Boston Globe’s Nonsense Attacks on Mayor Marty Walsh:

WASHINGTON - JUNE 15:  (L-R) Mike Barnicle of MSNBC News, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, and MTP Executive Producer Betsy Fischer appear on "Meet the Press" during a taping in memory of the late moderator Tim Russert June 15, 2008 at the NBC studios in Washington, DC. Russert died June 13, 2008 of a heart attack while at the NBC bureau in Washington at the age of 58.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)I remember when Marty Walsh first got elected. A person who comments here said Walsh better be careful. The Boston Globe has a particular dislike for Irish Catholic politicians who come from the inner city. He pointed to the unfair hit job it did on Attorney General Bob Quinn who came from Savin Hill alleging falsely that he was involved in ethical improprieties. Mayor Walsh also lived in Savin Hill.

I was reminded of this last Sunday in an article written about Mayor Walsh.  I let that pass but when I saw a follow-up on it by a columnist I could see that perhaps the Globe was up to its old tricks.

The Globe is having a little bit of a fit so it planned a hit. Here’s the article that sets it out. Then, as we’ve seen so often in the past, a columnist, in this case Adrian Walker, is assigned to follow-up on the article. The follow-up usually tells us  the article was “an excellent report” and suggests it deserves our deep consideration.

The original article told about two men,  Michael Goldman and Matt O’Neil, the former hired by Marty Walsh as a political adviser and the latter his friend who have set up a public relations firm. Walker tells us the purpose of it is to  “market themselves to customers who are fully aware of their access to {Mayor Marty] Walsh.”

Walker’s apparently upset that when Mayor Walsh when asked about it brushed it off saying: “It’s a gotcha story. That’s what you are trying to do here. Should people be penalized for their relationship with the mayor of Boston? I don’t think that’s fair.” Walker says in a complete non sequitur: “It’s really painful to watch a mayor whine.” I’d suggest that it is not the mayor who is whining but the Globe.

Walker’s hit piece continues with him saying:  “But when their clients pay for access to city government that most people could only dream of, that’s troubling.” Then he writes after talking about Mayor Menino: “I don’t mean to suggest Mayor Walsh has done anything wrong himself; there is no evidence of that. But he is alarmingly tone-deaf when it comes to charges of ethical impropriety by people around him. “ (my emphasis)

The article which was based on emails given to the paper by City Hall included nothing more than a showing that Goldman and O’Neil were able to have access to the mayor because of their former relationships with him. Some emails showed they helped some people bring their concerns to the mayor’s ears or, horror of horrors, used their influence to have the mayor show up at a Boston Aquarium event. There is nothing criminal or unethical that happened. Walker’s suggestion of “ethical impropriety” is pure nonsense.

Are we supposed to be living in a bubble in Boston? Come on and think of what Walker is trying to put a hit on the mayor for doing. Let’s get down to basics. If you are interested in getting a stop sign put in at what you consider a particularly dangerous intersection how would you go about doing it? You may write a letter. If you knew an elected city official or someone in the highway department you may speak to him or her about it. If you knew the cousin to the  mayor  you might contact him. If you knew Goldman went to lunch every week with the mayor or the head of the highway department you might want to hire him or pay for his lunch if he’d bring up the subject.  Is there any ethical impropriety involved on your part?

What you are doing is lobbying for getting a stop sign. You can do it yourself, through friends, or hire people to do it for you. There is nothing wrong with lobbying activity. That is one of the basic aspects of our Constitutional right of free speech. It is so prevalent in America that if you say “K Street in DC” most everyone knows you are talking about lobbyists. There are many former elected officials and their staff who are members of K Street firms. These firms do extremely well representing, as Walker would say, “clients [who] pay for access to . . . government that most people could only dream of, . . . “  Walker wants the people to believe, “ that’s troubling”

Where? I guess it is only in Boston. Yet the Globe had no trouble with it when the Red Sox did it.

Two minor points.

