You’ll need more than the five free articles available outside the Boston Globe’s $27/month paywall in order to read all of the love notes the newspaper ran about moving downtown from its home of six decades in Dorchester. The series has unfolded like a grade school graduation ceremony, every last installment far less necessary than the time your friend moved from Jamaica Plain to Cambridge and threw an enormous semi-ironic farewell party.
The nostalgia’s also been redundant, almost rivalling the repetition with which their adversary Howie Carr pegs Globe journalists as “bow-tied bum-kissers.” Headlines from the past week alone include “Fifty-nine years of stories: The Globe says goodbye to its Dorchester home”; “Four stories tall, a million stories long”; “The Globe says: Thank you, Dorchester”; “Globe’s presence in Dorchester will be etched in memory”; “With an eye on the future, Globe returns to downtown Boston”; “Game over on Morrissey Boulevard.”
Tribute after tribute aside, no Globie embarrassment is over until pro-business apostle Shirley Leung kicks the corpse. Apparently way too naive to realize that people past her paper’s paywall often criticize her coworkers for their insufferable snobbery, Leung writes:
By now, you must have read that The Boston Globe has moved downtown from our longtime home in Dorchester, where most employees drove to work and enjoyed free parking. No such perk exists at the new space, which means hundreds of journalists, myself included, have joined the ranks of the T’s 1.3 million daily commuters … Could this possibly be transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack’s worst nightmare?
I could holler endlessly about how unbelievably self-centered that approach to journalism is, or go back in the archives to tally all the righteous and reactionary save-the-trees screeds that the Globe printed while its reporters couldn’t bother to take the Red Line to JFK/UMass and walk to work. But I don’t have to, because somebody named “T” summed it up perfectly in the comment section:
Dear God in heaven, a journalist who works in and writes about the city finds public transportation a novelty. Give me a break. My mother who is 81 and lives out of state probably has ridden the t with more frequency. i don’t bash the media but, if not elitism, this piece smacks of a certain separatism that is quite jarring (like my typical orange line commute).
T and I aren’t alone. Similar sentiments have simmered forever, though I can think of only one that underscores the Globe’s cultural deafness more explicitly than Leung’s recent try at slumming it. It’s from Common Ground, the essential Pulitzer Prize-winning book by J. Anthony Lukas about Boston during the racially turbulent ’60s and ’70s:
Of the paper’s top twenty editors, all but two lived in the suburbs … Even Irish reporters generally settled at one remove from the inner city in enclaves like Scituate and Hingham. The Globe’s prevailing voice was that of a Harvard-educated lawyer from the suburbs—affable, humane, and well intentioned, but no longer entirely comfortable in the city of his youth.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.