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Herald bombshell: Boston Phoenix used to run escort ads

Wow, the newly invigorated Boston Herald is really punching up these days: Yesterday, it ran a shocking expose on how a newspaper that's been dead for six years, its archives now stored at Northeastern, used to run lots of ads for escort services.

Now that America is woke to the plight of human trafficking after the scandal embroiling Robert Kraft and his trips to the Orchids of Asia Spa, should Northeastern University come clean about a dirty little secret hidden deep within its archives?

Woke? Dirty little secret? Is the Herald writer the one person in Boston who never saw the Phoenix's "Adult" section?

One can only hopes he next turns his eyes inward, to the days when the editors at the Hearst paper in Boston (part of that proud Herald heritage) would ask their police reporters "is it dark out there?" about victims of violent crimes to determine if their attacks merited attention in print.

In the meantime, here's the Herald story, but you'll need a Herald subscription to read it.

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Comments

HER E-MAILS!

This is some weapons-grade whataboutism here. Yes the "adult" ads WERE sleasy. Yes the Phoenix MADE a lot of money on them.

So they are upset about archives? Really? I guess that is consistent with the current war on Facts, History, and Data, and anything that documents Reality.

Sigh.

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The owner was well known for being 'progressive' . Go figure.Times certainly change.

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But to frame it as "a dirty little secret," when everybody knew about it? And to make it sound like Northeastern's somehow engaged in a coverup? The writer was trying too hard (or maybe his editors were).

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I used to see multipage adult ads sections/inserts other free alternative weeklies in other cities.

At one Ivy, you'd see indoor free paper stands in uni buildings with the paper taken, but a large percentage of the adult sections pulled out and left behind.

I recall these included "escort" sections, labeled as such. Also, ads for strip clubs, phone sex ads, and personals classifieds before CraigsList. I don't recall whether they had "massage" place ads.

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Backpage started out as part of Village Voice Media.

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The Boston Herald used to run ads for massage parlors and strip clubs. Not sure about escort services, but I wouldn't be at all surprised.

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Employing Howie Carr is dirtier than a strip mall hand job.

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Are we talkin' King Arthur's ?

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Yeah, but you have to admit, Howie is hilarious .

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Not sure why you think a row of small retailers is especially dirty.

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A more accurate headline wouldn't fit your narrative, NU honors paper that trafficked in sex-slavery. There is no bombshell in reporting that the Boston Phoenix ran ads for escorts which were in most cases prostitutes controlled by pimps. Everyone knows that ugly history. The bombshell is that in the #metoo era, far-left Northeastern University would choose to not only honor a company that survived on the backs (literally) of sex-slaves, but denigrates those victims today as willing "romantic mates." As we tear down monuments to those who trafficked in slavery, let's make sure there is no honor in sex-slavery either. Well done, Herald. More of this, please.

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They didn't "honor" anybody.

They accepted an archive of possibly historically interesting documents that otherwise might have just wound up in the trash (isn't that what happened to the Herald archives when they moved from Wingo Square?). That's hardly the same as giving Mindich an honorary degree. And it's what libraries do all the time.

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Archdiocese molestation scandal, before Globe Spotlight?

That alone is worth archiving. And they had some other noteworthy reporting, some of it by Dan Kennedy.

It's historical record, and important to archive properly.

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Kristen Lombardi, specifically, wrote the first news account related to the scandal in March, 2001, about ten months before the first Spotlight story (which is not to take away from the amazing work the Globe reporters did to advance the story, but, no, they were not first with it).

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I'm picturing Kristen today telling someone that she had the scoop..."I coulda' been somebody! I coulda' won a Pulitzah!"

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Northeastern's Snell Library is "honoring" the Boston Phoenix by holding the newspaper's records? Okay.

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If nothing else, these archives could help solve a cold case years down the line.

Then again, you probably tossed a lot of rape kits when the victim's SSN was from out of state ...

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No way Fish was a real cop and based on my assumptions of his age, I have always figured he dodged Vietnam too.

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Just like his buddy Trump

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that he died in Vietnam. His bone spurs got infected. He's been pissed about it ever since.

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Fish is awful, but dodging Vietnam and not being a cop are two things that would make him slightly cooler in my book.

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No, seriously, explain to somebody who was born in 1983 like me why anybody should be mocked in 2019 for not going to some stupid jungle war that we lost in 1975.

Trump sucks. A reason *isn't* that he dodged Vietnam.

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So your advice is to destroy the evidence of the kind of ads the Phoenix ran?

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you refuse to participate in the conversation in good faith.

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Except republicans are against tearing down pro slavery monuments. Like when a Trumper drove into a crowd and killed a woman because he was mad that people were against a confederate monument. Trump called those violent white supremacists "very fine people".

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Difficult, I know, but give it a shot.

