Tuesday, November 23, 2004

CRIMSON AND WINGO. In case you haven't been following this, Harvard University and the Boston Herald are engaged in some serious eye-boinking.

It started last Thursday, when a Harvard senior named Jared Seeger wrote a piece for the Crimson devoted to the proposition that the Herald "is a really bad newspaper." Among other things, Seeger wrote that the Herald's editorial page "is where inane arguments go to die"; that columnist Howie Carr has "lower[ed] the 'acceptable' bar so that it is physically touching the floor"; and that "the newspaper pushes its right-wing agenda under the guise of honest journalism."

Seeger's column brought an angry response from Herald staff reporter Jules Crittenden, who wrote a letter to Seeger that's posted on Jim Romenesko's media-news site: "While it is regrettable that we have offended your sensibilities, you must recognize that when you go boldly forth to make your mark in the world, your limo driver will need something to divert himself while your Lordship is engaged in loftier pursuits."

Crittenden's response drew its own response, from Michael Woods, of Boxing Digest. Even though you might think Boxing Digest and the Herald would be sympatico, Woods came to the defense not of Crittenden but of Seeger. "While Seeger formulated a reasoned thesis about the paper's deficiencies, having obviously spend some time dissecting the personnel and their tendencies, Crittenden resorted to cheap shots based on stereotypes," Woods wrote, adding that Crittenden's tone "helps proves Seeger's points."

Finally - or maybe not - the Herald's page-one splash on Monday was "HARVARD HOOLIGANS," subheaded "Cops vow crackdown on rowdy, drunken fans." On page four, reporter Tom Farmer tells the sordid tale of drunken fans near the Harvard-Yale game on Saturday, much of it stemming from a decision by the Boston police to grant to Harvard's student union a one-day liquor-and-entertainment license for student tailgating.

Monday's Boston Globe ran a short inside story by correspondent Michael Busack on the same incident that identified two of those who were arrested as Yale students and five as Harvard students. That turned out, uh, not to be the case: today the Globe ran a correction - not yet online - saying that the two Yale students weren't actually arrested and the five Harvard students weren't actually Harvard students. Never mind.

No correction in today's Herald, which didn't identify the Yale students, and didn't specifically say the other five were Harvard students - even though the entire story reeked of ... well, what was that front-page head again? HARVARD HOOLIGANS!

Still, this story from today's Crimson shows that Harvard deserves plenty of blame for what happened on Saturday. Here's the best part:

But Undergraduate Council President Matthew W. Mahan '05 blamed the ban on kegs for the extent of hard liquor consumption. He said he never told Evans that students would only be drinking beer.

That's right. If only the kids had been chugging beer instead of Jack Daniel's, everything would have been just fine.

And I believe the ball is now back in Harvard's court.

RATHER ODD. Let's see. Dan Rather made a fool of himself over the phony Bush National Guard documents because of a report he did for 60 Minutes. That incident has made CBS the laughingstock of television news, which is really saying something. So Rather is going to step down as anchor of the CBS Evening News in March - and keep right on working as a correspondent for 60 Minutes. Is everything clear? And what is the frequency, Kenneth?


Anonymous said...

RATHER ODDAnd what is the frequency, Kenneth?I love a good classical allusion. Thanks Dan.

At least Rather is going to be *reporting* instead of presenting the work of others in the future?

-- Bill R

Anonymous said...

You might do well to remember that the guy who accosted Rather, and said, "What's the frequency Kenneth" is the same guy who, some time later, shot an NBC employee to death outside the Today Show studios. That's the frequency, dumbass.

Anonymous said...

Here are some REM lyrics from "What's the Frequency Kenneth?"

"I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed."

Tell the editorial writers at the Phoenix that this is how I feel after reading their blather each week.

Anonymous said...

Something wrong with shooting an NBC employee? I thought the only crime at NBC was Matt Lauer's hair.

Gary McGath said...

Rather will be doing what he does best -- inventing news.

Anonymous said...

Arrogant a__holes from TWGU. Stop the presses! (I particularly enjoyed the Crimson story of the future State Dept. employees from New Canaan and Darien who were busted for cocaine). Party on, Garth!

Anonymous said...

In other news, Harvard's facilities expansion into Allston and Rather's contemporaneous decision to leave his ego to Harvard Medical School have been dismissed as "mere coincidence" by spokesmen...