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

Scotto v. Eileen II

The Herald’s Messenger Blog updates the dust-up between Scott Allen Miller and Eileen McNamara. Two key points:

  • Scotto says the words he claims McNamara took from the WRKO Web site were not written by him, but, rather, were from a summary written by a producer. Credible? Yes. I’ve seen WRKO do this plenty of times.
  • Boston Globe spokesman Al Larkin tells the Messenger that there will be no correction. His reason: McNamara accurately represented Miller’s views, even if he didn’t actually speak the words she attributed to him.

Media Nation’s view: The Globe ought to run a clarification to make it clear that McNamara was quoting from the WRKO Web site, not from anything Miller said on the air. A paper that can run this can surely set the record straight on what Miller did and didn’t say.

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Scotto v. Eileen


“Greater Boston” update


  1. Anonymous

    A few things:I *did not* say nor write the words Eileen McNamara attributed to me. My producer Andrew Strecker wrote them in his daily show summary on the station website. Strecker doesn’t use the Lord’s name in vain while I, on the other hand, would never say or write something as obtuse as “Gosh forbid”. This is why Strecker and I are both certain her quote is from the site, not from the show, and without question is improperly attributed.Paraphrasing Strecker’s summary that day, it said the Herald had picked up the story I broke on Thursday about Needham High not publishing its honor roll because gosh forbid anyone’s feelings get hurt. It had a link to the Herald story and the original letter from the NHS principal informing parents of the decision. If it was much more than that, I don’t remember it. The comment was ironic but the bile, vitriol, anger, scorn, sneering, mockery, she described wasn’t there. So the quote was not only improperly attributed, it was also subject to her misinterpretation because she injected a negativity into those words that weren’t there or heard in the words I actually did use on the air about this topic.Secondly, McNamara named me in the column and then wrote “media mouths” (meaning yours truly) don’t attend the funerals of the young people in Needham who have died. I can’t speak for other “media mouths” but this is simply not accurate as it applies to me. On a personal level, this disturbs me even more than her misrepresentation of what I said.The Globe’s spokesperson dodged the fact that she misquoted me and that she implied without researching that I don’t attend any of these funerals. I don’t know how the column could be accurate when I didn’t say and do what the column claims I said and did.I’m not asking for an apology or a retraction because if she heard “scornful sentiments” on other talk shows her generalizations of them would be fair. But when she specifically named me in the story, she applied these generalizations to me without doing her homework. This and the misquote need to be clarified to Globe readers.

  2. Anonymous

    This is hysterical. Why do the most sharp-tongued people have the thinnest skins? Okay, the Globe should issue a clarification, a retraction, or an apology, but only if WRKO issues same for any misstatements made by its illustrious team of blowhards. It is frankly more than amusing when people like Scotto, Savage, Limbaugh, Severin (on WTTK), etc. squeal so incessantly whenever they are subjected to any criticism at all, while conducting vile attacks on anyone and everyone they don’t like. Parse away Scotto. Just apply the same standards to your own commentaries, as well as to those of your colleagues.

  3. mike_b1

    anon 9:31 is right. And besides, who the hell has ever even heard of Scott Allen Miller?

  4. Steve

    heh.That’s reminiscent of Rachel Maddow’s favorite Limbaugh quote:”Has anybody ever heard of Rachel Maddow?”I miss Maddow in the morning – the best morning drive show in Boston for a while.

  5. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    Quoth Scott: “I *did not* say nor write the words Eileen McNamara attributed to me. My producer Andrew Strecker wrote them in his daily show summary on the station website.”Scott:So what you’re saying is that you don’t bother to read the summaries of your own show that get posted on the WRKO website and that you’re throwing your producer under the bus? That’s some great quality control you have there. I’m also interested now to read the other show synopses (, littered as they are with the first person singular: “I don’t know where the local media’s been since last week on this story,” or “I spoke with state Sen. Jack Hart (D-S. Boston), who’s ecstatic about the proposal (click here for the interview) and took calls from listeners like you — the majority of them panning the idea.”For the record, who wrote those synopses–you or your producer? If your producer wrote them, who is the “I”? Any reasonable person would assume that the words were written by you and could be attributed to you.So which is it? Are you going to blame your producer or do you take responsibility for the words in the synopses, given that they appear to be written by you?

  6. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    By the way, if this is the sypnosis:”I don’t know where the local media’s been since last week on this story, which we broke right here on The Scott Allen Miller Show, but today the Herald and other media outlets are reporting on Needham High School’s new policy of not publishing the school’s honor roll in local newspapers. We talked about it some more, and yes, it’s still a misguided idea. Here’s the letter from the principal to school parents:”then “gosh forbid” has been removed, but there is still the problematic pronoun at the very beginning. This is beginning to feel like a Family Circus cartoon: who wrote the sypnosis of Scott’s show? Ida Know.

