The Rest of the Kevin Cullen Story: A Visit to the Barber

Yesterday I wrote that an analysis by the Boston Globe’s internal investigators found no  fault with Kevin Cullen. Reading the results of their investigation everything was copacetic. Yet the Globe hit him with an axe, or ax as some prefer to spell the word.


Aside from doing its own investigation, the Globe farmed out a different part of its investigation into the integrity of Kevin Cullen to some outside independent experts who were charged with investigating Kevin’s conduct as it related to the Marathon Bombing on April 15, 2013, five years ago. Some talk show hosts on WEEI with apparently an axe to grind (not too unlike LIzzy) against Kevin suggested he may have not told the whole truth about his involvement with the bombing.

The experts having this thrown on their laps were in the position of the barber standing by his chair who is approached by a customer who asks if he needs a haircut. You know the answer beforehand. In Kevin’s case, the experts to show their bona fides seemed compelled to come up with something, anything, that Kevin erred in doing. They started out by ensuring us that “the lifeblood of journalism is devotion to truth and the recognition that, when the devotion to truth is compromised, public trust is lost.” It would have been more appropriate to direct that to the president or to a columnist at the Boston Herald who took joy in seeing Kevin get suspended.

The experts in their report noted that Kevin’s biggest sin was what he reported from the Erie Pub late on the night of the Marathon bombing.  Deputy Fire Chief Joe Finn said he was there and talked to Kevin. He gave him the name of young boy who was murdered, Martin Richard, whose grandfather I am told was one of my friends growing up.

Kevin called the Globe from the pub to add into his already prepared story. He said Martin Richard’s father had run in the race. He told how Martin ran up to his father after he crossed the finish line to hug him and then went back to the spot where he was murdered. It turned out his father did not run in the race.

The experts wrote: “it is essential that every reporter and editor repeatedly ask, “…and how do you know that?” while tracking back to actual eyewitnesses.” How is that to be done trying to get out the best story you can the night of such a tragic event? At the Erie Pub someone gave him bad information. He believed it. He made a decision to go with it.

It was wrong. Big deal! It made little difference to the happening. In my experience in the first few days you have a ton of misinformation after events that pale in comparison to those of April 15.  Fortunately, as a prosecutor I could take my time sorting through it. I did not have to put the matter before the public the night it happened.

The experts seem to recognize this. So they change horses. They complain no correction was made of his wrong statement about Martin’s father. Apparently the Globe the next day or so should have run a correction telling us that he did not run in the race.

Really! Do you think you would have read it? Or it would have made a difference to you? The Globe reporters and editors were covering a huge event. As Kevin would write the day of the bombing which was published the next day: “In an instant, so many lives changed. Some ended. The telephone lines burned. Everybody was trying to figure out who and why. The cops I talked to were shaking their heads. It could be anybody. Could be foreign. Could be domestic. Could be Al Qaeda. Could be home-grown nuts.

The people at the Globe did not have a moment to spare. Remember the  news conferences, the “shelter in place” nonsense of the whole city and surrounding towns because one person was at large and the phalanx after phalanx of heavily armed police offices pouring into the area. The Globe while admitting the chaos of the time suggests the correction should have been made. How did the failure to correct the error matter in the least?

The experts recognizing their case against Kevin was weak when it came to his erroneous writing that Martin’s father ran in the race moved on from what he wrote at the time to what he spoke about and wrote months later. More on that tomorrow.


14 thoughts on “The Rest of the Kevin Cullen Story: A Visit to the Barber

  1. hutch

    Talk about using the brush “liberally”, (pun intended) to paint anyone considered left-of-center as forgiving the Globe its sins? What makes you think that those labeled or considered “leftist” would defend Cullen? I resemble that!

