WSJ Disses NYT, FT, and Bloomberg All in One House Ad

The Wall Street Journal is feeling its oats.

Exhibit A7: This full-page ad in yesterday’s Journal.

The fine print dismisses even more business publications.

The Journal’s tagline is “Read ambitiously.” We’ll see if those maligned publications choose to rebut ambitiously.

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Steve Mnuchin’s Dad Ran an Ad in the New York Times

Well the hardworking staff was leafing through the New York Times yesterday and what did we come across but this quarter-page ad in the A section.

Of course that got us to wondering: Mnuchin Gallery – any relation to Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, described thusly by someone who knew him when?

And indeed, the gallery owner is Steve’s old man, Robert Mnuchin. And yes, the sins of the son are being visited upon the father.

First it was New York magazine’s senior art critic Jerry Saltz writing in a 2016 Medium piece that he’s put the Mnuchin Gallery off limits.

[N]ow that the son of Robert Mnuchin of Mnuchin Gallery on the Upper East Side (where David Hammons and other great artists show); now that Robert Mnuchin’s son Steven Mnuchin, of Goldman Sachs, is “Make America HATE Again” Donald Trump’s Campaign Finance Chief — I’m not going to Mnuchin Gallery anymore.

Early last year there was this rumpus, as reported by Upper East Side Patch.

Anti-Trump Protesters Crash Upper East Side’s Mnuchin Gallery

The gallery is run by the father of Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary.

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Protesters attempted to crash an Upper East Side art gallery owned by the father of Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary. Demonstrators from the protest group “Government Sachs” banged on the doors of the Mnuchin Gallery on East 78th Street and Madison Avenue around 10:30 Friday morning, according to witnesses.

“Mnuchin. Suck it. Trump is a puppet!” protesters shouted.

Very classy.

Meanwhile, the Reds exhibit at Mnuchin Gallery features “paintings and sculpture by twenty-five artists, including Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, and Mark Rothko.”

Be sure to miss it, if you’re so inclined.

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The Grey Lady Is Engaged in Some Serious Housekeeping (2)

Earlier today the hardworking stuff noted that it’s catch-up time at the New York Times.

We mentioned the slowbituaries at Overlooked and the shutterbug portfolio published yesterday as Scenes Unseen: The Summer of ’78 .

What we forgot was this piece in the latest Times Style Magazine.

Six Times Journalists on the Paper’s History of Covering AIDS and Gay Issues

The New York Times had a spotty record of covering the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s — and gay culture in general. Times staffers reflect on the paper’s past, and what we can learn from it today.

Any newspaper must, by definition, aspire to be the “paper of record,” and yet when it came to this newspaper’s coverage of gay people and AIDS in the early ’80s — when the disease was morphing into a national crisis, and when rights that had been won a decade earlier, after the Stonewall Riots, were once again being jeopardized — The Times’s own record was checkered at best. Information about the spread of illness was often scant, judgmental or distressingly vague — even while reporters on the Science desk were trying their best with an ever-evolving story. The social and emotional toll of AIDS and the resulting queer movement were, when covered, often buried in the back of the newspaper (on a page called Styles of the Times), far from national news stories that were deemed important enough for the front page. Famously, it would take President Ronald Reagan more than four years to acknowledge the disease publicly. And it took until 1983 for The Times to run an article about the disease on Page A1, two years after the first reports of symptoms.

That story turned out to be a literal sidebar.

From July 3, 1981, the first article in The New York Times mentioning a “rare cancer.” Inset: Jeremy W. Peters

The rest of the Style Magazine piece includes topics ranging from “What Makes a Front-Page Story?” to “On Sex Clubs – And How to Cover Them.”

So the Times is having a real media culpa moment.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of cold storage next.

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The Grey Lady Is Engaged in Some Serious Housekeeping

It’s catch-up time at the New York Times.

Start with the dozen  slowbituaries the Times published last month in its launch of Overlooked, a sort of death notice do-over.

Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones.

