Fuse News: “The Boston Phoenix” Goes Down Ugly

By Harvey Blume.

Whitey Bulger — The Boston Phoenix goes down singing of his mystique.

It’s worth underscoring that the once proudly and authentically counter-cultural paper The Boston Phoenix went out on a mob issue, fawning on Whitey Bulger. The March 15, 2013 edition, the paper’s last, was all about where Bulger ate, drank, and shot people in the back of the head, sometimes leaving them in the passenger seat, other times retiring them to the trunk.

Go, be a Bulger foodinasta—the Phoenix marks the sites—and enjoy a Bulger beer, a Bulger burger. Tell them Phoenix editor Pete Kadzis sent you. According to Kadzis, Bulger will now be for Boston: “A figure now like Ted Williams. . . after he’s dead.”

Is Kadzis proposing a new Big Dig? A Bulger Tunnel? A Bulger stop on the Red Line?

A Whitey postage stamp?

It’s terribly ugly the Phoenix went out this way.

But don’t blame me. I’m from Brooklyn.


  1. Bill Marx, Arts Fuse Editor on April 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Why did the Boston Phoenix die so ugly? Because it had an ugly soul. Publisher and mega-millionaire Stephen Mindich and editor Peter Kadzis could have planned for a final issue, asking former Phoenix writers from across the decades to reflect on their experiences with the alternative magazine. It would have made the end a celebration of a ‘counterculture’ heritage rather than an abrupt jump off a cliff. But that would have been classy.

    Instead, the paper died on a note of glossy mediocrity and the staff let go without any severance pay. Nada. If there had been a union the writers and editors might have been in the position to get something, but the strident anti-union mentality of the (selectively) ‘progressive’ Boston Phoenix made sure that the laid-off workers would be powerless.

    Ugliness all around … including the wheezy nostalgia for the good old days from media commentators and former writers that overlook these and other uncomfortable realities.

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