’s edition included only this on the pontiff front:

2013-03-19T141110Z_01_MBH11_RTRMDNP_3_POPEAt inaugural, Pope Francis vows to serve poor

Urges those in power to protect world

By Elisabetta Povoledo, Rachel Donadio and Alan Cowell |  NEW YORK TIMES     MARCH 20, 2013

VATICAN CITY — At the formal start of his papacy, Pope Francis offered a passionate pledge Tuesday to serve ‘‘the poorest, the weakest, the least important,’’ striking the same tones of humility that have marked the days since he was elected last week.

On a raised and canopied throne on a platform looking out from St. Peter’s Basilica to the piazza in front of it, the pope enjoined those in temporal power to protect the world and ‘‘not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world.’’

“Today, too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others,’’ he added to frequent applause from some among the tens of thousands of people cramming the square and the broad avenue leading to it from the River Tiber. The Vatican estimated the number at 150,000 to 200,000.

 

A story plucked from the New York Times wire service?  Kinda pales in comparison with the Herald, eh?

It’s possible-to-likely the paper is splitting the cost of Eagan’s Roman gig with WGBH (where she co-hosts a radio show with Jm Braude), since she’s also reported on the papal festivities for 89.7 FM.

Either way, it’s the Herald that’s the papal tiger on this story.


Pope-a-Scope in the Boston Dailies

March 14, 2013

Boston being the Cathaholic hub that it is, the hardreading staff is not surprised at the hallelujah chorus in today’s local papers.

Start with the Boston Herald, which doesn’t measure its coverage of newly minted Pope Francis I, it weighs it.

Page One of our feisty local tabloid:

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And then . . .

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And then . . .

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And then . . .

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And then . .

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And then . . .

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And then . . . there was no more news coverage.

But wait – there’s this: An editorial (Francis a true first) and this editorial cartoon by Jerry Holbert:

holbert's 03-14 cartoon

 

Okay then.

Crosstown rival Boston Globe also weighed in with some heavy-duty (if ad-laden) coverage:

Page One of our stately local broadsheet:

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And then . . .

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And then . . .

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And then . . .

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And then there’s this op-ed by James Carroll (no relation):

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And then . . .

That’s it.

Which paper did a better job?

I’ll leave that up to you.