The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

10 March 2006

Howie Carr, 60 Minutes, CBS, Boston, Mafia


With Book Release, Boston's Carr In MSM Spotlight

(Updated with additional Sunday Carr interview)

With Northeast-based radio talk hosts and mobsters, what's the deal this week?

Just after two New York City morning show co-hosts testified on opposite ends of a mafia trial, longtime Boston-based talker and columnist Howie Carr also finds himself in the mainstream media's spotlight.

That's because Carr, who has tracked the Hub's mob throughout his career, is riding high from the sales of The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized And Corrupted Boston For A Quarter Century, his new book.

Adding to the relevance: its key player, Whitey Bulger, is still on the run and remains a key FBI focus.

And in a weird twist, a competing book by one of Whitey's key underlings, Kevin Weeks (photo below), has also just been released.

Weeks claims he was sent by Whitey to kill Carr, WRKO-AM's afternoon talk host, but changed his mind after seeing the latter emerge from his house, daughter-in-hand. Weeks says he decided not to off him in front of the child.

Who knew mobsters could be so classy?

For 60 Minutes, that last angle proved especially tempting, inspiring a piece on both that will run Sunday evening. Amazon has also put two-and-two together, offering the books in a package deal (click the box in the right-hand sidebar for more information).

Did Ed Bradley (top photo) and the other CBS-based mainstream media folks at 60 Lefties realize they were dealing with a bona fide conservative radio talk show host? The Radio Equalizer's guess: no.

From CBS:

(CBS) The man who helped James "Whitey" Bulger, one of the FBI's most wanted criminals, to rule Boston's streets through murder, robbery and drug dealing says he also tried to silence one of the city's top newspaper and radio personalities for Bulger.

Kevin Weeks tells 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in his first interview that he had radio talker and Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr in his rifle sight but couldn't pull the trigger because Carr was with his daughter. Weeks' interview will be broadcast this Sunday, March 12, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Bulger and Weeks wanted Carr dead because the journalist wrote and spoke about their crimes constantly. After a plan to put an exploding basketball in Carr’s driveway was abandoned for fear it would harm neighbors, Weeks says, he and Bulger decided on a more direct way.

"I was down at his house...about 5:30 in the morning, across the street in a cemetery with a rifle, waiting for him to come out," says Weeks. "And he come (sic) out…between 7:15, 7:30 and he had his daughter with him. I assume it was his daughter, young girl. He was holding her by the hand, going to his car. So I had to pass on it," he tells Bradley. "I didn't want to kill him in front of his daughter."

Carr lived across from a cemetery and acknowledges the possibility that Weeks may have been there, but believes Bulger was more apt to commit such a bold crime. "It doesn’t seem like Kevin would have the stones to do it…If he said, 'Whitey was there,' well," Carr tells Bradley, "you wouldn't be interviewing me, because I'd be dead."

Wondering if Weeks is looking to pump up book sales with these "recollections", we'd tend to agree with Carr's assessment. If the Bulgers really wanted Carr dead, he'd have been long gone by now.

While this spotlight
is great for book sales and short-term radio ratings, we're unclear about its long term viability as a talk show topic.

Apart from the now-elderly, still-on-the-loose Bulger, in New York City and Boston alike, Italian and Irish mob activity is mostly a matter of history, rather than a current event.

For today's journalists, an in-depth mafia investigation would likely first require a crash-course in Russian.

UPDATE: WRKO's Pundit Review Show will feature a live interview with Carr at 8pm, which is immediately following the 60 Minutes segment. Internet streaming is available.

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order! Because this investigative work is taking an increasing amount of our time, it's needed more than ever.

Kevin Weeks, Ed Bradley photos: CBS

Disclosure: Brian Maloney has an ongoing professional relationship with WRKO-AM


  • Caller to Howie's show last night, in a nod to the "Godfather":

    "Leave the basketball. Take the

    The Boston Globe actually listed
    Carr's book at #1 on its non-fiction best-seller list last Sunday

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 10 March, 2006 03:12  

  • Brian’s Lies Watch – Day 15 Post ?19?

    The anatomy of a lie:

    1) Rush Limbaugh, on his Feb 14 radio show, in talking about the Ohio Hackett/Brown Democratic Primary, said:
    a. “And don’t forget, Sherrord Brown is black” – this was not a lie, but a mistake
    b. He then said, “There’s a racial component here, too”
    2) Rush was then informed by listeners via e-mails that Brown was not black, and was, in fact, white. Paul Hackett was white, as well
    3) Therefore, there was no “racial element” to the story at all
    4) Rush “corrected” his mistake that Brown was black, but DID NOT retract or apologize for the “racial element” remark

    He made up the “racial element” angle, obviously. This was Rush’s lie. His next lie:

    1) He said “I’m not gonna apologize, ‘cause I don’t think it’s an insult to be black”
    2) Of course, this is a lie, too, because he should be apologizing for making up the “racial component” of the story (the link on Brian’s page is about to disappear forever)

    Brian Maloney then reported on the story on Feb 20. He related the story as if the only element was the “error” Rush Limbaugh Made about Brown’s race.

    Of course, the real story was the “racial component” that Rush made up and then refused to retract.

    Hence, Brian lied as well.

    The elements of the story as I’ve stated above are incontrovertible fact.

    But don’t believe me, and don’t believe anyone else - Research for yourselves.

    By Blogger TJ, at 10 March, 2006 13:21  

  • TJ, what?

    By Blogger tradersmith, at 10 March, 2006 14:51  

  • tradersmith,

    research it - make up your own mind.

    that's "what".

    By Blogger TJ, at 10 March, 2006 15:22  

  • TJ:

    Are you STILL on this?!? Who cares! Brian obviously doesn't feel the need to correct or retract anything, so let it go.

    By Blogger RedCard, at 10 March, 2006 16:09  

  • Did Ed Bradley (top photo) and the other CBS-based mainstream media folks at 60 Lefties realize they were dealing with a bona fide conservative radio talk show host?
    What a dumb comment. I'm sure they also didn't realize they were dealing w/ a conservative when interviewing President Bush, Bill O'Reilly or any of the other conservatives they've interviewed. They just randomly book interview subjects without doing any actual research. Really Brian, at least try to land some of your cheap shots.

    By Blogger Justin, at 10 March, 2006 16:24  

  • tj, I repeat, "what?"

    What is Rush Limbaugh doing in Howie Carr's topic?

    What is the point? Drop it.

    By Blogger tradersmith, at 10 March, 2006 17:03  

  • redcard said:

    "Brian obviously doesn't feel the need to correct or retract anything"

    until he does, I won't let it go.

    By Blogger TJ, at 10 March, 2006 20:45  

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