Herald Too Hard On 'Fat Matt'?

Published August 11, 2010

Boston Herald cover, "Matt's Trafic Fall"

Poor Matt.

With Yachtgate (Boatgate? Watergate?) behind us, the Boston Herald feasts on new prey: Matt Amorello, the Big Dig contractor boss who failed to show up for court Monday — and posed for one of the all-time best worst police mug shots. Two consecutive covers is the minimum for a bona fide Herald nontroversy.

Media blogger John Carroll thinks the tabloid is being too hard on the guy:

Make no mistake: former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chairman and current accused drunk driver Matt Amorello is a menace to society and – to all appearances – deserves swift and harsh justice.

But the Boston Herald’s coverage of Amorello’s alleged drunken demolition derby this past weekend has been swift and excessively harsh.

Other media blogger Dan Kennedy does a fine job rounding up the coverage. WBZ analyst Jon Keller says Amorello does not deserve forgiveness. But compassion? Yes.

I don’t favor forgetting about his Big Dig blunders, they’re a part of the record. But we ought not to forget that the man is a human being, who was obviously devastated by the death that occurred on his watch and has had a terrible time of it since. At this point, Amorello-bashing is a truly cruel pastime. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I never defend the right of privacy for public figures. But what is Amorello? After the former state senator  became a scapegoat for the deadly collapse four years ago, he fell into obscurity. What do you think? Should Matt Amorello be left in peace with his sins?