Charlotte Brontë wrote “Jane Eyre”; Emily Warren Roeblingoversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubala transfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now.

The Times has since added almost a dozen more. It’s a smart series that’s well worth reading.

Then yesterday came this attic-and-basement feature, Scenes Unseen: The Summer of ’78.

Melina Deltic’s helpful Inside the Times piece yesterday gave the background.

It was 1978, the year of a major newspaper strike in New York City, and the year eight Times photographers found interim employment in New York City’s parks department.

This Sunday’s special print section, “Scenes Unseen: The Summer of ’78,” features that era and the photographs taken in the parks. It touches on several trends that didn’t last: eight Times photographers’ brief stints shooting for the parks department; the bell-bottoms and tube socks of parkgoers; the decrepit state of city parks in the late 1970s; and the once burgeoning popularity of the tabloid format in the city’s newspapers.

As the redoubtable Jim Dwyer write in the introduction to the portfolio, “Six months ago, a conservancy official cleaning out an office came across two cardboard boxes that had been sitting around for decades. Inside were 2,924 color slides, pictures made in parks across New York City’s five boroughs late in the summer of 1978. No one had looked at them for 40 years.”

Until now.

Good housekeeping, no?

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Seems The Irish Times Is Not Reviewing Kevin Cullen’s Work

Earlier this week the hardworking staff noted the rumpus around Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen’s shifting coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Central to the issue is Cullen’s dual versions of the role he says Dorchester firefighter Sean O’Brien played in the immediate aftermath of the bombings. First there was this description Cullen gave to the BBC the following day.

“I just got off the phone, not long ago, with a young firefighter I’m very concerned about. He’s a young kid, he’s a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and he told me what he saw today was worse than anything he saw in a warzone. He carried a young girl who had a brother killed at the scene, I actually know the father, he just ran the race today … and the daughter, the girl, my friend Sean the firefighter picked her up and he carried her to an ambulance and he said when he put her down he realized her leg was missing. And he went back to the scene and he told me he crawled on his legs and his hand and his knees trying to find her leg and he couldn’t find it.”

Several days later, however, Cullen told a different tale in a piece for The Irish Times.

Seán saw one of his friends from Dorchester, Bill Richard, standing there in shock. Bill and his wife, Denise, had brought their three children, nine-year-old Henry, eight-year-old Martin and six-year-old Jane, to watch the runners cross the finishing line across from Boston Public Library. It is a great family tradition, something done by thousands of families. They were standing in front of what police believe was a backpack containing a pressure cooker loaded with ball bearings and nails when it exploded.

“I can’t find Denise!” Bill cried.

Seán kneeled down over Martin, a beautiful boy who was always kind to Seán’s daughter, his third-grade classmate at the local charter school.

“When I looked at young Marty,” Séan told me, “I knew he was gone.”

WEEI’s Kirk Minhane said last week that he had talked to Sean O’Brien and O’Brien denied the first version and wouldn’t comment on the second.

Regardless, when The Irish Times reported earlier this week that the Globe had placed Cullen on paid administrative leave, we wrote to both the Times editor and the paper’s newsdesk.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a Boston-based media analyst and author of the Campaign Outsider blog.

I just posted this to the site, documenting discrepancies among Kevin Cullen’s multiple versions of the Boston Marathon bombings, from the Boston Globe to the BBC to The Irish Times : https://bit.ly/2r0ezXN

As you reported on Monday, the Globe has put Cullen on administrative leave “while an examination of his coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings is conducted.”

Is a similar examination occurring at The Irish Times?

Thank you for your consideration . . .

We also wrote to the Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman.

We haven’t heard back from anyone.

Your conclusions go here.

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Is The Irish Times Reviewing Kevin Cullen’s Reporting For It?

The rumpus over Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen’s Boston Marathon bombings coverage has gone trans-Atlantic, as this Irish Times piece illustrates.

‘Boston Globe’ columnist Kevin Cullen put on administrative leave

Journalist’s coverage of Boston Marathon bombings to be examined after complaint

Well-known columnist Kevin Cullen has been put on administrative leave by the Boston Globe, the newspaper has confirmed.

