Globe Retrospectives on Demise of Olympic Bid Reach Opposite Conclusions

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

If you're the one deciding the contents of a newspaper, you get to have it both ways.  Case in point: two recent Boston Globe pieces on the ill-fated attempt to bring the Olympic Games to Boston in 2024.

Business reporter Jon Chesto wrote the first one, “After Olympics bid, John Fish is down but hardly out,” (Friday, July 31); columnist Joan Vennochi wrote the second, “Say farewell to old Boston,” (Sunday, August 2).
With the demise of the Olympic bid, Chesto said, “Boston’s business community was left wondering whether the 55-year-old construction magnate (Fish) will remain a key power broker” in town.  He answered that question in the next breath.

“All signs point to yes,” said Chesto.
Fish was the mainspring of the committee advocating for a Boston Olympics for most of the committee’s existence.

“Power shifted from old (Boston) to new the day a band of insurgents blocked the go-for-gold dreams of the city’s elite,” Vennochi observed. 
She added, with relish, “It’s about time.”

The Olympic organizing committee, as she sees it, was “old Boston to its core” -- a collection of out-of-touch “developers, well-connected PR consultants, and business boosters” who had their heads handed to them by a “low-budget coalition of new Boston activists.”

Describing how Fish had to quit the helm of  the organizing committee this past spring as the group came under increasing criticism and pressure, Venocchi said Fish was a man “cast aside, a “man without a mayor.”
Chesto described the same turn of events but said, “Fish has showed no signs of slowing down in many of his other civic efforts.” 

Fish, Chesto pointed out, is “still chairman of the Scholar Athletes charity and Boston College’s board of trustees, and he’ll be named chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s board in November.”
Vennochi knows a lot more about this stuff than I do.  Her power shift thesis could prove prescient.Right now, it feels glib.

Say farewell to John Fish & Friends all you want.  Don’t be surprised when they don’t go anywhere.



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