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  • July 30, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    This week's New Yorker includes a profile, written by Kelefa Sanneh, of right-wing-radio star Michael Savage. It's a great read--but is it too easy on its subject?

    Generally speaking, Sanneh seems to have a sort of bemused affection for Savage, who he casts as a heterodox conservative with an endearing melancholic streak and a penchant for highly entertaining, free-associative riffs.

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  • July 30, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    In a newly posted item at Boston.com, Globe columnist and Phoenix alum Yvonne Abraham explains why she quickly deleted the email that got BPD Officer Justin Barrett fired.

    Boston.com also quotes from a WCVB interview in which Barrett says his email wasn't really about race:

    “I did not mean to offend anyone,’’ he said.

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  • July 29, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    In which I argue that another big story--namely, the Erin Andrews Affair--showed that the sex-assault accusations against the Steelers quarterback had to be reported.

    Also: why reality doesn't exist until the New York Times Co. says it does.

  • July 29, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    From today's Herald:

    Actually, now that I consider Barack and beer, the first brand that comes to mind is Schlitz Malt Liquor, especially when Obama gets near a microphone:

    “Look out for the bull!”

    See, it's because Obama's lame speeches remind Howie of the Schlitz Malt Liquor jingle. Not because Obama reminds Howie of this--or because Howie wants you to make the same connection.

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  • July 29, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    In a move tied to Boston.com's new Metro Desk section, the Globe is sponsoring an online chat with Tom Menino at 11 a.m. today.

    Oddly, the chat doesn't seem to currently be publicized on the front of Boston.com, or on Metro Desk itself. I only know about it thanks to a very small blurb below the fold on the front of today's Metro section.

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  • July 27, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    Earlier today, I argued that the big Gatesgate development of the day--i.e., Lucia Whalen's (ambiguously reported) assertion about not discussing race with the police--didn't necessarily make Whalen's mindset clear. Specifically, I argued that even if Whalen didn't identify the suspects' race in her call to police, it still could have been on her mind.

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  • July 27, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    So: Lucia Whalen, the woman who triggered Gatesgate, is disputing the notion that she identified Skip Gates and his driver as black. What does that tell us?

    Maybe not too much. For one thing, as Dan Kennedy rightly notes, the details remain extremely muddled. The original police report has Whalen identifying Gates and his driver by race in a discussion with Crowley at the scene.

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  • July 24, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    After you've given this speech, how can you 1) have your spokesman make this statement and 2) think he'll be taken seriously?

    Whatever his motivations for weighing in on Gatesgate, Obama's comments earlier this week were a mistake, practically speaking. And now the damage control are making the situation worse, not better.

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  • July 24, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    Judging from an email that WGBH president/CEO Jon Abbott sent to staff yesterday, things at Boston's public-broadcasting powerhouse aren't quite as bad as they are at, say, the Globe. But they're not great, either, for a bunch of distinct but related reasons.

    Abbott's email follows. (Full disclosure: I'm a frequent guest panelist on WGBH-TV's Beat the Press

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  • July 23, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    Looking for a break from Gatesgate? If so, I highly recommend this Boston.com feature on the making of Prince's classic "Anthony" ad. It appears at Metro Desk, a new, beefed-up version of Boston.com's now-defunct Local News Updates.

    I do have one reservation, though. The story, by correspondent Billy Baker, suggests that the "Anthony" ad helped pave the way for the destruction of the same old-school North End it celebrated.

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  • July 23, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    If you've been following Gatesgate closely, you may be wondering: why did Boston.com replace the police report it originally posted Monday with another version that deletes most of Sgt. James Crowley's narrative?

    "We were concerned that we had a preliminary copy," Boston.com editor David Beard told me today.

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  • July 22, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    If you thought Barack Obama's comments this evening on Skip Gates's arrest would make the story even bigger, you were absolutely right. Obama's critique of the Cambridge PD is currently the second story on Google News; high atop NYTimes.com; and lead story at CNN.com (never mind healthcare!).

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  • July 22, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

     

     

    In today's Herald, columnist Peter Gelzinis accuses Skip Gates of exploiting his recent arrest--equating him in the process with Al Sharpton, whose reaction to the Gates Affair the Herald made sure to highlight yesterday:

    As it turns out, there won't be any need for Rev. Al to exploit the incident on Ware Street, because Skip Gates has decided he's going to create a full-length documentary for PBS based on his arrest.

    "The idea never crossed my mind," Gates told The Washington Post yesterday, "but it has now."

    I expect the documentary will soon be prefaced by Skip's 10,000-word treatise in The New Yorker.

    Exploitation can assume many forms - including Skip Gate's sudden decision to train his historian/journalist eye on the subject of racial profiling. Obviously, there's no need to ask why he wasn't moved to make such a documentary before yesterday.

    While I don't doubt Skip Gates could produce a compelling piece, I'm not optimistic for one reason: Gates is already insisting that Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley must first apologize for placing him under arrest outside his home.

    "If so," Gates told the Washington Post, "I will be prepared to forgive him." That doesn't sound like a dispassionate attempt to get to the truth of the police response to a 911 call for a possible B & E.

    My first question: if Gelzinis ever believed that he was the victim of a grievous wrong, as Gates clearly does in this case, would he use his columnist's perch to pursue a "dispassionate attempt to get at the truth"? Or would he, instead, rip the shit out of the parties responsible?

    Also in today's Herald: Joe Fitzgerald sticks up for the cop who arrested Gates, and plays the Sharpton card with relish.

    Which brings me to my second question: why, exactly, does the Herald insist on mentioning Sharpton so frequently in connection with this story?

    [Cross-posted at Beat the Press]

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  • July 20, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    From spokesman Bob Powers:

    We are very pleased that the members of the Boston Newspaper Guild ratified
    their agreement. With this vote, all of the Globe’s major union contracts
    are now settled.

    We deeply appreciate the sacrifices that Guild members are making to help
    sustain The Boston Globe’s mission of delivering high-quality journalism to






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  • July 20, 2009
    By Adam Reilly

    Apologies for the light posting the last few days; I've been visiting family in what some on the East Coast term "the Heartland." (Of course, it's usually better to explain these things in advance. Next time...)

    I'm actually still there, but I wanted to offer some quick thoughts on recent/current developments before my return.

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