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

Tomase to speak

The Herald football writer says:

I just wanted to make one thing clear — I know I screwed up on the Rams taping story and I don’t intend to hide behind today’s apology or an editor’s note. In Friday’s Herald I will explain as clearly as I can where that story went wrong and begin the journey of restoring your trust in my reporting.

I’m glad hasn’t been thrown under the bus — and I can’t wait to see what he’s got to say.

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NECN appearance


No videotaping this walk-through


  1. Anonymous

    In response to everything that has been written about this subject, I would like to say once and for all that Boston sports fans are no less moronic and Taliban-like than the fans of every other city’s teams. For as long as I can remember, all I have heard is how smart, fair, and knowledgeable Boston sports fans are. These are the same fans who shouted vicious racist slurs at the Yankees outfield in the 70s (when Boston had its one token black player), ran Jim Eisenreich off the field when he suffered from Tourette’s, and blasted Josh Hamilton this year for his past drug use. Let’s be clear. Like the movie with pretensions that earns the worst film “award” (as opposed to an obvious B movie), Boston sports fans are the worst, precisely because they think they are so superior.And to John Tomase. Good luck. You cannot insult any Muhammad when the lunatics are out there.

  2. Anonymous

    I started a Facebook group called “Fire John Tomase”, so I think you can see how I feel about the subject. I recommend folks go there, check it out, and join up.Go here.

  3. amusedbutinformedobserver

    Back in 1983, the Herald screwed up and headlined “White will run” for a fifth term as Boston mayor. They got it wrong and responded by outing their source (White himself), who, it turned out, had come close but had not quite actually verified the story — the mayor used weasel words and the Herald, in its thirst for a beat, fell for it. Belief that the Herald was an innocent victim quickly went from urban legend to perceived reality. History has apparently taught the Herald nothing about sourcing and when the vague words of a source just aren’t enough. Now we’ll learn whether the institution learned anything about what happens when the shoeleather grunt work of journalism is ignored.

  4. Devorah

    Forgive me for being cynical, but I think we are going to see more, rather than less, of this. I don’t want to cast aspersions on how good a reporter John Tomase is (I don’t know him– he could be outstanding, or he could be careless– I have no way to evaluate him). And yet, it seems to me that in all too many newspapers today, we have a lot of on-the-job training. As newspapers (and I do not mean only the Herald) get rid of their veterans in order to save some money, the new kids are going to be more enthusiastic but they are also going to be more likely to make mistakes. There’s a lot of pressure on young reporters, especially in the world of blogs and the internet and instant “journalism” via cellphone cameras and youtube. Getting it first may be taking precedence over getting it right. And it’s not just what happened to Tomase that makes me feel this way. I see young reporters on CNN and Fox and MSNBC letting candidates make factual errors and not challenging them, or repeating urban legends as if they are true. I probably sound like a curmudgeon, but no kidding, many cities seem to have plenty of enthusiastic new reporters, but I wonder how thoroughly they have been prepared. Some colleges seem to be of the opinion that training reporters is about teaching them to use the cool equipment, rather than giving them a solid background in the context and historical background of certain stories. But that’s a topic for another day. Back to the original point. There really was a time when the newer reporters apprenticed with the veterans, but alas, all too often, I see newsrooms where most of the veterans are gone. I am not for one minute saying the vets never made mistakes, but there is something to be said for experience. I am sure John Tomase is not a bad guy and didn’t mean to make such a terrible mistake. But one wonders if a Tony Maseroti or a Michael Felger would have fallen into the same trap. Just askin’…

  5. Anonymous

    There’s nothing I’m more frequently ashamed of than being a sports fan. There’s fifty times more public outrage over this thing than there was the Zantop fiasco. People: get a life!Bob in Peabody

  6. mike_b1

    devorah, I don’t think it should require a veteran mentor for a journalist to comprehend two basic tenets: Don’t plagiarize, and get two sources.This does make me think Tomase and his editors had someone they felt was ironclad. If the source lied, IMO they should be outed, because now the lie (and the why behind it) is the story. And if the Herald simply got way ahead of themselves and ran with a poorly sourced story, Tomase and his editor should fall on their swords and step down, for they have destroyed the reader trust — and for what?

  7. Peter Porcupine

    DK – on a cosmic level, this is the problem I have with a journalism shield law. If a reporter cannot be compelled to name a source when circumstances warrant – how do we know what’s a mistake, what’s a lie (to them), or what’s just made up?

  8. Anonymous

    I agree totally, Tomase should be fired. How can he be regarded as a credible source for sports news after this? Check out a similar story at

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