Boston Herald Gathers No Moss

April 6, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The long-awaited Columbia Journalism School report on the clueless Rolling Stone campus rape investigation (now retracted) gets – wait for it – very different play in today’s local dailies.

Start with Page One of the Boston Herald.

 

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Inside, the story gets the bulk of Page 2:

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the report gets a New York Times wire service piece on A5.

 

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Your conclusions go here.


Tsarnaev Photo Finish

July 21, 2013

Saturday’s local dailies had – wait for it – very different takes on the State Police photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s April 19 apprehension by law enforcement officials after a “massive manhunt.”

From the Boston Globe:

Some praise officer for bloody images

Sergeant with State Police faces hearing on action

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The State Police sergeant who released dramatic photos of the capture of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev without the agency’s permission received enthusiastic support Friday from an array of backers.

“The department received dozens upon dozens of calls and e-mails today from citizens around the country supporting Sergeant Murphy and what he did,” State Police spokesman David Procopio said Friday.

Sergeant Sean Murphy, who released the images of a bloody Tsarnaev to Boston Magazine Thursday, also drew praise on social media, including Twitter. He said he released the photos in response to Rolling Stone magazine’s putting Tsarnaev on its cover with an image that critics said made him look glamorous.

“Great photos,” one person wrote of Murphy’s images. “I support your decision.”

 

But not everyone felt the same way, as the Boston Herald’s front page noted:

 

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The inside scoop:

Dzhokhar TsarnaevDzhokhar’s dream photos?

Cop pics could help defense

The leaked state police photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s bloody, woozy capture and surrender in Watertown may be exactly the evidence the Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s legal team needs to help him talk his way out of the death chamber, a former federal prosecutor said yesterday.

“I absolutely think they’re going to be using these in terms of mitigation — that he’s been injured enough, that he suffered, that he was fired upon without firing upon the others,” attorney R. Bradford Bailey told the Herald. “These are the precise types of facts that make a persuasive argument against imposing the death penalty.

“This is certainly material for Judith Clarke and her experience with capital punishment cases,” he added, referring to the San Diego death-penalty specialist who has been appointed to Tsarnaev’s case.

 

This one is, as they say in the betting line, pick ’em.


On the Cover of the Roiling Stone

July 18, 2013

First off, it should be noted that the Boston Herald broke this Rolling Stone story on page 3 of yesterday’s edition (don’t ask about the little green numbers – no idea why they keep popping up):

 

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Today, the feisty local tabloid went for broke:

 

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The one dissenting voice was columnist Margery Eagan, but she was drowned out by the other coverage, which included a couple of news reports and the always-enlightening comments of Herald readers.

 

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Our personal favorite among the reader responses:

 

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But wait – the paper’s not done yet. There’s also a smashmouth editorial, along with a venomous column from Michael Graham:

BomberRollingstoneMagazine’s the picture of desperation

‘McDreamy’ photo won’t get oldies loser Rolling

Hey, Rolling Stone magazine! Next time you want to prove how provocative and edgy you are, put a flattering photo of George Zimmerman on your cover.

Right. Like that’s ever going to happen.

And that’s part of the reason for Boston’s completely righteous anger over the magazine’s “Terrorist Teen Beat” cover featuring Dzhokhar McDreamy. It’s insulting and stupid, and they know it.

But if it sells magazines (or even better — drives up Web traffic), they don’t care.

 

Sounds a bit like the Herald itself.

Crosstown rival Boston Globe has a more evenhanded debate on its front page:

 

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There’s also a news report and this comme ci comme ça editorial:

[T]he magazine’s advance hype for the story — “a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster” — hinted at a somewhat more sympathetic portrayal of Tsarnaev than many readers might expect.

Then again, the cover also identifies him as a bomber — going farther in asserting Tsarnaev’s guilt than the criminal justice system has at this point. All of which suggests that Rolling Stone is better at trying to create buzz than at recognizing the sensitivity of a recent incident that led to four Boston-area residents’ deaths and inflicted horrifying injuries on many more. Still, readers shouldn’t assume that a cover story about a suspected evildoer represents an attempt to glamorize him. This issue of Rolling Stone should be judged not by its cover, but on the information that it brings to the public record.

 

Well . . . judge for yourself.