The Herald — Hot Off the Press!

During the buildup to Susie Castillo's unsuccessful Miss Universe bid last month, the Boston Herald ran a dozen photos of the Lawrence beauty queen. Meanwhile, socialites-cum-actresses Liz Hurley and Paris Hilton, each flashing gratuitous thigh, popped up on the revamped, racier gossip spread. To highlight unseasonably high temperatures, the Herald printed a photo of a sunbather in a thong. The next day — surprise! — it was hot again, so the paper went with a midriff-baring, short shorts-wearing Hacky Sack player.

“It's awful hard to make it look like warm weather with a photo of someone in a jacket,” says Ted Ancher, the Herald's assistant photography director, who insists the spate of saucy photos is coincidental.

Maybe so. But with Ken Chandler, the former Herald and New York Post editor brought back to tart up the paper, some staffers are distressed by its late impression of a cheeky British tabloid.

“Many of us have spoken up about certain changes at the Herald,” says Tom Mashberg, steward of the paper's union. “We'll continue to express our opinions internally.” Gayle Fee of the “Inside Track” is more direct. “There's been some concern raised about the cheesecakey photos,” she told us. “But I don't think it's any different than what you see these days in Us Weekly or People. I mean, right now, you guys have a sex issue on newsstands.” Point taken.

Blairing Error

While New York Times top editors Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd were being drummed out of the newsroom by the Jayson Blair controversy, the Boston Globe found a less painful way to purge itself of the infamous fabulist.

After the Globe discovered falsifications and instances of plagiarism in the 85 stories Blair wrote for the paper before he went to the Times, someone removed every one from its electronic archive. All but 11 he had coauthored were yanked from Lexis-Nexis, a news database. When we asked about this, Globe editor Martin Baron said he wasn't aware of the deletions, which a spokesman later blamed on a well-intentioned librarian. Baron promised that the paper would put Blair's Globe stories back online, preserving the work that launched the career of journalism's most notorious practitioner.