(1) The photographs accompanying both articles were by Globe staff photographers. Goldman probably arranged them. Now they are offered as something sinister.

(2) Don’t be surprised if the Globe has not already sicced the Boston U.S. attorney on this. With a little imagination they could turn it into some type of RICO case like they did with the probation officer patronage case. Who knows, they might even make a movie out of it.

9 thoughts on “Boston Globe’s Nonsense Attacks on Mayor Marty Walsh:

  1. Rather : There is a fine old naval tradition known as keelhauling. Perhaps Ms. Freeh could scrape the hull at the same time.

    Ms: Oh you and ” Dud ” Hedrick. You irrepressible name dropper. Did I ever tell you about the time Bill Buckley Jr. conned my helm and surreptitiously rubbed his index finger across the bridge of his nose. This is a rhetorical question. Wink … nod …. shoot 🙂

  2. Ugh!

    My apologies to the uneducated and the uneducable.
    I thought the author of my nineteen paragraph spam
    was Jesus Christ and the speech he gave after
    overturning the tables of money lenders at the

    I should have checked the authorship
    more closely.
    I was thinking William Buckley, eh?

    John you continue to amaze me on
    how quickly you were able to access
    Chris Hedges FBI rap sheet.Wink,nod
    know what I mean?

    The backstory.
    A couple years back I was able to sit down
    and interview Chris Hedges at the home of
    Dud Hedrick in Maine.
    Hedrick has a MBA from Dartmouth
    is a graduate of the Naval Academy and
    President of the Maine Chapter of Vets
    For Peace.

    I thought my Chris Hedges ‘Trojan Horse’
    augmented Matt’s narrative perfectly.

  3. Matt : Thankyou.

    In Pavlovian prep school idiot drool tradition Ms. Freeh immediately spams my post and yours with an irrelevant nineteen paragraph SPAM about Chris Hedges , himself a ’75 grad of a fabulously exclusive Windsor, Connecticut private boarding school. Chris is not a bad guy, but he is no Chris Hitchens. My, but how these WASP ” Globies ” stick together. 🙂

    1. John,

      Thanks for providing the link. Gets right to the point.
      Nineteen paragraphs of over-educated holier-than-thou drivel is too much for my uneducable intellect.

      Hedges is just another Barnicle on the bottom of an insufferable Maine schooner.

  4. The Globe seems to be getting more into tabloid mode. I guess when you are trying to remain relevant you need sensation more than straight news to stay afloat. What happens when John Henry needs a new toy?

  5. The Boston Globe teaches us to buy
    not to be
    To buy and not to be
    that is the question, eh?

    In other news

    The Graveyard of the Elites

    By Chris Hedges

    February 29, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Truth Dig” – Power elites, blinded by hubris, intoxicated by absolute power, unable to set limits on their exploitation of the underclass, propelled to expand empire beyond its capacity to sustain itself, addicted to hedonism, spectacle and wealth, surrounded by half-witted courtiers—Alan Greenspan, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks and others—who tell them what they want to hear, and enveloped by a false sense of security because of their ability to employ massive state violence, are the last to know their privileged world is imploding.

    “History,” the Italian sociologist Vilfredo Pareto wrote, “is the graveyard of aristocracies.”

    The carnival of the presidential election is a public display of the deep morbidity and artifice that have gripped American society. Political discourse has been reduced by design to trite patriotic and religious clichés, sentimentality, sanctimonious peons to the American character, a sacralization of militarism, and acerbic, adolescent taunts. Reality has been left behind.

