Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Pure class

The New Yorker ran a piece this week about the Boston Herald's lopsided coverage of the Democratic National Convention. Once a somewhat charming underdog to the Boston Globe powerhouse, the Herald has become New York Post lite. This is no surprise considering their Editor, Ken Chandler, served in the same role at the Post from 1993 until 2002. Chandler's colorful comments to the New Yorker provide further insight:

“The Globe is a Times wannabe, but it can’t quite pull it off. We are just trying to extract some news from an event where there isn’t any. We knew that the Globe was going to give it a big blow job. "

During the convention, the Herald gave us the front-page headline "KERRY GIRLS GONE WILD," for a story about the behavior of Alexandra and Vanessa Kerry in the presence of Ben Affleck at a Boston bar. Chandler defends his paper's embarrassing approach to news coverage by predictably arguing that Boston needs a conservative antidote to the Globe's poisonous liberalism. But I didn't see the Globe plastering on their front page the picture of Jenna Bush sticking her tongue out at a group of reporters.

“Somebody’s got to be the conservative paper in this town,” Chandler told the New Yorker. “They don’t make them more liberal than the Globe. Boston isn’t a Republican place. On the other hand, people here are quite conservative, with a small ‘c.’”

Chandler, a newspaperman, clearly has a limited understanding of the English language. For his benefit, here are the first three definitions of "conservative" from the American Heritage Dictionary:

1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.

This may be news to Chandler, but a newspaper that features obnoxious headlines and salacious stories is not restrained, moderate or cautious.

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