Not to go all EB3 on everyone…

but let’s look at today’s Globe’s coverage of the race for Mayor of Boston.

  • Front page below the fold: a soft piece on John Connolly’s teaching jobs, in which he specifically gets to rebut “grumbling backlash, spread through blogs and social media, that he was never a ‘real teacher.’”  Connolly’s response: it’s “a ‘birther movement’ by disgruntled hard-liners in the Boston Teachers Union who oppose his candidacy.”
  • First page of Metro: a report that Connolly “has reaped more than $600,000 in campaign donations during the first two weeks of October, more than double the amount raised by his opponent during the period, as the race enters the pivotal weeks before the Nov. 5 election.”
  • Also on the first page of Metro: a column by Yvonne Abraham asking “[w]ho is connecting the best” with communities of color, written entirely through the lens of Connolly’s post-debate event.  All the direct quotes in the column are from Connolly or Connolly supporters, though Abraham herself doesn’t venture a clear opinion on the question of who, in fact, is “connecting the best.”
  • Inside Metro (p. B4), a brief “Campaign Notebook” item on the day’s most significant endorsement: State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry’s decision to endorse Marty Walsh.  But the lead photo (which does not appear shown online) in that item is a big photo of – wait for it – John Connolly!  Here’s how page B4 looks in the print edition (click for larger):
    page b4 copy
    Also, oddly, the photo of Walsh is not of him with Senator Dorcena Forry (did no Globe photographers show up at her announcement? even the Herald managed a pic), but with a pastor who, probably, most readers won’t recognize.
  • Finally, on the op-ed page, Joan Vennochi’s column is called “Why the union-bashing?”  Aha – here, maybe, we have a different take.  The title could easily portend a piece challenging, among other things, the relentlessly anti-union sentiments on the Globe’s editorial page and from some of her op-ed colleagues.  And, to some extent, it does do that.

    Add up all the corporate tax breaks and Boston walks away from truckloads of revenue in the name of jobs and economic development. It’s money that could be used to pay police, firefighters, and teachers. But there’s no outrage over those giveaways and so far they’re not an issue in the race to become Boston’s next mayor.

    No, the outrage is all about the police contract, the school bus driver strike, and candidate Martin J. Walsh’s ties to organized labor….

    When labor stands with [Elizabeth] Warren or [Ed] Markey, its representatives are viewed as working people fighting for their rights. But in the context of this mayoral election, they are collectively seen as thugs and manipulators trying to grab more than they deserve from city coffers. Little distinction is made between private and public sector unions, and public sector union employees are automatically demonized as lazy, overpaid keepers of the status quo.

    Unlike a US senator, the next mayor must negotiate a slew of city contracts and Boston has given away a lot over the years. As the city prepares to elect a new mayor, it’s fair to wonder if less rather than more hostility would help on both sides of the negotiating table.

    These are excellent points. Vennochi’s column does note that Walsh “has received at least $917,000 from union contributors” and argues that “[h]e has not fully owned up to the impact of the bill he filed as state representative that would make an arbitrator’s ruling final in a labor dispute,” and concludes that “[v]oters have a right to question his loyalties and only he can put legitimate concerns to rest.” Fair enough.  Still, the basic thrust of Vennochi’s column is this, with which I find it hard to disagree:

    But given the traditionally strong connection between labor and virtually every Democratic politician in Massachusetts, the great indignation over Walsh’s union ties is a little overdone.

    Who was a bigger labor champion than the late Senator Ted Kennedy? And who bailed him out in 1994, when he faced a serious challenge from then newcomer Republican Mitt Romney? Laid-off union workers traveled from Indiana to Massachusetts to tell voters what happened after Romney’s Bain Capital took over the Ampad manufacturing plant. Their story helped turn the tide for Kennedy.

So, the coverage in today’s Globe is not uniformly pro-Connolly.  But it’s certainly not pro-Walsh, and I find it difficult to escape the sense that, overall, the tilt is in Connolly’s direction.  Maybe today is an anomaly – maybe tomorrow’s Globe will look different.  We’ll see.  But the clear view of the Globe’s editorial page is that Connolly should be the next mayor (they haven’t endorsed in the final yet, but their endorsement in the preliminary makes it obvious that they much prefer Connolly to Walsh).  Now, I know that there’s an absolutely impermeable firewall, reinforced with steel and lead and also some kind of forcefield, between the editorial and reporting sides of the paper that has not been breached in the slightest respect since the beginning of time.  Still, it does make ya wonder.


46 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Nice Stuff David..

    I writing a post now on something he said and some he gets money from.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Thu 17 Oct 1:15 PM
  2. Noticedthe Herald recently

    had puff pieces back to back days on each candidate, both were similar talking about families. So that at least seemed fine. Globe had a soft piece over the weekend, about those in recovery, a tug on the heart strings for Walsh. Don’t recall much else on Walsh, other than news stories on endorsements.

  3. What about Sunday's paper for Marty?

    I would note that Sunday’s Globe, which presumably has a much larger circulation, was decidedly pro-Walsh.

