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

Saturday morning roundup

If I were Ernie Roberts, the great Globe sports columnist, I’d tell you what I had for breakfast this Saturday morning. I’m not, so herewith a few observations about this and that.

Deval Patrick’s corporate benefactors. The drip-drip-drip over Gov. Patrick’s book proposal has been more a source of amusement than a cause for genuine concern. Today’s Globe story, in which we learn that he takes credit for the 10,000 people who turned out for a Barack Obama rally on the Common, is a hoot.

But yesterday’s Globe story properly noted a real problem — Patrick’s reliance on corporations, some of which will have business before the state, to buy books by the truckload in order to hand out to employees and clients. The impression you get is of a governor so convinced of his own rectitude that he believes he’s above the rules mere mortals have to follow.

Judge Murphy’s future on the bench. A Globe editorial today urges the state Supreme Judicial Court to suspend Judge Ernest Murphy, who was may be fined earlier this week for his bizarre and threatening letters to Herald publisher Pat Purcell after Murphy won a $2.1 million libel case against the Herald. [Correction: The Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended that Murphy be censured, suspended for 30 days and fined $25,000.]

I assume the Globe means without pay. As a Herald editorial noted on Wednesday, Murphy has been out on paid leave since sometime last year, collecting his salary of nearly $130,000. It’s hard to think of a public official who has profited so handsomely from media criticism of his performance — which, no matter how imperfectly it may have been executed, is supposed to receive the highest possible protection from the First Amendment.

Helping the fans by gouging them. The Herald goes B-I-G today with the fact that the Red Sox are auctioning off Green Monster tickets to the highest bidder, with some seats going for more than $500.

The best quote is from Ron Bumgarner, the Sox’ vice president of ticketing: “We feel it’s our civic responsibility to keep tickets affordable for fans, and at the end of the day, this helps keep other ticket prices down.” You can’t make this stuff up.

Newspaper-killing chain faces death. The Journal Register Co., known within the business as the cheapest chain on earth, is sinking in a sea of debt and is in danger of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange. The Journal Register’s best-known paper is the New Haven Register, but it also used to own the Taunton Gazette and the Fall River Herald News, now held by GateHouse Media. It also used to own the Woonsocket Call, where I was a co-op student in the mid-1970s.

Cape Cod Today publisher Walter Brooks sent out a blast e-mail with the news, which he titled “Every tear remained unjerked in its little ducts.” No kidding.

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  1. Anonymous

    As John Carrol would say, I think the Red Sox have crossed a line with auctioning the tickets. But I also think they crossed a line by talking the team off of free TV, and few people reacted. So my disgusted opinion may not matter. The Red Sox can do no wrong these days. Maybe Bob Lobel should call John Henry the Village Idiot Jr. to get their attention, before he leaves WBZ. It’s not as if Lobel could lose his job again.

  2. Anonymous

    >The Journal Register Co., known within the business as the cheapest chain on earth, is sinking in a sea of debt Yet again, another example of how newspapers’ true problems lie with the CFO’s office and Stupid Business Plans, rather than the newsrooms and all this baloney about the death of mainstream media. It’s the death of mainstream media generating obscene profits, no more.

  3. Anonymous

    EB3 here.You reported a fact that I can’t find reported anywhere else. Including in the official record.It has been recommended that Judge Murphy be fined. The fine has not been imposed. This is no different than a prosecutor requesting that a certain penalty happen to a defendant. Or the recommendation of an agency lawyer before an administrative panel. The Supreme Judicial Court determines the penalty. I am not sure what Murphy’s lawyers are asking for.But it we can see that the the newspapers and media want their pound of blood because Murphy made everyone’s liability insurance preimiums go up. Among other things.Disgusting. Big Babies.I don’t understand how you can report that Judge Murphy has been fined. No where else have I seen that reported.My biases suggests that you are bias against Murphy and thus these little slights. Like reporting he has been fined when he has not. These are the little things that burn my butt.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    EB3: Now corrected. Thank you for your assumption of good faith on my part. Then again, it was you who wrote that the judge never said the words “get over it” about a teenage rape victim. That’s the one thing that all parties agree was true.

  5. Anonymous

    EB# here.Wrong Again Danno :)I said Murphy never said “TELL HER to get over it”. He may have said in a nasty way “she has to get over it.” “Someone has to help her get over it” or this job sucks.But he never ever said to “Tell her to get over it”That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    EB3: Here are your exact words from earlier this week:The judge never told anyone to tell the victim to “Get over it!”Please note where you placed the quotation marks.

