Published November 4, 2010
Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
Even in the euphoria of his 16th straight victory Tuesday night, Democratic Rep. Barney Frank took on “the media” and the Boston Herald. “Massachusetts has reaffirmed the complete political irrelevance of the Boston Herald,” he said to cheering supporters.
“There was no limit to the bias and vitriol they unleashed, and it had no impact. So good for Massachusetts.” (The comment comes at the 3:48 mark of this video.)
Indeed, in Barney’s opinion the Herald was too frank. Take the “news story” printed Oct. 21, in which a reporter calls the congressman “panic-stricken” after he lent $200,000 to his own campaign. (As Universal Hub noted then, the Herald ran that story on its front page — instead of the politically explosive statement from a strip-search victim who condemned Republican Jeff Perry, the 10th congressional candidate.)
Frank won re-election by a margin of 11 percentage points.
In a two-byline story today, Herald publisher Pat Purcell and editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen declare a war of words with “Mr. Congeniality” for the next two years.
After weeks of attempting to keep his basic nastiness and contempt for voters in general and the media in particular in check, Frank could finally let loose. Oh sure, the Herald and then Fox News were his main targets, but, let’s face it, Barney isn’t what you would call a man of great personal warmth and charm.
Columnist Margery Eagan says Frank finally lost her vote — and respect — after 30 years:
What, does he not own a mirror? Is he incapable of introspection? Has he never seen YouTube’s collection of his best TV hissy fits?
Barney seemed to have forgotten: He won. Big. And he was lucky he did.
The contrast between a nasty, bitter Frank and his grateful, graceful opponent, Sean Bielat, could not have been more stark.
So who needs to lighten up — Barney Frank or the Boston Herald?