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

No videotaping this walk-through

Can’t get enough of the John Tomase story? Oh, I can. I do want to see what he has to say about the whole walk-through mess, but we’ll have to wait until Friday for that. Meanwhile, here are a few tidbits while we wait for his version of what happened, whether he got used by a source and what comes next.

— The Boston Globe reports today that the Patriots are unlikely to sue the Boston Herald for libel as Patriots owner Bob Kraft has pronounced himself to be satisfied with the Herald’s apology. With U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter demanding further investigation into whether the Patriots have cheated, it’s no doubt best for the Krafts not to take action that would require opening themselves up to a bruising discovery process.

— Herald editor Kevin Convey weighs in with an “Editor’s Note” in which he adds his personal apology to yesterday’s unsigned mea culpa, but goes on to say that he stands behind the sports department in general and Tomase in particular. Convey closes by saying that Tomase will offer his version of events in tomorrow’s Herald.

— Herald columnist Tony Massarotti writes a belittling, defensive piece today that, given the timing and the circumstances, is ill-advised. Which is why you should read it. It’s highly entertaining in its institutional self-pity. Tony Mazz: “The media is a sordid business.” If that’s his world view, well, reader beware.

— David Scott writes a long analysis at Boston Sports Media that Patriots junkies might find interesting. (I’m in the camp that believes the condition of Curt Schilling’s arm is a more important sports story than, say, the Super Bowl, but that’s just me.) Scott’s always a good read, but I don’t know why he questions the sincerity of the Herald’s apology. It seems pretty abject to me.

— Specter’s news conference, at which he demanded an “objective” investigation of the Patriots, makes the front page of the New York Times and the sports front of the Washington Post. The Herald’s role in this gets a quick brush-off in both stories. Perspective, folks.

— In reading Scott and a few others, I learned that Tomase was briefly celebrated/reviled in June 2005, when he wrote a column for his then-employer, the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, questioning Manny Ramírez’s heart. Click here, scroll down, and there it is. Scott also points to this, which suggests that Tomase’s criticism of Ramírez was off-base. I’ll call a foul on Tomase for the phrase “a contract that could have inspired Coleridge to poeticize albatrosses,” but maybe he’s gotten better since then.

— A lot of folks have made much of the Herald’s admission, in its apology, that the paper “neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had.” That’s bad journalism, needless to say, but it’s hardly a revelation.

Tomase’s original Feb. 2 story makes it clear that he never “possessed” or “viewed” the tape. As for whether his source had seen the tape, the story is ambiguous. But it should have been perfectly obvious that this story was never properly nailed down.

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Tomase to speak


More questions about the Herald


  1. mike_b1

    Massarotti did a great job channeling Shaughnessy there. He should have the Yankee Quill for satire wrapped up.

  2. Anonymous

    C’mon now Dan. I’ve spent my entire career in media and media is, indeed a sordid business.

  3. Lyss

    At least Taricani saw the Plunder Dome tape before reporting on it… (and getting sentenced to house arrest for that).

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