  2. Bill C.

    And they say, “Yuh, but Mueller is a Republican”, but so what? So are Bill Weld and Mitt Romney Republicans . . .they’re Massachusetts liberal Republicans …. and Weld was good in his relations with Bill Bulger and both worked together well and Mitt sold out Bill Bulger because the Globe told him to . . .Mitt is a good man, but I don’t think he knows what he stands for, what he truly believes, politically or elsewise, and Bill Weld was 100% leftist on the pro-life anti-abortion issue, so I couldn’t support him . . .i liked Congressmen McCormick, Moakley, Lynch, and State Senators Bulger and White . . .to name a few Dems I like

    But the point is, Mueller is a Massachusetts Republican like Ed Brooke who I really liked and met and shook his hand in Washington D.C. when my girlfriend who worked for him introduced me to him at some sort of affair . . .and I liked Ted Kennedy who picked me up thumbing in 1967 outside Brewster and drove me to Hyannis . . .but I also have my criticisms of Ted . . .but the Kennedy family in general I applaud for dedicating themselves to public service . . .they gave three sons to America, Joe, John, Bobby, and Kathleen’s husband, a British soldier, was killed in WWII like Joe . . .I know I repeat myself for emphasis

    Finally, it takes no courage to side with the Boston Globe or liberals in Massachusetts or against Trump . . . 60% of people in Mass voted for Hillary . . .it takes no courage to kick a man when he’s down . . .I’ve been punching figuratively Kevin Cullen since the 1990s at least, when he was standing tall and powerfully backed, so I don’t mind if he gets knocked out of the journalistic business . . .I don’t wish anyone ill . . . .but like all of us I try to call a spade a spade . . .that’s what free speech is supposed to be about . . . .speak your mind, keep an open mind, do good and fear no man . . .that’s what America is supposed to be about . . .today too many Americans fear their government . . .don’t!

  3. Bill C.

    Here’s a comment a posted yesterday saluting NC’s comment:
    Don’t miss either NC’s or mine:
    “Right on, NC.

    More fuel for the fire and more proof that the Deep State is lying to itself, is lying to the American People,and is mainly interested in preserving its power and protecting its government paychecks and government sinecures. No bias, but more $ for “anti-bias” training . . .and everyone gets their step-raises and promotions on schedule. WHAT A FARCE!









  4. Bill C.

    I agree with all the critics. Matt is wrong on this one.

    THE BIG PICTURE: Carr, Cullen and the Globe lie most frequently by Silence, Omissions and Spin . . . .one example: for 50 years, Globe Editors and Columnists wrote that Roe v. Wade allowed abortion in the first trimester or second trimester . . .when in fact Roe and its companion case Doe v Bolton allowed virtual abortion on demand throughout pregnancy . . .that’s why we needed laws to stop third trimester abortion mills . . .


    So, the Bigger Issue is Lying by Omission . . . . .and by slanting stories . . . .Leftist Ideologic Spin Saturates Today’s Media . . .The Globe, NYT, Wash Post can no longer be trusted . . . .and as Professor Alan Dershowitz said recently nor can the ACLU “which once was for civil liberties” but now is mostly leftist cant.

    HISTORICALLY, It began fifty years ago, when the Wholesale Butchering of the Unborn was sold to the American People as “Women’s Rights.” The Globe openly without qualification avidly supported abortion virtually throughout pregnancy. Kevin Cullen and Howie Carr have been virtually SILENT on the whole sale SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS AND INNOCENCE.

    Bravo to Pope Francis for setting the record straight, for clarifying the Church’s and conservative/traditionalists’ positions.

    Abortion should only be allowed when it is not possible to save both lives, mother and unborn child. Listen to Faith Hill’s “A Baby Changes Everything.”

    Please stop defending phony “fabulists” and the leftist rag the Boston Globe, which even I admit has some good stories, columns, writers and workers. It’s a leftist entity and to be truly journalistic your leftist bloomers shouldn’t be so obvious.

    p.s. It’s the problem with prosecutors . . .they know how to paint a defendant black . . .they take that talent into their everyday life and paint black those whose ideas they dislike . .so with Matt, Trump becomes Hitler . . .it’s the problem with all lawyers, they see life and persons as defendants or plaintiffs, one side is white, the other black, and they live that way . . .judges, too, see only guilty or innocent, negligent or not negligent . . . .they take their legal learning and think it applies to LIFE . . .IN REAL LIFE, PERSONS AND ISSUES CANNOT BE REDUCED TO GUILTY OR INNOCENT . . . IN REAL LIFE, YOU DON’T BUILD A CASE AGAINST A PERSON AND PRESENT ONE SIDE . . .but not only do lawyers do this throughout their lives, so now do journalists . . .and thus we end up with slanted biased orgs like the Boston Globe that don’t adhere to fact finding and the search for the truth, but adhere to the leftist, liberal party line . . .and anyone who denies this, hasn’t read the Globe these past 50 years . . .

