Boston Globe Search Engine a Total Trainwreck (II)

April 7, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the search box is the ultimate digital black hole.

Exhibit Umpteen: Yesterday the Missus said, “Hey – remember that self-portrait of Ellen Day Hale we saw at the MFA the other day? Sebastian Smee wrote about it today in the Boston Globe.”

So we scurried over to to check it out. And got this from a search for “Sebastian Smee.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.23.14 AM


So we hied ourselves to Google News and got this.

Hale’s magnetic, mesmerizing ‘Self-Portrait’


There’s blood in that pale, sinewy hand. Blood and resolve. Idle for now, it won’t stay that way for long. It’s poised for action.

The hand belonged to Ellen Day Hale, who painted it herself in 1885.

It’s part of a self-portrait, one of the best in the Museum of Fine Arts, where it hangs in the Art of the Americas Wing, in a gallery devoted to the so-called Boston School.


It is, as we’ve come to expect from Sebastian Smee, a thoroughly smart and insightful piece. It’s also a piece you’ll never find via the Globe’s online search engine.

Are we the only ones who think that’s a travesty?

Not to mention an actionable case of media malpractice.

Hey, Sebastian Smee – you feelin’ this?

Stop the Presses! Herald Promotes Crosstown Rival!!

October 30, 2015

Even in the cutthroat world of daily newspapers, every now and then the mouse does a mitzvah for the lion.



So it was with the Boston Herald yesterday (tip o’ the pixel to the Missus).


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.31.51 AM


Wait, what?

The feisty local tabloid is actually promoting the Boston Globe’s marquee moment?

Alert the media!

Boston Herald Pimps Out Page One

February 13, 2015

It’s not exactly a banner day for the Boston Herald. Here’s the front page that landed at the Global Worldwide Headquarters this morning (photo courtesy of the Missus).




Then again, this isn’t the first time the thirsty local tabloid has sold off its banner. Here’s an example from about 10 years ago that we recently noted (actual front page at left):




The hardreading staff is pretty sure the Herald has done much the same in the intervening decade, but we lack photographic evidence to make the charge stick.

Regardless, one last thing: That Full Paper Inside at upper right of today’s selloff? That depends on what your definition of full is. It’s certainly full of something.

Pick One: Boston Globe Majors in (U)Mass Marketing or, Boston Globe Pimps Out Page One

November 13, 2014

The Boston Globe is having quite a financial fling with the University of Massachusetts these days. First it was this “Special Supplement to the Boston Globe” that ran this past Sunday.


Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 1.19.16 PM


As the hardreading staff noted, that’s “Special” as in “Advertising,” which the Globe would have stated explicitly if it cared to be honest with its readers.

Now comes this doozie in today’s edition of the $tately local broadsheet (photos courtesy of the Missus).




That was followed by this:




Along with this:




And this:




At least they labeled the wraparound “Advertisement,” eh? But it’s the leasing out of the Globe banner that’s the problem here. Funny thing is, ten years ago the Globe rejected that kind of sellout. From the January 19, 2004 Boston Business Journal:

Globe rejected a front-page advertisement for JetBlue

The Boston Globe apparently rejected a proposal by JetBlue Airways Corp. to run the same full front-page advertisement touting the airline’s arrival at Logan International Airport that the Boston Herald published last week amid voluble criticism.
The Boston Herald ended up running the ad on Jan. 7, catching considerable flak for accepting an ad that one source valued at least at $25,000. But a JetBlue official told the Boston Business Journal that the Globe also was approached with the same opportunity.


And turned it down, sort of.

Globe spokesman B. Maynard Scarborough said he believed the newspaper’s advertising department discussed selling a “wrap” to JetBlue, but no deal was reached. Such a wrap would not have contained mock editorial content, he said, adding the Globe does not sell Page 1 advertising and has no plans to do so.


Well, that’s now “inoperative,” as they say.

Here’s what the Herald did run (via WBUR’s Bob Oakes).




That’s the actual front page on the left, the ad front page on the right.

And while we’re tripping down Memory Lane with local journos, here’s what the redoubtable Dan Kennedy wrote in the Boston Phoenix Media Log back then:

[A]t the very least, the front should have been prominently labeled as an ad. This isn’t just a violation of the traditional wall separating business and editorial – this is an out-and-out demolition.


Today at Media Nation, Dan wrote this: “If the Globe hasn’t crossed a line, perhaps it has moved the line past where we always thought it was.”

Fair enough. But to us, they did cross the line.

Lauren Bacall Killed by Boston Herald

February 13, 2014

(Tip o’ the pixel to the Missus)

Yesterday’s Inside Track in the feisty local tabloid featured an interesting, if out-of-nowhere, profile of local photographer Sid Limitz.

Photographer captures heyday of Theatre District

Forty years ago, when he was just 17, Sid Limitz began working as a ticket taker in Boston’s Theatre District. He was walking past Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.02.58 AMthe old Music Hall one night when Bette Midler came waltzing out the front door.

