Conflicted about McGrory accusations

Wednesday’s Boston Globe had a story inside Metro about noted Harvard economist Roland Fryer being investigated for sexual harassment. It was not an unusual story for the paper to cover, given the Globe is the region’s most powerful media outlet.

The Globe has done many stories on sexual harassment in the workplace, especially since the start of the #MeToo movement last summer. Sometimes, the paper will run a piece after an internal investigation has been launched by a company or institution. Other times, stories will focus on allegations because the offender is seen as a person of note or the story is of reader interest.

There’s also no shortage of columnists weighing in on the matters. And, in the case of former Senate president Stan Rosenberg and the culture on Beacon Hill, the Globe will launch its resources to find and reveal alleged incidents of sexual harassment and abuse.

But one story that has been percolating for days is about accusations by a former reporter that the paper’s editor, Brian McGrory, sent an unsolicited sexually suggestive text message to her in the midst of a conversation about writing a story. Hilary Sargent posted a screen grab on Twitter of what she said was McGrory’s text.

It is admittedly a tough place for the Globe to be in, but McGrory had promised the paper would be more transparent in dealing with such internal issues after it fumbled the situation involving State House reporter Jim O’Sullivan, who resigned after it was revealed he sent lewd texts to State House workers. Not only have there been no stories about Sargent’s tweets, but no one at the paper, from McGrory on up, is responding to requests for comment.

WGBH’s Greater Boston did a segment on the story featuring Northeastern University professor and media critic Dan Kennedy and Beat the Press host Emily Rooney. Both Kennedy and Rooney cautioned that there’s as much we don’t know as what we do. But the segment ran on a night that WGBH reporter Adam Reilly filled in for regular host Jim Braude, who has a weekly interview with McGrory on his talk show, Boston Public Radio, on WGBH radio.

Howie Carr, of course, couldn’t let the issue go without weighing in. Loudly and with zeal. But of note, Carr’s digs were confined to his radio show, with his Boston Herald column focused on the FBI and President Trump. In fact, the tabloid has no mention of the issue.

The Kirk & Callahan Show on WEEI, which has tried to rub the Globe the wrong way for years, was initially all over the story Monday morning. But over the next couple days the hosts became somewhat more muted in their attacks and they revealed on Wednesday that the station’s management had issued “parameters” for them about discussion of McGrory and the Globe.

There may be no connection but it’s worth noting the station owns the rights to broadcast Red Sox games. And who owns the Red Sox? That would be John Henry, who also happens to own the Globe. It would be unfair to speculate that Henry put pressure on the station but it’s fair to ask if management was leery of upsetting the station’s business partner.

That also brings in another interesting dynamic. Kennedy, in his book, The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century, has an interesting anecdote about how a chance meeting between McGrory and Henry resulted in the Sox owner buying the paper.

The two have cemented a bond and word is Linda Pizzuti Henry, the mogul’s wife and the managing director of the paper, is a big supporter of McGrory. How and when to launch an investigation and how and when to let the public know is likely a big concern for the Henrys.

JACK SULLIVAN


BEACON HILL

The House appears poised to pass legislation strengthening the state’s gun laws by allowing courts to order guns taken from individuals deemed a threat to others or themselves. (Boston Globe)

The state pension fund has recorded the best annualized 10-year return of any such fund in the country — 13.4 percent. (Boston Globe)

As the Senate debates its budget, a measure creating a commission to study the cost of prisons and jails is picking up steam. The measure was prompted by a MassINC report that said the number of inmates in state and county facilities dropped 21 percent over the last eight years while the budgets for those facilities increased 25 percent. (Lowell Sun)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Mashpee officials have reached an agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag to drop the town’s challenge to a federal decision to put land in trust for the tribe, paving the way for a congressional bill to codify the ruling to move forward. (Cape Cod Times)

ELECTIONS

Greg Sullivan of the Pioneer Institute and Cristobal Young of Stanford University debate the proposed millionaire tax ballot question and its impact on millionaire migration. Sullivan began the debate by issuing a report questioning Young’s research indicating millionaire migration in response to higher taxes was minimal, and Young responded with a rebuttal. (CommonWealth)

