By Christopher B. Daly
It is hardly news that Whitey Bulger — accused of 19 murders and more bad acts — is a mean and vindictive guy. It is also no secret that he does not like news reporters, especially the ones who have dogged him over the years when he was running rampant in Boston, corrupting the FBI, and laughing at all of us while he lived as a fugitive.
Now that his trial is getting underway in U.S. District Court in Boston, Bulger has come up with a clever (or “cute,” as we used to say when I was a kid) way to tweak some of those reporters. Here’s how: his attorney, the otherwise honorable J.W. Carney, has listed five reporters as potential witnesses. Once they are named as witnesses, they are banned from attending regular court sessions. They can attend only the session in which they are called as a witness.
Here’s the list of reporters Bulger wants to exclude:
–Dick Lehr, my BU colleague and former Boston Globe investigative reporter, who recently published the definitive biography of Whitey.
–Gerry O’Neill, a former BU colleague and former Globie who was Dick’s co-author on Whitey.
–Shelley Murphy, a current Globe crime writer, who co-wrote a rival Whitey biography.
–Kevin Cullen, current Globe columnist and Murphy’s co-author.
–Howie Carr, Herald columnist and former wise aleck turned mean-spirited conservative, who wrote The Brothers Bulger, defining Whitey as only half of the family business, allowing him to fire away at Whitey’s brother Billy, who ruled over the Massachusetts state Senate while Whitey was getting away with
murder all sorts of mischief.
For several decades now, these five journalists have done a great public service to the people of Boston, and they deserve to be in court — in the front row.
One response to “Whitey Bulger tries to exclude certain reporters from his trial. I object!”
This conduct is a transparent ploy, but one which I am sure Carney has a ready semi-plausible justification for doing. Unfortunately, because they make good copy, mob defense lawyers, unlike corporate inside counsel, are seldom scrutinized by the media for what they do on behalf of their clients and just how closely tied they may be to the overall enterprise. And courts and bar associations are also reluctant to investigate.
These reporters uncovered one of the greatest scandals in the history of US law enforcement, although I think the media, especially outside Boston, did not focus nearly enough on Billy Bulger’s role and whether Kennedy, Dukakis, Kerry, etc should have renounced him.