    1) Well of support for Walsh among those in recovery – Front Page, then Mayoral coverage section
    2) Formal rival swayed by Walsh’s stances – Mayoral Coverage section
    3) Eduction piece in Op-Ed, which is split 50/50 (both good for each candidate)

    No post on that though?

    • abinns

      To counter your Sunday example, after touting repeatedly that the CGR endorsement would be the big “get”, no feature article at all on Sunday addressing the endorsement and its implications.

      • Announced on Sat, ran on Sun

        The Globe ran the recovery piece front page vs the CGR piece. Would you have rather had it the other way? Campaign announced the CGR endorsement on Sat and it ran on Sunday, along with the recovery article. They did use the whole rest of the mayoral coverage section for the CGR piece though. Nada for Connolly in that whole section.

    • Globe using recovery community as a distraction

      I think the Globe’s front-paging that recovery story was a soft way of displacing the impact of the CGR endorsement and more. That recovery story allows people to think “oh yeah, great story, but nothing new.” The news is Walsh winning what the Globe had called all-important rival endorsements and more, but they buried it.

  4. photos of Connolly

    I haven’t done a study (anyone up for this?) but have noticed that throughout the primary general campaign articles (articles on the overall race, not on specific candidate) always seemed to feature a photo of Connolly either in his headquarters surrounded by signs and volunteers, or pictures of him on the trail. And the Globe disgraced istself when it allowed Connolly to retroactively go back and submit questions to its questioneer days after all the other candidates had responded and had their answers published. The Globe actually updated his responses into the questioneer in online edition without notifying readers that he had originally refused to answer. Again— Distgraceful.

    • that really happenned?

      that’s crazy. Where did you get the details?

      • johnk

        Are you asking about the photos, which I said I had “seemed to always be Connolly, or are you talking about the survey questions that were changed online? That is very easy to check. The printed copy had all Xs with a note that Connolly refused to answer the survey because the questions were two nuanced. That is also how it appeared online. Several days later (I think it was 6 days but don’t remember) he submitted answers and the online survey was updated to include his answers with no explanation or note. I just went over to the globe online and tried to find the original publication date, but couldn’t. I think it was around July 3rd, but not sure. The info graphic of the survey has been updated (may be an original copy in their archives somewhere, but again couldn’t find the old one) and is still online on the “mayor” section of the Globe. It used to show answers from all candidates but now only has the Connolly and Walsh. I’ll see if my friend still has a hard copy because she loves to show it to people and explain that Connolly has no positions on anything.

        • You could see if the wayback machine has it.

          Wayback machine

        • thanks for the reply..

          I was interested in the survey comment you made, I hadn’t heard about that earlier.

          Even if the Globe allowed Connolly to provide answers late, they should have at a minimum acknowledged it. But IMO allowing someone to provide answers with the full knowledge of all other candidate’s responses should never have happened.

          • survey

            I’ll keep going through the online archives. Through the primary, the survey was up on the “Mayor” race page. It was interactive and let you compare different candidates head to head, or view all at once. Now it only shows Walsh and Connolly. There was an accompanying article in which it was mentioned that Connolly had refused to answer the survey questions. I don’t know the title and searching by key words is giving me hundreds of results to go through. The easiest is is my friend still has her hard copy. I think if you contact the Globe they won’t deny. The survey was a key part of their primary coverage.

            • Thank you ...

              good stuff.

              • Globe article was on July 31st

                Found the article in the Globe archives, but not the interactive survey. Maybe it doesn’t appear because they updated it? Still it is odd… You need a subscription to see it in the archives, but here is the pertinent info along with the quote that says Connolly wouldn’t answer the yes/no question (you can see that he currrently has those answers posted on the Globe mayor page). Is this sufficient backup for you? (not meant in a snarky way, just don’t want to spend more time on this).

                Globe survey finds splits over schools, term limits

                Boston Globe – Boston, Mass.
                Author: O’Sullivan, Jim
                Date: Jul 31, 2013
                Start Page: A.1
                Section: Metro
                Text Word Count: 876

                “Connolly declined to respond simply yes or no, saying the issues were too complex. But his campaign provided details about his stances.”

                • I found the original survey graphic

                  It’s in the microfilm of the print edition for July 31 (I have a PDF, but can’t post it here). It is exactly as ab2013 describes–no answers from Connolly, with the note quoted above. Walsh’s answers match what can now be found online.

                  • bluesue

                    Hey thanks for looking it up. I’m surprised no one else had mentioned this at the time because it seemed unethical or poor journalism to me. Then again, if the campaigns weren’t bitching (they were all in get along mode at the time) I let it go. Still would have thought people who read the Globe would notice…

                • thanks ...

                  you had provided more than enough info. I do see it. Thanks.

                  This is the good stuff that come from this blog.

