Boston Globe ‘Reports’ on HUBweek (Sponsor: Globe)

September 20, 2016

From our Walt Whitman desk

The hardreading staff has long whacked around the Boston Herald for celebrating itself and singing itself in so-called news reports. Now it’s time to give the Boston Globe a dope slap.

For starters, here’s what headlined the Globe’s homepage at 12:45 this morning:




That’s the residue of this Michael Levenson piece at the top of yesterday’s Globe front page:

HUBweek aims for wider appeal


There will be a party in the South End with music, art installations, and an unusual tasting competition featuring six beers brewed with water from the Charles River that’s been purified (they promise) by a local company.

There will be intimate seven-person lunches in Kendall Square where anyone can ask a Broad Institute geneticist why science hasn’t cured cancer or delve into the dangers of artificial intelligence with a director of the Harvard Innovation Lab.

And just before the first presidential debate, a prominent philosopher will lead an even more high-minded debate at Faneuil Hall, asking: Is it fair to tax the rich to help the poor? And should rich countries have the right to restrict immigration?

Such are the events — both playful and provocative — that organizers are planning for the slightly revamped second year of HUBweek, a festival devoted to the arts, science, and technology that is aiming to become Boston’s answer to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.


Reality check: Those four paragraphs feature roughly the same number of plugs as Joe Biden’s head.

It’s not until the sixth graf (on the jump page) that readers learn this:

[O]rganizers are . . .  grappling with how to ensure that the annual festival — which is sponsored by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — does not cater solely to the business and academic elite in downtown Boston, the Seaport, and Cambridge, where most of the events are held.


Maybe the Globe should grapple with how to ensure that promotional material is not presented as news. The hardreading staff would be happy to participate in that high-minded debate.

Meanwhile . . . Free the Michael Levenson One! 

Hark! The Herald! (OneOrlando Fund Edition)

June 16, 2016

From our Walt Whitman desk

As the hardreading staff has chronicled in excruciating detail, the Boston Herald is a past master at promoting itself in its news pages.

But now comes the selfie local tabloid promoting itself in this half-page ad for the OneOrlando Fund.


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So you might reasonably be thinking:

1) This is a fund set up by the Boston Herald

2) The multiphobic Herald (immigrants, Muslims, GLBT, and etc.) has finally seen the light.

Except . . .

The OneOrlando Fund has nothing to do with the Herald. From its website:


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We’ll give the Herald the benefit of the doubt and assume this is just the milk of human kindness. But given the sketchy local tabloid’s track record, well, draw your own conclusions.

Hark! The Herald! (Cohen After WashPost Edition)

May 11, 2016

From our Walt Whitman desk

Call it the fisty local tabloid, ’cause the punches are flyin’ today.

It all started with this Callum Borchers piece in yesterday’s Washington Post.

Pundits achieve cable-news stardom after converting into Donald Trump supporters

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Last summer, shortly after Donald Trump launched his angry missile of a campaign with that memorable remark about Mexicans and rapists, Kayleigh McEnany sounded like pretty much every other talking head on cable news.

“I think he said something very unartful, very inappropriate,” she told Don Lemon during a June 29 segment on “CNN Tonight.”

“I’m here to tell you, he’s not going to be anywhere near the top five,” McEnany added. “He’s not a serious contender within the Republican Party. And I think he made that pretty clear when the most important thing he said in his speech was, ‘I am rich, I am rich,’ repeatedly.”

Today, McEnany sounds very different — both from her earlier self and from better-known conservative commentators such as Karl Rove and S.E. Cupp, who remain highly critical of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. McEnany is now a staunch Trump supporter, a turnaround that has helped make the newly minted Harvard Law School graduate a rising star on CNN . . .


McEnany, Borchers writes, “is one of a small handful of commentators — including Jeffrey Lord, Scottie Nell Hughes, Adriana Cohen and Carl Higbie — who have made defending the real estate mogul their niche and in the process made themselves hot commodities.”

And hot under the collar, in Cohen’s case. The Boston Herald columnist fired back at Borchers in today’s edition.

D.C. hit job ignores facts

Post piece demeans female pundits who back Trump

If you want to see what the war on women looks like, you need look no further than The Washington Post.Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 1.39.38 PM

To be more specific, the war on conservative women.

Because I have dared to write supportive opinion columns on Donald Trump, I was featured along with two other female commentators in a Post story that stated that I have “achieved cable-news stardom after converting” into a Donald Trump supporter, that I, along with the others, “have made defending the real estate mogul their niche and in the process made themselves hot commodities.”


Cohen says despite Borchers’ claim that she was an “occasional guest” on CNN, Fox News Channel, and Fox Business Network “before getting behind Trump,” she actually appeared on national TV and radio shows “at least 100 times over the past few years, long before writing columns backing Trump and his positions this February.”

Cohen does not, however, address this part of Borchers’ piece:

On March 25, during a live segment on CNN, [Cohen] brought up a National Enquirer story that alleged multiple extramarital affairs by Cruz — unsubstantiated rumors that the mainstream media had mostly ignored until then. As anchor Kate Bolduan shook her head, Cohen went a step further, asserting on live TV that fellow guest Amanda Carpenter, Cruz’s former communications director, had been identified as one of five mistresses.



