By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The ghost of Dan Shaughnessy

Boston Globe ombudsman Richard Chacón today weighs in with part two of his assessment of the Globe-Red Sox relationship.

His lead: “For an ombudsman, last week was pretty close to The Perfect Storm.” Well, fear not: Chacón manages to stay high and dry. Incredibly, he doesn’t even make an attempt to assess Dan Shaughnessy’s role in last week’s resignation of Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.

It gets worse. Chacón closes with this:

Some Globe executives felt my last column accused the publisher and president of violating company policy by accepting Red Sox World Series rings. That was not my intent. Times Co. policy allows the rings to be accepted as a “business courtesy” because of its equity share in the team.

Well, “some Globe executives” are wrong. In fact, Chacón made no such accusation in his earlier piece. Here’s what he wrote:

Times Co. policy, which applies to all Globe employees, states that business gifts must be ”nominal in value,” not exactly how I would describe a diamond-encrusted ring.

[Globe publisher Richard] Gilman said last week that the ring, which he recently decided to put in a Globe display case rather than keep in his own possession, was not a gift. [Globe president Richard] Daniels declined to comment publicly.

“The expense of the rings was borne by the (NESV) partnership, including, therefore, The New York Times Co., meaning that the rings could hardly be considered gifts,” Gilman wrote, adding that the rings should be considered taxable income.

I’m no accountant, and he may be technically right, but accepting the rings was wrong for public perceptions about the newspaper.

The ideal gesture — and the best example for Globe employees — would have been for the publisher and president to respectfully decline the jewelry, recognizing the possible harm it could cause to readers’ opinions of the Globe.

The next best move would be to give the rings back.

Apparently Chacón isn’t even allowed to raise an issue and let the publisher address it without having to backtrack two weeks later. I can’t imagine that anyone who read part one believed Gilman and Daniels had violated any sort of Times Co. policy regarding the acceptance of gifts. They are, after all, business partners with the Red Sox thanks to the Times Co.’s 17 percent ownership share in the team.

That’s the real issue, and Chacón was right to address it. His first column was respectful but tough. This one is, uh, respectful.

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  1. Rick in Duxbury

    Don’t these guys EVER get it? This bodes ill for the role of Chacon if this is all it takes to get him to “go to his dish”. So much for “afflicting the comfortable” down the hall.

  2. Anonymous

    “Incredibly, he doesn’t even make an attempt to assess Dan Shaughnessy’s role in last week’s resignation of Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.”So what was Shaughnessy’s role? All that’s been heard so far is speculation and the unsupported by facts conclusory statement that the CEO of the baseball team whispered sweet nothings in the columnist’s ear which the columnist dutifully typed and rammed into print. Enough with the innuendo, connect the dots for us. Where’s the proof, other than speculation and the “woe is me” sports fan hysteria? Put up or shut up.

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