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Assisting Isn't Part Of It

In my opinion, if someone wants to no longer be alive, that is up to them. 


As bizarre as it is for me to start a blog with that sentence, it’ll make sense in a short time. 


When I say the name Kevin Cullen, what does that bring to mind? To most people, it just sounds like some Boston-area Irish metro-section journalist that writes useless stories for boomers in the Boston Globe. But, for those of us who listened to the old Kirk & Callahan show on WEEI in Boston, that name is synonymous with the phrase “journalistic dishonesty.”


If you are unaware, Cullen, who is a columnist for the Boston Globe that inserted himself into the tragic events of the Marathon Bombing that occurred in Boston. How did he do this? Well, by none other than simply making stuff up. He didn’t just make stuff up, he capitalized off of the suffering of others to make himself seem like a heroic character in some kind of TV drama. Even going as far as calling a victim of the bombing his good luck charm. I could go on for hours about this, but I can’t put myself through that. I have things to do today. I suggest readers do a simple Google search and just take some time to pour through it all. It gets to a point where you stop being offended and things transform into a comedy routine. All you can ask is how the Globe didn’t figure this out immediately.

Well, Kirk Minihane exposed Cullen for the horrible person he was, and what did the Globe do? Fire the guy? Nope. They did an “internal investigation” and suspended him and basically demoted him to writing useless stories from Vermont about things that have no impact on anything. Basically, they tried to hide him until the heat was off. Why? My only theory is that he has some kind of dirt on others at the paper that he threatened to go public with if he was fired. 


Anyway, that was a while ago. Cullen has been quiet for some years now. He’s written some questionable things, but nothing to that extreme. I remember him writing something about a barber shop in Vermont, that upon investigation by a fan of Kirk Minihane, he had never visited. Not a huge story, but funny that the Globe let’s anything he writes get published without being thoroughly fact checked. 


That brings us to this morning. 


I wake up after 3 days of a fever induced haze, and find a quote tweet of the Boston Globe by Kirk Minihane with a sentence from a Cullen column. Now, I couldn’t quite access the link, because I am blocked on the platform by the Globe. Why you might ask? For simply asking if all of their articles were fact checked. Annoying yes, but not a good reason to be blocked by a major media outlet. 


My pointless grievances aside, I began the process of trying to find out what happened. Of course, the article was behind a paywall and I am NEVER going to give the Globe any kind of money, so I had to try my best to find the info. Then my guy Danny in Billerica did me a solid. He posted what I needed in screenshot form. This “Editor’s Note” was places at the bottom of a story about a Connecticut woman who was looking to pursue an assisted suicide in the state of Vermont. I’ll put it in text form so it’s easier to read for those who struggle seeing screenshots, like myself..


“The right to die has long been a controversial issue in many societies, and especially in some

religious communities. Last year, Globe reporter and columnist Kevin Cullen and photographer Jessica Rinaldi set out to chronicle Connecticut resident Lynda Bluestein on her mission to die on her own terms in Vermont, which has a "medical aid in dying" provision. Our intent was not to advocate for this issue, but to share an important perspective and a very personal, albeit wrenching,

story. Vermont's law required two witnesses to sign a form attesting that Bluestein was in a clear state of mind when she made this decision, and they could not be family members, doctors, any

beneficiaries, a nursing home owner or employee,

etc.”


. As I said off the jump, I actually am in favor of this law. If someone is old, sick and in pain and wants to end their life to end their suffering, who are we to tell them no? With that said, I would not be one of the people who would go to bat for a stranger so they could end their life. That’s neither here nor there, but the “Editor’s note goes on:


“Bluestein, with the support of her doctor, asked two people who were with her on July 10 to attest to this for her. Reporter Kevin Cullen was one of those people and he agreed to do so - a decision Cullen regrets. It is a violation of Globe standards for a reporter to insert themselves into a story they are covering. That it was intended primarily as a gesture of consideration and courtesy does

not alter that it was out of bounds.”


There’s one more paragraph to the note, but I’d like to pause here. I had to have my screen reader read this to me a few times. I couldn’t honestly believe it. I had to still be feverish and imagining this. Kevin Cullen, a troubled columnist, advocated for a woman he was covering to commit assisted suicide? Even if he wasn’t already in hot water for his Marathon Bombing lies, this is clearly grounds for an abrupt firing. No matter the relationship he developed with this woman, a “journalist” simply can’t do this. Regardless of the situation. That’s it. He’s got to be done, right? Well, it went on…


“After reviewing these details, we have concluded that this error did not meaningfully impact the outcome of this story - Bluestein died on Jan. 4 and she likely would have found another signatory in the months before then. For that reason, we chose to publish this powerful story, which includes exceptional photojournalism, while also sharing these details in full transparency.”


Holy shit. Did they really just say that?


What this paragraph boils down to is, “Ehhh. Who cares? Cullen didn’t do anything wrong. She was gonna do it anyway.” No matter your thoughts on the law itself, this is the biggest crock of rationalization horseshit I’ve ever heard, and I work in education so that’s saying a lot. 


I am almost speechless. How can an organization that claims to be a news outlet, not only support their writers who make up lies about tragedies, but encourage them to advocate for the death of the people that the same writer is covering? This is like a TV news reporter going to a scene where someone is threatening to jump off a bridge, waiting until all efforts to stop being exhausted, and then simply pushing them off and saying, “Well, they were gonna jump anyway. I just helped it along.” 


This kind of thing is gross and unheard of to say the least. Not only should Cullen be fired, if the family of the woman should sue Cullen and the Globe for reckless endangerment. They’ll probably lose, but this needs more coverage and a good round of digging through the Globe’s history by a good lawyer. 


Alas, nothing will happen. It seems the Globe doesn’t see anything wrong with what happened, so why would they do anything? It’s not like the other media outlets will cover this. They all love the Globe and will be punished for their coverage of this story. The only ones who will cover this are those who don’t need the Globe’s approval in Boston. I’m sure Kirk Minihane will talk about it on his show on Barstool Sports and perhaps a few national outlets will pick it up. But very few people in the Boston area will be enlightened about this story. 


I know anyone who reads this story probably doesn’t read the Globe anyway, but to anyone who does, I urge you to look deep into these kinds of stories. I know this blog will be tossed aside and labeled as a right-wing hit piece. That’s why I started with the fact that I am in agreement with the law. But this kind of journalistic malpractice and utter ineptitude by those in charge at the Globe can’t be tolerated. 


Hopefully, this will be the first rock to slip in what will be an avalanche of discoveries that will eventually bring down this bastion of journalistic dishonesty. 


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