Flashbacks: Poking fun at the Globe’s tone deaf corrections, on the campaign trail with Mel King, and the Frisbee as a weapon of war?

5 years ago
November 14, 2003 | Chris Wright thought it strange that the Globe delivered trivial corrections in the same tone as it did significant ones.
“There have been many wonderful corrections in the Globe over the years. ‘Because of an editing error, a photo accompanying a story on admitted arsonist Francis K. Fraine incorrectly identified Fraine. The photo shown was that of Francis M. Fraine, a Billerica police officer and member of the town’s School Committee.’...Great stuff.

“Just last week, the Globe ran a correction regretting that, in a recent profile of Michael Dukakis, its reporter had misstated the date of a birthday party being held for the former governor. It seems unlikely that there will be much gnashing of teeth...over this blooper — ‘The party of the year! Get me my attorney!’ Still, it’s always struck me as odd the way newspapers shrug off their mistakes like this. It seems even more odd that they would assume the same perfunctory tone of regret for botching a birthday announcement as for pointing the finger of blame at an innocent man. The Francis M. Fraine incident, you’d think, would at the very least warrant a few exclamation marks — an ‘Oops!’, a ‘Shit!’, or a ‘We’re so sorry!’

“Further, the way the offending staffer is identified in these corrections seems weak to me. I’d like to see something along the lines of, ‘Our crime reporter, Nelson Grinkle, is, frankly, a slobbering moron who wouldn’t know a fact if it crept up behind him and ruffled those three hairs he insists on sweeping across his liver-spotted pate. He will be given a hefty kick up that fat rump of his and forced to read the entire Sunday paper from front to back. Damn him.’ ” Read full article

15 years ago
November 12, 1993 | Robert David Sullivan wrote up a post-election special on gay rights that makes being pissed over California's Prop 8, for example, old hat.
"Gays have never focused on the scary elements of Halloween. We get enough of a fright from Election Day. This year's brought more disappointments for gays and lesbians, mostly in the form of referendum votes against gay rights in Cincinnati (62 percent), Lewiston, Maine (67 percent), and Portsmouth, New Hampshire (59 percent)...

"Safety played a part in the referendum questions...Americans generally follow the Nancy Reagan rule when it comes to voting on ballot proposals: if you have a scintilla of reluctance, ‘just say no.’

"The future isn't totally bleak. Where support for gay rights takes root, it tends to do so permanently. Statewide gay-rights laws in states like Hawaii and Wisconsin are becoming unassailable as the years go by...But it's going to be a long haul elsewhere, and there are plenty of November frights yet to come."

25 years ago
November 15, 1983 | Michael Rezendes observed as mayoral candidate Mel King greeted voters in East Boston.
“In a campaign swing through East Boston last week, passers-by greeted King enthusiastically everywhere he went. In a neighborhood where racial violence was not uncommon before busing, a neighborhood where a black family was bombed out of its apartments in the Maverick Square public housing project after busing, King was treated like a celebrity.

“People called out to him from storefronts as he walked from Maverick to Central Square. Two teenagers in a red Cadillac...made a show of blocking traffic on Meridian Street so they could shake King’s hand...It was not an uncommon response, and it is precisely the kind of reaction that’s helped convince King that his boundless optimism and his unyielding belief in the best side of human nature will bring out the best in people wherever he goes. Those who have stopped on the streets of white ethnic neighborhoods to touch and hear Mel King may not vote for him on Tuesday. But thousands of Bostonians who never dreamed of striking up a conversation with the tall, bearded black man with the piercing eyes and the slow, measured speech have come to know and like him. That, at least, is progress.”

35 years ago
November 13, 1973 | The Phoenix reported the news that the Navy had spent $375,000 in an attempt “to perfect the Frisbee as a weapon of war.”
“In a 207-page report, the Navy says that extensive wind-tunnel, computer and finally even cliff-throwing experiments were conducted on the Frisbee before the Navy abandoned its research three years ago. The Navy reports that it was hoping to use Frisbees to replace the parachutes used for air-launched flares.
“The Frisbee as a weapon fizzled, however. The project was finally abandoned in 1970 after Navy researchers...stood on the side of a Mesa and hurled Frisbees into the air. Timing their descent speeds back to earth. It was found that the flight path of the Frisbee was neither predictable nor stable enough to replace parachutes.

“The makers of the Frisbee, the Wham-O Manufacturing Company of San Gabriel, California, admit that they were happy to learn that the Navy experiments failed. Company spokesman Goldy Norton states that Frisbees are very popular with the anti-war generation -- adding ‘If the Frisbee were adopted as an article of war, it wouldn’t help us any.’ “

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