I’m with Peter Gelzinis, who writes in the Herald that he’d like to think he wouldn’t have fallen for the John Keaveney memo — but who knows?
Gelzinis’ column reacts to a Herald story that Keaveney, already suspected of having fabricated a memo about the safety of the Big Dig tunnels, may have lied about having served in the Irish military and having attended the University of Galway.
In retrospect, it’s easy to think the Globe never should have gone with the Keaveney story. And, as I’ve said before, the paper certainly should have given Big Dig contractor Modern Continental more time to respond to Keaveney’s blockbuster. That alone might have saved the Globe considerable embarrassment. But Gelzinis is honest enough to admit that it’s not quite so simple:
I am so glad, so very, very glad, that I never found a memo waiting in my Herald mail slot — a week after Milena Del Valle was crushed by a 3-ton ceiling tile.
A smoldering, smoking gun of a memo with blockbuster lines like:
“Should any innocent State Worker or member of the Public be seriously injured or even worse killed as a result, I feel that this would be something that would reflect Mentally and Emotionally upon me, and all who are trying to construct a quality project.”
Boy, oh boy!
All hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Still, I’d like to think that if I’d opened the envelope and read a line like that, under a Modern Continental letterhead, my first reaction would be what it always is: “This is just too damn good to be true.”
Maybe Gelzinis would have paused. And maybe he wouldn’t have. I think a lot of honest journalists are wondering the same thing.
Meanwhile, the Globe reports that Keaveney’s decision to hire criminal-defense lawyer Robert Peabody is a sign that he, well, needs a criminal-defenese lawyer.