There You Go Again: The Boston Globe’s Lies

blackboardI know I don’t even have to say anything more than above and you know what I am talking about. When was it that Jeff what’shisname published his hit piece. A month, two months ago. Here it is, June 24, 2013. That was the call to shun him. Jeff Jacoby who according to the Globe was “hired from the Boston Herald in 1987.”

Well you knew it was time for someone else to be given the assignment. This time it was Scott Lehigh. Here’s what the paper says about him: “Since joining the staff in 1989, he has held several editorial positions and has been a consistent member of the paper’s political reporting staff.” He joined in 1989, the year after the big Spotlight article on Billy Bulger and 75 State Street. So he’s no neophyte lacking knowledge of the history of these matters.

Hopefully the new owner John Henry will realize these guys are just cro-magnon species unable to do anything other than regurgitating the old Boston Globe line.  It’s time to get rid of all those who were around in the late 1980s who have helped the paper do its swan dive from being worth over 1 billion dollars to a mere 75 million because they tied themselves to a lie that more and more people are recognizing.

Scot, with one “t”, or Lehigh, begins his hit piece with this lie, “And yet, though this trial has resolved beyond doubt the enormous evil of Whitey, it should also underscore the dishonorable behavior of Whitey’s brother William.”  All right, let’s overlook the fact the trial had nothing to do with Billy, how then does Scot, with one “t”, bring Billy into this.

He tells of the 1995 call right after Whitey fled in which Billy didn’t urge Whitey to turn himself in. It also tells of Billy’s testimony before a grand jury where he said “I don’t feel an obligation to help everyone to catch him.’’  He doesn’t tell us that the Boston Globe in violation of the federal law obtained that secret grand jury evidence from the US Attorney’s office in order to embarrass Billy just before his Congressional testimony.

It goes on to talk about 75 State Street. He says “he and his law associate extorted $500,000 from developer Harold Brown.”  That happens to be an outright lie. Then he says: “Whitey’s trial underscored, FBI agent John Morris, who oversaw the . . . 75 State Street affair and was closely involved with a subsequent reinvestigation, was by his own admission corrupt, . . . “

Why doesn’t he tell us the whole truth. John Morris at the time was the major source of the Boston Globe. He had disclosed Whitey was an informant. He was working hand in hand with the Globe to get something on Billy Bulger. Gerry O’Neill of the Globe was pushing him to come up with something, anything, to justify the Globe’s attacks on Billy. He worked hard to do it but there was nothing.

Why doesn’t he tell us that two U.S. Attorneys, McNamara and O’Sullivan investigated the allegation of extortion and found nothing. He alleges: “O’Sullivan did have a secret conflict” and suggests we should be skeptical about his decision.

But he knows O’Sullivan delegated the investigation to two career US attorneys and had no involvement in it. One of those attorneys would become a judge on the highest court in Massachusetts and no one dares question their ethics. They found no extortion, but Lehigh hides that.

Why doesn’t he tell us that Scott Harshbargher who run for attorney general on the promise he would reopen the investigation into 75 State Street, and the Globe supported him because of that, did investigate it and he too found there was no criminal activity.

How then does Lehigh call it extortion? Then he tells us of Howie Carr’s allegation by saying “It’s also long been whispered” that the legitimate investigation into Joe DiCarlo was a fake FBI investigation to bring him down and put Billy in the position of Senate president. What a vile libel!

The beat goes on. Columnists who know better are designated as the hit person of the month. The job is spread among them. They write their columns with half-truths knowing they are hiding the real facts. I’d like to know who is behind all these sordid hit pieces. Are these columnists so intimidated by whomever it is that they besmirch their reputation by wallowing in such lies.

Lehigh has the audacity to say Billy Bulger along with his partner extorted $500,000 from Harold Brown. I wish that Billy were up to suing him for libel for clearly there has never been a more libelous statement written in any local newspaper.

I have the papers on the 75 State Street case which shows no such thing ever happened. Beware of the Boston Globe, it and its columnists are purveyors of lies. John Henry, give us the truth.

