DeLeo rips Globe for ‘painful’ analogy
Speaker calls for an apology for comparing House to a plantation
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO lashed out at the Boston Globe Friday afternoon, asking for an apology after the broadsheet likened the House to a plantation.
The article by Globe State House Bureau Chief Frank Phillips reviewed 2015 and forecast the year ahead for DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Gov. Charlie Baker.
“If it could be said that Rosenberg, with his shared leadership system, runs a commune, DeLeo, as he enters his eighth year as the House leader, runs a plantation where he calls the shots,” the article said.
“Today’s Boston Globe included an incredibly hurtful and painful analogy to describe my leadership of the House of Representatives. To liken the Speaker of the House of Representatives to a plantation owner trivializes our country’s most shameful and egregious moral failure, slavery,” DeLeo said. “I take intense pride in the role our state, and, indeed, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, took in leading the fight for abolition and civil rights. It is a privilege to work with such capable and qualified colleagues in the House, each of whom works tirelessly to advance that proud legacy.”
DeLeo asked for an apology for the “unforgiveable analogy” and in a statement to the News Service, the Globe expressed contrition.
“On behalf of the House, I call upon the Globe to publicly apologize for this insensitive, offensive and unforgivable analogy,” DeLeo said in his statement Friday.
“The Globe quite obviously did not intend to trivialize slavery or the work of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. We are certainly sorry that we wrote that line in a way that conveyed that to the speaker,” the Globe said in its statement.DeLeo sparred with the region’s largest newspaper last year over its coverage of an investigation into probation department patronage. While never charged in a case that led to criminal convictions of former probation employees, DeLeo was labeled an “unindicted co-conspirator” by federal prosecutors. Last October, DeLeo asked the Supreme Judicial Court to investigate how the Globe obtained a transcript of an interview he gave five years earlier about patronage in the probation department. DeLeo’s powerful role in the House was cemented last year when the House repealed a limit on his term as speaker.