JFK Library Shuns Boston Dailies, Runs Wall Street Journal Ad

The new exhibition JFK 100: Milestones and Mementos at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will no doubt get some rocket-fueled promotion in the coming weeks, but its marketing campaign has sort of blown up on the launch pad.

That’s because the JFK Library chose not to blast off with a full-page ad in one of the local dailies, but in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.



Call us provincial, but shouldn’t that ad have run first in the Boston Globe or – God forbid –  the Boston Herald?

C’mon, JFKniks: Think lunar, buy local, no?

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Museum of Fine Arts Gets Shoutout From Turkish Government

From our Late to the Regifting Party desk

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey ran this ad in Friday’s New York Times.



Talk Turkey grafs:



Nice! Happy ending!

Except . . .

What the Turkey lurkers fail to mention is this detail, as reported by the Boston Globe’s Geoff Edgers in 2011.

In agreeing to the return, the MFA is making a rare about-face, acknowledging what archeologists and other critics have long argued: The museum should never have allowed the top half of the statue to enter the collection . . .

[T]hose who have advocated for the return of the MFA’s half of “Weary Herakles’’ say they’re amazed it has taken so long to resolve the dispute.

So when the Ministry of Etc. talks about the “institutions and individuals that have helped to repatriate lost artifacts,” it means “reluctantly helped” in the case of the MFA.

Not to get technical about it.

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Donald Trump Is Truly America’s First Cubist President

From our Pablo Picasso desk

Last fall the hardworking staff noted – Exclusive! – that Donald Trump Is Our First Cubist Presidential Candidate (Because He’s on Every Side of Every Issue).

We even provided this handy clip ‘n’ save graphic, compliments of Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury.



Not surprisingly, Trump is just as fractured in the Oval Office. Exhibit Umpteen: This PolitiFact Flip-o-Meter.

Tracking Donald Trump’s flip-flops in his first 100 days

Donald Trump went into the White House with a mandate to break with tradition.

In many ways, he’s embracing it.

As he marks 100 days in office, Trump has adopted more establishment-friendly positions, as well as habits of his predecessor, than his campaign persona let on.

He has changed his position on a dozen key promises and positions, our analysis found.

Plenty more here.

All that flopping sort of makes Trump the Sea Bass in Chief, no?

Gotta seem mighty fishy to the Trumpiacs eventually, don’t you think?

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Seriously, When Did ‘Based On’ Turn Into ‘Based Off Of’?

From our Syn Tax on Bad Grammar desk

Well the hardworking staff was blithely perusing the relentless Brian Stelter’s CNN Reliable Sources newsletter let night when we came across this:

Really? Based off of?

The hardwincing staff has endured this example of American linguistic carnage too long!

Plug “based off of” into the Googletron and you get over 17 million search results, among them this admirable dissent from GrammarBook.com.

Once again we say: There should be a Syn Tax – a monetary fine – for every grammatical error in America. Google can be the referee.

Rest assured, splendid readers, we would wipe out the national debt in a matter of months. And that’s just from tracking our pre-verbal president. (See his Associated Press interview this week for details.)

Imagine the possibilities in the Halls of Congress.

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Civilians Who Run Full-Page Ads in the New York Times (@elondumptrump Edition)

From our never-ending All Those Dollars and No Sense series

Elon Musk, celebrated electric carhop and fledgling space cadet, generally gets positive press – except for yesterday, when this full-page ad appeared in four daily newspapers.


Close-up for the body copy impaired:

And who exactly is this Doug Derwin, the moneybags behind all the Musk ratting? CNN’s Jackie Wattles has that story.

Why there was an anti-Elon Musk ad in your Sunday paper

A full-page ad in the Sunday editions of the Washington Post and The New York Times urged Tesla CEO Elon Musk to “dump Trump.”

The ads were paid for by a startup investor named Doug Derwin. The longtime Silicon Valley resident told CNNMoney he shelled out $400,000 to run ads in the Times and the Post, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News.

It’s the latest step in Derwin’s $1 million bid to convince Musk he’s failing environmentalists. He calls it “Elon Dump Trump.”

Here’s another step: Derwin’s Hat Tweet Challenge on Twitter.

Every movement needs headwear, eh?

Make America Hat Again!

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Hell-no, Dolly! NYT, WSJ Critics Make Very Different Bettes

It’s always fun when the bull goose theater critics in The Big Town provide the Broadway version of Bizarro World over some megabucks production. Case in point: The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reviews of Bette Midler as the title character in the Shubert Theater revival of Hello, Dolly!

Let’s compare and contrast in clear idiomatic English, shall we?

Enter, stage right, New York Times critic Ben Brantley, whose review sports the headline Bright, Brassy and All Bette.

