Thank God we’re a two-paper town
There are two ways you can tell the newspaper tong war is ramping up between the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. They ignore each other. Or they don’t. And both approaches have been on display this week.
Back in the day, you needed to buy both daily papers to see what each was saying about certain stories. Now, it seems, you have to buy both papers just to get all the news, otherwise you may miss something completely in the areas the two papers are reluctant to yield, politics and sports.
The Herald this week had two stories that had they been in the broadsheet would have made it on Page 1, likely above the fold. State House reporter Matt Stout had a story that Treasurer Deb Goldberg had filed a disclosure saying her husband works for a firm that was awarded the right to sell $100 million in state bonds. Though the Ethics Commission cleared Goldberg because of the disclosure, the story was worth reporting and reading but Globe readers saw the merest mention of it in a small story buried inside that was all about Goldberg’s spokeswoman denying any impropriety. The last sentence read, “The Boston Herald reported earlier on the filing.”
The other story from the Herald didn’t even get that much acknowledgement, despite Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders vowing a full investigation. Reporter/columnist Joe Battenfeld found that former governor Deval Patrick allegedly diverted millions of dollars from different state authorities into a fund that was used, in part, to finance overseas trade trips by the administration. Though the story veered heavily into the code words that conservatives love to throw at Patrick, the gist of it was that the funds were moved surreptitiously and without the Legislature’s knowledge. House Post Audit Chairman David Linsky has started an investigation and Baker has his people looking over the books to look for improprieties.
Over the weekend, the Globe broke the story – albeit three months after it happened – about City Councilor Stephen Murphy hiring a neighbor and former clerk-magistrate who was booted out of his old job because of his belligerent attitude and lackadaisical work ethic in showing up late, if at all. The Herald ran a short Associated Press story online that credited the Globe but nothing in the paper.
Similarly, the Herald gave the Globe no credit for the story Andrea Estes had on an Ethics Commission probe of Gaming Commissioner Stephen Crosby based on an affidavit from an unknown source. The Herald had a story about Crosby and a fellow commissioner defending his actions, presenting the investigation as a matter of fact without attribution.
It harkens back to the old days when a Globe editor, wanting a story for Metro that had already run in the Herald, barked at a reporter questioning the need, “It’s not news until we run it.”
But perhaps the most interesting battle being waged between the two papers is in the sports section with the fight being carried on Twitter. Herald reporter Jeff Howe was the first to break the news that Patriots Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler was forced to sit out of practice for three weeks as punishment because his flight from Atlanta last month was canceled because of weather and he was late to practice the next day.
Ben Volin, the Globe‘s Patriots beat writer, tweeted the next day that Butler had finally made it onto the field. “Jibes with report that he was held out for 3 weeks after showing up late,” he wrote in Twitterverse.
Howe, apparently not realizing Volin’s use of “jibes” meant Howe’s original reporting was correct, took umbrage. “Seriously, get like one story right before you start calling people out,” Howe blasted back and then ticked off a number of stories he believes Volin has gotten wrong.
Please, don’t stop on our account.
The constitutional clash between the House and Senate over taxation authority is likely to hinge on an 137-year-old Supreme Judicial Court opinion. (CommonWealth)
The Baker administration’s corporate tax amnesty program nets $15 million, $3 million less than the forecast. (Salem News)
The House Post Audit Committee is looking into charges reported by the Boston Herald that the Patrick administration quietly set up an off-the-books fund to pay for trade mission trips.
The Globe reports that the attorney general’s office under Maura Healey has begun enforcing the state public records law for the first time in five years.
Frank Phillips trots out an update on the rogues’ gallery of state Republican also-rans whose fortunes stand in sharp contrast to Charlie Baker, the one GOP figure from that era, he says, whose star has managed to keep shining. (Boston Globe)
Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas praises the courage of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for his willingness to lead the fight against the legalization of marijuana.
