Boston Herald Investigates the Boston Globe’s Investigation, Part CCXLV

The Herald follows up on the Globe's valet parking story in an amusingly predictable way.

The Boston Herald once again showed its talent for investigative reporting on the Boston Globe … ‘s investigative reporting.

The Globe had a front page story Wednesday about Lisa Saunders, a member of the family that owned the Park Plaza Hotel who finagled herself an unused valet parking space outside the Park Plaza Office Building, where she would leave her Cadillac for hours at a time. It was an entertaining (if small-scale) effort to afflict the comfortable made more entertaining for the reader when the Globe disclosed that Saunders filed a police report complaining about the way the reporter confronted her on the street. “She was startled by his extremely aggressive manner and found it particularly upsetting that he knew her full name,”  the police report said. The Globe reporter denied that he’d made physical contact with her or behaved inappropriately in his attempt to interview her.

Enter the Boston Herald, gadfly to the Globe, afflicter of the afflicter of the comfortable, whose headline this morning is as amusing as it is entirely predictable. “Boston hotelier’s daughter ‘distraught’ at ambush.” In a story containing half a sentence about the actual topic of the Globe’s investigation, Herald reporter Richard Weir quotes the same police report, which describes the way Globe journalist Sean P. Murphy confronted her. (The police made no follow-ups in the matter.) The Herald interviewed Saunders’s father, who offered comment, but the story doesn’t actually contain any substantive information about the he-said she-said that the Globe didn’t itself disclose. Well, it does contain one great quote from Murphy:

“Her version of events is a fabrication. It didn’t happen,” Murphy said. “She fabricated and made up the police report. I introduced myself in a low-key manner and asked her questions and she left. She lied about what happened on that public sidewalk on a busy afternoon.”

There’s a warm comfort in knowing that when the Boston Globe runs a report, the Boston Herald will run a follow-up focusing only on any potential journalistic malpractice in the Globe’s report. Sometimes they ask perfectly sensible questions. Sometimes, as in cases where they just re-report the Globe’s own disclosures, its just a knee-jerk impulse to take a dig at their rival.