Looking at the News

Do you know who who I am?

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The edition now on the stands of Boston Magazine attempts to cash in on Bob Kraft’s notoriety. It also seeks to marginalize Kraft’s charity by making it appear that his charity is connected to the conscious and concerted personal effort to expand his notoriety and to assuage those who view his charity as an act intended to somehow expand his reputation and power. I have no problem with that. Kraft is a public person. Magazines like Boston can write what they want and they often do just that. Boston has become best at lists - best lawyers, best doctors, best restaurants, best private schools and on and on, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. It is when Boston drifts away from lists that it runs into trouble standing for what is right. What is disturbing in the case of Boston Magazine this month is that they get Kraft all wrong. Their premise, that his charity is something about self-aggrandizement, is preposterous. Anyone who knows Kraft understands this about him and his kids - they are class people who don’t throw their weight around when it comes to giving away their money. The Krafts are about wealth, power and charity but they are just as much about humility. I’ve known the Krafts for a long time. I have never witnessed a single instance of untoward boast or one dimensional, egotistical hyperbole from these people. Boston Magazine’s assertion that Kraft has been calling potential donors and announcing, “Hello, this is Bob Kraft. Do you know who I am?” before announcing he’s giving away $100,000 to the party he’s speaking with is rubbish. First of all, who doesn’t know Bob Kraft? Let me answer this. Many do not know Bob Kraft. Kraft, like the mortal that he is, quite often has to announce who he is just to get started with folks who don’t know him. There are some who would not believe that Bob Kraft was calling them to discuss giving away $100,000 to their organization and might well wonder: “Am I really speaking with Bob Kraft?” Boston Magazine would have its readers believe that Bob Kraft is the kind of big-feeling guy who would answer a state policeman who stopped him while driving this way: “Do you know who I am?” Those of us who know Mr. Kraft understand that he would not answer that way in 1000 years. He would watch closed mouth as the state trooper wrote him up, would take the ticket from him and put it away without asking a question. Boston Magazine tries to distort the dignified, quiet, humble, image of Mr. Kraft, which is something of unsurpassable quality for all of us who know him or who have been touched by his generosity. Boston Magazine attempts to make a mockery out of his charity. Boston Magazine might as well denounce the pope for washing the dirty feet of the poor. Or even better, what has Boston Magazine given away in its long life of selling advertisements to the people of New England? And what other than thinking they can make money off a bad piece about Bob Kraft motivated the bosses at the magazine to engineer this issue and the story about him the way they did?


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