Boston Globe Finally Runs Wayne Woodlief Obituary

August 28, 2017

For the past two weeks the hardtsking staff has been on the Boston Globe like Brown on Williamson over the paper’s failure to publish an obituary for Boston Herald stalwart Wayne Woodlief, who died on August 12.

Yesterday the wait ended with this piece in the Boston Sunday Globe.

Wayne Woodlief, 82; longtime Boston Herald political reporter, columnist

With the future of the Boston Herald at stake in 1988, political reporter Wayne Woodlief spent days stalking Senator Edward M. Kennedy, posing the same question wherever he went: “Senator, why are you trying to kill the Herald?” . . . 

“Kennedy’s Vendetta,” the paper’s headlines declared amid revelations that the senator had quietly maneuvered legislation into a catch-all spending bill that would prevent regulators from reconsidering rules preventing [Herald owner Rupert] Murdoch from owning a newspaper and a TV station in the same market.

Mr. Woodlief’s dogged, yet gentlemanly, pursuit of the senator epitomized his devotion to freedom of the press and his character, friends said.

 

Nice lede, nice tribute overall by Globe correspondent J.M. Lawrence.

Last word to Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen: “Wayne Woodlief had a kind word for everyone he met . . . He brought civility and even grace to a highly competitive profession and to the often uncivil world of politics that he covered.”

Amen.

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3rd Time: Where’s the Globe’s Wayne Woodlief Obit?

August 23, 2017

From our Are You Kidding? desk

As the headscratching staff has been asking for two weeks now, why has the Boston Globe failed to run an obituary for Boston Herald reporter/columnist Wayne Woodlief, who died at the age of 82 on August 12?

The Herald, of course, memorialized Wayne right away. As did the Nieman Foundation.

Wayne Woodlief, NF ’66 and former political columnist, dies at 82

Longtime Boston Herald political columnist and 1966 Nieman Fellow Wayne Woodlief died on Aug. 12 at the age of 82.

A graduate of Duke University, he began his journalism career as a sportswriter and later a city politics reporter for the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Va. He then moved on to join The Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star’s Washington, D.C., bureau.

In 1974, Woodlief became the Boston Herald-American’s Washington correspondent. He was promoted as the newspaper’s political editor in 1977 but missed the beat and returned to reporting.

 

But still nothing from the Globe.

Bad form, Globeniks. Bad form.


Where’s the Boston Globe’s Wayne Woodlief Obit?

August 16, 2017

The redoubtable Wayne Woodlief – a gentleman journalist if there ever was one – died last week at the age of 82.

His Boston Herald colleague Rachelle Cohen wrote a lovely tribute to Wayne this past weekend.

This gentle man, still with a trace of a southern drawl — a legacy of his Virginia roots — always had time to answer a question, to share a bit of political history, to put a harried day into perspective for those who thought they would never make it through to deadline.

There was no “crisis” that the man couldn’t talk you through.

Alzheimer’s robbed us first of the man we all knew — the man who could list all the possible Democratic candidates in the 8th Congressional District race of 1986. Then early yesterday morning, it claimed the rest of him, when he died peacefully in his sleep.

 

Joe Fitzgerald, a Herald columnist who rarely agreed with Wayne politically, also had kind words for him.

We ribbed and teased each other so mercilessly that our friendship began to resemble a comedy routine, especially after this column left its longtime home in sports and moved onto Wayne’s turf, which was politics.

That offered a mother lode of conversational ammunition, since he regarded this writer as something to the right of Attila the Hun while he was seen here as slightly to the left of whatever passes for normal these days.

But you don’t poke fun at someone you don’t like, and Wayne was more than liked here. Indeed, he was admired, so much so that there was no better feeling than knowing you had earned his approval.

 

But . . .

Not a word yet from the Boston Globe.

C’mon, Globeniks – you were quick enough to eulogize WBZ legal eagle Neil Chayet, another local media stalwart who passed away last week.

Do the write thing and give Wayne Woodlief his due.


Boston Dailies Are a Hung Jury on Tsarnaev Fate

April 9, 2015

As we await the start of the sentencing phase of the Boston Marathon Bomber trial, the local dailies are – not surprisingly – seeing justice in very different outcomes for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Boston Herald goes for the trifecta in today’s edition: editorial, op-ed column, editorial cartoon – all reaching the same conclusion.

