Sun editorial page led McLaughlin damage control efforts

Today’s front-page Boston Globe story, McLaughlin raised money for Murray, employees say. Fund-raising may have been illegal; worries kept lieutenant governor awake on night of crash, contains some fascinating revelations. For instance, Lt Governor Tim Murray’s worry/anger-induced sleeplessness in response to the revelations about McLaughlin may have contributed to the Lt Governor dozing at the wheel and crashing his car on November 2. But the most startling thing from today’s Globe story was this about what the Globe now calls “the Sun of Lowell”:

A week before the Globe story that disclosed McLaughlin’s salary, McLaughlin told Murray that the Globe was preparing an article and outlined his plan to counter the bad news by getting a political consultant to write a favorable article about McLaughlin’s career.

A few days after the Globe story, consultant Michael Goldman wrote a column in The Sun of Lowell that glowingly described McLaughlin as “a warrior from the old school.’’ Goldman acknowledges that McLaughlin asked him to write the column.

Goldman, of course, was brought in by the Sun to replace columns written by John Edward (who now posts his columns on this site) and UML’s Bob Forant. I doubt John or Bob ever used their columns to do damage control for old friends – they actually used the space to share substantive ideas and not advance anyone’s agenda. Perhaps that’s why they were dismissed from the paper.

Unfortunately for McLaughlin, it doesn’t seem that Goldman’s damage control piece in the award-winning Sun editorial page did the trick because the Globe story and its contents make it clear this controversy won’t fade soon.

5 Responses to Sun editorial page led McLaughlin damage control efforts

  1. Michael Luciano says:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED at this hackery by a political consultant in the Sun’s Op-Ed page!

    Seriously though, this is pretty bad.

  2. Bob Forrant says:

    Why am I not surprised! A recent editorial that would not pass the cheating rules at UMass Lowell goes along with this Globe revelation. When was x’ed off the Sunday Sun pages a while ago MR. Campanini made it quite clear to me that in his words me and my ilk were no longer welcome on the pages of the Sunday Sun because I had the nerve to express opinions in the research pieces I prepared once a month. I guess had I put out a ‘column for hire’ sign and agreed to do the worst kind of fake writing for the sacred few things would’ve been just wonderful. Only problem is I was not in the Sun’s pocket or the pocket of its friends – why I even tweaked my own employer, UMass Lowell, on occasion. And, I have always signed my name to anything I’ve written, no made up names on local blogs, no fake names on the Topiks page. So, do I think Mr. C and Mr Goldman will be taken to the newspaper woodshed for this latest attempt at fiction writing that attempts to pass for journalism – nope. And, do I think Mr Goldman will get a timeout – nope. And, do I think that I will be invited back to contribute to the Sun on a monthly basis – absolutely yes when the new Rep. darling Mr. Newt gets into a 36 waist pant!

  3. Shawn says:

    Goldman doesn’t write editorials for the Sun.. his is a syndicated opinion column (runs in the Globe as well.) I think we know the difference between columnists and editorials. He doesn’t speak for the Sun.

    I agree he should go.. not only because he is now shown to write pieces for hire, but also because he was brought on as an obvious attempt to pander to the left.

    Maybe its just hard to find a writer on that side that isn’t under the control of the Dem party players.

    I do join in the call to remove him from the paper.. or at least add a warning label that his pieces are under the control of the political party machine.

  4. Margie A-B says:

    Goldman is usually pretty savvy, so I’m not sure how he allowed himself to portray McLaughlin as a good guy, even if it was only a propos of how he ran the Chelsea Housing Authority and not the other highly questionable, if not illegal things that came out after that Lowell Sun column. But I do think that, if Goldman were really in the tank, he would not have raised the issue of the Hatch Act, which McLaughlin appears to have violated and, I gather, is now under investigation.It might even have been Goldman’s writing about the Hatch Act bar to political activities that prompted the Globe’s continuing its investigation.

  5. DickH says:

    John Edward, who I mention in this post, sent an email saying that he tried to comment but ran into some technical difficulties. He included his comment in the email so I’m posting it here

    Actually, it was sharing substantive ideas and not advancing one person’s agenda that got me in trouble with The Sun. Here is a quick synopsis of what happened.

    I had an agreement to write a series of columns on the three ballot questions in the 2010 state election, as all three involved economic issues. The first of those columns was also the first column submitted under the new regime – James Campanini had assumed editorial control over Sunday’s Opinion and Commentary pages where my columns appeared. He rejected my column stating he would not publish something “that might end up being totally different from The Sun’s own endorsement on the issue.”

    I responded by having the temerity to suggest that Mr. Campanini trust his readership to be able to distinguish between the paper’s editorial position and an opinion piece. Mr. Campanini put me in my place by declaring, in his own words, “You are not the conscience of The Sun, I am.”

    I am now happily sharing substantive ideas on In fact, that column on ballot question 1 was my first contribution to this web site. Contrary to Mr. Campanini’s assertion that his paper would offer analysis that “will be more in depth than what you can provide,” I think you will find my column offered information and analysis unlike anything that appeared in The Sun.

    What bothers me to this day is that because of one person’s agenda the Lowell Sun is denying their readership of my modest (and unpaid) contributions, but more importantly the wonderful insights that Professor Forrant offered for years.