Kevin Cullen always wanted to be the next Mike Barnicle. And now he is.
The busted pipe-artist columnist of the dying Boston Globe tweeted out a photo Monday of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, with the caption, “The light of day will show these frauds for what they are.”
Be careful what you wish for, Kevin.
I think I first ran into Kevin when I was working for Ch. 7, and he was a cub reporter for the Herald. We were both on a night stakeout of Sen. Paul Tsongas, who had just announced he wasn’t running for reelection. I had to get some videotape for the 11, and I was worried Tsongas was going to screw out the back door of wherever he was huddling with some bigshots.
So I went around to the back of the building to reconnoiter. I saw a giant trash barrel which I realized could block Tsongas’ exit out the back door. I tried pushing the trash can into position, but it was too heavy to budge. But then Cullen showed up and he helped me push the barrel in front of the door.
I got my sound cut and didn’t get fired for another few months. I liked Kevin after that, right up until the moment he quit the Herald to go over to the Globe. He’d been sucking up to, you guessed it, the tough street kid from Lincoln – Mike Barnicle.
I asked Cullen what the hell he was thinking of and he said, “I needed the dental work, and the Globe has a great dental plan.”
Never much trusted him after that, needless to say. I wrote him off as “castle Irish,” as Pete Hamill used to describe his ilk. He fit in well at the Globe, where the motto is, “Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.”
Later Cullen and his hero Barnicle worked with 60 Minutes – how’s that for a trifecta of fake news? – on a series of slobbering puff pieces about a junkie murderer named Joseph Yandle.
Never bothering to check a single one of Yandle’s claims, Kevin lionized this Townie thug as a “decorated hero” who had come back from Vietnam with a “fistful of medals.” Uh, no, actually, Yandle never set foot in Vietnam. But you can’t expect any real reporting from the Globe or See BS News.
(Last year, Kevin slammed Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson, calling him Lock ‘em Up and sneering, “Details have never been Lock ‘em Up’s strong suit.” Takes one to know one, I guess.)
After Cullen’s utter destruction by Kirk & Callahan on WEEI, people have been asking me about the alleged death threats Cullen got from Whitey Bulger 30 years ago. I mean, if you’ll lie about hearing Krystle Campbell’s “death wail,” what won’t you lie about?
Now, I don’t know if Whitey ever actually threatened him, but I am fairly certain that the FBI told Cullen that he was on the Hit Parade. That was the m.o. of the G-men back then – a sure-fire way to scare reporters off the trail of their serial-killing sugar daddy, you know, the guy Kevin’s blue-blooded bow-tied bumkissing bosses always said “kept the drugs out of Southie.”
As I recall it, Kevin asked the G-men who was saying that Whitey was gunning for him. The crooked cops told him their source was Fat Tony Ciulla, the old Winter Hill horserace fixer. A very convenient answer – Fat Tony was in the Witness Protection Program and thus unavailable for comment.
A few years later, Fat Tony was back in town, and I asked him if he had ever really told the feds that Whitey was looking to kill Cullen.
“What the bleep are you talkin’ about?” he asked me.
That actually happened, but can you see how easy it is to come up with a good story, whether you’re the FBI, or Cullen, or even me, especially if the subject is deceased? Except that if this were a Cullen/Barnicle/Globe fake-news column, the name wouldn’t be Fat Tony Ciulla, it would be just “Fat Tony.”
I hadn’t bothered to read his PC mush for years, so when I saw the recent cringe-worthy excerpts printed on turtleboysports.com, I was surprised by Cullen’s total metamorphosis into what Gerry Callahan has been calling “Baby Barnicle.” The only difference is, I think Barnicle always knew down deep what an utter fraud he was, whereas Kevin had grown to believe his own myth, that he was a tough street kid from, where, Malden? Holyoke? Hingham?
Personally, I would think that if you want to continue the tradition of Hibernian-American pipe artists, you’d be better off following in the footsteps of Jimmy Breslin, or even Michael Daly, rather than Mourning (cq) Joe and Low IQ Mika’s Ed McMahon.
Speaking of which, don’t worry about your future employment prospects, Kevin. I hear MSNBC and CNN are both hiring. It’s boom times for fake-news hacks on cable TV. Just ask your mentor, Uncle Mike.