May 15, 2003
Boston Globe Spiked Column That Spanked Raines, Say Scribes
A column blistering New York Times editor Howell Raines that raised the unwelcome subject of former Boston Herald columnist Mike Barnicle's plagiarism was spiked by the Globe, a sister paper of the Times, according to Boston Herald columnists Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa. When asked about the incident, which was leaked to the Herald, the Globe had no comment.
"We generally do not comment on editorial items that haven't appeared in the paper," the paper's Maynard Scarborough told the Herald.
According to the Herald, Globe columnist Brian McGrory castigated Raines for standing by disgraced Times former reporter Jayson Blair far too long. Raines, the Herald noted, has been criticized for not taking quicker action against Blair, even though he had been consistently warned about the 27-year-old former Globe intern by underlings.
Moreover, McGrory rubbed salt in the wound by dredging up a 1998 column in which Raines slammed the Globe for not firing Barnicle, comparing that incident to Raines' refusal to dump Blair for so long.
Raines wrote that Barnicle, who was at that point being accused of plagiarism, was spared the same fate as his colleague, Patricia Smith, a black woman, because "Mr. Barnicle ... is a product of a male-dominated, mostly white tribal culture that takes care of its own."
The Herald recalled that Smith was fired for fabricating columns and Barnicle was subsequently canned when he couldn't authenticate quotes.
"McGrory basically said that the Blair thing was Barnicle in reverse," one informant told the Herald.
What impressed the Herald is the fact that the Times owns the Globe, which means that Raines is, in effect, McGrory's boss.
Some sources suggested to the Herald that the Globe may relent and run the offending column tomorrow.
The Globe has launched its own investigation into stories Blair wrote when he worked there and also found problems with his stories.