Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
So I was wrong in my Lyle post last Wednesday. I am retracting part of my commentary made there.
Specifically, it wasn’t Elliot who Lyle was talking about as “other elected officials” who are upset at my comments on this blog (over, I presume, the course of seven whole years). It was the other one I could have predicted is unhappy with me, Councilor Rita Mercier. (Damn, and I though my video commentary clip of Elliot the other week was pretty clever. I’ll have to make more of a nuisance of myself.)
MERCIER SAID she was not surprised by Lupien’s posting.
“She has a dirty trash mouth and that is wrong,” Mercier said. “No one should ever say somebody should be hung. I give Mary Jo credit for going to police and I hope she gets Lynne’s blog shut down so she stops trying to bully people in a nasty way.”
Anyway, I probably should have known. She’s always thought I hated her - even though it’s not, and never has been, about hate. In fact I’ve always said she’s probably a super nice person, or at least that is what I’m told. That doesn’t mean she’s exempt from criticism as a public representative. I don’t doubt she is and was a wonderful mom, grandmom, wife, and community member. She certainly does care about the community and I’ve never made a secret of my belief in that. It’s how she carries out her role as elected official that I and others have a problem with. And lately I haven’t said a word about her. Actually, I’ve commended her - recently complimenting her for her reasoned governing vis a vis the CM, unlike CC Elliot.
But a grudge is a grudge and she’ll never forgive me for not being a supporter back in the Cox days, when Jim Milinazzo was the only outspoken person I endorsed for reelection in 2005 (well, along with Dick Howe Sr, but he was about to retire and not run for reelection).
See, the fact that to her, I hate her - and this is the core problem - is the problem. Taking dissent (even colorful dissent) personally when you are an elected official is a huge mistake. You aren’t there to be loved. Sure, maybe people will love you…but what is the old quote? “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
And lest we forget - when I failed to endorse her (or anyone but Milinazzo) that first muni election I covered, she was the one making snarky comments to me when I met her for the first time. Which I then promptly went home and blogged. Hell, we were in the public City Hall chambers after a public meeting at the time she said it, totally fair game. I’ll never forget the tone of her voice when she said that to me.
I stand by my words. Yeah, sometimes I deploy sarcasm or satire to point something out. Let me remind you that this is a favorite tactic of the likes of Jon Stewart and Colbert. I bet Bill O doesn’t like it either - but Bill O does not have a constitutionally protected right to be liked, or to have his speech and his actions lauded, either. What I do is hold up a mirror. Now, you might disagree with what you see in that mirror, thinking maybe it’s got a green tinge and you don’t get an accurate picture of yourself, but that’s opinion. I write from a place of honesty in myself. Perhaps those listed in the Column as common “targets” of this blog ought to be a little more self-reflective and ask, why are they common targets?
Also, I would like for all of you media and elected officials to please get one thing straight: I am NOT my commenters. If a comment comes through that you think is unfair, you have every right to come post on the blog and refute them. I err on the side of letting comments through and allowing open speech. When I do moderate, I get crap because I’m “impinging on free speech.” I really can’t win with some people. But the fact remains, I own the domain and these are my (really loose) rules. Please stop painting me with the brush of commenters, or for that matter, painting commenters who post here with my brush. The Column takes great glee in the fact that Kim Scott and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich have a history as commenters here (and Kristin as a front pager for a while). It literally has nothing to do with the story at hand, but they just had to mention it anyway.
Kim and Kristin (and Jack and Mimi and joefromlowell and anyone else) are their own people. Does the Sun want us to nail them with 100% of the credit/blame for the comments in Topix? Cuz I got news for ya, that cesspool is about 1000% times worse than the comments here. And almost NEVER not anonymous. If you don’t want that door to swing both ways, then stop confusing an open forum here for a set interchangeable personalities.
PS, as an aside - The Lowell Sun should also retract part of its Column. They are calling Mimi a cofounder of Left in Lowell. This is completely incorrect - Mimi joined me not too long after I started the blog in May 2005 (though not til January 2006 - here’s her first post), but I am the sole founder. Actually, Margaret had a few front page posts long before Mimi did. Which the Column authors could have easily figured out if they bothered to merely go back to the first posts on the blog. The fact they can’t do minimal homework on their stories says volumes.
Also, RE being harsh on Scott Brown…um, duh? This is a blog with strong Democratic activist authors. It’s right in the title! What the frell didja think we would write about, his keen sense of fashion (minus that horrendous barn coat, ugh) and his admittedly nice hair?
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