Cullen, an occasional contributor to The Irish Times and a regular contributor on Irish radio, has been put on paid leave while an examination of his coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings is conducted.

Right. Except the paper fails to mention that Cullen’s 2013 Irish Times piece about the Marathon bombings directly calls into question his credibility.

Key graphs:

The firefighters of Engine Seven were just around the corner when the first bomb went off. They raced to the scene and found an eerie silence, and the dead and the wounded scattered. Some had their clothes blown off. Some had their legs blown off.

Seán saw one of his friends from Dorchester, Bill Richard, standing there in shock. Bill and his wife, Denise, had brought their three children, nine-year-old Henry, eight-year-old Martin and six-year-old Jane, to watch the runners cross the finishing line across from Boston Public Library. It is a great family tradition, something done by thousands of families. They were standing in front of what police believe was a backpack containing a pressure cooker loaded with ball bearings and nails when it exploded.

“I can’t find Denise!” Bill cried.

Seán kneeled down over Martin, a beautiful boy who was always kind to Seán’s daughter, his third-grade classmate at the local charter school.

“When I looked at young Marty,” Séan told me, “I knew he was gone.”

Compare that to what Cullen told the BBC the day after the bombings, via WEEI’s Kirk Minihane.

In yet another interview with the BBC, Cullen tells us about the firefighter who rescued Jane Richard:

“I just got off the phone, not long ago, with a young firefighter I’m very concerned about. He’s a young kid, he’s a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and he told me what he saw today was worse than anything he saw in a warzone. He carried a young girl who had a brother killed at the scene, I actually know the father, he just ran the race today … and the daughter, the girl, my friend Sean the firefighter picked her up and he carried her to an ambulance and he said when he put her down he realized her leg was missing. And he went back to the scene and he told me he crawled on his legs and his hand and his knees trying to find her leg and he couldn’t find it.”

The “Sean” Cullen is referring to is Sean O’Brien, a veteran Dorchester firefighter who was at the scene and did talk to Cullen the day after the bombing. O’Brien, though, said he never told Cullen he carried Jane Richard anywhere. That was Matt Patterson, a Lynn firefighter who was off duty that day. I spoke to Patterson last Thursday and he wanted no credit or praise for what he did. It was his job. And I could tell he had no desire, really, to go over the events of that day again. He told me he had never heard of Cullen until last week and had never talked to him. What’s also odd is that it became clear, pretty quickly, that Patterson was the man who had carried Jane Richard. NECN had a story. WBZ. NY Daily News. The city of Lynn honored him in May of 2013. How did Cullen not correct this?

The next question is, will the Irish Times correct it?

Beyond that, there are questions like this one from @DanKelley66 about other Cullen pieces in the Times.

The article in question.

Gerry Adams: The man behind the mask

US reporter Kevin Cullen recalls a SF leader who tightly controlled his public persona

I like to say I knew Gerry Adams before he was infamous.

I started reporting from Northern Ireland in the second half of the 1980s, when most American journalists and their editors had grown bored of the killing and the mayhem and the madness.

Somehow, at a fairly young age, when I was the main crime reporter for the Boston Globe, I convinced my editors that we were giving short shrift to the conflict in Northern Ireland, a tragic story, a human rights story, an international story that was, in fact, a local story for our readership, more than half of which claimed Irish ancestry.

Beyond that, I persuaded them that the fact that my grandparents were from Connemara, that I had spent a fitful year at Trinity College, and that I had managed to get myself lifted by British soldiers when I hitchhiked up to Belfast in 1979 and came across a patrol of nervous squaddies who believed my Boston accent was a put-on, somehow qualified me to report on the murderous, generational problem that the Irish in their quaint propensity for understatement called the Troubles.

It’s a major takeout with Cullen himself, as per usual, at the center of it.

So the headscratching staff is emailing this question to the Irish Times: Are you now wondering if anyone can verify any of that?