Boston Public LIbrary board chairman Jeff Rudman resigns, as Mayor Marty Walsh moves to remake leadership of the library system. (Boston Globe)
Walsh creates gender-neutral bathrooms at City Hall. The symbol on the door will be a stick figure with what appears to be slacks on one leg and a skirt on the other. (WBUR)
Former Lawrence mayor William Lantigua joins Vladimir Putin, Ted Cruz, and Kim Jong-un in a book listing the world’s 299 craziest politicians. (Eagle-Tribune)
Fallon Ambulance, which has had the municipal contract with Quincy for nearly 20 years, is filing a protest over the bidding process after the company lost out to Brewster Ambulance. It is the second large municipal contract Brewster has won — it recently took over servicing Brockton — that has been in dispute. (Patriot Ledger)
A local stone mason has volunteered to fix several gravestones for free at a West Bridgewater cemetery that were toppled over by vandals. (The Enterprise)
Scot Lehigh chats with Steve Pagliuca, the understated new leader of the Boston 2024 effort. Pagliuca says the “principle” is no public funding for Olympic costs but that “nothing is risk-free” and voters will ultimately have to weigh the potential risks and rewards of the venture. (Boston Globe)
Dorchester beats Harvard: A Dorchester tennis club will be the site of Olympic tennis matches if Boston hosts the 2024 Summer Games. Harvard had initially been touted as the likely tennis venue. (Boston Globe)
Boston magazine reports that a Billerica club will be tapped as the site for shooting competition.
A new Michigan law allows faith-based adoption groups to refuse to serve prospective parents if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. (Governing)
Rand Paul says he’ll go after anyone who is mean to his wife — though he says no one really has been so far. (Boston Herald)
Edward Selgrade poses the “right question” on Iraq for presidential candidates. (CommonWealth)
Two fellow gambling panel members come to Steve Crosby‘s defense. (State House News) Shirley Leung says the ethics probe of the the panel chairman is a headache Charlie Baker doesn’t want. (Boston Globe)
The Brockton Enterprise takes a spin through the state’s first slot parlor that is set to open in Plainville in two weeks.
To try to summarize it in less than 140 characters: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down, leaving a rudderless ship. (Fortune) (2/3:) Keller@Large says the moral of the story is it’s not the quantity of the information but the quality and Twitter offers very little of the (3/3) latter.
Former congressman William Delahunt explains his push to get involved in the medical marijuana business: “I was always a maverick.” (Greater Boston)
Some organic farmers are up in arms over a new Whole Foods rating system that gives high marks — some even exceeding organic products — to food grown in conventional manners that aren’t certified organic. (New York Times)
Critics and supporters of high-stakes testing have their say at a Beacon Hill hearing. Watch this CommonWealth video conversation Michael Jonas had with education blogger Jennifer Berkshire (aka Edushyster) and Fordham Institute’s Robert Pondiscio for more on the backlash against testing nationally.
Weymouth School Committee members want the new food service contractor to return lunch trays to the high school cafeteria because students are avoiding healthy extras such as fruit and vegetables because they can’t carry them. (Patriot Ledger)
Problems with the Health Connector website are worse than expected and are slowing plans for the fall open-enrollment period, say state officials. (Boston Globe)
Two inmates at Massachusetts prisons are suing the Department of Correction, alleging the agency is withholding life-saving hepatitis C drugs from those who need them. (Boston Herald) The sphinx-like DOC has long refused to say whether it dispenses the drugs, which are enormously expensive. (CommonWealth)
The 16-year-old shot to death on his Dorchester street on Wednesday night had grown increasingly fearful of local gang members. (Boston Globe)
A 24-year-old Rhode Island man was arrested in connection with the terrorism investigation connected to last week’s police killing of a Roslindale man. (Boston Globe)
North Shore police chiefs say they want more tasers to avoid deadly force situations. (Salem News)
A New Bedford couple has been charged with animal cruelty and held without bail pending a mental evaluation after police in two states found 46 animals — half of them dead and the other half malnourished — at properties they leased in New Bedford and Tiverton, R.I. (Standard-Times)
Radio host and former Boston newspaper reporter Michele McPhee was charged with drunken driving and assaulting the state trooper who tried to place her under arrest. (Boston Herald)After just nine months on the job, James Normandin leaves his publisher’s job at theTelegram & Gazette in Worcester to become chief operating officer of the Union Leader Corp. in Manchester, N.H. (Telegram & Gazette)
Rupert Murdoch is putting the Fox empire in the hands of his son James, who was a central figure in the phone hacking scandal that nearly toppled the media giant several years ago. (New York Times)