View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: The Boston Herald is Creepy

Saturday, June 23, 2007


The Boston Herald is Creepy

There used to be a games store in Cambridge. I think it was called "Games People Play". It was a pretty interesting store, with great selection of rare and imported games, but the real reason I used to go there was because the woman who worked there was so weird. She had this huge, theatrical, over-the-top personality. She had this self-image that was lifted straight out of some British drawing-room drama. Game boxes weren't torn, they were "distressed". The winter weather outside wasn't bad, it was "objectionable". This woman was so affected it was like talking with someone from another time. In the end, she was kind of creepy.

The Boston Herald is like that. I read the Herald every day. It's not a bad paper. Certainly there are worse out there. And certainly there are better. The Boston Globe is a better paper. The Wall Street Journal is a better paper. But the Herald is an easy read and its web page is one of the best-designed newspaper web pages I've come across.

But, man... the Herald has some creepy affectations. One of the most prominent is its use of the word "jakes" for firefighters. I have never heard anyone use this word in normal conversation. Neither have you. But the Herald will go out of its way to find an opportunity to put the word "jakes" on its pages. It's like you're reading a newspaper where all the reporters wear fedoras with a press card tucked into the hat band. It's weird and annoying. I know headline space makes the word "firefighters" a challenge, but find some way around it that makes sense. Jeez. They even use it on their web page, where space restrictions aren't an issue. It's an affectation.

The Herald's other creepy feature is Howie Carr. I want Howie Carr's job. I could knock out a column in five minutes. No problem at all. Every day it's the same column: "Hack. Hack. Hacks. Hack. Fat Matt. Hack-a-rama. Moonbat Deval. Hack Hack hacks hackhackhack buch of hacks. citizens for limited taxation. hack hack Dukakis hack-a-rama back when Jerry Williams hack hack hacks..." Wouldn't you be embarassed to pick up a fat paycheck every Friday for writing this same crap week in and week out? And yet his sycophants love it. Maybe Howie had some chops back in the day, but he's long since become some sort of creepy touchstone for a strange talk-show subculture. Come back, Jim Dempsey. You could write circles around this tub of lard lameass in your sleep.

The third creepy thing about the Herald is the constant logrolling relationship it has with WEEI. Or at least I assume it does. I stopped tuning in to WEEI about a year ago. The morning show is unlistenable. The afternoon show is a bunch of guys yelling over each other for 4 hours. The late night show is a snoozefest. Only Dale and Holly are interesting.I long ago moved on to Patriots and Red Sox podcasts. But the one thing all WEEI's shows have in common in their unwavering slobbering over whatever the Herald has written that day. It's a symbiotic business relationship that WEEI's talkers try to pass off as a symbiotic editorial relationship. There is a world of difference between the two and passing the former off as the latter is...


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