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Oh, come on. I'm not saying Northeastern is conservative, but this is just silly. I went to Hampshire - now that was a far-left college. I also went to Northeastern - moderate by comparison. I suppose you consider Trump "University" mainstream?

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Before you pontificate about what an archives does, you should learn what an archives does.

Archives are the documentary by-product of human activity retained for their long-term value. They provide evidence and explanation both for past actions and current decisions. (h/t Internat'l Council on Archives).

The past actions may be ethical, unethical, or morally neutral; the records are historical evidence of those actions regardless.

The Northeastern University Archives also hold the papers of Catholic terrorist John Salvi, who held a conservative world view closer to you than to those of us who are liberal. Northeastern does not endorse Salvi or his thinking, but determined his letters are of historical significance.

Retaining the archives of an organization-- a business, NGO, university, government, fraternal org, whatever-- is not an act of "honoring" it. It's preserving historical evidence.

The Holocaust Museum in Washington is not "honoring" the administrators of Dachau by retaining their papers. The University of North Carolina is not "honoring" slave traders by retaining financial and business documents related to the trade of humans in the Americas-- the largest such archives in the United States.

I did part of my archival training program with an assistant archivist for the UN War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. He was not honoring Slobodan Milošević, nor are the Hague archives.

Desmond Tutu gave the keynote address at CITRA in 2003. This is what he said about archives:

No one mercifully can be found who ever supported apartheid. Wonderful. We are ashamed of that part of our history, but it is our history none the less. And it stands there recorded in our National Archives to remind us of the awfulnesses we survived and of which we were capable.

The records are crucial to hold us accountable. They are indispensable as deterrents against a repetition of this ghastliness and they are a powerful incentive for us to say, “Never again”. They are a potent bulwark against human rights violations.

We must remember our past so that we do not repeat it.

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IMAGE(https://www.ethnolink.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/i_love_you_by_pamba2.jpg)

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;-)

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!

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Let's just say that it seems like there are a lot of people in DC who are demonstrating a very solid understanding of the power that contemporaneous documentation has.

That's what those newspapers are, a first hand and contemporaneous record of that time. It has to be taken in context but its value should never be in dispute. Even those old escort ads in the back of the newspaper may end up being as informing to future generations as Roman graffiti is to us today.

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No mention of the days when The Herald or Record American or whatever it was used to "secretly" print "the number", a game run by organized crime?

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You should see their archive of gardening magazines. And they have pictures too.

(Thank you Victor Lundberg)

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Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Herald will follow-up this bombshell with another earth-shaking expose in the Sunday edition - urging University of Virginia to come clean about the dirty little secret of Thomas Jefferson having been a slave owner!

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Obviously this is a tie into the Globes desire to see the Kraft tape. I think some people are trying (hard) to tie Kraft in with sex trafficking.

If everyone's concern suddenly is sex trafficking, I see a good tie in with the Phoenix. Very few of you are mentioning the angle that the Phoenix may have been promoting human trafficking.

Odd

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Guy overreached with a lame analogy, then. Maybe if the Phoenix were still around, it would almost make sense, but they're not, and it doesn't.

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But it did put the Phoenix down into the gutter on how it earned money.
Some of the people who worked at the Phoenix and now pontificate on WGBH about naughty things said on Sports radio or whatever, are raging hypocrites. Being politically incorrect today is more troubling than earning money from prostitution back in the day I guess.
That said,I have no problem with the Archives being kept at Northeastern or anyplace else.
I'm sure some people who worked for the Phoenix despised those ads and just wanted to write.

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human trafficking =/= sex work

eta: for clarity, though the two overlap at times the columnist doesn't bother to do any research to support the claims of sex trafficking.

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Were double-edged swords. Both were absolutely used by human traffickers and pimps, but they were also used by sex workers who were in that line of business by choice. And for people in that latter group, it was safer than trying to pick up work on the street.

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A former friend put herself through Northeastern working for Lindsay's All-American Girls...

At the same time, a former roommate put himself through MIT as an escort but he advertised solo in Bay Windows.

Me, I was trying my best to give it away at that age, with very limited success.. despite the tips in allure and flirtation they were giving me....

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Meanwhile, the Globe is assigning their reporters to investigate stuff like why there are two CVS locations almost across the street in Coolidge Corner. And then even publish it, despite not even answering the question.

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2019/04/24/cvs-coolidge-corner

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Mommy - I don't like the Herald!

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Any ideas why this article, published in 2015, has been #3 of the "Most Read Articles" on the Globe website for most of today?

Questions linger over Tom Brady’s relationship with ‘body coach’

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/12/19/patriots-pay-business-owne...

