Herald to Finneran: Suck It Up, Nancy
Where to begin? If you missed it — and the only way you could have is if you don’t read the morning papers or you’ve recently suffered acid burns to your eyes — the Herald has quite an interesting cover today.
At first, I thought the picture of Tom Finneran — the former Massachusetts speaker of the house turned WRKO morning show host — was nothing more than lazy, childish paparazzi fun. That is, I thought the Herald caught him picking his nose. Oh, if only it were so. Instead, Boston Daily’s favorite ball busters captured Finneran crying while begging to keep his legal career afloat during a disbarment hearing.
OK, the Herald loves to bash Finneran, and he was sobbing, so that’s pretty much a lay-up for those guys. But what I found laughably ugly and mindless, even for the Herald, was the tease to a sidebar on page 6: “Can Guys Cry Too?”
Considering this isn’t the Antebellum South, I’m not sure why’d you’d bother asking that question these days. But ask it they did. Which was bad enough. Then they endeavored to answer it, which is where things got (more) absurd. Referencing Finneran’s performance from yesterday, and Mitt Romney’s on Meet the Press from Sunday, the Herald set out to find “experts” to weigh in on the flood of man-tears that so obviously threaten our once stable Republic.
Tobe Berkovitz, interim dean of Boston University’s College of Communication, said it’s acceptable for men to shed tears these days, “but you have to be judicious both where, how and why you cry.”
The story, titled “Experts: Men’s tears no cryin’ shame,” only cited Berkovitz. Last we checked, that would be a singular expert, not experts, and an interim one at that. Still, who am I to judge the world of higher education? Those guys have been on such a roll lately that you’d be crazy not to let them blabber about blubbering. (The piece did mention a study done by Penn State University, which stated that it’s now more acceptable for men to cry than women. Maybe that’s what the paper meant by experts. It’s unclear, though, since that bit of info was a mere one line at the end of the story and failed to go into specifics.)
Of course, the real point here is that the Herald’s story didn’t seek to absolve Finneran of violating some unwritten, antiquated rule of machismo. By simply asking the question, regardless of the answer, the paper was indicting him (and Romney and Ed Muskie and anyone else who dares sob). And not very subtly, either.
But hey, maybe this could become a minor industry for the tabloid. Next, perhaps, the Herald will address other pressing, age-old questions, among them “does wearing pink make you gay?”