19 replies on “There You Go Again: The Boston Globe’s Lies”

  1. Okay, I’ll bite. What do you think actually happened at 75 State Street? Did Tom Finnerty actually do anything to justify the fee he demanded? And how did almost exactly half the money from Finnerty’s “fee” get to the Senate President?
    I soured on Bulger when he tried to destroy the Housing Court because Judge Daher wouldn’t appoint one of his cronies as Clerk. Bulger took up the pose of the victim of the Globe. But the charge-that he downgraded the Housing Court in retaliation–was true. He even joked about it in public with Chet Atkins.
    Thirty plus years later and the only thing that has changed is that the former Senate President no longer has to make the argument that he is a victim of the press. Instead there are apologists with websites who do it for him.

    1. Bib:

      Thanks for writing and setting out your ideas. I’m going to spell this out in some detail later when I can yank myself over to the topic. 75 State Street involved the payment of $500,000 to Thomas Finnerty which was a partial payment of the amount agreed upon. It was paid to him by one of the most, if not the most, intelligent owner of real estate in Boston, a man who was educated at MIT and worked hard to build up his real estate empire so that he was the biggest landlord in Boston at that time. He was not a man who could or would be extorted. He’d later write an affidavit to that effect which I just learned about when Jay posted his comment to me.

      I know you’ve heard of lobbyists. Those guys and gals who get big fees to get legislation passed or to stop legislation from happening in Congress. Well what happened in 75 State was that Harold Brown wanted to make sure that his plans to build that office tower which involved securing the transfer of a city owned garage on Kirby Street (as I recall) to him would come about. He paid the fee to Finnerty hoping that he could smooth out the road bumps. It was not an uncommon thing for people to do in Boston and other cities to ensure their multi-million dollar projects ran smoothly.

      Harold Brown’s property deal did go smoothly. What Finnerty did I have no idea but there were no interruptions. There were no roadblocks thrown up by some functionary. That’s what Brown wanted. The fee Finnerty got was not extorted. He filed suit to get the rest of it and the suit sat in Suffolk Superior court for a year. It was years after the deal first came up that the allegation of extortion was brought about in the filing of a counter-claim to the suit. The lawyers representing Brown at that time were people who were long term enemies of Billy and they took that opportunity to make the allegation. It was never proven, just alleged. It was investigated five separate times (showing the Globe’s power) and all the state and federal authorities concluded there was no crime.

      As for the fee being split in half, Billy alleged it was a loan he took out against a fee that was coming into the office. That fee did come in later. Even if that were not true, it was money Finnerty obtained legally and he could do with it as he wished.

      The Housing Clerk situation was very simple. Billy wanted Judge Daher to appoint Sonny McDonough’s kid to the job of clerk in the housing court. Judge Daher told him he had someone else in mind but if a position of first assistant clerk opened up he’d appoint Sonny’s kid. (Sonny was an old rogue politician who asked Bulger when he was dying to help his kid get a job,) Bulger cleared some legislation that Daher wanted based on that promised. The job of first assistant clerk came up and Daher welched on his deal. Billy felt a deal’s a deal and gave a little pay back. I have no problem with that. If you give someone something based on a promise that the person will do something in return and he doesn’t, what do you do when a person isn’t bound by his word?

      Your wrong about 30 years later. Billy has been constantly attacked since 1988 alleging he was involved in an extortion. He has also been attacked alleging somehow he was behind Whitey’s career. It’s been said he intimidated all state law enforcement from going after his brother which I know is untrue, I have personally gone after Whitey. He has been maligned and slandered almost monthly by the Boston Globe; the US attorney’s office released his secret grand jury testimony to the Globe; and a Congressional committee fearing to go too hard on the FBI decided to go after Billy. He lost his position as president of U Mass because of the clamor raised by the media and a governor who was intent on running for president. I don’t apologize for anything I have written about the man.

