Jared Remy’s rage – and the fallout in the announcers’ booth

A picture can be worth a thousand words, and the shot of a steroid-bulked Jared Remy staring blankly at his murder arraignment last August said plenty, splayed out across the front page of Sunday’s Boston Globe. But you had to read the 8,000 words that come with it to understand the full depravity of Remy’s unchecked reign of terror over a series of women, one of whom is now dead, as well as various men who got in his way, including one who is also now no more, a victim of a savage beating Remy delivered from which the victim never fully recovered.

Since Remy’s arrest on charges of killing his girlfriend Jennifer Martel, the mother of their five-year-old daughter, there have been lots of stories on Remy’s long record of run-ins with the law. But reporter Eric Moskowitz‘s painstakingly researched take-out sheds lots of new light on the story and provides fresh details about Remy’s long arrest record, history of domestic violence — and jaw-dropping ability to continually avoid consequences for his actions.

“Jared Remy was the king of second chances,” writes Moskowitz. “A review of hundreds of pages of court files and police records revealed accounts that he terrorized five different girlfriends starting when he was 17, and that courts repeatedly let him off with little more than probation and his promise to stay out of trouble. He rarely did.”

Why Remy always managed to escape harsh punishment is the question haunting this story. Moskowitz says it was due to a combination of many factors: victims who were reluctant to testify or press charges, lenient judges who kept giving a break to a repeat violent offender, a high-priced lawyer who knew how to work the system, and the parents willing to pay his legal fees and also provide cars and money for rent, gym memberships, and other indulgences.

Of course, his parents, or, more specifically, his father, is not just any dad dealing with a ne’er-do-well son, but Jerry Remy, the former Red Sox infielder and longtime color commentating half of the Red Sox broadcast duo on the team-owned NESN cable station.

Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham says even more frightening than the idea that Remy got special treatment because of his famous father is the reality that such court-sanctioned enabling of abusers seems much more commonplace and not reserved for those with connections.

But plenty of attention will no doubt now focus on Remy’s father, who issued a statement to the Globe but declined to be interviewed for the story.

When his son was arrested last August, Jerry Remy went off the air for the balance of the season. It remained unclear whether he would return to the broadcast booth, but in January Remy announced that he would return for the coming season.

The Globe is now owned by the same man who owns the Boston Red Sox, John Henry. His company is also the principal owner of NESN, which employs Remy.  

Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy says the Globe‘s deep dive on the Jared Remy story is a pretty healthy demonstration of the paper’s editorial independence from its owner. Writing yesterday on his Media Nation blog, Kennedy also says one could speculate that the story will prove helpful if the Red Sox and NESN are having second thoughts about Remy’s return.

For his part, Kennedy thinks the story may well seal Jerry Remy’s fate, writing that Remy’s “career as a Red Sox broadcaster may have ended today.”

The Obnoxious Boston Fan blogger on Boston.com also says Remy must go. Given the strong sense of parental enabling and financial support that the Globe story portrays, OBF writes that keeping Jerry Remy in the broadcast booth would effectively be asking NESN cable subscribers to help underwrite his loathsome son’s legal defense. “It’s bad enough millions of NESN viewers [myself included] unknowingly helped to finance Jared Remy’s way of life for years,” he writes. “Enough is enough. The circle is closed.”

Kennedy doesn’t go that far, simply maintaining that Remy’s job is essentially that of an entertainer, and his child’s actions, even if no fault of Remy’s, have ruined his “entertainment value.” In an exchange with a reader in the comments section of his blog, Kennedy writes, “I wish Jerry Remy well, but I don’t want to listen to him yucking it up during Red Sox games anymore.”

Globe readers, no doubt, also had plenty to say about the story. But that conversation did not happen on the paper’s website, where, curiously,  the comment function for the story was turned off.

–MICHAEL JONAS  

BEACON HILL

The Legislature moves to deal with rising flood insurance premiums.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, who makes $82,500 a year, wants a pay raise, the Item reports.

CASINOS

Boston wants Suffolk Downs to re-run its state environmental permitting process, arguing that studies the racetrack sent to state regulators were based on a casino sitting in East Boston, not Revere.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

For former congressman Bill Delahunt, the revolving door to the lobbying world has been gold-plated.

The Texas Tribune analyzes the gender gap in the Lone Star State’s government.

A Michigan court puts a temporary halt on same-sex marriages.

Gov. Chris Christie‘s lawyer says an internal investigation has found no evidence that the New Jersey governor was involved in a traffic-snarling bridge lane closure.

The abrupt resignation of Rhode Island‘s House speaker — coming amid a federal raidsets off a scramble for power.

WORLD

While most mapmakers are undecided about how to present Crimea, National Geographic says it will show it as part of Russia.

ELECTIONS

Massachusetts Republicans clear the field for Charlie Baker’s run for governor, the Associated Press reports. But Baker’s vanquished would-be primary foe, Mark Fisher, a Tea Party-aligned Shrewsbury businessman, may challenge the result of Saturday’s state convention in court. State GOP officials says Fisher missed making the September primary ballot by six votes at the convention. Maurice Cunningham reads the GOP bylaws and concludes that Fisher may have a case.

“I don’t know how they’re going to find places to spend it” is how a former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman summed up $20 million in spending that some think could be unleashed in a Scott Brown-Jeanne Shaheen US Senate tilt in a state of only 1.3 million residents.

Slate contrasts the campaigns of two gay politicians hoping to make a splash in Congress: Steve Gallardo, a Democratic state legislator from Arizona, and Richard Tisei, who’s making his second bid at capturing a North Shore district.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The American Spectator bemoans the loss of the Bull & Finch to its Cheers persona and while they’re at it, mourn the disappearance of Happy Hour and the Combat Zone.

Comcast is looking to parlay its net neutrality victory into a lucrative video streaming deal with Apple.

EDUCATION

A report being released today by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education urges state education leaders to move aggressively to fill the mismatch between the skills of Massachusetts students and the the job openings of the state’s 21st century economy. One striking finding from a MassINC Polling Group survey done for the report: Massachusetts employers, often seen as staunch supporters of high-stakes testing, think schools are overemphasizing standardized tests at the expense of developing students’ critical thinking skills.

The high school dropout rate has decreased in many school districts in the state since 2006.

Some parents and officials in schools where some students will take both the MCAS and the new PARCC assessment tests are worried the kids are being “over-tested” and over-stressed.

Three Worcester colleges go the test (SAT/ACT) optional route.

Daycare: It’s not for babysitting anymore. Meanwhile, the high cost of child care — Massachusetts has the highest costs in the US — could do with some attention from the Legislature, according to a MetroWest Daily News editorial.

Bill de Blasio softens his rhetoric on charter schools.

TRANSPORTATION

The South Korean manufacturer that has been roundly criticized for being two-and-a-half years behind in delivering new commuter rail cars to the MBTA says it will bid on an upcoming contract to build new subway cars for the system’s Red and Orange lines.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Gov. Deval Patrick’s wind power goal is lagging, WBUR reports.

The Supreme Judicial Court upheld the right of the Scituate Planning Board to ban any building in the town’s four-decade old floodplain zone.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The corruption trial of Leonard Degnan, the ex-chief of staff to former Lawrence mayor William Lantigua, starts today. Degnan is accused of pressuring a trash contractor to donate a trash truck to the Dominican Republic, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

The inmate allegedly assaulted by accused killer Aaron Hernandez was released on bail from the Bristol County jail and his attorney says he does not want to testify because he “does not want to be a rat.”

MEDIA

Meet the Author

Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

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The Oregonian plans to start paying reporters based on web metrics, including how often they post stories to the newspaper’s website.