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Should Boston newspapers mention Aaron Hernandez sexuality story? 04.24.17 at 5:08 pm ET
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Neither major Boston daily newspaper has reported on the Aaron Hernandez sexuality story. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Neither major Boston daily newspaper has reported on the Aaron Hernandez sexuality story. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Information about the most lurid portion of the Aaron Hernandez saga can’t be found in the pages of the Boston Globe or Boston Herald. In order to read about it, one must head to New York, where it was plastered on the covers of both tabloids over the weekend.

On Kirk & Callahan last week, Boston-based investigative journalist Michele McPhee first reported how Hernandez’s sexuality may tie into the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting. Citing law enforcement sources, McPhee said Hernandez carried on an intimate relationship with a male high school classmate from Connecticut. Lloyd, who was engaged to the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, knew about the romance.

“There was a relationship with somebody from his high school years,” she said. “That may have provided –– and this was one of the investigative theories in the beginning –– because they got information from Ernest Wallace that perhaps –– and remember, Ernest Wallace was the guy who ditched the gun –– they had information from him that one of the motives is Odin Lloyd used a derogatory term for gay people in front of Aaron Hernandez and that Odin Lloyd had knowledge because of this relationship he had with the man in Connecticut.”

On Friday, McPhee published a story in Newsweek outlining the theory. In it, she writes that one of the three notes Hernandez left in his cell before he hanged himself last week was addressed to his prison boyfriend. The Daily Mail also posted its own piece about the letter and identified the alleged lover.

The New York Daily News and New York Post both picked up on these reports. We’ve covered the story at WEEI, because it’s currently one of the hottest topics on our airwaves.

A judge ruled Monday the Hernandez family will receive copies of his suicide notes, so perhaps the truth about the prison letter will come out. In the meantime, it’s worth examining the legitimacy of the reports regarding his sexuality, and whether the Boston papers are right to ignore them.

Why is there doubt about sexuality reports?

It’s safe to say the Daily Mail doesn’t have a sterling reputation. The tawdry British tabloid recently paid Melania Trump almost $3 million in a libel settlement and was banned on Wikipedia as an “unreliable source.”

Typically, editors need more than the Daily Mail before they green-light stories. That’s where McPhee comes in. A former police bureau chief for the Daily News and Boston Herald, she’s plugged into law enforcement agencies across the region. But so far, she’s the only non-Daily Mail journalist who’s reported on this. A source tells me journalists at the Globe and Herald are digging into it, but haven’t come up with the same information. In an email, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca said the paper “doesn’t report rumors.” Boston Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan declined comment.

There’s also the theory, perpetuated by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, that police officials are trying to smear Hernandez in order to distract from any possible investigations into his suicide attempt.

What’s believable about the sexuality angle?

Since McPhee is attaching her name to the story, it’s apparent Hernandez’s alleged bisexuality is being discussed in law enforcement circles as a potential motive for the Lloyd murder. In the Newsweek piece, McPhee says the disgraced ex-NFL star’s high school friend was even forced to testify in front of a grand jury.

She’s also been right about other aspects of the suicide. McPhee reported the tidbit on Wednesday about Hernandez writing “John 3:16″ on his forehead in red marker before he died. In a tweet Monday, she said the lawyer for Hernandez’s alleged partner in prison confirms there was a note in the cell addressed to his client.

Rumors about Hernandez’s sexuality have apparently circulated among police officials for a couple of years. Retired police sergeant Dic Donohue, who was injured in the Boston Marathon gun battle, tweeted Sunday he knew about it “for a while.”

There’s also the curious absence of information about the third suicide note. State officials confirmed last week Hernandez left three handwritten letters in his cell. The Globe and Herald both cite law enforcement sources who say Hernandez addressed two of those messages to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and four-year-old daughter, Avielle. McPhee and the Daily Mail have those details as well. Neither Boston paper, however, references the third letter in any story.

If the unidentified note contains sensitive information, such as a look into Hernandez’s sexuality, perhaps the state would hold off on revealing it. The alleged boyfriend is reportedly under suicide watch, which would likely further complicate matters.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Boston Globe, Boston Herald,
Boston Globe columnist chastises Donald Trump supporters for their poor grammar 04.12.17 at 4:42 pm ET
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Despite a series of missteps, Donald Trump's ardent supporters remain loyal to him. (Alton Strupp/Courier-Journal via USA Today Network)

Despite a series of missteps, Donald Trump’s ardent supporters remain loyal to him. (Alton Strupp/Courier-Journal via USA Today Network)

Northeastern liberals are often accused of being an elitist bunch. A Boston Globe columnist deciding to chastise others, and Donald Trump supporters in particular, for their poor grammar only feeds into the stereotype.

