What’s news in the New Year? Plan on these stories dominating Boston’s media landscape.
The Diceman boreth
While coverage of the Red Sox is always excessive (except for the sweet deals they get from the politicians, but whatever), the arrival of Daisuke Matsuzaka will make things even worse than usual. Matsuzaka is a three-fer for the local press: he’s a talented pitcher who could carry Boston to the World Series; he hails from a culture most Americans still view as weird/exotic; and he’s got a hot wife. (Kudos to the Herald’s Track Girls, who are already covering the latter subject with aplomb.)
Look for the following angles in Matsuzaka coverage next year: stories on his pitching performance; stories on his adjustment to American culture; stories on the cultural and technical differences between Japanese and American baseball; stories on how the Japanese media are covering Matsuzaka’s Red Sox tenure; stories on how the Red Sox are catering to Japanese fans; stories on Matsuzaka’s home; stories on Tomoyo Shibata, a/k/a Mrs. Matsuzaka, as she hangs out with other players’ wives, goes shopping, looks for decent sushi, etc.; stories on Matsuzaka’s interpreter. If we’re really lucky, WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan will trot out some nasty anti-Japanese slur after a poor Matsuzaka performance, thereby subjecting us to stories on the incident in question; stories on anti-Japanese bias in the US; stories on how the Japanese media is covering the incident in question; etc. All in all, serious Matsuzaka fatigue should set in by mid June.
Moderately risky prediction: the Track Girls create and exacerbate a nasty feud between Shibata and Shonda Schilling.
Patrick’s hard landing
If Kerry Healey were governor-elect right now, she’d be facing intense scrutiny too. But Deval Patrick’s carefully cultivated image as a political superhero — one capable of returning government to the people, changing the culture on Beacon Hill, and whipping up a mean scallop risotto in his spare time — will give an extra edge to the quest for discrepancies between the real and the ideal. Patrick’s much-discussed speech at the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, in which he urged the media to lay aside its cynicism, was a pre-emptive salvo in this pending war. The mainstream press isn’t his only problem, however; Patrick’s staunch supporters are also capable of noting that his actions don’t always match his lofty rhetoric. (“No, I really do not like the fact that wealthy individuals and corporate sponsors are being asked to kick in $50,000 a piece for the big proposed inaugural bash,” Charley Blandy of the pro-Patrick blog Blue Mass Group wrote recently. “We should have a damn good party. It should be statewide. It should be as inclusive as possible. It just shouldn’t be paid for in $50,000 chunks by those who doubtless have business before the state.”) Factor in inevitable tussling with Senate president Robert Travaglini and House Speaker Sal DiMasi, and Patrick may discover that governing makes campaigning look easy.
Moderately risky prediction: at one of Patrick’s first press conferences as governor, WBZ political analyst Jon Keller is piqued when Patrick won’t let him ask the first question. “Pipe down, Jon,” Patrick says. “Let someone else go first for a change!” Keller responds by becoming Patrick’s scourge for the next two years.
: Media -- Dont Quote Me
, Deval Patrick, Mike Barnicle, Charley Blandy, More