Thursday, November 08, 2007

Boston Media Hoping for Small Scandal

Stephen Murphy is not likely to mature anytime soon. The big Boston dailies should set the example.

Instead, both the Globe and Herald are rubbing their MSM hands over the thought of a City Councilor feud. John Connolly erred personally and politically by sending true and legal cards without his name on them about how Murphy had pursued numerous other jobs to get out of being a mere Councilor. Murphy responded with bitter overkill defamation.

Now both dailies seem delighted that the normally publicly collegial Council may have another rivalry. Each has run articles and columns foreshadowing a long-running spitting contest among Murphy, who won reelection, and newcomer Connolly. Both papers couch it like this shouldn't happen, but they clearly want it.

MSM Rant: I'm with the numerous other bloggers and Universal Hub, like here, who say the MSM were amazed at the low turnout two days ago, but the media seem not to have noticed that they gave pathetically weak coverage leading up to the election. Let us heap shame on them. They failed their public responsibility.

If you missed the last mayoral election for any reason, be aware that the local MSM loved the spiteful sniping and feuding from chronic candidate Maura Hennigan when she tried to oust her long-term co-Councilor who became mayor. You can search this blog up top for mentions of her, like here. It was nasty, she was childish and vindictive, and the local papers loved every ad and oral slur.

Now Connolly hasn't even taken office and the Globe is drooling over what they hope is an open wound. Likewise, a snatch at the Herald in Wayne Woodlief's column can hardly contain itself in anticipation.

I predict peace or at least quiet. I predict that Connolly won't play this loser's game. Woodlief already says that Connolly's apologies won't work and that the grudge is likely permanent. That would be true if both guys were as recalcitrant and puerile as Murphy.

At the end of the campaign, Murphy easily out-flamed Connolly. He showed a real schoolyard attitude — push me and I'll slug you! His response to the card that called him on his years of making it plain that the Councilor role was not good enough for him to play was to call Connolly "a documented sneak and a liar." The amusing reality is the card was a little sneaky, but its contents were all too true.

Even after the vote count, the Herald piece quotes the theatrical Murphy as, "This was more like driving down the street and suddenly getting hit by a napalm cluster. This (Connolly’s negative mailings) was character assassination." In contrast, Connolly was calm, conciliatory and gracious. Meanwhile, the Globe cites Murphy as saying he's not sure he can ever forgive his old chum. "Time will tell. Only time will tell."

First, Murphy's not likely to find any support among other Councilors or Menino after his hard slams against Connolly. More important, Connolly is clearly not a grudge holder. I'm betting Murphy stays petty and Connolly does what it takes to placate the big pouter. It's good one of them can be adult after they have each insulted the other.

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