We will, as always, keep you splendid readers posted.

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Dunkin’ Channeled Boston Globe in Dumping Hill Holliday

Wednesday’s Boston Globe featured this Jon Chesto piece on its first Business page.

Snappy lede: “Hill Holliday no longer runs on Dunkin’.” The Canton-based chain dropped its ad agency of two decades and moved its account to New York shop BBDO Worldwide. “Every now and then you’ve got to look to change things up a bit,” [independent franchise group executive director Ed] Shanahan said.

That statement – and the headline of Chesto’s report – echoes an infamous Globe Business piece from 25 years ago that has stuck with me for a variety of reasons.

Not so amicable, however, was the dustup that the story – and especially the headline – triggered between Globe editor Matt Storin and business editor Steve Bailey, which in turn led to this headline.

Globe selects Edelman to be business editor

Larry Edelman will become business editor of The Boston Globe Jan. 1, replacing Steve Bailey, who has held the post for five years, Matthew V. Storin, the newspaper’s editor, said yesterday.

Bailey, 43, said he chose to take a reporting job in the Business section, where he has been a popular editor and assistant editor for the past 12 years. Storin said Bailey’s “return to a management position in the future would be welcomed by me.”

“We’ve had a great run here,” said Bailey, who joined the newspaper in 1977. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. The Globe gave me a good opportunity, and I appreciate it.”

That piece ran the same morning I was scheduled to meet with Bailey and finalize my deal to write a weekly advertising/media column for the Business section. I was up bright and early and figured I should check that day’s edition of the Globe to be on top of things.

Oops.

I wasn’t sure what to do at that point, but the Missus, in her infinite wisdom, said, “Just go to the meeting.”

So I did.

In the Globe newsroom, I was told to take a seat: “Mr. Bailey is in a meeting.” A meeting that everyone could hear through the closed door of Storin’s office.

About 20 minutes later Bailey walked up to me and said, “You know I’ve been fired, right?”

I said, “Yeah – is our meeting still on?”

After a moment’s hesitation, Bailey summoned Edelman, who moseyed into Bailey’s office, looked around, and said to no one in particular, “I wonder if my desk will fit in here.”

Ouch.

Bailey laid out the situation and Edelman, to his credit, said “Okay, let’s give it a go for six months.” Not long after I was filing columns like this one.

A story goes with that too.

A couple of weeks after the column ran, I got a call from a radio monitoring service telling me I had been the subject of a segment on that morning’s Howard Stern Show and asking if I’d like a copy of it. I said no thanks – because the Stern show at that time was re-broadcast in Boston every night.

So I tuned in and listened to Stern blowtorch me for the better part of an hour. He had just returned from vacation and was working his way through a clip file that had been assembled in his absence. My Globe column was one of those clips. (Spoiler alert: All his listeners came to know that I did not make as much money as the King of All Media.)

And then – remember, this was pre-Internet – the Sterniacs started calling my business phone in droves to leave messages like “Howard rules, man” and “We’re coming after you, man.”

Which they never did, presumably because they were too stoned, man.

Anyway, I continued to write the Globe column for the next 15 months. I never had occasion to mention Howard Stern again.

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A Jason Gay Ol’ Time (Red Sox/Yankees Rivalry Edition)

From our blessedly endless series

Leave it to the redoubtable Wall Street Journal columnist (and Massachusetts native) Jason Gay to nail the New! Improved! Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees basebrawl rivalry.

Gay’s latest piece begins in his usual leisurely style.

The Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry Is Back

Well, baseball, you’ve had a nice run lately—but it’s over.

You’ve been so likable! Baseball’s been new, exciting, delightful—even open to change. The Cubs and the Astros won the last two World Series. The Cubs and the Astros! One club’s first title since 1908—and the other club’s first title since, well, ever.

There’s been thrilling, upstart talent, none bigger than the Angels newcomer Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese phenom who’s a brilliant two-fer—a world-class pitcher, and, it appears, a world-class home run slugger.

This has all been fantastic for baseball. It’s impossible to not enjoy.