      1. Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed answer to my somewhat sarcastic comment. I want to put aside discussion of 75 State Street for now and concentrate on the Housing Court controversy because I think it illustrates my point.
        The problem with your explanation is that it is slander, at least according Senator Bulger. Here is what he said at the time:
        “. . .I now brand as totally false, as a calculated, blatant lie the charge reportedly made by Judge Daher of the Housing Court that I sought to interfere with or influence administrative decisions of the Housing Court and that I made threats against him.
        ‘The truth of the matter is I never spoke to Judge Daher of the Housing Court nor did anyone representing me speak to him about staff positions of the housing Court. Neither directly nor indirectly did I seek anything from him. His slanderous imputations to the contrary reveal him to be grossly mistaken and thoroughly unreliable.”
        So there you have it. If your position is that there was some kind of deal that Judge Daher reneged on, then you are joining the malicious people at the Globe and the Senator’s other enemies to promote a calumny against him.
        We know now that Senator Bulger was simply lying. Over the next few years his flat denial was replaced by a new story, that of Sonny McDonough’s dying request and of Judge Daher breaking his word. And jokes about Judge Daher presiding in a trailer.
        But even after it became apparent that the Globe had printed the truth, this whole episode remained part of a larger narrative. “The Globe is lying because they are out to get William Bulger.” And that’s my point.
        Read Senator Bulger’s remarks in their entirety. (They were printed in the Globe October 15, 1981) See how little Senator Bulger’s story of his own victimization has changed. Compare his 1981 speech to some of the comments on your blog last week.
        The Globe was not lying maliciously in 1981–the Senator was. And it’s part of a pattern.

        1. Bob:

          First of all accusing another of slander is something we usually avoid during in these discussions. Almost all the people who come here do so to discuss matters not to try to attack the other person. If you disagree with what I say, spell it out without throwing out pejorative comments. You seem to be particularly bothered by my defense of Billy Bulger and if that is the case, then tell me where I am wrong. I am willing to learn.

          I should mention what I wrote couldn’t be slander. That applies to things that are verbalized. What you may have meant is that my response was somehow libelous. Libel is the publication in writing of a false statement of a defamatory nature against an individual. But I’m not sure who I am supposed to have libeled.

          My information came from the Boston Globe’s Spotlight series in 1988 entitled “The Bulger Mystique.” That told of the interaction between Billy Bulger, Governor King, and supporters of Robert Lewis including Judge Daher. Lewis was appointed to the housing clerk job. I shorthanded my response by saying “Billy wanted Judge Daher to appoint Sonny McDonough’s kid to the job of clerk in the housing court. Judge Daher told him he had someone else in mind but if a position of first assistant clerk opened up he’d appoint Sonny’s kid.” That was the summary I took away from the Spotlight report.

          I’d suggest that is a fair summary of what happened. I didn’t suggest that Billy talked to Judge Daher but as the article indicated and as other articles written back in 1981 set out emissaries were utilized to carry messages back and forth between them. In doing follow up on it I found it was much more complicated that what was set out in the Spotlight Report and many other figures were involved in the matter.

          I went to the October 15, 1981,article and found the first part of the quote attributed to Billy but did not find the part that begins “For the truth of the matter . . . “ Perhaps you can give me a better citation for that.

          According to the Spotlight Report Judge Daher said he never made a deal. Billy said he believed Judge Daher had given his word to McDonough who was the one who spoke to him about it.

          You go on to write that Billy “was simply lying. Over the next few years his flat denial was replaced by a new story, that of Sonny McDonough’s dying request . . . “ First as to your suggestion the story of Sonny McDonough’s kid being a subsequent invention is given lie to by the 1981 article where Judge Daher spells out that the controversy did relate to the appointment of McDonough’s kid and a September 4, 1981 article by Dave Farrell expressly talking about that deathbed promise.

          Billy’s 1981 denial as I read it was “that [he] sought to interfere with or influence administrative decisions of the Housing Court and that I made threats against him.” There was no evidence back in 1981 that Billy did any of this. If you have some, I’d like to see it.

          Let me make clear my position. I believe Billy believed Judge Daher didn’t keep his promise to put Sonny’s kid in the job of assistant clerk. I don’t see that Billy Bulger was lying. Everything I have read back in 1981 shows that your statement that over the next few years he came up with the Sonny McDonough story totally in error.

  2. Why does The Globe hate Billy?

    I have been out of the area for 19 years but this obviously goes back to long before that. Is there one thing that happened or is it a long list of things over time?

