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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Great expectations

John Henry didn't just fall off the soybean truck. The chances of him messing with the Globe's Red Sox coverage are nil.

And it's highly unlikely that in today's deadline every millisecond media society any effort to muffle the Globe's voice with a Red Sock would escape notice. Just ask the denizens of Fargo Street, whose main focus these days is the tweak the powers-that-be, or at least the ones that don't meet their editorial or ideological standards.

So we can assume the glowing portrait of Henry that adorns today's Globe front will quickly fade and that the focus will turn to a deeper look at the life, times and business ventures of a man who is now on the threshold of owning two of the city's most iconic, talked about businesses.

Hopefully that will include a retrospective on the Red Sox' role as corporate citizen which, on the surface, appears to be commendable. Except for some interesting deals surrounding the leasing of public land.

A deal first reported by a student journalism program.

There's a lot more to the Red Sox than a beloved sports institution. It is a billion-dollar for-profit organization valued as the second-most profitable in Major League Baseball. It is a significant taxpayer, with valuable real estate, an expansive payroll and a thriving refreshments and memorabilia business.

It's safe to say the Herald will flood the zone to root out anything untoward in this (and other) Henry ventures. What will be telling is whether the Globe will be as aggressive.

My guess is yes they will. But the point is there will be a lot more at stake in Henry's Globe ownership than the fate of Dan Shaughnessy and fawning coverage of the Old Towne Team.

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