Globe columnist Scot Lehigh published a piece Wednesday titled, “Just say what you mean, and say it right.” In it, he expresses his reverence for a British man named the “Grammar Vigilante,” who walks around Bristol at night and changes grammatically incorrect street signs. After three paragraphs, Lehigh shifts his focus to those in the U.S. who regularly violate grammar rules, beginning with the Trumpkins:

“First up: a frequent mistake by those ardent acolytes of King Donald the First. Given the passion of their self-styled patriotism, I know it’s unrealistic to expect them to put grammar first,” he writes. “Still, in the interests of insult efficacy, a remedial reminder may be in order.

“Many of the e-mails they send me start this way: ‘Your an idiot. Or: ‘Your a moron.’ Those are withering put-downs indeed. Still, the otherwise sharp and piercing point of an e-mail arrowhead is dulled a little if its author has been confounded by the ever-so-vexing your/you’re distinction.”

As somebody who also receives a lot of nasty notes from Trump voters –– an emailer this week called me a “teenage punk libtard,” which has a nice ring to it –– I understand Lehigh’s point. It’s difficult to take criticism seriously when it comes from somebody who appears incapable of passing the third grade. But it’s important to note that folks on both sides of the aisle commit whopping grammatical errors. While Trump tweets lies about President Barack Obama ordering the authorities to “tapp” his phones, comedian Chelsea Handler makes fun of his family’s “jeans.” There’s plenty of stupidity to go around.

Lehigh doesn’t limit his scorn to Trump supporters, by the way. He also admonishes waiters who call his meal selection “excellent” and say “no problem” when he asks for grated cheese. When you’re serving Scott Lehigh, apparently it’s best to keep the compliments and pleasantries to yourself.

As valid as Lehigh’s arguments may be, there’s no way to write about grammar usage without sounding like a snobby dweeb. Articles like these guarantee he’ll continue to be slammed with poorly written hate mail. In fact, it seems as if he’s asking for it.

Read More: Boston Globe, Donald Trump,
Boston Globe early edition front page says Falcons won the Super Bowl 02.06.17 at 2:24 pm ET
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Folks who get the Boston Globe early edition delivered to their house were greeted with an alternative fact on the front-page Monday. The newspaper declared the Falcons victorious in Super Bowl LI over the Patriots, calling it a “bitter end.” The accompanying photograph shows Tom Brady on his knees while Falcons cornerback Robert Alford is returning an interception for a touchdown to put Atlanta up 21-0.

The folks who put together the Globe weren’t the only people to count the Patriots out Sunday. Marl Wahlberg left NRG Stadium early and President Donald Trump bailed on his own Super Bowl party. TV yakkers Skip Bayless and Max Kellerman delivered premature hot takes as well.

The losing team’s Super Bowl shirts are usually donated to international aid organizations. No word on what the Globe plans to do with its inaccurate newspaper covers.

Read More: Boston Globe, New England Patriots,
A message from WEEI’s program director: ‘You can’t handle the truth!’ 08.11.10 at 5:09 pm ET
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From Jason Wolfe, WEEI program director

Glad to see the Herald and now the Globe correct their mistakes with regard to their recent stories about WEEI’€™s ratings. I know they’€™re going to write a lot about sports radio and its ratings, and they should, because Boston is a sports cr…azy town! Just be accurate about it.

If they mess it up again, does anybody think I can pull off Nicholson in A Few Good Men? “You can’t handle the truth!”

Excerpt from Boston Globe, August 10, 2010: Clarification: In a Page One story in yesterday’€™s paper about WEEI and WBZ-FM, a reference to ‘€œProvidence listeners’€™’€™ being included in WEEI’€™s ratings should have made clear that it meant Boston-area listeners who tune in to WEEI’€™s Providence affiliate (103.7 FM). Arbitron does include those listeners in measuring total audience share for the Boston market, and using those numbers WEEI finished first with an 8.3 share.

Here is the direct link to the Globe correction.

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