From the Herald editorial (under the headline No mercy for Tsarnaev):

Thirty counts. Thirty guilty verdicts. But that is only the beginning. The toughest part is yet to come — the issue of life or death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. May this jury show him as little mercy as he showed the victims whose lives he so callously took.

 

From the op-ed piece by Rachelle Cohen:

In a strange way the death penalty seems too good, too easy for Tsarnaev who also wrote that he envied his brother Tamerlan’s martyrdom. Death won’t dissipate the anger that lingers. It won’t bring back those taken from us. And it will surely take years to actually be carried out — such is the American way of justice. But it is the only just end for this unrepentant terrorist.

 

Jerry Holbert’s editorial cartoon:

 

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Crosstown, the Boston Globe does the Herald one better: editorial, two op-ed pieces, editorial cartoon – all pleading the opposite case.

From the Globe editorial (under the headline Now, a harder task for jury: Spare Tsarnaev death penalty):

As the trial now moves into its sentencing phase — the jury must unanimously vote to execute Tsarnaev, or else he will receive a life sentence — the defense team may also raise legal mitigating factors. Tsarnaev was 19 at the time of the bombing; he was apparently a heavy drug user; he had no prior criminal record. By themselves, none of these would seem like a particularly good reason to spare him, but taken as a whole, and alongside evidence of his brother’s dominant role, they should plant seeds of doubt.

In sorting through such life-and-death considerations, jurors face an unenviable task — and mixed precedent. The Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was put to death. The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, wasn’t. Tsarnaev obviously should spend the rest of his life in prison. His defense has already made a good case that he does not meet the exceptionally high standards for a federal execution.

 

From Nancy Gertner’s op-ed: “The choices for the government should not be a death finding in a civilian court, or a death finding in a military tribunal, lethal injection or a firing squad. Countless others accused of heinous crimes have pled guilty to a life without parole. There was another way. There still is.”

From Harvey Silverglate’s op-ed:

The feds overstepped in asserting their superior claim to jurisdiction in this case in anticipation of this very moment, and Massachusetts citizens should pay close attention as prosecutors make their case for execution. When our state outlawed the death penalty in 1984, did we really intend for that prohibition to be conditional? Tsarnaev’s crimes indeed are particularly heinous, but we cannot let emotions cloud judgment. Regardless of the jury’s sentencing decision, this trial has starkly illustrated a decline in Massachusetts’ state sovereignty in deciding — literally — life-or-death matters.

 

Dan Wasserman’s editorial cartoon:

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.39.52 AM

 

It doesn’t get much more opposite than that.

UPDATE: The redoubtable Dan Kennedy ventured farther afield in the local dailies, pointing out the following at Media Nation:

Metro columnists Kevin Cullen and Yvonne Abraham weigh in [against the death penalty] . . .  (Columnist Jeff Jacoby has previously written in favor of death for Tsarnaev.)

Over at the Boston Herald, the message is mixed. In favor of the death penalty [is] columnist Adriana Cohen . . . Columnist Joe Fitzgerald is against capital punishment for Tsarnaev. Former mayor Ray Flynn offers a maybe, writing that he’s against the death penalty but would respect the wishes of the victims’ families.

 

Sorted.


Martha Coakley: Redemption in Boston Globe, Rejection in Boston Herald

November 7, 2014

From our Late to the Party Pooper desk

Is it just us, or did the Boston Globe bend over backwards yesterday to sponsor the Martha Coakley Victory in Defeat Tour?

For your Page One consideration:

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 1.11.25 AM

 

Then, Yvonne Abraham’s Metro column:

Redemption, even in loss

Martha Coakley did not lose the election on Tuesday. Charlie Baker won it.

Both candidates — haunted by four-year-old criticisms of their failed bids for US senator and governor, respectively — put the ghosts of 2010 to rest for good this week.

In fact, they’d left them behind months ago, but some critics hadn’t noticed. Tuesday showed them. There was undeniable redemption in Baker’s victory, and, however painful it had to be, in Coakley’s narrow defeat.

 

Cut to Joan Vennoch’si op-ed:

Martha Coakley gets political redemption

THIS TIME, no one could say Martha Coakley gave up the fight.

