California paper apologizes to Donnie Wahlberg, Boston over Southie snafu - Metro US

California paper apologizes to Donnie Wahlberg, Boston over Southie snafu


Hell hath no fury like a Bostonian scorned.

A California newspaper caused a bit of an uproar this week over its piece about a new Wahlburgers location that opened up in the Golden State. Mercury News wrote that visitors can “eat like a Southie” at the burger chain, which didn’t sit well with Boston readers—including Donnie Wahlberg—for a number of reasons.

First, nobody calls people from South Boston “Southies” as the term is only used to describe the neighborhood, not it’s residents. Secondly, the Wahlbergs hail from Dorchester, which is a completely different area of Boston.

Donnie called out the piece on Twitter, saying, “Calling one ‘A Southie’ is akin to calling one ‘A Palo Alto.'”

After getting lambasted for the snafu by a number of local publications, including the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine, Mercury News updated the piece to say “How to eat like you come from Southie” and penned an apology titled “Dear Donnie Wahlberg and Dorchester: Sorry about that ‘Southie’ thing.” The note of contrition did include a slight Deflategate dig at Boston over what the paper called a “burger brouhaha.”

“Gee, you’d think we’d accused the Patriots of deflating footballs or something,” wrote editor Linda Zavoral.

The situation wouldn’t be that big of a deal if others like the New York Times and even “The Simpsons” hadn’t also erroneously used the term Southie.

The Gray Lady received some backlash over its April profile on local chef Barbara Lynch, whom the paper referred to as “a fierce Southie.” Meanwhile, the long-running animated series misused the term as well in its recent Boston-themed episode “The Town.”

At least Mercury News didn’t make the mistake of calling South Boston “SoBo,” which the Times did during its coverage of the Whitey Bulger trial in 2013.

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