“I happened to be in the right place at the right time and there she was,” Limitz said. “I thought to myself, ‘This is a moment where someone should have a camera.’”

And so Sid asked for — and got — a camera for Christmas and he’s been taking pictures in the 
Theatre District ever since.

Limitz estimates that he has more than 800,000 shots he snapped in the area around the intersection of Tremont and Stuart streets. In the district’s theaters, comedy clubs, gay bars, concert venues and movie houses, Limitz encountered and photographed legends including Liza MinnelliLauren BacallElaine StritchDavid BowieFrank Zappa and more.


And then there was this:


Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.44.58 PM


Amazingly, in the online edition of Wednesday’s Herald, Bacall is no longer dead.

As a member of the theatrical employees union, Sid worked with Bacall in the Theatre District twice — in 1999 for “Waiting in the Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.45.50 PMWings” at the Colonial and in the ’80s when she did “Love Letters” at The Wilbur with Richard 
Kiley. But his favorite pic of the great actress was snapped outside the Harvard Club in 1980, when 
Bacall came to celebrate the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 50th birthday with the clan.


Tell you what – if Bogie were alive now, there’d be hell to pay for this.

P.S. Raise your hand if you thought today’s Herald would run a Correction.

Us neither.


Correction: Boston Globe Movie Directory Shoots Blanks – Again!

November 28, 2013

Seems the hardreading staff spoke too soon when we reported earlier that the Boston Globe had straightened out its production snafus in the Movie Directory pages. We foolishly relied on the Globe’s ePaper for our images instead of the dead-tree edition, in which the pages look like this (photos courtesy of the Missus):






Just like yesterday. Except today’s an even bigger moviegoing day.

National Amusements, presumably, remains unamused.

Knee-Slapper o’ the Day (WSJ Herald Hunter Edition)

October 22, 2013

Well the hardreading staff unfolded the Wall Street Journal the other day and here’s what fell out.




(Photo courtesy of: The Missus.)

Okay, so we’re gonna open the envelope now.


By Invitation Only

You are among the select few entitled to receive your first 12 weeks of the Wall Street Journal – in both print and digital form – for only $1 a week.


Uh-huh – Herald readers will take the Journal (forget about one dollar a week – try $700 a year) right around the time Barack Obama double-dates with Ted Cruz.

File under: The WSJ should just set its money on fire.

Russel Pergament’s Jewish News Service Is Totally Old Testament

October 17, 2013

Several days ago the hardreading staff posted an item about the Jewish News Service running this ad in the Boston Herald but not the Boston Globe.


Picture 4


We also said we’d try to contact JNS founder (and inveterate publishing bunny) Russel Pergament to ask, among other things, if he’ll be advertising in the Globe anytime soon.

And so we did. Whereupon we had a nice conversation with Pergament, a media dynamo the hardworking staff has known for over three decades, ever since he was founding the Tab newspapers and we were copy chief at Filene’s.

(Best part of that job: We met the Missus.)

Best part of Russel Pergament: He’s entirely unfazed at JNS being depicted “as foaming-at-the mouth right wingers,” as he put it, referring to this Jewish Daily Forward piece.

Instead, he says this:

Even the most left-wing Jewish writers who see Israel as an aggressive Nazi-like state get nervous about reports like this one from Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet [regarding Jewish soldiers purportedly harvesting the organs of Arabs].


Pergament says a dozen papers – including Christian media and secular media that “emphasize the objective nature of the facts we send” – have subscribed to JNS.  He says he’s also run ads in The New Republic and a New Britain, CT paper, while the Jerusalem Press and Chicago Tribune have picked up JNS content.

As for the Boston dailies, Pergament says he gets more bang for the buck in the Herald, and that the Herald sales rep called and asked for his business.

Hey, Globeniks – any response?

Hark! The Herald! (Lame Subscription Edition II)

June 17, 2013

The Boston Herald wants to increase its number of home subscribers from the current level of 17, so it’s been running this ad the past few days:


Picture 10


Always Relevant, eh? So how come Herald home subscribers got no coverage of last night’s NBA Finals game in their one-star editions today? (Sorry – no pictures. The Missus has a real job.)

Lucky for the fusty local tabloid, any suckers who fall for its home delivery pitch won’t know what they’re missing until it’s too late.

Heisty, eh?


Hark! The Herald! (Lame Subscription Edition)

June 16, 2013

THE BOSTON HERALD WANTS YOU to swell the ranks of its current 17 home subscribers. So it ran this ad in today’s edition:


Picture 2


Always Relevant? Seriously?

Here’s Page One of the sports section Herald home subscribers received this morning.




Page 2 (photos courtesy of the Missus):




And that was the four-star edition.

Once again, crosstown rival Boston Globe delivered an eight-page Stanley Cup section.


Picture 3


Hey, Heraldniks: You haven’t just lost your fastball. This is like tee ball for the hardreading staff.