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

Criminal intent

Once again, with apologies to Boston magazine, “Thank God We’re a Two-Newspaper Town.” If the magazine’s not going to use it, can Media Nation have it?

Today’s lead story in the Boston Globe is headlined, “Menino calls on Bostonians to shed fear, report crime.” The article, by Lisa Wangsness, begins:

In his fourth inaugural speech yesterday, Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared that the burden of fighting Boston’s violent crime wave rests not only on police but on city residents, who, he said, must overcome fear and turn in neighbors engaged in illegal activity.

“Personal responsibility must be our mantra,” the mayor said, “from every single person on every single block. If you know someone who has an illegal gun, or you are witness to a crime, you must speak up and keep the specter of fear far away from our neighborhoods.”

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald leads with “Speak no evil: Mayor’s speech ignores crime crisis.” Kevin Rothstein leads with this:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino virtually ignored the issue of crime in an upbeat inaugural address yesterday — turning a blind eye to the city’s 10-year murder-rate high as he talked up a new air link to China and a feel-good faith in the city….

Instead, Menino stuck to a positive message, telling the packed house at Faneuil Hall that the biggest change in the city was “the feeling of faith that we have come to recognize in recent years” and boasting of a new non-stop flight from Boston to Beijing.

The Globe does note that “Menino devoted just six sentences of his 15-minute speech to crime.” You can watch Menino’s speech yourself by clicking here. And here are his “six sentences” (or so) on crime, which, by my reckoning, came 12 minutes into his address:

We had faith that we could create a top urban school system. We are doing just that. Today we have another challenge that we must address with the same conviction: the fight for public safety. We’re putting more police officers on the streets, but police cannot solve this challenge alone. Personal responsibility: that must be our mantra, from every single person on every single block. If you know someone who has an illegal gun, or you’re a witness to a crime, you must speak up, and keep the specter of fear far from our neighborhoods. I will not allow a handful of thugs to destroy families and lives. We have come too far forward to go so far back.

Was that enough? Did Menino “virtually ignore” crime? You decide.

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  1. Anonymous

    What struck me was that of the 900 or so invited guests, how many were a witness to crime or knew where a gun was hidden? I can’t decide if he was preaching to the choir or “shopping for bread at a hardware store”. Does he really think the folks affected by crime were watching his address?

  2. Anonymous

    The Boston Globe tells us they are the Pulse of Boston, so if they tell me Menino is tough on crime, I blindly believe them, just like they want.

  3. John Galt

    Nattering nabobs of negativism, Boston style.

  4. Steve

    If the Globe says “up” the Herald must say “down”. And vice-versa. When I lived in the Dayton Ohio area (’75-’82) there was the Journal Herald (morning, conservative) and the Daily News (afternoon, liberal).Both owned by the same company. Fair and balanced. :-)It is good to live in a two-newspaper town. In a town this size, or the size of Dayton, you can make money selling to either “side”.

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