Boston Dailies: Tsarnaev Jury’s In

March 5, 2015

From our Late to the Hanging Party desk

After an initial pool of 1373 potential jurors (who filled out a 28-page questionnaire) was whittled down to 256 by presiding US District Judge George A. O’Toole, whose interviews yielded 75 possibly unbiased jurors who then shrank to the Elite Eighteen – 12 jurors and six alternates – Boston now has an actual jury for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people – Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and Lingzi Lu (along with MIT police officer Sean Collier) – and wounded over 200.

And the finalists had their cotillion in Wednesday’s local dailies.

Boston Globe:

 

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Boston Herald:

 

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This is shaping up to be one hellacious bakeoff between the two local dailies.

Fasten your seat belts, as Bette Davis would say. It’s going to be a bumpy trial.


Hark! The Herald! (Tsarnaev Defense Edition)

December 30, 2014

Today’s edition of the selfie local tabloid once again demonstrates its Heraldcentric theory of the universe, as it reports that the trial of  alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is all about, well, the Boston Herald.

Lawyers blast feds over Herald column

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers have again asked a judge to postpone his trial, challenging Dzhokhar Tsarnaevprosecutors’ claims about their preparation process and slamming a Herald column that criticized the defense’s repeated efforts to seek delays.

In the motion filed yesterday, Tsarnaev’s legal team disputes the government claim that they have refused to stipulate to any evidence — an acknowledgement that would preclude bringing in officials to testify about how it was acquired and handled.

 

The Herald column in question? This one:

 

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According to today’s report, “[t]he defense motion cites Herald reporter Bob McGovern’s Dec. 26 Full Court Press column, which referred to the defense’s ‘foot-dragging’ and ‘stall tactics’ as an example.”

Jackpot!

As you might expect, crosstown at the Boston Globe there’s nary a word about foot-dragging or stalling or stipulating . . . or the Herald.

Tsarnaev defense renews pitch to delay trial

Says prosecutors sent thousands of documents late

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Attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev renewed their push Monday to delay his death penalty trial, set to start in one week, until the fall.

In papers filed in US District Court, the attorneys for the 21-year-old, who is accused of detonating two bombs at the 2013 Marathon finish line along with his late brother, Tamerlan, said the government has handed over thousands of documents to them at the last moment.

As a result, the attorneys wrote, there is no way they can be ready to defend Tsarnaev both during the trial, and if he is convicted, during the penalty phase, where jurors will be asked to decide whether the former Cambridge resident deserves the death penalty.

 

One town, two different trials, eh?


Herald Hits Tsarnaev Trifecta

December 17, 2013

The hardworking staff predicted, the feisty local tabloid delivered.

After yesterday’s buckshot, today’s Boston Herald aimed its big guns at the stately local broadsheet’s Pulitzer-seeking takeout, The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev.

Start with Yin ‘n’ Yang Twins (we know – it doesn’t make sense, does it?) Howie Carr and Margery Eagan.

Carr’s drive-by:

OH, BROTHER! WHAT A DOOZY

Globe pens ‘Joker’ of a tale on suspects

The Boston Globe is 
going for a Pulitzer Prize — in Political Correctness.

And if some other 
money-hemorrhaging broadsheet does manage to out-moonbat the Globe, well, there’s always the consolation prize — the Profiles in Courage award, for being courageous enough to take the wrong, but fashionable, position.

The Globe’s take: the Tsarnaevs are “homegrown” terrorists. Yes, they were. Their home was a Third World backwater overrun with savages like themselves — Muslim terrorists.

 

Nuts graf:

The headline was “The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev,” although a more 
accurate title might have been “The Fall of the 
Sect. 8 Apartment of Tsarnaev.”

Welfare, though, is one of the parts of the family’s U.S. history that the Globe just sort of skates over, only once mentioning their Temporary Aid to Needy 041513blastaftermath3Families, welfare that is disbursed in, you guessed it, EBT cards.

“Even with that,” the Globe mourns, “money was in short supply.”

Perhaps they could have … worked? But why should they have? By God, these foreign freeloaders were victims.

 

And etc.

Right below Carr’s piece, Eagan checks in with this:

Paper’s report sheds some light on darkest hour

If it makes you feel better, call this Boston Globe report pandering to liberals and making excuses for terrorists. Tell yourself, “If 
we only ditch the PC 
and get tough on radical Muslims,” these attacks will stop.

But you’d be deluding yourself. And some of us would like to know why the Tsarnaev brothers did what they allegedly did.

The Globe did provide details on Tamerlan, 
always the easier to explain. His increasing alienation, anger, religious radicalism. Trolling Jihadist websites. Ditching his snazzy silver boots and fur hat for a Muslim prayer cap. Raging at fellow Muslims for such outrages as celebrating Thanksgiving.

 

No easy explanation of Dzhokhar, Eagan writes, but the Globe report “did cast doubt on an 
expected defense strategy: that he was the dupe of his big brother.”

For the tiebreaker, we go to the Herald’s editorial page and find this beauty:

Those of us who know the cost of newsprint and reporting and artists to draw portraits of the imagined world of the Tsarnaev clan can only express dismay at this shocking waste of resources and its often fawning portrayal of two terrorists — “Jahar’s soft features and mop of hair,” the report card that remarked on his “heart of gold” and Tamerlan, the “gifted athlete” who was “flamboyant, occasionally doing handstands and cartwheels in the [boxing] ring.”

