The Over-the-Top Coverage of Whitey BulgerPosted: July 15, 2011
The excessive coverage of the case of James “Whitey” Bulger became apparent Friday afternoon, when news outlets around Boston began to blow up with coverage of Whitey’s girlfriend, Catherine Greig, for no apparent reason.
On Wednesday, Greig – who is charged with harboring a fugitive – agreed to remain jailed while her attorney prepares further evidence to support a motion for her release (she wants to be held to the confinement of her sister’s Squantum home and wear a GPS bracelet).
On Friday, things were EXACTLY the same. But the world of Boston media didn’t see it that way.
At the conclusion of a detention hearing Wednesday, Greig’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, said his client would agree to voluntary detention, but that a motion for her release remain in consideration until he submits more evidence to support it. Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal granted the request. And it was reported by pretty much every media outlet in Boston.
That agreement was filed in writing Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Boston, as an order of voluntary detention entered by Boal. It provided nearly nothing new – only that when the defense does submit new evidence, prosecutors will have three days to file a response (who cares?).
At least a dozen reporters witnessed the events in the courtroom Wednesday morning. When they read the filing Friday, you’d think they would have recognized it as a written version of what they already saw.
Yet, here’s some of the headlines from Twitter/Webpages Friday afternoon:
- WHDH.com top of the homepage – Bulger’s girlfriend to remain held without bail
- @WBZNewsRadio BREAKING: Longtime Bulger companion ordered held without bail pending trial.
- Front page, Boston.com – Catherine Greig ordered held without bail
- Fox25’s Bob Ward – @BWard3 No Bail for #WhiteyBulger girlfriend, Catherine Greig. US Judge issues ruling. #Fox25
If this is the way they plan to do things for the coming years as Whitey and Cathy become regulars at the federal courthouse, it’s going to get awfully redundant – and confusing.