Parsing the Albert Arroyo Coverage

1217872147Everybody loves a story about corruption, especially when the man at the center of the controversy comes clad in a thong. But since the Globe learned that Boston firefighter Albert Arroyo was competing in bodybuilding contests while collecting a tax-free disability pension, we feel like we’ve been reading a lot of damaging pieces about the embattled department.

So we decided to count the number of stories the paper of record has dedicated to the saga.

The Globe broke the story on July 14. Since then, not counting readers’ letters to the editor or editorials, there have been 17 columns or stories about the department that mention Arroyo. To put that in perspective, the paper published only eight pieces that mentioned Manny Ramirez since July 30, the day before the trade deadline.

Adrian Walker invokes Arroyo’s name as a symbol of departmental corruption in three recent columns. Jeff Jacoby and Joan Vennochi have both written about the controversy on the opinion page. Arroyo even makes an appearance in the Sunday Ideas section from July 27 in a piece that examines how a culture of corruption can be fostered.

Our favorite tabloid has been much less invested in the story. A Google search shows that the Herald carried nine news items that mention the bodybuilding firefighter. The paper ran two editorials, and Michael Graham and Peter Gelzinis both weighed in on the controversy.

So, no, you’re not crazy. There has been a lot of ink spilled about the corruption at the Boston Fire Department, and with today’s news that the department’s most infamous “disabled” employees may have been doctor shopping, we can expect to keep reading more.

Photo from BFD website