    Politicians are little more than brands. They sell skillfully manufactured personalities. These artificial personalities are used to humanize corporate oppression. They cannot—and do not intend to—end the futile and ceaseless wars, dismantle the security and surveillance state, halt the fossil fuel industry’s ecocide, curb the predatory class of bankers and international financers, lift Americans out of poverty or restore democracy. They practice anti-politics, or what Benjamin DeMott called “junk politics.” DeMott defined the term in his book “Junk Politics: The Trashing of the American Mind”:

    It’s a politics that personalizes and moralizes issues and interests instead of clarifying them. It’s a politics that maximizes threats from abroad while miniaturizing large, complex problems at home. It’s a politics that, guided by guesses about its own profits and losses, abruptly reverses public stances without explanation, often spectacularly bloating problems previously miniaturized (e.g.: Iraq will be over in days or weeks: Iraq is a project for generations). It’s a politics that takes changelessness as its fundamental cause—changelessness meaning zero interruption in the processes and practices that, decade after decade, strengthen existing, interlocking American systems of socioeconomic advantage. And it’s a politics marked not only by impatience (feigned or otherwise) with articulated conflict and by frequent panegyrics on the American citizen’s optimistic spirit and exemplary character, but by mawkish fondness for feel-your-pain gestures and idioms.

    He went on: “Great causes—they still exist—nourish themselves on firm, sharp awareness of the substance of injustice. Blunting that awareness is a central project of junk politics.”

    Our constitutional democracy is dead. It does not work. Or rather, it does not work for us. No politician or elected official can alter anything of substance. Throughout the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama there has been complete continuity on nearly every issue. Indeed, if Obama has a legacy it is that he made things incrementally worse. He has accelerated the assault on civil liberties, expanded the imperial wars—including empowering the government to order the assassination of American citizens—and opened up new drilling sites on public lands as if he were Sarah Palin. He has failed to rein in Wall Street, which is busy orchestrating another global financial meltdown, and turned our health care system over to rapacious corporations. He has made war on immigrants and overseen economic collapse among the poor, especially African-Americans. He appears to be powerless to shut down our torture center in Guantanamo—a potent recruiting tool for jihadists—or place a new justice on the Supreme Court. His successor will be as impotent.

    Obama, now a charter member of our ruling elite, will become rich, as did the Clintons, when he leaves office. The moneyed elites will pay for his two presidential libraries—grotesque vanity projects. They will put him on boards and lavish him with astronomical speaking fees. But as a democratic leader he has proved to be as pathetic as his predecessor.

    “If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called ‘misrepresentative or clientry government,’ ” Sheldon Wolin wrote in “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Spector of Inverted Totalitarianism.” “It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy.”

    “Managed Democracy,” Wolin continued, “is the application of managerial skills to the basic democratic political institution of popular elections. An election, as distinguished from the simple act of voting, has been reshaped into a complex production. Like all productive operations, it is ongoing and requires continuous supervision rather than continuing popular participation. Unmanaged elections would epitomize contingency: the managerial nightmare of control freaks. One method of assuring control is to make electioneering continuous, year-round, saturated with party propaganda, punctuated with the wisdom of kept pundits, bringing a result boring rather energizing, the kind of civic lassitude on which a managed democracy thrives.”

    Bernie Sanders, who at least acknowledges our economic reality and refuses to accept corporate money for his presidential campaign, plays the role of the Democratic Party’s court jester. No doubt to remain a member of the court, he will not condemn the perfidy and collaboration with corporate power that define Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party. He accepts that criticism of empire is taboo. He continues, even as the party elites rig the primaries against him, to make a mockery of democratic participation, to hold up the Democrats as a tool for change. He will soon be urging his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, actively working as an impediment to political mobilization and an advocate for political lethargy. Sanders, whose promise of a political revolution is as hollow as competing campaign slogans, will be rewarded for his duplicity. He will be allowed to keep his seniority in the Democratic caucus. The party will not mount a campaign in Vermont to unseat him from the U.S. Senate. He will not, as he has feared, end up a pariah like Ralph Nader. But he, like everyone else in the establishment, will have sold us out.

    The whole election cycle is a carnival act, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. It caters to the most venal instincts of the public. It is an example of the deep cynicism among elites who, like all other con artists, privately mock us for our gullibility and naiveté. We are treated like malleable children. DeMott called out this infantilization, this “babying of the electorate, spoiling of voter-age ‘children’ with year-round upbeat Christmas tales, the creation of a swelled-head citizenry, morally vain and irremediably sentimental.” In the world of junk politics, he wrote, “distinctions vanish between foundational democratic principles and decorative pleasurable tropes.”

