1:35 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Boston Globe Editor On His Interview With Menino

Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino revealed his cancer diagnosis to the Boston Globe last Friday. Globe Editor Brian McGrory talked to BPR about it.

Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio. McGrory talked about interviewing Mayor Menino about his cancer diagnosis. McGrory discussed the timing of the announcement — which came ahead of the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast in South Boston — and whether it was intended to influence one of Boston's most famous gatherings of politicos.

(Questions have been edited for length.)

How did this interview happen? Did Mayor Menino call you up?

I heard from Menino's people that week that he wanted to get together and chat about his health. So, we arranged a time for late Friday afternoon, and we got together. It was a pretty poignant discussion. I don't mind saying, pretty sad, at the same time.

What's his attitude like after the diagnosis?

He was showing me how his grandkids taught him to play Candy Crush!

He is really determined about this. I don't think he's kidding himself. We had a long chat with his doctors. (...) He's got three rounds of chemo [ahead]. (...) He's playing it by ear. He's not feeling sorry for himself, he doesn't want anyone feeling sorry for him. He's resolute. (...)

He was showing me how his grandkids taught him to play Candy Crush! [He's learning] how to use an Apple computer. We had a really good conversation. (...) You never want to go in as a reporter and talk to somebody about a diagnosis of incurable cancer.

Especially so soon after Mayor Menino retired, too.

Couple months of retirement, yep.

Was there any consideration for the timing for this announcement, since the St. Patrick's Day breakfast was imminent, and all the pols would be gathered in one place?

I can't imagine a more self-involved way to look at it, as [though] timing was or was not intended to affect the St. Patrick's Day breakfast. I don't think most people in this great state of ours wake up that Sunday saying, This is breakfast day. (...) Nobody thought about the St. Patrick's Day breakfast when we decided to break the news of Tom Menino's cancer.

>> Hear the entire BPR interview with Brian McGrory.

Brian Mcgrory, 3/19/14

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