The media spotlight is a powerful thing. There was a time when the Globe used it wisely to ferret out public corruption, not to write tone poems to terrorists.

 

Feisty local tabloid indeed. And 100% irony deficient.


Boston Herald: The Fail of the House of Tsarnaev

December 16, 2013

Okay, well not everyone thinks the Boston Globe’s big Sunday takeout – The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev – is Pulitzer prose the way the hardswooning staff at Campaign Outsider does.

From today’s Boston Herald:

‘SICKENING’

Globe’s bomber tales disgust mother of Marathon survivors

The Stoneham mother whose two sons each lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing called “sickening” a nine-page special section in yesterday’s Boston Globe that downplayed Islamic extremism, suggesting the Tsarnaev family’s bad luck, poverty and mental issues had more to do with the plot, while legal experts said BI1E1611.JPGthose claims are likely to figure strongly in any effort to spare surviving accused terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.

“I hope people don’t fall for this. It’s a joke. There’s no excuse for what those terrorists did,” Liz Norden said of Tsarnaev, 20, and his older brother Tamerlan, who was killed in Watertown in a firefight with police after four people had been murdered and more than 260 others wounded — with numerous amputations.

Both Norden’s sons, JP and Paul, lost their right legs as one of two pressure-cooker bombs packed with shrapnel exploded in Copley Square on April 15.

 

The feisty local tabloid notes that “[a] Globe spokeswoman declined to comment.”  Herald readers, by contrast, are staging a regular Who Struck John in the comments section.

Representative sample:

 

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From there, they were off to the races (123 comments as of this posting).

Check the Herald’s editorial page tomorrow for Chapter Two.


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.


Massachusetts Welfare? Well, Foul!

May 29, 2013

The new audit of the Massachusetts welfare system gets very – say it with me – different treatment in the local dailies today.

Boston Globe Page One:

 

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Lede:

Massachusetts gave millions of dollars in questionable public assis tance to people who were listed as dead, used multiple Social Security numbers to boost their payments, or apparently sold their benefit cards for cash over the past few years, according to a state audit released Tuesday.

The report by State Auditor Suzanne Bump is the latest study finding that the state did not do nearly enough to ensure that welfare benefits went only to qualified recipients. The head of the agency that administers the aid quit in January after another scathing report from the inspector general.

Bump’s audit found that 1,160 recipients were either dead or used a deceased person’s Social Security number, costing $2.4 million between July 2010 and April 2012.

It also flagged another $15.6 million in suspicious transactions from electronic benefit cards between 2010 and 2012, including cards that were used as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, or the US Virgin Islands, suggesting the recipients either no longer lived in Massachusetts or had extra cash for travel.

 

 

Helpful chart:

 

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Other fun facts to know and tell:

• The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance “provides aid to roughly one in seven people in the state”

• That’s about 885,000 people

• Who receive $1.7 billion a year

• And drive the Boston Herald to distraction

Not surprisingly, Page One of today’s feisty local tabloid is sharp, if a bit hyperventilating:

 

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Inside, the gimme gals and guys get the usual double-barreled treatment, complete with the told-you-so front pages of yore:

 

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And Howie Carr mails in the usual about  the “Department of Terrorist Assistance,” although it’s probably safe to say Tamerlan Tsarnaev is not among the 1164 ghost riders.

Anyway, just for the record, here’s the Herald’s bottom line (note the “possible,” “suggesting,” and etc.):

 

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Listen – the hardworking staff hates paying taxes as much as the next guy, assuming the next guy isn’t Mitt Romney. And there’s no question the DTA has problems that should be fixed. But isn’t this being blown out of proportion a bit?

1164 out of 885,000?

$18 million out of $1.7 billion?

Really, there’s gotta be something better the Herald could hyperventilate about.

Then again, it wouldn’t sell as many papers, would it?

 

 

 


Two Funerals and Awaiting

May 5, 2013

Today’s local dailies have – wait for it – very different takes on the disposition of suspected Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body.

Start – where else? – with the Boston Herald’s front page:

 

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Inside you get a twofer: this Peter Gelzinis column and, more notably, this news report:

TED_3598.jpgFuneral director asks for help from government

‘This is a nightmare’

A Worcester funeral home director is pleading for government officials to use their influence to convince a cemetery to bury Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but so far no state or federal authorities have stepped forward to help out.

“We have a body for burial that has caused a lot of controversy and we can’t continue to play this game,” said Peter Stefan, owner of the Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors. “Under normal circumstances, the government would say it’s (the funeral parlor’s) responsibility to find a place for burial, but this is not normal circumstances. This is a nightmare.”

 

Okay. But crosstown at the Boston Globe, we get a very different Peter Stefan, in this case well into a piece headlined “Bombing suspects body to undergo 2nd autopsy.”

Peter Stefan, owner of Graham Putnum & Mahoney Funeral Parlors, vowed to secure a plot quickly.

“This ends Monday,” Stefan said. “We will find a cemetery by the end of the day Monday.”

Stefan said he was determined to give Tsarnaev a proper Muslim burial in a cemetery with what he referred to as a designated Muslim section . . .

“If they had asked me to bury Adolf Hitler, I would have buried him,” Stefan said. “It’s what we do.”

 

Wow. Just imagine what the Herald could have done if Stefan had given that quote to the feisty local tabloid.

Then again, the story’s young. Let’s wait for it.