    “The familiar apparatus of constitutional government and party organizations survives seemingly untouched,” he wrote. “In time, though, the language of justice and injustice comes to strike ordinary ears as Latinate and archaic—due for interment—and attachment to old forms weakens.”

    None of those elected to the White House, the Congress or statehouses have the power, and they know it, to challenge the corporate disemboweling of the country. The popular rage and frustration that have been rising against the established power elites during this election campaign will mount further as Americans, especially with a new president in the White House, realize that their voice and their vote are meaningless. The white nativists and bigots who flock to Donald Trump, along with those who sell out the most basic liberal tenants to support Hillary Clinton, are about to get taught a harsh lesson about the nature of our system of “inverted totalitarianism.” They are about to discover that we do have a class of “superpredators.” These superpredators are not poor people of color walking the streets of marginal communities. They inhabit the exclusive corporate enclaves of the privileged and the powerful.

    “One cannot point to any national institution[s] that can accurately be described as democratic,” Wolin wrote, “surely not in the highly managed, money-saturated elections, the lobby-infested Congress, the imperial presidency, the class-based judicial and penal system, or, least of all, the media.”

    Corporations control the three branches of government. Corporations write the laws. Corporations determine the media narrative and public debate. Corporations are turning public education into a system of indoctrination. Corporations profit from permanent war, mass incarceration, suppressed wages and poor health care. Corporations have organized a tax boycott. Corporations demand “austerity.” Corporate power is unassailable, and it rolls forward like a stream of lava.

    The seeds of destruction of corporate power, however, are embedded within its own structure. The elites have no internal or external constraints. They will exploit, manipulate, lie and oppress until they create an ideological vacuum. No one but the most obtuse, including the courtiers who have severed themselves from reality, will sputter out the inanities of neoliberal ideology. And at that point the system will implode. The revolt may be right wing. It may have heavy overtones of fascism. It may cement into place a frightening police state. But that a revolt is coming is incontrovertible. The absurdity of the election proves it.

    Chris Hedges, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

  6. Adrian Walker is a.trained seal. He does his Masters’ bidding. There is no racial implication in the use of this metaphor. Despite the fact that Adrian Walker is black and the metaphor would therefore be dismissed as racially charged I will not do him a disservice as a rational intellectual man and reporter by not employing it. That would be a type of condescension, the type specialized in by the white liberals who predominate on the Globe cultural plantation , that I have too much respect for Adrian Walker to indulge in. He, like his white peers at the Globe, as well as his minority peers, has several masters. He was instructed to write a hit piece on Walsh. Just as William Randoiph Hearst sent out the simple message, unmistakable in meaning, “Puff Graham ” when the still largely unknown 6’2″ lantern jawed evangelist Billy Graham descended on L.A. in 1950 , his newspaper minions hustler up the desired coverage. The Boss calls the shots.

    So, nothing remarkable here. Globe Bosses say make a splash, and Adrian Walker sleekly dives in and emerges from the water clapping his fins and balancing the ” Globe ” on his nose. 🙂 … Nice performance, but who really takes such silly, vacuous, and poisonously biased ” Boston Globe hatchet jobs on Irish Catholic Boston Pols ” seriously anymore . The question is a rhetorical one.

    1. John:

      Nice post – sums up a lot of history and the present in a couple of paragraphs.

  7. Hi Matt, I read the story. There are a couple of problems with it. I can’t imagine why these reporters chose to lead with a photo – op with a seal. Seals are playful and friendly, right? This comes pretty close to self – parody as far as investigative reporting is concerned. The story is also eyeglazing. It seems to go on endlessly before finally meandering back to the aquarium. I was hoping for a dolphin but the seal was the only friendly sea creature to make an appearace. Nothing for Walsh to worry about here …

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