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The irony of the proposed $200,000 loan to the Banner

An irony within the already apparent irony, even.

The Globe reports that Mayor Thomas Menino is willing to offer a $200,000 loan to the financially-troubled Bay State Banner, a weekly that focuses on the African American community and has displayed a hostility towards the mayor in recent months.

The initial irony is obvious. But so is where the money would be coming from to political observers: Boston Local Development Corp. fund, a private nonprofit administered by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

A harsh April editorial, which stated that "no self-respecting African American can vote for Menino," was based on the BRA's decision to pull back on a project the paper's publisher supported. (Others have said the editorial amounted to rhetoric.)

A Menino spokeswoman said details and timing of the loan are still being worked out.

The head of Boston University's journalism department, however, raises some ethical concerns and notes that it's "highly unusual for a government entity to loan money to a newspaper."