Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I guess we know who the Sentinel's going to endorse!

I think that Tom Donnelly and the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper are in an abusive relationship.

During the last debate, Donnelly attacked the paper as being one of the big problems the city faces, what with its negativity and all. That was before he decided he liked negativity, of course.

You'd think the local paper would respond by being a little cold to him. Maybe saying "Hey Tom, we don't have to take this kind of shitty treatment from you!" and then trying to make him look bad or something. But you'd be wrong!

Instead what we get is this sloppy blowjob of an article on how he loves change. There was also another one recently about the stupid boring financial stuff. It's like the Sentinel is trying to win his love!

Which I guess is common in an abusive relationship, but is still a bit sad. Don't you know he's just going to hurt you again, Sentinel? Get out while you can!

The clincher came today, in the deceptively named and super-long-titled Donnelly draws support from majority of city's public officials as candidate for mayor.

That's a pretty dramatic statement! Also, it makes one question why the city's current "public officials" are so out of sync with the rest of the city. I wonder if that's why there's an anti-incumbent feeling in the air.

Not to worry though, the article isn't really about a majority of the city's public officials. At least not in the way that any reasonably competent third-grader would understand it. Allow me to quote!
A majority of city councilors support Thomas Donnelly in the race for mayor against Lisa Wong, according to interviews with each of the councilors.

Six of the 11 members of the City Council, including the candidate himself, support Donnelly, while four are uncommitted and only one said he supports Wong instead of Donnelly.

That's totally fucking meaningless.

First, let's not be idiots here. Donnelly doesn't get to count as a Donnelly supporter! We'll just disregard him, which leaves 5 supporters out of 11 members of the City Council. Which is not a majority of the City Council. Even if we knock it down to 10 members because we disqualified Donnelly himself it's not a majority. It's half.

Also, there are quite a lot more "public officials" in the city than the 11 people on the city council! The mayor and the school committee come to mind instantly. So what the hell, Sentinel? Are you so desperate to win back your man that you're willing to ignore basic facts? (The answer to that is "No, the Sentinel has always been willing to ignore basic facts!")

But just looking at the City Council, one has to wonder what the deal is. Take ten people (because to include Donnelly would be incredibly stupid); five support Donnelly, one supports Wong, and the remaining 4 mysteriously won't say who they support.

Well, I think we can safely say that Ted DeSalvatore probably doesn't support either, and that neither candidate wants his support. So really we have three who are keeping their thoughts to themselves.

Why would someone do that? Are they really so wishy-washy that they don't care? Everyone interviewed basically said they'd be fine with either candidate, so maybe. Or, you know, maybe the ones who won't pick a side just don't want to embarrass the guy they have to work with on the City Council itself. Just a thought.

I mean, you'd think it would be pretty easy to say they support Donnelly if they really did, right? Saying you support Wong could lead to some pretty dirty looks during the City Council meetings though. Plus Donnelly might not pick up the tab when you stop in at the bar for a few drinks after the meeting! (That's not to say Tom buys votes with beer, just that I've often seen a segment of the Council hanging out together after meetings.)

So our fence-sitters are probably one of a few things:
  • Really undecided: could be, but I honestly have trouble understanding how anyone can be undecided.
  • Wong supporters who don't want to tick off Donnelly: aforementioned dirty looks and beer bills.
  • Donnelly supporters who don't want to tick off Wong: because she's probably going to be mayor and all that.
  • Weenies who don't want to piss off anyone: because they're weenies.
But you know what? I don't care at all!

Seriously, who the fuck would care? It's 11 people in a town of 40,000. Eleven people who are at the very least complicit in getting the city into the crappy state it's currently in. These are not people who I trust for advice on who can make things better!

Also, they're people who spend time around Donnelly at City Council meetings, and are presumably at least on civil terms with him in most cases. I bet if you take a group of eleven people that spend time around Wong you're probably going to find that at least half of them support her for mayor too!

So what's the lesson from all this? Aside from "you shouldn't read the Sentinel" there really isn't any! It's a totally meaningless dyscalculaic article about nothing of any importance to anybody!