Money quote #1, regarding a solitary, expensive meal in Act Two.

Ms. Midler brings such comic brio — both barn-side broad and needlepoint precise — to the task of playing with her food that I promise you it stops the show. Then again, pretty much everything Ms. Midler does stops the show.

Money quote #2, regarding Midler’s overall performance.

Ms. Midler works hard for her ovations, while making you feel that the pleasure is all hers. In the process she deftly shoves the clamorous memories of Carol Channing (who created the role on Broadway) and Barbra Streisand (in the 1969 film) at least temporarily into the wings.

All good, yes?


Enter, stage wrong, Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout, whose review features the headline Disaster Despite a Diva.

Money quote #1, regarding the – well – musical part of the musical.

Ms. Midler’s singing voice is in a desperate, sometimes shocking state of disrepair.

Money quote #2, regarding Brantley’s “clamorous memories of Carol Channing.”

As for the rest of the performance, Ms. Midler doesn’t even bother to act: She simply comes on stage and plays her familiar self, albeit at a disturbingly low level of energy. Unlike Carol Channing, who created the role, she can’t dance and isn’t funny (I was actually embarrassed by her mugging in the courtroom scene). All she has to offer is the memory of a great career, and if that’s enough for you, then you’ll be happy to shell out to see her in “Hello, Dolly!”


There’s one thing the two critics do agree on, however. The audience is more than happy to shell out.

Brantley: “Ms. Midler is generating a succession of seismic responses that make Trump election rallies look like Quaker prayer meetings.”

Teachout: “I’ve never seen a performance of anything at which there was so unanimous a consensus on the part of the audience that the diva could do no wrong.”

Exit, stage right.

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Memo to T.S. Eliot: In Boston, April Is the Coolest Month

We all remember The Waste Land, right?

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Except right now, as the hardchilling staff sits on our porch, we desire a much warmer spring.

But, cruelly, no.

According to The Weather Channel, here’s our immediate future.

Well that totally blows.

But not as much as this:

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Yeah – we’ll take the Mostly Cloudy vs. the handful of dust any day.

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New York Times: All the Nudes That’s Fit to Print

As the hardblushing staff has noted on previous occasions (see here and here), the Grey Lady has been opening the kimono more and more of late, from an ulp-skirt Louis Vuitton ad several years ago to this eye-popping Christie’s ad last fall.



Now comes the latest edition of the Nude York Times – this M.S. Ray Antiques ad on A7 in yesterday’s paper.



An artwork so nice, they showed it twice. Just one more sign o’ the Times.

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Liz’s New Book Warren(ts) Full-Page New York Times Ad

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Nevertheless) has a new book out – This Fight Is Our Fight – and a spiffy marketing campaign to go along with it.

Exhibit A (5): This full-page ad in today’s New York Times.


But that’s not the only publicity Warren’s book will be getting, according to this Politico piece by local gal Lauren Dezenski.

Conservative PAC takes aim at Warren during book tour

BOSTON — America Rising PAC, a conservative group that hounded Hillary Clinton following the release of her book “Hard Choices” in 2014, is about to do the same to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Warren’s latest book, “This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” will be released on Tuesday. The Massachusetts Democrat will set out on a book tour with stops in New York and Massachusetts this week.

“We view book launch as the soft launch of her presidential campaign. We’ll do the same to her as we did with Hillary Clinton in 2014,” said America Rising executive director Colin Reed.

Dezenski adds that the group “will build and maintain opposition research, use video tracking, Freedom of Information Act and public records, and deploy rapid-response communications to ‘make Warren’s life difficult’ during her 2018 Senate reelection campaign, according to a memo outlining the group’s efforts.”

And, apparently, post videos to YouTube like this one, which uses news clips to contrast Warren with – oddly – Ted Kennedy. The subject: presidential ambitions.



Loved this line: “He would be senator from Massachusetts, uninterrupted, for the next 47 years.” Right – because his attempt to rub out a sitting president of his own party in 1980 failed miserably.

So, what do we have here? The Lion of the Senate vs. the Liawatha of the Senate?

That book tour should be fun.

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Quote o’ the Day (To Know Trump Edition)

We are reminded every day that Pres. Donald Trump (R-Donald Trump) is, for all practical purposes, pre-verbal. See the transcript from his recent Time interview for the gory details.

But every once in a while we get a glimpse of the Trump who’s, well, precognitive. Latest exhibit: This interview in today’s Wall Street Journal, in which Trump says he has a “renewed confidence in the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans he had just two weeks ago suggested targeting for defeat in next year’s midterm election,” because, of course, they blowtorched Trump’s meshugge healthcare reform.

And whence comes this renewed confidence?



Clearly, it’s time to summon Walt Whitman: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Of something, anyway.

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