The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 May 2005

Globe Reporter Demands Honesty

Bray's Fray

Boston Globe Staffer's Accountability Demand Could Cost Him

What would have been a quiet holiday weekend for the blogosphere, has instead been energized by a single post, on a brand new site.

It's about courage, a newspaper reporter not afraid to make waves in a stuffy, elitist atmosphere. And it proves that nothing has changed in America's newsrooms since last year's Rathergate.

How could Boston Globe technology reporter Hiawatha Bray be virtually alone in demanding Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley back up her absurd statement, that American troops were intentionally targeting journalists in Iraq?

Hiawatha Bray

(Boston Globe Technology Reporter
Hiawatha Bray, Photo Credit:

Her May 13 speech was met with near silence by guild members. So far just three, out of thousands of nationwide members, are known to have objected.

While the blogosphere's focus has been on Foley, the Radio Equalizer thinks Bray's story is just as compelling.

Why? Because he's been in the news before, when he was "outed" last year as a Bush-supporting Republican, a dangerous revelation for one who hopes to survive in an intolerant newsroom environment.

Card-carrying Kerry supporters were livid to discover Bray was posting political opinions on blogs, in support of Bush. To them it didn't matter that he's a technology columnist for the Globe, not a political reporter, his termination was demanded.

The Globe received many letters and its "ombudsman" weighed in (the same one looking into cancelling the conservative Mallard Fillmore comic strip) as well.

Bray wasn't sacked, but there's no doubt the disclosure of his Republican leanings could harm his future newspaper career prospects.

From unhappy campers at the leftist Media Matters:

A Globe spokesperson later acknowledged that Bray's postings "were inappropriate and in violation of our standards," though the spokesperson offered the impressively hair-splitting defense that "Mr. Bray is a technology reporter and did not cover the presidential campaign, other than a minor technology-related story on very rare occasions."

Oddly enough, the best defense of Bray's actions, came from the leftist "alternative" newsweekly Boston Phoenix.

I had the same problem in 1995, while working as a radio talk show host and as an entertainment reviewer, for a daily newspaper in California. At least two reporters objected to my presence in the newsroom, given my stated political positions.

Since I wasn't a city hall reporter, I didn't see the issue, nor did my editor.

In the letter posted on his aptly-named Choose Honor blog, he talks about the past loyalty he's shown to the Guild, refusing to cross the picket line during the notorious Detroit newspaper strike that began in 1995 and ended years later. That cost him his job.

Bray simply wants to know whether there is real evidence journalists are being targeted by our troops in Iraq. Can Foley back up this statement with facts?

I'm concerned that instead of answers, he will face nothing but additional hostility from a media environment obsessed with its own smug, partisan sense of superiority.


  • Bray is a tech/biz writer for the Globe, but had done some stories on the Kerry campaign (from a tech perspective). As such, his postings were inappropriate. Not his political leanings, but his postings.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31 May, 2005 10:44  

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