  5. John King McDonald

    Hatchets ? …. Fuhgeddabout’ it Abey Crocker !

    Anyhow, have always spelled it axe, though ax is also acceptable.

    Matt chided me for using … Axe … suggesting some sort of Anglophile pretension for not using what he described as the “American” form… Ax.He has now reversed himself and I credit him for it .

    I hope this clears up any confusion on this vital matter of diction, one which was early on flagged by the alert Matt .
    A simple Google would have let Merriam Webster assure you that …Ax…is acceptable.

    Dullness is never acceptable.

    Elvis is leaving the building !

  6. John

    You are incredibly biased. You have made up your mind about Kevin, and willfully ignore many aspects of this case that unequivocally cast Cullen as a fabulist; that fabrication is the nature of his so-called reporting, not a an occasional fringe issue.

    He lied about being at the scene. He fabricated experiences. He fabricated conversations. He is a fabulist. He should have been fired.

    1. Honest Abe

      There are liars and then there are bull shitters. Like cigarettes and drinking, both habits are extremely hard to kick. The obvious ones should be steered into fiction writing. (I heard Stephen King say that when he tells someone a story about something he did he finds himself embellishing the stories with lies. There is a man that knows how to use the cards he was dealt.)

      Anyway, fabulist or liar or bull shitter, firing or bullwhipping, he is probably not going to change. There are a bunch of writers and reporters down here inside The Beltway that are full of it, too. They are amusing and not a lot more.

      And Mister McDonald; It is axe or ax. Both are accepted by scholars/collectors, like me. (I am the latter.) I have collected hundreds of them over the years. In Henry Kauffman’s fine book American Axes, he never uses the word spelled ‘ax’. In the hundreds of advertisements and patents I have gone through I don’t recall seeing it spelled ‘ax’ either. But if you do use ‘ax’ you’re not going to get beheaded or anything. And keep them sharp! A dull axe is a blood-seeking monster.

  7. John King McDonald

    Not for nothing, Matt, in this Blog’s early days you challenged my spelling of … Axe … citing that, basically, the All-American spelling …Ax… which you chose to employ, was the correct one.

    Now, I clearly have a convert !


    ( You can’t make this stuff up !!! )

    1. mtc9393 Post author


      I remember the ax or axe issue. I forgot which side I was on. I was sad to see that I originally wrote ax and criticized you for writing axe. Now that you remind me of that I am sad that I changed to axe from ax for had I remembered I would certainly have used ax.

      1. John King McDonald

        I have absolutely not a doubt that you would have done just that. Did you just drop an ax on the floor ?

  8. John King McDonald

    This loony account of a Fireman named Sean, whom he never met, hunting on hands and knees in the street gutter for Jane Martin’s leg, a stunning fabrication, is the central issue.

    Naturally, you ignore the central issue.

    Good lawyering all around !

    1. John King McDonald

      * Jane Richard’s leg ….

      Martin was her brother.

      A Freudian slip that underscores the manner in which Cullen used the death of a brother, Martin, and the maiming of his sister, Jane, to bolster his “Street Cred” as an intrepid Everyman reporter. An embarrassingly maudlin writing style aside, Cullen’s Metro-Page Marathon mawkish maunderings in the unfathomable tunnels and blind alleys of his inebriated intellect, all at the expense of the Richard’s family, is a marvel of sorts . A really bad marvel !

    2. mtc9393 Post author


      You never bring up the strong evidence against your argument. I found when defense counsel would hone in on it during argument that I would drop something on the floor or do something to otherwise distract the jury.

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