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.