One last point: As Cohen points out, some of the comments attached to Borchers’ piece are brutally misogynistic. But during this election season, that’s par for the course. Trump supporters or no.

Hark! The Herald! (Radio Raves Edition)

October 19, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The Boston Herald made its own page 2 today with this sort of newsish story.

Herald honored as ‘Innovator of the Year’

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PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Boston Herald was named “Innovator of the Year” yesterday after a vote of a joint conference of the Associated Press Media Editors and American Society of News Editors at Stanford University.
The coveted APME innovation award recognized the Herald for “its innovative platform called Boston Herald Radio that is fully integrated with its print, online and video divisions.”

“Innovator of the Year is a prestigious national award that speaks to a news organization’s innovative and creative approaches to reach their audience,” said Joe Hight, a member of APME’s executive committee and awards program chair. “The Boston Herald shows it is a leader in the country by winning this award. Boston Herald Radio is not only innovative but practical.


That’s six “innovations” if you’re keeping score at home.

Of course what’s most innovative about BHR, as we call it here at the Global Worldwide Headquarters, is the platform it provides for cross- and self-promotion. But why get technical about it on such a happy occasion?

Instead, hearty congratulations to the firsty local tabloid.


Hark! The Herald! (Pimp Our Pages Edition)

July 3, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

As the hardreading staff has relentlessly chronicled, the Boston Herald is excessively adept at promoting itself in the guise of news reporting. But the selfie local tabloid is blazing new trails in its weekly Gretta Style features.

Stylish logo:


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Yesterday’s edition:


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Soup to nuts graf:

As for what to wear, I’m all about Barbara Biu’s metallic slides ($340) paired with a Lemlem patio dress ($245), both of which you’ll find on shelves at Grettaluxe in Wellesley now . . .

And as an ode to the holiday, make sure to bring Chloe’s red, small Faye bag ($1,390, also at Grettaluxe), a perfect summer statement to match the fiery show.


Oh, yeah – don’t forget the photo caption:


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So, to recap: This particular Gretta Style feature is all about Gretta Monahan’s Grettaluxe store in Wellesley.

On the other hand, last week’s feature was all about Gretta Monahan’s Grettacole hair salon in Copley Square.


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Drive you nuts graf:


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So, to recap again: The Boston Herald is giving over its news pages to Gretta Monahan every week so she can promote her various enterprises.

Inevitable conclusions:

1) The Herald is paying Monahan to produce these features, which is a crime against common sense.

2) Monahan is paying the Herald to produce these features, which is a crime against journalistic ethics.

3) No money is changing hands, which is a crime against Herald readers.

The headscratching staff will make some phone calls today to sort out those options, but we don’t expect anyone will talk to us.

Regardless, as always, we’ll keep you posted.

Hark! The Herald! (Journalism Awards Edition)

June 29, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The hardreading staff has a track record of being, well, hard on the selfie local tabloid. But we also believe in giving credit where credit’s due.

So, from Sunday’s Boston Herald, which is read by up to several people.



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The Associated Press Media Editors announced its awards earlier this month. Oddly, the only category without a winner was the aforementioned Innovator of the Year.


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Maybe it’s still TBA. If so, we’re sure the finalist local tabloid will let u know.

The SPJ Sigma Delta Chi medal, on the other hand, was already trumpeted by the Herald two months ago.

Not to get technical about it.

Regardless, sincere kudos to the Heraldniks.

The hardreading staff is, obviously, glad you’re here.

Hark! The Herald! (Michael Goldman/MBTA Edition)

June 24, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

Today’s Boston Herald features the latest in its series of told-you-so front pages.


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Helpful close-up:


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The story inside focuses on the $300,000 ad campaign the MBTA’s Boston Carmen’s Union has been running for several months.


Carmen spent $300G on ads to battle Baker’s MBTA reform

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The powerful Boston Carmen’s Union, in a bid to derail Gov. Charlie Baker’s MBTA reforms, has spent $300,000 on radio ads, organized campaign-style phone banks and poured thousands into the political coffers of key lawmakers and politicians 
overseeing T policy, a Herald 
review found.

The review shows the 6,000-member-strong labor group’s mounting resistance as a top legislative committee has rebuffed Baker’s key reforms . . .


The Herald’s Erin Smith and Matt Stout write, “[t]he carmen have put out three radio spots, at a cost of $300,000, so far, with a fourth expected by the end of the week and the campaign isn’t over yet, according to longtime Democratic campaign operative Michael Goldman, who is coordinating the media strategy for Local 589.” (Listen to one here.)

There’s also a radio blitz on local airwaves from the Amalgamated Transit Union, which Goldman says he’s not associated with. Of the union’s “we’re here to help” ads Goldman says, “[our] thing has been positive commercials.”

Positive, maybe, but not all that reliable, as CommonWealth magazine pointed out last month.

One ad says, “Given the advanced age of current equipment and tracks, it’s a miracle that fully 95 percent of the million-plus trips made each year have been completed on time. But the T transit workers won’t be satisfied until that number reaches 100 percent.”

Yeah. Except the Carmen’s Union definition of “completed on time” is . . . “actually happened.” If you define completed on time as “arrived at destination on schedule,” that 95% drops to around 72% (67% this year so far) according to CommonWealth’s Steve Koczlea and Bruce Mohl.

So, once again we see that MBTA=Might Be Totally Accurate.

Or might not.