Payola in the Hub (was Maynard thread)

A Joseph Ross
Sun Feb 26 00:45:57 EST 2012

On 2/24/2012 2:41 PM, Karen McTrotsky wrote:

>   It is important to note that the committee at first was only consequently
> interested in the facts of payola; the real object of the hearing was the
> rock and roll menace, which was held responsible for fornication, truancy,
> delinquency and hot rods. Remember, this was soon after the McCarthy era,
> and it was still the practice in Congress to hold hearings with explosive
> testimony to boost a member's public image.

Yes, now they don't have to hold hearings, all they need is to make 
outrageous statements on cable news.

> Maynard and Alan Dary were suspended by WBZ then put on probation. Maynard
> said he was only paid to promote records outside the station, while Dary
> said he was given a few hundred dollars worth of Christmas presents,
> something that was pretty much standard in corporate America at the time.

Yes, I remember when I first started as a lawyer in the early 1970s, at 
the holiday season, the senior partner would make the rounds of various 
insurance companies and come back with cases settled.  The following 
year when I worked at the Brookline Rent Control Board, there was one 
landlord's lawyer who, every holiday season, would bring a box with an 
assortment of fancy cheeses.  I don't think it affected how we decided 
any of his cases, but it was a friendly gesture.  Although I never saw 
it, I heard that some law firms gave gifts to court personnel, too.

Then Watergate happened.  In December 1974, the presiding judge at the 
Brookline District Court posted a notice on the wall saying, "Please do 
not give gifts to court personnel.  They are not allowed to accept 
them."  And when that lawyer came in with his cheese assortment, while 
we were looking at it admiringly, the Director called him into his 
office and told him he had to take the cheeses back.  We were 
disappointed when he came out and took the cheeses, and the Director 
told us what had happened, but we quickly recognized that it was right.

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                     617.367.0468
92 State Street, Suite 700          Fax: 617.507.7856
Boston, MA 02109-2004

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