Commissioner Connolly? Media Log feels obligated to say something about yesterday's congressional testimony by UMass president Bill Bulger, in which the witness appeared to have studied method acting with an Alzheimer's patient. But what?
Globe columnist Brian McGrory's assessment this morning is overly sympathetic to Bulger, but he gets this much right: "It promised high drama. It delivered the excitement of a raisin scone, but with none of the nutritional value."
Of necessity, that was pretty much true of the voluminous media coverage as well.
The Herald got things off to a rocking good start yesterday with an investigative report that Bulger's homicidal brother, mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, has apparently been using a Caribbean hideout while attracting little interest from the FBI. Several congressmen brought it up during yesterday's questioning. But even Bill Bulger's most vociferous detractors wouldn't accuse him of having anything to do with that.
The Herald may have stumbled onto another opportunity yesterday as well: Howie Carr Bobble-Head Action Figures. I especially enjoyed watching him roll his eyes in the instant replay on WFXT-TV (Channel 25) last night.
But absent anything truly arresting (bad pun intended), the prize will go to the first reporter who can get former Boston mayor Ray Flynn to talk about Bulger's hazily admitted effort to get his buddy John Connolly, the corrupt ex-FBI agent, named as Boston's police commissioner.
Bulger was diffident about the matter, acting as though he didn't even know who the mayor was at the time. But Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis (subscription required) says this morning:
Though Flynn did not respond to phone calls yesterday, in a conversation several years ago he spoke of the "intense pressure from the State House" to appoint John Connolly police commissioner. Consider the horror of that for a moment. Life in Boston would have resembled a scene out of "Blade Runner," or worse, Baghdad under Saddam. Boston's cops would've been Whitey's cops.
Flynn, of course, did the right thing and appointed Mickey Roache as his commissioner. Roache's tenure was troubled, to put it mildly. But he was honest. Certainly he wouldn't have looked the other way as prized informants tortured and killed their enemies.