  5. You didn't go all EB3.

    Your diary is actually coherent:)

    • Kinda disappointed

      I was hoping for some good characters and dialogue, maybe some inside baseball from the guy who cleans the toilets on Morrissey Blvd. Instead I get a bunch of cogent bullet points about articles in the paper. Jeez, talk about false advertising.

  6. Sounds like playing the ref to me...

    …unless there’s actually a reason to think the independence of the news side of the paper has been compromised.

    • the articles that are printed, along with the pictures...

      you know… all the bullet points David posted.

      To be fair, I don’t think the iron curtain between news and op ed needs to be breached for their to be a compromise. It could very well be they’ve been compromised by the folks who do the hiring.

      This is not the first nor the last time the Globe supported the powerful interests over folks who live pay check to pay check and struggle just to get by. Indeed, the Globe has a long history of that, their propping up of the high powered developer backed Connolly over the working family backed Walsh is just one of the more glaring examples.

  7. The tone on this site (or at least this thread) has gone off the rails

    For chrissakes rye, “high powered developer backed Connolly over the working family backed Walsh”? Do you really want to splash in that crap puddle? Have you even listened to anything Connolly has said? Or actually looked at his record in office? You can say you don’t like a candidate without sinking to lies and insults.

  8. Today's Globe for instance

    Walsh makes a major policy announcement yesterday, proposing that the BRA be completely overhauled into a new, transparent, accountable agency called The Boston Economic Development Authority.

    Connolly has a months-old plan for pulling planning out of the BRA, and not much more.

    Globe headline: “Both candidates look to remake the BRA”

    At the very end of the article, the Globe finally acknowledges:

    Connolly has not yet outlined a specific vision for restructuring the BRA, but has been equally adamant that it must be overhauled to better meet the needs of residents and businesses.

  9. Reporting

    Reporting’s been balanced to slightly pro-Walsh, in my view. Connolly has been talking about reforming the BRA since he announced. At that time, Walsh didn’t have the courage to run. I will tell you what is a joke, the press trying to play it “down the middle” on the debate. Connolly administered an epic thumping to Walsh. If you want sweet heart, budget busting unions deals, and the city’s bond rating to collapse, Walsh is your guy.

    • Eye of the beholder.

      Per Chris Faraone, “[i]t was a mauling” – for Walsh.

      • He's the only one I could find ....

        Have you read his twitter posts, it reads like a Walsh news feed. This is my favorite.

        Connolly supporters are extremely diverse. Some favor in-district charters; other would prefer to beat the BTU into oblivion. #bosmayor

        — Chris Faraone (@Fara1) October 11, 2013

        • I don't agree that Walsh will provide ...

          sweetheart deals, but I think we will all be well served to have questions answered s these guys are very close on all issues. Doug Rubin needs to earn his money for the next debate.

      • Faraone

        Faraone’s correct that expectations (among the media) were as low for Walsh as they were for Palin. I think their IQs are roughly in-line. Perhaps the media thinks that by not “urinating on the stage” (Faraone’s phrase, not mine) it was a draw or, in Faraone’s opinion, Walsh prevailed. In reality, Walsh’s performance rivaled that of Adm. Stockdale–”out of ammo.” Walsh simply curled up in the fetal position when Connolly called Walsh out on the pro-union legislation at the same time Walsh was raking it in from the unions. Walsh couldn’t even muster up an “I’m not going to apologize for my record on standing up for working people.”

    • OK, for the last time


      No one cares … (swigs M7Ms)

      • What?

        is ratings abuse?

        • Downrating for no good reason

          Or, conversely, group uprating for no good reason. Like a comment that supports a candidate and 10 people uprate it.

          Not a major problem. But if we’re going to have ratings … [blah blah blah].

          • Who says there was no good reason?

            I downrated because I disagree and don’t like his tone. No need to be the ratings police.

            • And believe me, I don't want to

              But disagreement is not sufficient grounds; disliking his tone … arguable.

              Really I wish the editors would moderate more than they do. I understand wht they don’t, but we could use a little more of it, IMAO.

            • Disagreeing is an utterly terrible reason

              If you want to have dialog on this site, you want people who disagree with you. What you don’t want are intellectually dishonest trolls and spammers. For such scum is downrating perfect.

              • One note

                I felt exactly the same as you when we had a ratings system like Soapblox, where it was hypothetically possible to hide-rate someone if they got too many 0s.

                With a simple +/- that has no other consequences than potentially bruised egos, I think we can all be a little more flexible with how we give ratings or how we ‘take’ them when people rate our own comments.

                I was loath to give 0s before… but I’ll drop a – on a bad argument, especially if it’s the same bad one over and over again.

                One point I can thoroughly agree with re: Christopher’s comment, we really don’t need ratings police posts now, at least until the ratings system is changed so that it means more than ego again. A low priority for BMG, IMO.

                • There was more nuance on Soapblox, which I liked.

                  A + from me could mean either a 5 or 6 in the old system whereas a – is a 4 or 3.

                • Communities

                  All communities enforce norms. To expect otherwise is to misunderstand communities.

                  Ratings police posts are just a sign that we’re a community.

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