But here's what I imagine they were thinking/saying while preparing the article:

Reporter guy: "Hey, did you hear that Donnelly is all about changing the status quo now? Well, other elected officials who helped him to actually create the status quo sort of tepidly support him!"
Editor guy: "Stop the presses! Maybe he'll like us again if we run with this story!"

Seriously Sentinel, stop trying so hard. It just makes you look desperate, and he'll just hurt you again!

ps Also there was an article in a real newspaper about the race! See here for the Boston Globe's take on the financial non-story.


RomanAedile said...

Can you believe that after Wong takes office she is going to have to deal with these clowns (the Sentinel)! I bet they are going to trash her any chance they get. Like, "hey its like Jan.10th and we don't see no change yet." I wish I had a subscription just so I could call up and cancel it. Why do all the establishment want to see Fitchburg sink? Thank goodness the people get to decide things. Kick these bums out and elect Cormier, DeNatale, and Starr. Thats a start.

fitchburg-shuffle said...


I respectfully disagree with your stance against the Sentinel. While all recent reports seem to give Donnelly a platform to bash Wong, it also gives her the chance to answer each claim, which she seems to do with relative ease.

Remember all the letters endorsing her leading up to the primary? Someone needs to give permission to publish those. Not every shithead, like myself, gets their stuff printed. Wong letters must have outnumbered the other two combined by at least 3-1.

Maybe more people really want Lisa Wong to be our mayor than Tom Donnelly? Tom's a good man but this campaign would have deveolped more fruit in 03 or 05. Not this year.

The voters have sung once, and they'll sing again next month. I don't see a different tune being played.

The Unicow said...


No problem, a little disagreement never hurt anyone.

I do think the Sentinel is on Donnelly's side though, at least as far as the editorial board is concerned. I fully expect a Donnelly endorsement (though I'd love to be proven wrong). In my experience they always pick the more conservative candidate, and while I don't think Donnelly is super-conservative or anything, he's not as progressive as Wong.

Of course when it comes to the actual articles they really have to give both candidates an opportunity to make their voices heard, it's just common sense. The question then becomes how those voices are presented, which is a more nuanced issue and certainly open to different interpretations from different readers.

There's also the issue of what they don't publish. We've seen multiple articles that give Donnelly the opportunity to grandstand and/or attack Wong, but I'm not seeing any articles that give Wong that sort of opportunity (not that she attacks Donnelly, but you get the idea). Sure she gets to defend herself, but where's the article where she gets to promote herself and not just respond to what other people say? Is this just because Donnelly has been going to the paper with stuff and Wong hasn't? Maybe, but it still raises some red flags for me.

You're right that there have been some good letters to the editor about Wong, but I'm not sure how much that reflects the paper's own stance. Hell, even I got a couple letters to the editor published! (Of course, that was probably 15 years ago.)

ReallyRachel said...

Unicow, has it dawned on you that the anti-Fitchburg Sentinel isn't as interested in a particular candidate as they are in the negativity? Why do you think they glomped onto DeSalvo?

Controversy sells papers. Period.

Leominster good, Fitchburg bad... in the S&E's mindset. Nothing will change that until someone from Fitchburg owns that newspaper.


Nowoco said...

If it bleeds, it ledes. One interesting aspect of this race is that the enormous lead Candidate Wong has over her opponent renders any information in the newspaper completely irrelevant. It must be frustrating for them to know the power is actually in the hands of the electorate -- Mr. Follies

The Unicow said...

Holy crap, your name is Mr. Follies?


I think the Sentinel has been pretty irrelevant for awhile now. When's the last time they endorsed somebody who actually ended up winning?

shitstorm said...

I will never vote for Wong as long as she has that deserter Cronin by her side. That piece of shit ran away on his men hes nothing more than a coward.

He is a piece of crap who gave money for the PD to every social service agency out there. Less than one tenth of grant money earmarked for the police got there because that coward gave all the money to his feel good friends at all theses useles public agencies, check out the gang grant and see where the money is going.

He's an asshole!!

JustSayNoToDeSalvo said...

Tell us how you really feel!

Fail the sergeants exam? Let me guess - the section on prevention, right?