  7. Peter Porcupine

    More than have heard of Mike-b1?Not knowing the names or stances of those supplying your opposition isn’t anything to brag about…unless perhaps you’re Jimmy Carter looking for a ‘debate’ on Palestine?

  8. mike_b1

    My wife knows who I am. And my kids. So I figure I’ve got Scott by a 3 to 2 margin.

  9. Anonymous

    PPThe who is not important when you are dealing with unknowns in the public marketplace. What is important is what is written, so try to focus on the content. What exactly do you find defensible in Scotto’s program, position, or general behavior?Anon 9:31

  10. neil

    Citizen Charles thanks for trying to find the actual quote. I had the same question earlier. A quote on “the RKO site“, which is where Scott pointed, is different from a quote taken from Scott’s own page on the RKO site. Which is full of first-person singular (“…directly at me”, “I spoke with…”) under a big picture of Scott and his name.Scott should take responsibility for content written under his name on that page, including synopses. If he doesn’t, he cannot with any credibility complain when someone attributes a “quote” off that page, to him.Did Dan mention that this (ie, phony first-personage) is common practice? I don’t believe it! If so perhaps Dan can provide an example, and I’ll get the outragerizer warmed up. (And when I say “I” in this comment I mean, potentially, somebody else, depending on the reaction…)

  11. Dan Kennedy

    Neil: If Scotto’s producer was ghosting first-person stuff for him, that is, indeed, something new. The common practice I was referring to is strictly in the third-person — i.e., Scotto said the principal of Needham High School is a poopy-head or some such thing. And if McNamara was actually quoting from what was intended look like something Miller himself wrote, then she definitely deserves more slack. Although I still think the Globe should run a clarification.

  12. Anonymous

    CLARIFICATION: A recent column by Eileen McNamara on the publishing of names of honor roll students characterized comments by a talk radio host that were made by him over the airwaves based on a first-person paraphrase of those comments done in the voice of the radio host as they were published the same day on the radio host’s web-based blog-style compendium of his earlier on-air comments, which were written by the radio host’s producer in the first=person guise of the radio host himself and which appeared under the host’s photo and name and with the host’s full approval but did not fully reflect the totality of the host’s commentary or thinking on the matter, although what that is remains unclear. The Globe regrets the lack of clarity.

  13. Dan Kennedy

    No, it’s very simple:Clarification: A recent column by Eileen McNamara may have left the impression that she was quoting something that WRKO Radio host Scott Allen Miller had said on the air. In fact, the quote was from the station’s Web site.Not hard, and worth doing. And if it were indeed written in the first person, then it’s not McNamara’s or the Globe’s responsibility to guess whether Miller actually wrote it.

  14. Amusedbutinformedobserver

    Does this mean we need a clarification every time the President of the United States reads a speech read by someone else?or perhaps we should get it right the first time:In an inaugural address chiefly written by Ted Sorenson, President Kennedy today urged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

  15. Rick in Duxbury

    DK,Eileen Mac didn’t do her credibility any favors today when she referred to the NAIOP as the “National Association of COMMERCIAL and Industrial and Office Properties”. How hard would a 15 second Google be? (Unfortunate on an article about “Delusions of Grandeur”.)

  16. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    amusedbutinformedobserver:If someone had objected to something Kennedy said in his address, do you think Kennedy would have taken the heat or do you think he would have thrown Sorenson under the bus, like Scott did to his producer?I find it interesting that this whole ridiculous argument could have been avoided had Scott read his producer’s summary and said, “Hey, I would never say something that obtuse. Change it.”

  17. Anonymous

    You’re all a bunch of liberal tools. Take the personalities/political leanings out of it and this is what you get: “Over-the-hill columnist claimed that radio blowhard ‘sneered’ sentence XYZ over the air when in fact she had pulled the sentence from the radio station’s website.” Is that wrong? Yes. It’s sloppy journalism [and perhaps symbolic of previous corner cutting]. Should you feel bad for the radio blowhard? Hell, no. Like all of those, he’s a complete yutz.

  18. Anonymous

    drgonzo here, again, on using press statements and other such writings attributed to Scotto, politicians and anyone else who relies on flacks and aides to speak for them:You take the good with the bad. If you like having a buffer between you and the people, and like receiving that credit in print, then expect to take responsibility when that aide screws up. Otherwise, acknowledge when you are the one speaking and it is an aide speaking. I would suggest that Scotto clarify to avoid future mistakes.There’s also a general lesson for journalists here, too. If it’s on a web site, don’t assume authorship. And a clarification would be nice. Rx Gonzo

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