It is important to keep in mind the adage: “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” I say this because the Globe’s attacks against Marty Walsh are most telling on the most hypocritical grounds of all, his lack of diversity representation in his hiring practices.
I say that because if you are a major newspaper in a city and you are going to go after its mayor about the number of his staff who are minorities it would be wise to look at your own plant first. See the Globe starting to criticize Walsh’s hiring practices I wanted to get a feel for the diversity in its hiring. Since it is a private company there is no way I can file a freedom of information request to learn this.
So I went to the Globe sites on the internet to see what I could learn. I located the pictures or drawings of 16 of its columnists and contributors. Of that group only one appears to be a person of color. That’s around 6%. You’d think that a newspaper that was going to hold the mayor’s toes to the fire over his diversity hiring actions would be doing better than less than ten percent minorities among its opinion makers in a city that is supposed to be have a minority population exceeding fifty percent minority.
Despite its failure in this area the Globe has a “do what I say and not as I do” attitude. We’re not supposed to look at it but only at those it points it finger at. Now the paper is pointing toward Mayor Marty Walsh.
Recently an article by Lawrence Harmon, a Globe columnist noted that 53% of Boston are “people of color” as opposed to people of no color or whites. He said only 11 of Walsh’s 43 initial cabinet members and department heads were people of color (26%). Of the 189 positions filled from January to May, 129 or 68% were by people of color. But that’s not enough for Mr. Harmon he complains about other things such as the positions held and the pathways to higher positions and the like.
I have to smile at Harmon’s article. Only a month ago he was praising Walsh but apparently got the word that’s no longer the way to go. I wonder if he doesn’t see the irony in his demanding the City of Boston’s workforce reflect the population when he works for the city’s newspaper that is far from doing that.
Now what amazed me about all this is a recent article where Mayor Walsh seems to be put on the hot seat by the Globe reporters. He finds himself having to explain each disparitity in hiring of minorities or women. Each explanation he gives is cross-checked by the reporters and where they can they suggest it is not true. The article has charts showing the staff does not properly reflect the city’s population. What is most strange is the people who are most interested in making sure people of color and women have equal opportunities are all satisfied with the progress Walsh is making.
It is only the Globe that is the trouble maker. The people involved are not making this into an issue. That this is the case shows that the Globe is out to get Walsh..
If Walsh wants a failed mayorship he is well on the way to having it by kowtowing to Globe reporters. It appears the reporters are roaming throughout City Hall and examining who is sitting where and demanding that Walsh is explaining who is doing what.
Walsh must understand the city is up for grabs: he must run it his way or the Globe’s way. He must also understand he will never please many of the people at that paper. They will never like him because of who he is and where he comes from.
Other indicia of the Globe putting the squeeze on Walsh is an article by Meghan Irons that ends: “he has choked off public commentary and raised legitimate questions about his own motives.” Another Globe writer wonders: “Can he deliver on diversity? Can he stand up to unions? Can he develop a real vision for Boston’s future?” Then there is an article criticizing Walsh for the money he received for his transition parties. The Globe had to walk softly on that one because another company owned by its owner John W. Henry was one of the big contributors.
Speaking of Henry, perhaps it is he who will save Marty Walsh from the attempt by the Globe’s staff to undermine him before he has a chance to do the job he is capable of doing. Henry’s wife Linda Pizzuti heads up the Boston Globe Foundation which had big input into Walsh’s full page letter in the Globe thanking the teachers. If Walsh is getting support from Henry who is wise enough to give him his head without hitting him with heavy handed harrowing harrassment and second guessing then things may turn out all right. But without support from the owner, Walsh is going to be in for a hard time.