  7. Anonymous

    EBE hereThat is correct Dan.He did not tell someone to tell the victim to get over it. Do you see the differnce?Saying she has to get over it in a lobby coference, no matter how bad the demeanor, is not the same as telling someone in a lobby conference to tell her to get over it. No matter how pleasant the demeanor.That is the essential distinction underlying this whole thing..I can’t make this point any clearer.No matter how hard you try Dan, you are not ging to trip me up on this. 🙂

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Accuracy matters, EB. You claimed that Murphy never said the words “get over it.” Deal with it.

  9. Anonymous

    EB3 here Dan. Now I’m mad. And quire frankly, disappointed in you.Show me where?Because Dan all along I have been consistent. And if you do show me where I will say I misspoke because I know exactly what I mean. Because I have a consistent line of thinking here. Get over it.Please Read:If Judge Murphy in a very bad demeanor (demeanor is a red herring) in a lobby conference went off about sentencing requests and the future of the victim in front of the clerk and district attorney and defense attorney and probation officer when trying to administer justice then he did nothing wrong. Accept having a bad attitude. This includes statements such as “She’s got to got over it”. If instead he said in a nice calm manner (again a red herring) “Tell her to get over it” then he acted in an outrageous manner and should be disciplined. More importantly Wedge would have gotten it right. As an attorney who has down scores of lobby conferences on both criminal and civil matters I can honestly tell you this is a very real distinction. As you say, accuracy does matter Dan. So if i tell you I did something at three O’clock and that affects the relevancy of the story, then I find some receipt and remember a detail that reminds me at happened at 4:00, a journalist can’t go with the 3:00 and then say too late. That holds true for a fast pace back and forth we have here. So if I misspoke in my argument, fine. Show me and I will congratulate you and correct my statement.But you sound unprofessional, actually Oliver Wendy Murphy like, by saying” accuracy matters” and “deal with it” on a side issue like my misspeaking. You come off as smug. A though you just said “check mate” I am disappointed in you Dan. There isn’t a score board and clock here Dan. The idea is to understand the other sides’ argument. Didn’t Wedge misspeak when he said he hadn’t met with Crowley before the paper was printed? We all know he misspoke. No one held it against him. (but FYI, it was pointed out in SJC opinion as evidence of his sloppiness forgetting and/o not writing down and saving such an important detail – like the who what and when of the entire story)Again, my biases suggest to me that your biases see differences when Wedge legitimately misremembers the timing of an event and I misspeak when debating with you.

  10. Dan Kennedy

    I corrected my error, EB — one that you claimed I made in bad faith, even though I think you knew better. Hell, I even linked to my item from earlier in the week, when I got it right.Why can’t you correct yours and move on? I’ll concede it was an inadvertent error — a typo, almost. But an error nevertheless.

  11. Anonymous

    EB3 here.Believe me dan, I don’t think you meant it in bad faith.Boy are you getting smug.I still don’t follow what you claim. You quoted me as saying the judge never told anyone to tell the victim to get over it. You are right. I still say that. I never said he did not use the words “get over it”.WTF Dan. This is simple stuff here. What do you want me to admit to. I will admit to it. What do you want. I am very confused. Not about the case but about what you are claiming i admitted to. Not that it matters.

  12. Dan Kennedy

    EB3:How can you say I didn’t mean it bad faith when you wrote, “My biases suggests that you are bias against Murphy and thus these little slights. Like reporting he has been fined when he has not. These are the little things that burn my butt”?If you now say you don’t think I made that error in bad faith, I will accept that.I will also accept that you meant to say Murphy never said “Tell her to get over it,” even though you mistakenly put quotation marks only around “get over it,” thus suggesting that you believe he never even said that.I know what you meant. But, damn it, you know I wasn’t deliberately misreporting the commission’s finding, too.

  13. Anonymous

    EB3 here No mistake Dan. I purposely put quotation marks around “get over it”. He probably said that. He did not however, as wedge reported tell someone to tell her to”get over it”. He did not request that the child victim be given a message stating “get over it”. Or he did say the victim “Get over it”If you read the herald a reasonable person woild believe that one of those two things occured.Capiche Danno?I stand by my storyAnd stop this intellectual dishonesty you a peddleing

  14. MeTheSheeple

    Dangit. I saw how many comments were in this thread and I was hoping for a good round of JRC bashing. Dangit.”JRC Bites” has declined greatly in quality, but at least its author tried putting the stock price in perspective. Wow.But we’d all miss top management decisions like the hiring of Henry the off-key city editor, who had such a provocative personality the new hire as managing editor shoved him up against a wall in his first week on the job. And how did that managing editor get through the screening process? What screening process? This is the company that caught a reporter fabricating stories, then decided it was a good idea to put a liar in charge of money, then acted surprised when police levied the embezzlement charges against him. Good times.Oh, JRC. We hardly knew ye.