An internal probe carried out by his office found that three employees working under Secretary of State William Galvin improperly carried out work for his reelection campaign at times that appear to overlap with scheduled work hours. (Boston Globe)

All three Republicans vying for the US Senate nomination say they’re willing to debate before their September 4 primary showdown, but no forums are scheduled. (Boston Herald)

Stacey Abrams won the Democratic nomination for governor in Georgia, the first black woman in the country to be a major party nominee for governor. (New York Times)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Garelick Farms tells employees at its Lynn plant, one of the largest employers in the city, that the facility is being closed. (Daily Item)

A Globe editorial rips the NIMBY protests of Liberty Mutual CEO David Long, which have scuttled plans to build a dormitory for seasonal workers on the grounds of a public golf course on Nantucket near his multimillion-dollar manse.

Name blame game: Fidelity Investments is suing the developers of the new Omni Boston Seaport Hotel, saying its name conflicts with the nearby Seaport Hotel, owned by the investment giant. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION

Rep. Frank Moran of Lawrence says three members of the state board running the city’s schools, including chairman John Connolly, have conflicts of interest that should bar them from serving on the panel or selecting the next superintendent. (Eagle-Tribune)

Quincy College will pay $4.5 million to nursing students put out by the state’s closure of the school’s nursing program to reimburse them for credits that will not transfer to another school. (Patriot Ledger)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh tells Globe columnist Adrian Walker he’s willing to serve on a new search committee for chancellor of UMass Boston. Bill Forry, editor of the Dorchester Reporter, calls for the return of Keith Motley as the chancellor of UMass Boston; he claims Motley was ousted originally because he was made the scapegoat for generations-long problems.

The number students in the state taking AP tests has doubled over the last 10 years. (Boston Globe)

Superstar Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer has been barred from the research center he directs as university and state officials review sexual bias and harassment claims against him. (The Crimson)

Some classmates of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner are using the class notes published in advance of their 15th anniversary reunion at Harvard this week to lob attacks at him over actions of the Trump White House. (Boston Globe)

Megan Wolf asks where is the road map on Boston Public Schools facilities planning? (CommonWealth)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Opioid deaths in Massachusetts are trending down, but the presence of fentanyl and cocaine is rising in the deaths that are occurring. (Telegram & Gazette)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The New Hampshire Supreme Court cleared the way for electric utilities to charge their customers for the money to build a new natural gas pipeline into the region. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a similar case in 2016, took the opposite stance. (CommonWealth)

Today is the deadline for electric companies to choose a winner in the bidding to build an offshore wind farm. (Standard-Times)

The Conservation Law Foundation is asking the state’s environment secretary, Matthew Beaton, to reconsider new zoning he recently approved that clears the way for two big towers to be built along Boston’s waterfront. (Boston Globe)

An Eagle-Tribune editorial says the Hillside Center for Sustainable Living in Newburyport may be the future of transit-oriented development.

Attorney General Maura Healey claims utilities are dragging their feet on passing back to consumers savings the companies received due to the federal tax cut. (Salem News)

State and local officials will make a second attempt to remove two cars that have been submerged at the bottom of the North River in Norwell for decades. (Patriot Ledger)

CASINOS/MARIJUANA

By a narrow margin, voters at Easton Town Meeting approved a ban on recreational marijuana. Next door in Brockton, where Mayor Bill Carpenter has been embracing the potential for retail sales with other towns enacting bans, a local minister wants the city to hold a vote. (The Enterprise)

The Framingham City Council has given initial approval to a moratorium on retail recreational pot sales until December. (MetroWest Daily News)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The Supreme Judicial Court will consider a case that rests on defining what constitutes a pimp. (Boston Herald)

Federal officials in Massachusetts say they will no longer arrest undocumented immigrants who arrive at government offices in an effort to secure legal status to remain in the country. (Boston Globe)

MEDIA

The Environmental Protection Agency barred reporters from the Associated Press and CNN from a summit on harmful water contaminants. (Associated Press)

A Telegram & Gazette editorial says a tariff on newsprint designed to save jobs in the US is killing off the print newspaper business.

Hedge funds are playing a greater role in the US newspaper industry. (Bloomberg)