The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lies and Whispers

Too dishonest to ignore.


Is this what the editors of the Springfield Newspapers think their readers look like?



You would think so from this absurdly dishonest and misleading item they printed in their Cries and Whispers column. First let's read it in the form they presented it.

'Big Papi' here? If only ...

Put it in the "if only" file.

If only there wasn't strident opposition to the baseball stadium of former Mayor Michael J. Albano's pipe dreams, David Ortiz may have racked up homers in the City of Homes during his recent convalescence in the minor leagues.

Former City Councilor Daniel D. Kelly said he and former Albano staffers, Anthony M. Ardolino and Peter M. Murphy, spent three innings in then-Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette's private box at Fenway Park in 1999. According to Kelly, Duquette admired the proposed architecture for the ill-fated Springfield project, scuttled by a citizen's group and a superior court judge who frowned on the city's acquisition of a North End site by eminent domain.

Duquette told the three he wanted to move the club's AA team closer to Boston, and thought Springfield could be the ideal site. Except that, the following year, the stadium deal tanked. The Citizens Action Network and another former mayor, Charles V. Ryan, led the resistance and won.

The AA team went to Portland, Maine.

"Seems like a bad decision in retrospect," Kelly said, mastering the art of the understatement.


Now let's turn on the truth detector and re-examine that nonsense piece by piece.

'Big Papi' here? If only ...

If only the Albano Administration hadn't broken the law.

Put it in the "if only" file.

No, put it in the wastebasket.

If only there wasn't strident opposition to the baseball stadium of former Mayor Michael J. Albano's pipe dreams, David Ortiz may have racked up homers in the City of Homes during his recent convalescence in the minor leagues.

A ridiculous statement. Although there was indeed taxpayer resistance to the baseball stadium (with excellent arguments) the widespread public opposition to the boondoggle ultimately had nothing to do with it being defeated. That happened in court solely because it was determined that the Albano Administration had repeatedly broken the law and engaged in fraud in an attempt to illegally obtain money for the project.

Now allow me to correct the way the following names were originally presented by Cries and Whispers without any information to provide context concerning who they really are.

Former City Councilor Daniel D. Kelly

Who since leaving office has repeatedly been defending or been tied to some of the sleaziest characters in the Federal corruption probe.

said he and former Albano staffers, Anthony M. Ardolino and Peter M. Murphy,

Ardolino ended up in prison for his role in the corruption probe, and Peter Murphy was pushed out of City Hall by Charlie Ryan as part of his post-Albano housecleaning.

spent three innings in then-Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette's private box at Fenway Park in 1999.

How sad to recall that these lowlifes once represented the city. No wonder Duquette only spent three innings with them. When they left he probably had their seats disinfected!

According to Kelly,

Uh oh, already we have grounds for suspicion.

Duquette admired the proposed architecture for the ill-fated Springfield project,

What the hell did admiring the architecture have to do with anything? Duquette would have based his decision upon the economics of the project and the people involved. Once he got a look at the (ultimately declared illegal) house of cards financing Albano had scraped together and the sleazebags from his administration he had in mind for the stadium management, Duquette would have run screaming from the room!

scuttled by a citizen's group and a superior court judge who frowned on the city's acquisition of a North End site by eminent domain.

That sentence is a masterpiece of concealment and evasion. Again the citizen opposition had little to do with the project being killed. That was done in a court of law when Judge Constance Sweeney discovered that the Albano Administration had filed false information on documents for funding, thereby wiping out the entire financial basis for the stadium. Filing false information with the intent of acquiring taxpayer funds under false pretences is a felony. Despite the fact that the Judge made the accusations in open court, District Attorney William Bennett refused to convene a Grand Jury to investigate the illegal deceptions Judge Sweeney claimed that the Albano Administration had committed.

Duquette told the three he wanted to move the club's AA team closer to Boston, and thought Springfield could be the ideal site.

After just a casual glance at the plans, and with no knowledge of the financing or the political situation, how much weight could that statement have had? Duquette was just being polite.

Except that, the following year, the stadium deal tanked.

And shame on Cries and Whispers for not making it clear that the reason it tanked was the illegal actions of the Albano Administration.

The Citizens Action Network and another former mayor, Charles V. Ryan, led the resistance and won.

Only indirectly. They didn't win it so much as the Albano Administration and its backers lost it through their refusal to act honestly, above board and within the law. In other words, the blame for the failure of baseball to come to Springfield must be placed squarely on people like Albano, Ardolino, Murphy and Kelly.

The AA team went to Portland, Maine.

As it would have anyway, as long as the Albano gang was in charge, since Duquette would never have allowed the team to come to Springfield once he realized the shaky financing and lowlife losers he was dealing with.

"Seems like a bad decision in retrospect," Kelly said, mastering the art of the understatement.

More like mastering the art of bullshit.


If the preceding is a fine example of what is wrong with newspapers, no one who has ever worked at a newspaper can help but shed a tear over this heartbreaking farewell to the print media worker.

I am a newspaperman.

For some unexplainable reason, I am compelled to say that tonight.

Something is coming, some turn in the media universe, a turn in the future of my newspaper. A turn that will mean the end of me, of us. There will be reporters. Editors. Something called online producers and multi-media coordinators. Mojos. Slojos and Nojos. Bloggers, froggers and twitters.

But there won't be newspapermen. At 58, I am among the last of a dying race.

And what a race it was. An American archetype.


To read the entire tear-jerker click here.

Not surprisingly, the cyberevolutionary commenters over at Buzzmachine are not impressed.

Ahh, the glory days of past. When entire families gathered around a box full of vacuum tubes to hear the news of the war. When Dad wore a fedora and carried his paper under his arm and Mom stayed in an apron. When elected officials carried on with reporters and no one reported it. When people in newsrooms decided exactly what we needed to know and how we needed to know it.

Good riddance.


VanDog shows a doorway in Holyoke as it was in 1941 and a few weeks ago.



In Northampton, mysterious people seem to be plotting a clandestine rendezvous.



Finally, here is Stevie Dags and the Bang Bangs at Hampshire College in Amherst.

5 comments:

Joey B said...

I'll never understand why cities started falling all over themselves to build these multi-million dollar stadiums for sports franchises. If they want to put in a new team, they're going to do the demographics and make sure it will support getting enough attendees and selling hotdogs for $8 and beers for $10. The onus should be on the owners, not the cities, to pony up the cash.

Tim said...

You're right of course Tom. The whole mess is regrettable though. Cities like New Britain Ct. have beautiful parks. Tickets are reasonable and the food and beer is cheap. Isn't there anyone here who can get this done without corruption?

Anonymous said...

Tom, 10 cheers for your analysis of that Cries & Whispers. Thanks for not letting that load of BS go unchallenged.
Mo

VanDog said...

During the first half the last century the news mostly published what they were told to by the power brokers of that time.

By the 70's the news became investigative. Looking for corruption, and the truth.

Today, They ask for public comments, or "Call #40", and you see links, and addresses in every publication for the public to submit the news. The only problem with this is that the people are waiting for the news to explain what is going on, yet the news seems just as confused as the people. News media has no idea what it is doing anymore, or as you pointed out, it is totally complicit in the real goings on.

Andrea Murray said...

Wear a red hat i will too - is the background on my cellphone!