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

The harshest wrist-slapping ever

Boston Magazine hasn’t updated its “Thank God We’re a Two-Newspaper Town” feature since last July. But Media Nation is here to pick up the slack. From today’s papers:

In one of the harshest punishments it has ever handed down, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended a Plymouth County judge yesterday for a year without pay for sexually harassing two female court workers. The commission also fined him $50,000 and barred him from ever sitting in any court in the county. — Boston Globe

The one-year slap-on-the-wrist suspension that will allow “love judge” Robert F. Murray to return to the bench after sexually harassing female underlings would never pass muster in the private sector, experts say. — Boston Herald

They report, you decide.

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  1. Anonymous

    And the people at the Globe say they are not in the tank. So much for “afflicting the comfortable”. When I finally cancel them, they will have left me, not the other way around.

  2. Anonymous

    I think we can see the impending exit strategy unfolding in Bristol County for hizzoner. 11th Commandment- “never take their pension unless they violate omerta”. He’ll pad the pension and head for Jupiter. This state sucks. It’s basically Louisiana with lousier weather…

  3. AmusedButInformedObserver

    How is the Globe in the tank? And what does the city’s at-death’s-door second newspaper add to the coverage of this story other than hyperbole? The Globe article pointed out that a three month suspension was “one of the longest” handed down by the commission in the past — Murray got a year. Apparently, The Herald’s over-the-top copy desk decided that a year suspension was a “slap on the wrist,” without citing any other case, public or private, judicial or non-judicial for its conclusion. You can’t dispute the fact that it was one of the toughest sanctions from the judicial conduct commission; whether the JCC is lame is another story.

  4. Anonymous

    YOU are able to divorce the “lame”ness of the JCC, the rest of us find it a distinction without a difference. Blaming the victim with “at-death’s door” statements only reinforces my point, (talk about hyperbole!) Somehow, the elitists at Morrissey Blvd. are merely “challenged” by the current ad climate, unlike the unwashed masses who, no doubt, are living on borrowed time. One question: how often do “at will” employees get generous buy-outs to retire early around here? Only things “over the top” I’ve seen are the absurdities of the daily corrections column, reinforcing how clueless some folks remain.

  5. Yeah it's me

    Whole thing begs the question of what a judge has to do to get fired around here. Globe writers are mute when confronted with Claude Rains imitation by Judge Lawton, (as opposed to Rep. Lawton or Sen. Lawton), who claims ignorance of the situation. Erosion of public confidence continues as these creeps plumb the depths of cynicism.

  6. AmusedButInformedObserver

    Just wait. Some headline-seeking state rep., probably one with an eye on a higher office, will file a Bill of Address to remove the judge and the Herald will play it big on Page One. And the doomed tabloid will run another piece loaded with conclusory statements featuring “outraged” reaction to the penalty, but will avoid anything that remotely resembles context, other than quoting unsupported claims that other people in similar circumstances were punished more severely. One certainly can’t expect the Boston Herald to stoop to responsible journalism when it can launch a good old-fashioned crusade based on incomplete and lazy reporting. Today, for example, the Herald gives two examples of judges punished elsewhere. One,in North Carolina, was merely censured for conduct that the Herald doesn’t seem important to note was very similar to the conduct of the Massachusetts judge. A Pennsylvania judge is mentioned for having been removed for “misconduct that included sexually harassing three female clerks” but neglects to include the fact that the case also involved using office staff to work on his campaign in violation of the state constitution. Another inconvenient fact for the crusading tabloid was the Penn. Court of Judicial Discipline’s findings of “lack of contrition,” and “failure to cooperate” with the investigating agency and the fact that the judge had been previously disciplined.

  7. Anonymous

    So let me get this straight, “amused”. If they are succinct, they are simplistic. If they are verbose, they are boring. Your agenda against the “doomed” Herald is as transparent as that of the letters to the Editor of the Globe. Try fact-checking El Globo some time for anything resembling knowledge of the community they purport to serve. Fact remains, if NYT Co. is successful in burying the Herald with help from ideologues like you, the community as a whole is the loser. (Presuming any shame on the part of the editors, pg.2 would become corrections in its entirety, rather than just col.1).

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