Globe backers on NY Times: 'Shame on them'

By 
Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Apr. 24, 2009

Supporters of the Boston Globe and its hundreds of workers in and outside of the newsroom angrily denounced the New York Times Company on Friday and warned that the Globe's demise would disemploy hundreds of people at a time of recession.

Hundreds of members of the Boston Newspaper Guild and other supportive unions gathered at the foot of Boston's Faneuil Hall, waved signs reading "Save the Boston Globe" and "Preserve Free Speech" and warned that the region would lose an institution should the newspaper shutter its doors.

The Globe's parent company, The New York Times, has threatened to close down the paper, which like other major dailies has been losing money, unless budget demands are met. The threat, said Dan Totten, head of the Globe's union, "is unacceptable."

At the rally, mounted speakers blared patriotic ballads like "My Country 'tis of Thee" and "America the Beautiful" as attendees, including some from nurses and electrical workers unions, cheered on Globe employees. Two local city councilors, members of organized labor, the artistic director of the Boston Ballet and one prominent out-of-town journalist joined the Globe employees.

"Boston would lose some of its distinction as the Hub," said Dorothy Clark, a veteran copy editor at the Globe, during the Faneuil Hall rally. She and other union members voiced concerns over potential job losses in the advertising department, the mailroom, and the printing and delivery departments.

Clark also took a shot at the Globe's cross-town competitor, saying, "Would the Herald become even more irrelevant than it already is without its only competition?"

A few Globe newsroom employees dotted the crowd, including State House bureau member Matt Viser and photographer Pat Greenhouse.

As Globe union head Dan Totten was speaking, a passerby yelled out, "Stop being so liberal!" When one passerby shouted about the Globe's lack of coverage of "tea parties" organized by anti-tax activists nationwide, Totten responded, "This is the tea party."

When Globe reporter Brian Mooney said "shame on the New York Times Company," the crowd responded with a chant, "Shame on them." Mooney blasted Times Co. executives for taking bonuses while workers were being laid off, and he mocked their recent decision to sell the corporate jet.

"They lose the corporate jet and they want us to lose all our sick days," he said. "Hey, that's not fair."

Boston City Council President Michael Ross told the News Service that, while he supports the Globe, "There isn't much we can do beyond raising our voices, using our freedom of speech to say that this is not good for the city." Ross, along with Council Charles Yancey, were the only elected officials to speak at the rally.

An official from the office of U.S. Rep. Edward Markey told the crowd that Markey "supports your cause."

Reporter editor's note: Adam Gaffin from Universal Hub provides more first-hand reporting on the Globe rally along with photos.