Whole lot of lying going on

A state senator and the outgoing Boston police commissioner demonstrated that they are not above lying when it comes to getting what they want.

State Sen. Barbara L’Italien showed what she will do to get some exposure in the crowded Democratic primary race in the Third Congressional District. When Fox News reached out to Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat running for Congress in Arizona, the network contacted her press spokesman without realizing that the spokesman had moved on many years ago and now holds the same post with L’Italien. Neither the spokesman nor L’Italien fessed up about the mixup, and L’Italien made it on the Fox and Friends First show to deliver a hard-line, anti-Trump message on immigration.

“Fox News is where you go when you want to talk to Donald Trump and Barbara felt she had an obligation to her constituents to take advantage of that opportunity,” said Joe Katz, L’Italien’s spokesman, explaining why he and his boss engaged in the deception.

Three weeks ago, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans strongly denied a WBZ report that he was leaving the commissioner’s post to head campus security at Boston College. “I hate these rumors,” he said then. “They’re not true.”

But there he was on Monday announcing he was stepping down to take the job at BC and being replaced by William Gross, who will become Boston’s first black police commissioner.

Media coverage of the L’Italien incident was thorough and balanced, meaning the deception was explained and explored. L’Italien got the national exposure she was seeking, Fox News was embarrassed, and even Kirkpatrick’s controversial pro-ICE positions were fleshed out a bit. But at least followers of the news gained a sense of what was going on behind the scenes.

Not so with Evans. The Boston Globe, in its story on Evans stepping down and being replaced by Gross, never mentioned the earlier denials, denials that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh went along with. The Boston Herald also forgot about the earlier denials, reporting only that the Evans departure had been rumored for weeks. Making the Globe news reporting omission even more puzzling, an editorial in today’s paper that praises the selection of Gross points out the earlier deception by Evans and Walsh, calling it “regrettable that, in the midst of an ongoing national struggle against a flood of disinformation, officials refused to be honest with the press.”

In the grand scheme of things, neither lie was all that bad. But the lies demean public service and confirm the suspicion that public officials are not afraid to bend the truth if it will benefit them or fit a narrative they are trying to create. As for the media, Boston University journalism professor John Carroll on his blog was critical of the press for not doing its job in reporting the full story of the Evans departure.

“We get it that no one wants to be the skunk at the garden party. But c’mon, guys – isn’t that sort of your job?“ he asked.

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

A Herald editorial adopts Gov. Charlie Baker’s tone of grudging support for a new fee on car rentals to support police training.

A provision in the state budget, which is sitting on Baker’s desk, would lower and cap the fees yacht clubs pay to use land owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. (Boston Herald)

Baker penned a letter to federal officials opposing a rule that would force organizations like Planned Parenthood to stop offering abortion services and counseling or lose federal funding. (Boston Globe)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The state Land Court has cleared the way for Provincetown to purchase a shuttered timeshare building for year-round affordable housing, the first known bankruptcy ruling that dissolved timeshare claims that are normally perpetual. (Cape Cod Times)

An outside audit ordered by Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo turns up a lot of problems in the parking department, including possible theft of funds and zero parking meter revenue for a 10-month period. (Daily Item)

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno vetoed new requirements to obtain city tax breaks. (MassLive)

A Brockton city councilor has introduced an ordinance to restrict panhandling as police in the city are cracking down on those begging for money at intersections and near busy stores and ATMs. (The Enterprise)

Salem residents are up in arms over a plan to replace an attractive little park with a flood mitigation project. (Salem News)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

President Trump is looking to determine if he can strip the security clearances from former aides to his predecessors who have been critical of him. (New York Times)

North Korea has begun dismantling a missile test site, according to an analysis of satellite images. (New York Times)

The Trump administration disclosed that 463 parents of migrant children were shipped out of the country, presumably without first being reunited with their kids. (Washington Post)

ELECTIONS

An Emerson College poll indicates US Rep. Michael Capuano is leading his Democratic primary challenger, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, 38-29 percent. (The Hill)

Jaclyn Cashman says Deval Patrick, not Elizabeth Warren, is the state’s best hope when it comes to putting forward a candidate who could knock off Donald Trump. (Boston Herald)

Candidates running for the open seat in the Third Congressional District may be ignoring the western part of the district at their peril. (Lowell Sun)

Sen. Warren riffs on all sorts of topics during a sit-down with the Berkshire Eagle.

EDUCATION

Attorney General Maura Healey prepares to appeal a court decision allowing the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton to continue to use aversive therapies, including electric shocks, to stem violent outbursts among students. (WBUR)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Fidelity Investments and Omni hotels are continuing their legal battle over the naming of a hotel in the Seaport district. (Boston Globe)

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is hoping the legislature passes a bill this week making it nearly impossible for other states to collect sales tax from Granite State companies’ internet sales following the recent Supreme Court ruling. (Wall Street Journal)

A study by a Princeton University professor found that 44 percent of the jobs created since the turn of the century were in professions and industries the Bureau of Labor Statistics didn’t even recognize before 2000. (U.S. News & World Report)

A Woburn developer purchased an inn in Gloucester that has been shuttered for five years and plans to build housing on the property. (Gloucester Times)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Now that it’s legal here, what is the bottom line on the long-term safety and health effects of regular marijuana use? It’s complicated. (Boston Globe)

TRANSPORTATION

The Chinese bike-sharing company ofo abruptly ended its North American operations, pulling out of Quincy and other US cities, but another dockless bike company, Lime, will take its place in the City of Presidents. (Patriot Ledger) Worcester is also feeling the loss of ofo. (Telegram & Gazette)

CASINOS/GAMBLING

A Lowell Sun editorial is enthusiastic about the interest of the Stronach Group in opening a horse track in Lancaster.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

At least 60 detainees at an ICE detention center in Dartmouth went on a hunger strike last week to protest conditions at the facility but there were conflicting reports with Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson saying the protest lasted less than a day but immigrant advocates saying it spread to another unit with 72 more detainees joining in. (Standard-Times)

The state Senate turned over records earlier this year to the US attorney’s office from its investigation of Bryon Hefner and his husband, former Senate president Stan Rosenberg. Hefner is already facing state charges on sexual assault and distributing nude images without consent. (Boston Globe)

Christine Cedrone, a former Quincy School Committee member and Republican state party official who now works for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, has been charged with bilking a former elderly client out of money for an insurance case without telling the women her law license had been suspended. (Patriot Ledger)

A 70-year-old Norfolk man was charged with trying to pass oxycodone pills to a female inmate at MCI-Framingham. (MetroWest Daily News)

MEDIA

tronc, the Chicago-based owner of the New York Daily News, slashed staff at the legendary tabloid in half with no notice, including laying off all but nine of the 34 sports journalists, nearly all the photo department, and the paper’s top editor.  (New York Times) The media capital of the country doesn’t have enough reporters to cover what’s going on locally. (Washington Post)