  15. Dan Kennedy

    EB: I leave it to the readers of this blog to decide who’s being intellectually honest. I think the record shows that the DA’s office was furious with Murphy and that Wedge botched the quote but otherwise honestly reported what his source(s) told him.

  16. Liam St. Liam

    That was Ernie Roberts?I honestly thought it was Joe Fitz.Oh, well.Thanks for the correction.What did you have for breakfast?

  17. Dan Kennedy

    Sheeple: Good lord. Henry looks frighteningly like a reporter I worked with back in the ’80s.

  18. Dan Kennedy

    Liam: Definitely Ernie Roberts. Honey Graham Oh’s. Skim milk. Thirty-two ounces of coffee, with sugar and half-and-half.

  19. Sean Roche

    Gouging? I don’t think so.Willing buyers and willing seller for a non-essential service.Why shouldn’t the Red Sox maximize their revenue?

  20. Anonymous

    Dan, tell EB3 to get over it.

  21. Anonymous

    EB3 Here danYes fdan da’a are pissed at judges aeverday. You still refuse to see the difference between an asshole, obnoxious, loud, rude, lenient, judge, which is allowed and there are many; and the differnce in the quote. That is my charge of intellectual dishonesty, or intellectual inability.BTW Dan, “I leave it to the readers of this blog to decide”Good Dan, I’d rather the truth then leaving it upto the dan kennedy students fan club. Most repsectifully.

  22. Dan Kennedy

    EB3: I don’t normally do this, but I may insist on the last word here. I’ll say this one more time for anyone who’s still following along.Wedge’s eyewitness source, Crowley, testified that he saw no difference between “Tell her to get over it” and “She’s got to get over it.” Walsh, Crowley’s boss, testified that Crowley came to him upset by Murphy’s demeanor.It is patently obvious that Murphy could have been respectful and compassionate or dismissive and obnoxious when he spoke those words. Reading the words tells us nothing. You either believe Walsh and Crowley or you don’t.The SJC said it was up to the jury to determine what Murphy was trying to convey. The jurors ruled that Murphy was expressing compassion. I think they got it wrong. Even more important, Wedge, though he botched the quote, more or less accurately conveyed what Walsh and Crowley had said.The end.

  23. Larz

    Putting tickets up for auction sure takes the luster off that trophy. Anyone willing to pay $500 for a ballgame ticket deserves to be hosed. Hoping the Sox would someday beat the Curse was much more fun than watching them since they did.— Larz

  24. Aaron Read

    Or, do what I do and go watch the Sox play in Rogers Field in Toronto. 500-level seats are only $9 and the view isn’t bad…on Saturday I was almost directly behind home plate (admittedly about 500ft ABOVE it, too) but regardless, I could see the infield quite well.Total cost for me and the wife to drive from Rochester to Toronto, pay for 2 tickets, pay for parking and pay for food in the stadium? Under $100. Driving from Boston would, of course, be a bit rough…it’s three hours from Rochester to Toronto, and about six hours from Boston to Rochester (trust me, I’ve made that drive MANY times). I don’t know what a flight from Toronto to Boston would cost…though I know Jetblue files direct from Boston to Buffalo.Yep, all that money saved so I go watch my beloved Sox get their asses kicked by the goddamn Blue Jays. MAN that sucked…

  25. Anonymous

    EB3 here,Thanks for the go around dan. Good times.BTW, sorry for the misinterpretation. I don’t think you intentionally said fined. You have excellent credibility with me on truthfulness dan. My wise guy attitude may have come across that way. I was pointing out that it is seasy for someone who is biased, like me,(who’s kidding who?) to read more into the honest mistake.As I said back there somewhere, I would make many good faith mistakes if i was reporter. I didn’t mean to belittle you or your profession. While, only half-so on the profession. More on the industry then the professionOn that subject I have in mind a BMG post. (Not about this Murphy thing. I have put it to bed. FOR NOW !! PLay hitchcock music please)

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