In fact, she didn’t formally concede the governor’s race to Republican Charlie Baker until Wednesday morning.

Forgive her if she hung on a little too long.

 

Sorry, Joan – Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen doesn’t forgive her.

Coakley takes cowardly way out

Fails to bow off political stage gracefully to Baker

In politics as in life there are right ways and wrong ways to do things. How unfortunate that Martha Coakley had to end her political career on such a sour note — choosing the wrong way.

With hundreds of her supporters still in the Fairmont Copley Plaza ballroom as election eve turned into morning, Coakley slipped out and headed home. The job of telling the crowd to go home fell to her running mate, Steve Kerrigan, who told supporters, “It’s going to be a long night or rather a long morning” and urged folks to head on out.

 

Cohen’s conclusion: “It was simply wrong [for Coakley] to skulk away without a word — even if that word fell short of a concession speech.”

Hmmm. You tell us.


Boston Herald Thinks NAACP = Not Accepting Any Critical Provisions

October 6, 2014

Call it the Watermelon Summit.

The editorial cartoon rumpus at the Boston Herald has arrived at its inevitable destination: A sitdown between Herald editors and the local chapter of the NAACP.

From Sunday’s edition of the flavory local tabloid.

Herald vows to work with Boston NAACP

Curry: Obama cartoon ‘perpetuates stereotype’

The Boston Herald will work with the Boston chapter of the NAACP to address the issues raised by the publication of an editorial page cartoon last week.

The cartoon, focusing on security breaches at the White House, depicted President Obama brushing his teeth as an intruder suggested he try watermelon-flavored toothpaste. Cartoonist Jerry Holbert said he intended no racial overtones and apologized as did the newspaper.

The NAACP yesterday called the Herald apologies “inadequate” and said the publication of the cartoon on the paper’s opinion page “reopened the wounds of race” in Boston. It requested a series of remedies including a community meeting to discuss the editorial page cartoon.

 

That would be Boston NAACP president Michael Curry in the subhead, who got this response from a Herald statement:

​”The Herald has made it clear that this editorial page cartoon was unacceptable in its insensitivity and racial overtones . . .  We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NAACP and meeting with them to address the concerns that arose as a result.”

 

But crosstown at the Boston Globe, the Herald seemed to have a very different message for the NAACP.

Curry said that Herald executives told him they were ready to hear from the black community but had not yet committed to pursuing any action beyond a meeting.

“They said to me that they’re willing to do whatever and they’re expecting to hear from the community at this forum,” he said. “I think what’s important here is they’ve said no to nothing at this point.”

 

Then again, they’ve also said yes to nothing, yes?

Yes.


Whoopi Goldberg Defends Herald Watermelon Man

October 3, 2014

From our Late to the Rescue Party desk

So, to recap:

On Wednesday Boston Herald editorial cartoonist Jerry Holbert sparked a watermelon-flavored rumpus with this ill-advised (and ill-supervised) drawing in the clueless local tabloid.

 

 

holberts-10-01-cartoon

 

Much mishegoss ensued.

(The redoubtable Dan Kennedy has a smart recap of the fiasco here.)

And then . . .

Whoopi.

Via Mediabistro’s FishbowlDC:

Whoopi Goldberg Defends Boston Herald Cartoonist on ‘The View’

In response to a controversial cartoon that appeared in yesterday’s Boston Herald, ”The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg defended the cartoonist on today’s show.

Following information that the Sept. 19 White House fence-jumper made it to the East Room of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue rather than just past the North Portico doors as earlier reported, Jerry Holbert‘s cartoon contribution in yesterday’s print edition portrayed President Barack Obama brushing his teeth with a man behind him asking, “Have you tried the watermelon toothpaste?” and the caption “White House Invader Got Farther Than Previously Thought.”

[Thursday] morning, Goldberg addressed the controversy on “The View,” saying “I don’t believe he did it on purpose. I don’t think he was thinking about it.”

 

Here’s the clip:

 

 

Just for the record: Rosie Perez was having none of it.

Regardless, this is likely the end of it:

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 11.51.21 AM

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 11.50.48 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 11.51.04 AM

 

Of course, taste was never the Herald’s strong suit, was it?