The Boston Herald’s Cruel And Unusual Coverage

Make no mistake: former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chairman and current accused drunk driver Matt Amorello is a menace to society and – to all appearances – deserves swift and harsh justice.

But the Boston Herald’s coverage of Amorello’s alleged drunken demolition derby this past weekend has been swift and excessively harsh.

Start with Monday’s front-page screamer, “HOWIE CARR ON FAT MATT’S FOLLIES” – a headline that actually minimizes the public safety hazard Amorello represented in his personal and automotive crack-up. Regardless, Carr’s column predictably pinpoints Amorello’s place in the firmament of the Bay State Solon Hall of Shame (Whiskey Wing).

Then there’s today’s mugshot mugging in the Herald:

Matt Amorello’s mug puts Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, Snooki to shame

Lede:

Perhaps there is no such thing as a flattering mug shot – just ask Mel Gibson, Nick Nolte or Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi – but Matt Amorello, the former Big Dig Boss, brings the art to a new low.

Sporting stubble and a scrape on his forehead, a passed-out Amorello had his face held up by an officer during his booking for OUI Saturday in the shocking photo.

Those photos pretty much speak for themselves, and what they say is profoundly pathetic.  Do we really need snarky annotations?

Amorello’s brother Christopher told the Boston Globe, “I’m not going to defend what happened this weekend, but it’s not newsworthy.”

It is – whether the subject of the story was the former Big Dig chief or a former fast-food chef.

But it’s one thing to report a story.

It’s something else to revel in it.

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12 Responses to The Boston Herald’s Cruel And Unusual Coverage

  1. Michael Pahre says:

    In a day of downsizing reporting staffs, why is it that the Herald can assign half their metro reporters to covering this straight-forward story?

    I can just see how breathless everyone in the Herald newsroom is over this story. Time to get back to covering some news with more relevance.

  2. Dan Farnkoff says:

    Where in the Herald or Globe do you think the theoretical story of the former-fast-food chef DUI would appear, John? Page 5, or the police blotter or something? “DUI suspect so drunk he has to be pepper-sprayed, dragged from car”. Probably not front-page material, anyway, with no injuries or fatalities.

  3. JonFrum says:

    So he deserves ‘swift and harsh justice,’ but calling him fat is too mean?

    Exactly what is this ‘harsh justice’ that you think he deserves, that falls short of calling him fat, or putting his mug shot in the newspaper? You don’t like the Herald’s editorial policy, so you need to redefine the world ‘harsh?’ Fat Matt could easily have killed your family that night. If he had, would you consider the Herald treatment too mean?

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      It’s exactly because he could have killed my family that I want some severe punishment, Jon. And it’s not just about the Herald calling him fat. It’s about glorying in the story instead of just reporting it.

  4. Dan Farnkoff says:

    I understand, John- the level of Schadenfreude is off the charts with this story. I guess I’m not sure the story would have gotten any coverage at all if it didn’t involve a former politician/bigwig. Unfortunately for Mr. Amorello, once a public figure, always a public figure.

  5. Neil Sagan says:

    Compare this to the Herald’s unsubstantiated accusation of Kerry as a tax scofflaw.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      I know the Amorello story is based in fact, Neil. I just think the way it’s being handled is excessively gleeful.

  6. Pingback: Herald Too Hard On ‘Fat Matt’? | WBUR

  7. Pingback: Herald Too Hard On 'Fat Matt'? | Hubbub | Blogs | WBUR

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