Boston Herald Whiffs on Liz Warren Tiff Riff

December 16, 2016

Let’s start from the start.

On Tuesday, the New York Times ran this Andrew Ross Sorkin piece.

Elizabeth Warren Condemns the Wrong Man

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, furious about President-elect Donald J. Trump’s appointments of finance industry insiders, took to Facebook a little over a week ago to fire off a message to her nearly 2.5 million followers.

She took aim at an individual she described as a “hedge fund billionaire” who is “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders.”

The hedge fund manager she condemned was Whitney Tilson, who runs Kase Capital. Ms. Warren — the fiery Massachusetts Democrat who is known for her stern mistrust of Wall Street — called him out by saying, “Tilson knows that, despite all the stunts and rhetoric, Donald Trump isn’t going to change the economic system.” Then she added, “The next four years are going to be a bonanza for the Whitney Tilsons of the world.”

 

Except . . .

Ms. Warren appears to be suffering from the same affliction that Mr. Trump’s critics accuse of him: a knee-jerk, fact-free reaction to something she had read in the news.

In this case, Ms. Warren seems to have come across a Bloomberg News article that includes some quotations from Mr. Tilson. But she didn’t read to the bottom or dismissed it before firing off her zingers.

 

Turns out “Mr. Tilson’s wife, Susan Blackman Tilson, was one of the students in the first Harvard Law School bankruptcy class that Ms. Warren taught, in fall 1992. The student has remained loyal to her professor; Mrs. Tilson wrote in a letter to Ms. Warren last week that she had been ‘cheering from the sidelines as you rose to national attention for your excellent work on behalf of consumers.'”

Oops.

On Wednesday, both Boston dailies picked up on the Times scoop.

Victoria McGrane’s piece in the Boston Globe.

In Warren, some are seeing shades of Trump’s antics

WASHINGTON — A little over a week ago, a powerful politician read something disagreeable in a news article, logged on to social media, wrote a post blasting a private citizen, and sent it to millions of loyal followers.

The politician wasn’t Donald Trump. It was Elizabeth Warren.

And the private citizen, a wealthy hedge fund manager named Whitney Tilson, is going public with his belief that Warren misunderstood the comments he made to a Bloomberg News reporter that prompted the Facebook denunciation from the liberal Massachusetts senator.

 

Wednesday’s Boston Herald had this op-ed from Colin Reed, executive director of America Rising, a Republican communications Super PAC.

Liz losing her grip after Dems’ losses

Foolish Facebook tirade hits at . . . one of own donors

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is coming unglued. Maybe it’s the looming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Or maybe it’s the realization that had she — rather than a 75-year old socialist — challenged Hillary screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-1-45-11-amClinton in the Democratic presidential primary season, her party could have had a different nominee.

Whatever the reason, the post-election weeks have not been kind to the former Harvard professor. Consider the most recent head-scratcher. On Monday night, The New York Times published a lengthy story about the Massachusetts senator taking to Facebook to blast a “hedge fund billionaire” who she accused of being “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders.”

As the Times noted, there are several major problems with this attack. First, the target of her ire, Whitney Tilson, is not a billionaire. Second, he was not a Trump supporter. He’s actually a longtime and extremely generous donor to the Democratic National Committee and such candidates as Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and, you guessed it, Elizabeth Warren.

 

Yesterday, however, only the Globe had Warren’s predictable moonwalk, via this Yvonne Abraham front-page piece.

Her post went too far, senator says

Elizabeth Warren is still mad as hell at the Wall Street takeover of the next White House. But she’s also a little mad at herself.

That Facebook excoriation of hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson? She shouldn’t have done it, the senator said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. Afterward, she called Tilson to tell him so.

“I think I took it too far,” Warren said.

 

Yesterday’s Herald, on the other hand, had nothing.

Which brings us to today’s edition of the whiffy local tabloid.

Still nothing.

Then again, the Heraldniks have never been all that good at corrections and clarifications, have they?


For Once Boston Globe Says ‘Suffolk U’ to the Herald

April 14, 2016

Ever since the Margaret McKenna/George Regan rumpus at Suffolk University began several months ago, the Boston Herald – especially columnist Joe Battenfeld – has been out front on virtually every development in the serial dustup. But today’s Boston Globe beats the firsty local tabloid – twice – on the latest mishegoss at Day Hop U.

Start off with this Metro Page One report from Laura Krantz.

Suffolk beset by renewed tension

Storms swirl on accreditation, board of trustees, McKenna

Two months after Suffolk University trustees and president Margaret McKenna reached a truce that seemed to smooth their splintered relationship, a cloud of discord is still looming over the downtown college.Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 4.29.18 PM

A series of recent events raises new questions about the future of the besieged school, and about how long McKenna will lead it.

The college’s board of trustees has hired two attorneys to address personal and professional allegations against McKenna by public relations executive George Regan, who has threatened to sue Suffolk after it canceled his firm’s contract.

In addition, the school faces renewed scrutiny from accreditors, and professors say morale has plummeted.

 

In other words, it’s a mess.

But Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham does her best to stick a smiley face on “the besieged school.”

A plea from Suffolk

You’ve been admitted to Suffolk University, in the heart of beautiful downtown Boston. You’re going to love it here, should you choose to join the class of 2020. And we sure hope you do, since we need your tuition payments to keep us alive.

