A nice little crisscross in this week’s Great Boston MediaWatch Dogfight: The tabloid went after a public broadcasting star journalist, while the public broadcaster cuffed around the tabloid’s star columnist.
Start, as usual, with the Underdog: The Boston Herald’s Press Party webcast featured this lineup:
Is the courtroom camera ban in the Whitey Bulger trial depriving the public of the chance to see the alleged mobster murderer get justice?
The Boston Herald’s “Press Party” panel tackles that question and others in this week’s episode of the new, half-hour web show. The panel, led by host Joe Battenfeld, also looked at Herald columnist Howie Carr’s role in the testimony of former Bulger “Hitman” John Martorano; President Obama’s attempts at damage control by giving a friendly interview on PBS; and the media’s coverage of the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup run. The “#Mediafail” of the week was CNN reporter Jake Tapper’s decision to take a role on a soap opera.
Regarding the interview Obama did on PBS’s Charlie Rose show, the consensus was that it was a softball affair, with Rose not even raising the issues of the Benghazi embassy murders, the IRS/Tea Party rumpus, or the harassment of AP and Fox News reporters.
Reasons offered by the panel for the non-grilling: 1) Rose cut a deal with Obama not to ask tough questions in exchange for the exclusive; or 2) Rose was afraid to ask tough questions because “Obama is his boss [and] pays Rose’s salary.”
Okay, then. Glad we sorted that out.
Crosstown at WGBH’s Beat the Press, one topic of conversation was Carr Crash:
The Boston Herald’s Howie Carr is facing some blowback this week after confessed killer John Martorano testified at the James “Whitey” Bulger trial, testimony that included details about his financial arrangement with Carr for the book “Hitman”.
That discussion – wait! stop the ‘Beat The Press Party’ Bakeoff! WGBH is now posting BTP video on YouTube. So see for yourself:
The consensus: Carr got too close to Martorano and went too soft on him for journalistic comfort. Then again, as a couple of panelists said, Carr’s not really a journalist, is he?