GILLETTE &TC. Welcome to today's abbreviated bullet-point edition of Media Log. I'm up to my ears in other matters, but there are a few things I want to call your attention to. So let's get right down to it.
- Was there any funny business going on in the run-up to the announced merger between Procter & Gamble and Gillette? Brett Arends reports in today's Boston Herald that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating some mighty odd activity that could have put a lot of money in a few people's hands.
Dow Jones reported Friday afternoon: "Because Gillette isn't a volatile stock, its puts and calls generally don't attract zealous buying - since options tend to pay off when the underlying stock moves enough to hit certain strike prices. But Gillette call volume was noticeably heavier just before the deal was announced."
- Also on the Gillette front, the Boston Globe's Tom Palmer asks: as Boston companies continue to be gobbled up by out-of-town corporations, what's going to happen to all that office space?
- Mehsin who? Today's New York Times and Boston Globe have front-page lead photos of the same Iraqi man voting in Southgate, Michigan. The Times photo is not on its website, but the print version is in front of me; the paper identifies him as Mehsin al-Busaid, and the photo was taken by J.D. Pooley "for The New York Times." The Globe identifies him as Mehsin Imgoter, and credits the photo to Reuters.
No idea what the discrepancy is. I understand that people in the Arab world often have many names (I read somewhere once that Saddam Hussein has five or six names, and that neither "Saddam" nor "Hussein" would be considered a first or last name under Western naming conventions); but it seems strange that Mr. Mehsin would give two different names to two different photographers. In any case, the blue ink on his index finger is clearly visible, so it's unlikely that any James Michael Curley stuff was going on.
- Another David Nyhan tribute: Jeff Epperly writes for Bay Windows that the late Globe columnist was pro-gay-rights before it was cool.
- Sickening murder: the New York City slaying of Nicole duFresne, an Emerson College graduate and aspiring actress, is one of the more horrifying stories of the week. Here is yesterday's AP report. The Times' Michael Brick and Jennifer 8. Lee report on the murder today, and the Herald's Michele McPhee has more details as well.