    1. Honest:

      Billy was his worst enemy. As his power grew so did his arrogance and disdain toward the press. He felt himself accountable to no one but his constituents and the voters and felt with his power no one could do anything to him. He fell afoul of the old adage the bigger they come the harder they fall. Or, he failed to keep his enemies closer to him.

  3. Radio,television and the print media have done to our minds what industry has done to the land. We now think like New York City looks.
    Mason Williams- 1970

  4. Dear Matt,

    Perhaps these efforts are intended to boost newspaper sales in light of the pending sale of The Boston Globe? I think that despite their content, trading on William Bulger’s name has always been a hot ticket for paper sales. Look at what it has brought to Howie Carr: book deals with admitted mass murderers, multi-million dollar WRKO recording contracts which he contested nevertheless, national name recognition, opportunities to commiserate with influential and well-respected members of Congress like Representative Dan Burton, as well as the means to finally afford that hair replacement surgery and lipo that he’d always wanted.


    1. Jay:

      Absolutely right. Whitey is less of a murderer than either Martorano or Flemmi but what makes him the king is his relationship to Billy. That’s the extra that brings about all the opportunities to those folks more interested in making money than telling the truth.

  5. Both papers were vicious. I guess I should stop being stunned.

    In looking over the documents over at WBUR, I saw the handwriting of a 24 year old William Bulger asking that the penitentiary reply to his letter regarding his brother’s difficulties in solitary confinement in the following way:

    Return Address

    William Bulger
    c/o The Gill Family
    100 O’Callaghan Way
    So. Boston Massachusetts

    I cannot receive the letter at my
    home address (that which is on my brother’s
    mailing list) without causing great
    anxiety for my parents.

    William Bulger

    Twenty four!

    Already, at the ripe old age of twenty one he had contended with the anxiety of his parents, not to mention his own, at the court proceedings and sentencing of his older brother’s cross country bank robberies with a striking blonde named Jacqui. It was all “in the papers” as we used to say.

    Infamy and Anxiety

    1. Firefly:

      That was a very thoughtful post. Billy is in his early 20s and seeking to protect his parents from any more injury caused by Whitey’s activities. In his book Billy explains how hard it was on his father that Whitey was a criminal especially since he was named after the father. It’s difficult judging people’s actions unless we have really walked in their shoes. Some receive praise for sticking by their brothers (like the Weeks brothers) others are condemned for the very same act. Thanks for digging that up.

  6. I look forward to other bloggers echoing your sentiments, Mr. C.

    BTW it’s “Cro-Magnon.”

    1. GOK:

      Thanks for noting the spelling error. I made the correction. I guess my Latin slipped in – mangus, mangna, magnum. Spelling has never been my strong point and I’m in debt to people like you who catch my errors.

      1. Speaking of spelling errors: On the back cover of one book I co-wrote with Paul J. Walkowski (another great person in a long line of USMC Viet Vets from Savin Hill), Paul and I put in my brief bio my degree from BC as Magnum Cum Laude, and Billy MacMahan (another lifelong friend from Savin Hill and USMC Viet Vet) started calling me MAGNUM. I think that was a T.V. show about a private detective who was not from Hawaii. We all make mistakes. The Globe, Carr et al malign and misrepresent intentionally.

  7. Matt, great analysis. The Globe writers are taught to lie; they are encouraged to lie; they’re from the politically-correct school of journalism; they are spewers of filth, hate and lies, and they deliberately intend to hurt people. They know what they’re doing. Their problem is they think we don’t know, that we don’t see right through their spineless, gutless selves. I hope the new owner immediately fires the lying scum Lehigh, Jacoby, O’Neil, Lehr, Cullen et al. My lifelong friend, a self described Hubert Humphrey type liberal democrat, stopped reading the Globe Rag 15-20 years ago because of its chronic lying. Those Globe writers wholly lack integrity; the virtue of honesty eludes them.

  8. You mean Harold Brown?

    “Lehigh has the audacity to say Billy Bulger along with his partner extorted $500,000 from Donald Brown. I wish that Billy were up to suing him for libel for clearly there has never been a more libelous statement written in any local newspaper.”

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