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I don't get it myself-- few things I care less about than Brady's woo eating habits-- but it must still get clicks so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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A Loser/Incel who pays top dollar for a high end, Eastern European escort or the same Loser trolling Tinder, meeting a woman with body image issues who works payroll for a company on 128, feigning interest by texting, taking her out to dinner at Cheesecake Factory, going all the way at her place later, only to never talk to her again?

Which course of action is more immoral to all of you?

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.

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and they just told you about it...

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Mark, please try to keep on topic.

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Another reprimand from you, Adam. Never have I tried so hard to get someone to like me. I am going to work hard on this. I actually thought you might like the above post as an interesting thought experiment.

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You should take him to Cheesecake Factory! Always works for me!

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The phonebook (kids, ask your parents) used to have pages of escort services. And they were often among the biggest ad buyers, some with swanky full and half-page display ads. Them and personal injury lawyers. They were under E, and not P for prostitution, but who was dumb enough to not figure it out . . ?

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Howie used to call the Phoenix a "one hand rag".
Owner Mindich dead and while there's a "Portland Phoenix" up in Maine it only
uses the old name.

I got rid of Herald subscription and now it's behind a paywall just like the Fenway Gazette.

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though it could return:

Publisher folds Portland Phoenix but hopes ads for legal pot can revive it (Portland Press Herald)

It was the last survivor, after the deaths of the Worcester, Boston, and Providence Phoenix papers, as well as WFNX radio and Stuff magazine.

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Was there a person left that didn't know this?

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Everyone stuffed that section back into the box.

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Not everybody...

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A grasp at ratings and page hits.

The Phoenix was not the only newspaper or magazine in those days that carried questionable advertisements for various escort services.

Dirty Little Secret? This is a move to try to get a historical archive wiped off the face of the earth. This is the same mentality that wants to white-wash (or choose what ever politically correct color suits you) pretty much all kinds of history, lovable or hate-able.

We should also destroy all news articles on Sacco and Vanzetti case because its anti-Italian, or maybe the Rosenberg Trial because its anti-Jewish.

Let's also remove all mention of Mayor Kevin H. White, because ... after all... his name indicates white privilege, right?

One has to wonder if Russian infiltration was limited to just Presidential Elections.

This level of political correctness runs a risk of eliminating history, good and bad, including important items such as the Holocaust of WWII. After all that's way too violent a subject to even discuss right?

Stop. Just... stop.

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So Adam, why do you hate the Herald? Would you prefer a one newspaper town? That wouldn't be world class.

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Bwahahah!

Um, what? Criticizing the framing of exactly one article is just that - who said anything about wanting the Herald to die? That would be stupid, like bringing up the business practice of a long dead newspaper to complain about the treatment of a horndog sports-team owner.

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Did you read the article Adam?

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Glad I could clear that up for you.

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Why?

Why was the article written? Who does it benefit? Or specifically, who was it meant to attack?

From my reading, this was a swipe at Dan Kennedy. Someone at the Herald has an axe to grind with Dan Kennedy.

I hate to be a cynic, but I find that with the media (including social media) often what is written bears little relation to what the writer's intent.

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Having read ALL THREE* articles/columns, it seems to me that it might be Northeastern as an institution that is the target, for whatever reason.

*Each by a different reporter/columnist, yet the writing is uniformly cringe-worthy. Favorite example, from Casey Sherman:

Now that America is woke to the plight of human trafficking after the scandal embroiling New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

So nobody in America thought human trafficking was bad before Robert Kraft?

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I mean, they can do coverage of Kraft on their own, peddling anything from the arrest being entrapment to attacking the video surveillance. Why come down on Northeastern, except to give cover to something else?

I am reminded of another Herald story from years past. They did some work on Vinny Marino, his relationship to Mayor Menino, and also his relationship with organized crime. The point was show Vinny that it is not wise to threaten a reporter (in this case, a writer from the Parkway Transcript, which at the time was owned by the Herald's owners) by embarrassing him and his best friend.

I put my money on the true target being Kennedy, but I could be wrong.

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Dan Kennedy has repeatedly attacked the current Herald ownership (recently calling DigitalFirst Media "the worst of the bottom-feeding newspaper chains"), so there's that. On the other hand, he's hardly the only media commentator to do so. We'll see if the Herald starts publishing stories unflattering to others....

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First, it should be noted it was a column, not a news story, since I do see a difference.

More importantly, there was definitely an attempt to show that Kennedy's views on the Kraft story is hypocritical based on his relative silence on the business model of his former employer. The other articles are either people piling on or an attempt to stir the pot more.

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Which is a classic example of groupthink in journalism.

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which also posts a statement from the Dean of Libraries at Northeastern

https://twitter.com/dankennedy_nu?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp...

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I'm not sure about today, but at least in the early-mid 2000s, even upscale, highbrow Boston Magazine had these kinds of advertisements in the back. I'm not sure it's fair to single out the Phoenix here.

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