It was clear from the start that the Great Boston MediaWatch Dogfight between the underdog Boston Herald Press Party webcast and the big dog WGBH Beat the Press broadcast would eventually turn into a slapfight providing countless hours of entertainment for the local citizenry.
And yesterday, exactly that came to pass.
Press Party host and Herald columnist Joe Battenfeld began the wild rumpus with his Friday piece:
I had finished up hosting the Herald’s new weekly Web show, “Press Party,” last week when I heard our competitors over at WGBH’s taxpayer-funded Taj Mahal had bashed a column I wrote following the killing and capture of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers.
The column chided liberal media and others for mocking or lecturing those who broke into spontaneous cheering and “USA” chants to celebrate the remarkable bravery of our law enforcement for taking these dangerous terror suspects off the streets.
Emily Rooney, the host of “Beat the Press” on GBH, called my column “nonsense” and demanded I “name one, just one” journalist who was critical of the flag waving.
So Battenfeld did.
OK. Here is one, and as it happens, he works for Emily Rooney and publicly funded WGBH.
Here are some of GBH reporter Adam Reilly’s Twitter posts the night of those celebrations.
“Treating a massive anti-terrorist manhunt like a big game kind of diminishes the ol’ Boston luster, right?” Reilly tweeted.
“Relief is normal and I’m delighted they caught the —- But this isn’t a game — and not only Americans were hurt,” Reilly tweeted again.
1) The “Taj Mahal” reference is especially funny coming from the host of a show with Wayne’s World production values.
2) Full disclosure: The hardworking staff takes some unfriendly fire at the end of Batterfeld’s column.
Last point: Battenfeld explained the week-long time lag between Rooney’s challenge and his response this way.
I had ignored Emily’s rant until now because I didn’t want to single out a fellow journalist.
But I feel like I can’t let such a direct challenge go unanswered any longer.
Yeah, especially since it was time to promote the newest episode of Press Party.
P.S. In the end, the hardwatching staff failed to watch either show because, well, this is enough fun for one post.