But now it’s over. Kaput. Finished. Because they’re back.

Them.

That would be the Red Sox and the Yankees.

And that would be where Jason Gay shifts into high gear.

Ugh. It’s brutal. If you hate Boston or New York—or both—it’s time to flee the country. Or at least follow hockey and basketball. Baseball’s most oxygen-sucking rivalry is about to suck all of the oxygen out of the sport again.

It’s like finding out that your uncle who threw up on the couch is coming for an indefinite stay.

Why the revival? That’s easy: the hate is percolating. For the first time in a while, Red Sox and the Yankees A) are simultaneously stacked, and, far more importantly, B) don’t want to snuggle. On Wednesday night at Fenway, the teams got into a zesty, bench-clearing brawl—pushing, shoving, and taking swings like old, Pedro vs. Zimmer times.

You need to read the entire piece if only for lines like this: ” I think a photo of Jason Varitek mashing his catcher’s mitt into A-Rod’s face should be printed on $20 bills.”

Excellent!

Except . . .

It’s only going to get worse. If you think it’s obnoxious now, wait until this rivalry gets back to the Bronx in May. Wait until that series right before the Fourth of July. It’s gonna be hot and bonkers.

But likable? Not really. Boston vs. New York is back. Sorry, baseball.

But thanks, Jason.

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Boston Almost Beats Brooklyn in Guggenheim Fellowships

Well, the Boston area, anyway.

Yesterday’s New York Times featured this full-page ad listing the 2018 Fellows (United States and Canada) appointed by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

By our count, the Greater Boston area garnered 17 Fellowships, while Brooklyn (Borough Motto: “You can’t afford to live here”) took home 18.

Hey, wait till next year, as Brooklynites used to say about Dem Bums. (Except in 1956, when – according to legend – a Brooklyn paper ran the headline “Wait till last year” after the Dodgers lost the World’s Serious.)

Then again, the local eggheads absolutely killed it in the social sciences.

One further consolation: Boston flat-out crushed Canada, which nabbed a paltry three Fellowships.

All in all, not a bad Guggenheim crop this year.

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New York Times Beats Boston Globe on MFA Mummy DNA

The Boston news bakeoff between the Big Town and the Beanie Town usually goes to the local broadsheet, but not yesterday.

The New York Times Science section featured this piece by Nicholas St. Fleur.

Cracking a Cold Case

The F.B.I. extracts DNA from a severed head to help a Boston museum identify a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.

In 1915, a team of American archaeologists excavating the ancient Egyptian necropolis of Deir el-Bersha blasted into a hidden tomb. Inside the cramped limestone chamber, they were greeted by a gruesome sight: a mummy’s severed head perched on a cedar coffin.

The room, which the researchers labeled Tomb 10A, was the final resting place for a governor named Djehutynakht (pronounced “juh-HOO-tuh-knocked”) and his wife. At some point during the couple’s 4,000-year-long slumber, grave robbers ransacked their burial chamber and plundered its gold and jewels. The looters tossed a headless, limbless mummified torso into a corner before attempting to set the room on fire to cover their tracks.

The archaeologists went on to recover painted coffins and wooden figurines that survived the raid and sent them to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1921. Most of the collection stayed in storage until 2009 when the museum exhibited them. Though the torso remained in Egypt, the decapitated head became the star of the showcase. With its painted-on eyebrows, somber expression and wavy brown hair peeking through its tattered bandages, the mummy’s noggin brought viewers face-to-face with a mystery.

His head, or her head?

And could the F.B.I. even get DNA from a 4000-year-old specimen, something no one had ever done?

It’s a cracking good tale, with great visual elements (you’ll especially want to check out the ancient Egyptian Opening of the Mouth Ceremony).

Downtown at the Boston Globe, there’s neither hide nor hair of the story.

Plugging “Djehutynakht” into the Googletron, however, yields these pick-ups (and counting) from the Times piece.

 

We’ll keep an eye on how – and when – the stately local broadsheet catches up.

 

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