For all of my ragging on Massachusetts, there’s one thing I respect about it. Boston is one of the few two-newspaper cities left. It has two dailies — the always-liberal Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times) and the reliably-conservative Boston Herald (formerly owned by Rupert Murdoch, and still has his “flavor”).
There’s an old saying that it takes two thieves to make an honest deal, and likewise it often takes two newspapers to get the whole truth. They tend to keep each other honest, to an extent. There is little they enjoy more than exposing the others’ mistakes, blunders, omissions, and outright frauds.
But the current gubernatorial race in Massachusetts has things all topsy-turvy. The Boston Globe endorsed Democrat Deval Patrick in the primary, backing him to the hilt, and will undoubtedly come out for him in the general election. The Herald has consistently backed the Republican candidates for governor, seeing (as I do) that as ineffective as they might be, they are the only thing that has a chance of restraining the insanely liberal and free-spending legislature.
But this morning, but papers are engaging in what can only be called political cannibalism.
The Boston Globe has been the source for dirt on Deval Patrick and his past ties to a convicted brutal rapist, currently serving life without parole. Benjamin LaGuer brutally raped and beat a 59-year-old neighbor, nearly killing her, back in 1983. Patrick was working for the NAACP when LaGuer sought their help. But Patrick says he hasn’t done a thing on LaGuer’s behalf in ten or fifteen years.
Or perhaps eight years, when he wrote a letter on behalf of LaGuer’s parole in 1998. Or maybe it was six years, when he wrote pretty much the same letter in 2000. Or even five years, when he gave money to DNA testing in LaGuer’s case — testing that conclusively proved that LaGuer was guilty.
(Now LaGuer says that he was “framed,” that officials planted his DNA and tampered with the evidence. But luckily he hasn’t found a jury as gullible as OJ Simpson or Robert Blake found.)
So while the Boston Globe is busily tossing their guy under the bus, the Boston Herald — apparently seeing the fun the Globe is having — has decided to toss some mud on the Republican candidate. It seems that the talking-tough-on-crime Lt. Governor Kerry Murphy Healey allowed a cop-killer to work at the state house.
Terrill Walker, who shot and killed a police officer while robbing a pawn shop back in 1973, is currently in a Boston “pre-release center.” While there, he has been assigned janitorial duties in various government facilities — including the State House, a park, and a cemetery.
Personally, I don’t see the big deal. I’d be happier if Walker was serving life, but apparently he’s served his sentence and is scheduled for release. So if, on his way out, he picks up some trash around the State House, big whoop. It’s not like Healey personally hired him as a personal aide.
But it’s certainly refreshing and entertaining to watch these two papers mess with people’s expectations.