If you're confused about whether Boston might lay off 200 police officers or not, I urge you to check out Dan Kennedy's deconstruction
of the Globe and Herald's duelling treatments of the subject. As Dan
notes, this is partly a political story and partly a media one--and
despite the Herald's bluster (online headline:"Riled mayor Thomas M.
Menino: Reports of cop layoffs untrue"), it's not at all clear that the
Globe got anything wrong:
Menino is angry — that's a given. What we don't know is if 1) he is genuinely angry because he didn't want the layoff numbers to be leaked, at least not yet; 2)
he is genuinely angry because the Globe's emphasis on layoffs, rather
than on Patrick's options, puts more pressure on City Hall than he had
intended; or 3) he is pretending to be angry but is actually pleased that he succeeded in floating this frightening trial balloon.Because
officials appear to be dialing back, that gives the Herald the
opportunity to claim that the Globe got it wrong. The problem is that
what officials are actually saying, on the record, does not contradict
the notion that as many as 200 officers could be laid off if more money
can't be found.