We have super courses in psychology, political science, marketing, and law, to name a few. There are three libraries and a campus in Madrid. And sparkling new buildings, all steps from the famous Frog Pond.

Please, choose us! And please, pay no mind to the grown-ups acting like vindictive children here on Tremont Street. They just run the place. Nothing to worry about.

 

It just gets snarkier from there, especially about George Regan.

Oh, and here Regan is . . . this week in Commonwealth Magazine, pictured with his adorable dog, making the spurious claim that the board didn’t really want to hire McKenna, saying “that woman” — don’t worry, female freshmen, we’re so enlightened — “has no right being the leader.”

 

Ouch.

Crosstown at the Herald, meanwhile, all’s quiet on the Suffolk front today. We’re assuming that changes tomorrow.


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:

 

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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.


Five-Ring Monte: Boston Dailies on Olympic Cronies

March 8, 2015

Both Boston dailies take on the machers piling up at Boston 2024, the bulldozing bunch trying to bring the Olympic Games to town nine years hence. But the papers have different bigwigs to target.

The Boston Sunday Globe gives the cudgel to Metro columnist Yvonne Abraham, who drops the hammer on Mistah Mayah.

Too close for comfort

You can’t be both cheerleader and watchdog.

Mayor Marty Walsh was initially skeptical about a Boston Olympics, promising to protect the city’s interests as assorted bigs pursued a 2024 Games. Now he’s the Games’ booster in chief.

“Make no mistake, we are in this to win it: to bring the Olympic Games to Boston, along with the immense global investment and community benefits that come with it,” he said at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.

Walsh and Boston 2024 are now one. He has fully melded his operation with the one run by John Fish and other titans pushing the Games.

 

Abraham’s conclusion: “[Marty Walsh] now owns the bid, and all that comes with it, good or bad . . . The mayor has leapt from the Olympic high board. No turning back now.”

Of course, there’s no water in the pool – just a bunch of double-talk – so that doesn’t bode well for anyone.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, it’s former Gov. Patrick who’s Devalued.

Page One:

 

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Inside, Patrick gets the expensive two-page spread (with special bonus Inexplicable Little Green Numbers!).

 

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This Olympic bid has all the earmarks of classic crony capitalism: The high-priced array of usual suspects, the sleight-of-hand secrecy, the see-no-evil stonewalling – the whole megillah.

The biggest Olympic event of all would be if any of these characters dealt straight with the people of Boston for two minutes at a time.

So far, the prospects don’t look good.


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:

 

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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 Dailies: Charlie Baker Has Sex Change!

October 30, 2014

When Cryin’ Charlie Baker turned on the waterworks during Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate with Martha Coakley, he gave the local media all kinds of grist for their mills. Both Boston’s dailies,for instance, had the same basic thought: What if Charlie were Charlene?

Boston Globe Metro columnist Yvonne Abraham framed it this way:

Turning the tables

Watching Charlie Baker dissolve in tears in Tuesday night’s debate — a moment that defied Democrats’ attempts to cast him as a heartless technocrat — I couldn’t help wondering: What if he were treated the way women candidates so often are? What would it be like if we focused on his fragility under pressure, his manner, his appearance, as we do on theirs? What if we pinned the same labels on him as we do on them?

The reaction to that debate might look like this:

Do we really want a weepy governor?

Republican Charlie Baker was going along nicely in Tuesday night’s debate, exuding competence, speaking with authority about taxes and paid sick leave.

Then the gubernatorial hopeful came apart, telling of meeting a fisherman ruined by federal catch rules. “I may not make it through this story,” he began, promptly succumbing to tears.

This is why it can be so hard to imagine men as leaders.

 

Hah!

Crosstown, the Boston Herald recruited local business consultant Judith Bowman to put the pump on the other foot.

No crying not a choice for Martha Coakley

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What if it were Martha Coakley who cried?

Charlie Baker broke down 
in tears on the gubernatorial 
debate stage as he told the story of a fisherman’s family plight.

It was received by most, including me, as a genuine, justified show of human emotion. A real moment in the artificial world of politics.

But what if it were Martha?

No such luck. Professional women don’t cry. Not if they want to be leaders.

 

Well, one thing we’re sure of: That Herald headline should make any writer cry.

Sorry – sniff – we have to go now.


Boston Dailies Are ‘Ghost’ Writers for Martha Coakley

June 16, 2014

From our Late to the Party Convention desk

The local dailies’ coverage of Saturday’s Democratic Party hoedown made it clear that gubernatorial hopeful Mirtha Coakley will be forever haunted by her 2010 U.S. Senate loss to Scott Brown (R-Elsewhere).

Sunday’s Boston Herald front page:

 

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Uh-huh.

Crosstown, from Yvonne Abraham’s column in the Boston Sunday Globe:

Poor Steve Grossman. The treasurer wins the Democratic convention in Worcester, and the people who pay attention to these things will be talking about only Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has been killing him in the polls.

Poor Coakley, too. Her camp did a good job of lowering expectations for Saturday’s party confab, but then struggled to meet even those, with Coakley barely squeaking by former Obama administration official Don Berwick to take second place. Oof.

And so she’ll continue to be dogged by the ghosts of 2010, when she lost a special US Senate election to an empty barn jacket. Those four-year-old echoes can be pretty persistent.

 

Then again, so can Mirtha. Our prediction: Brown won’t mean a thing here come November.