Left In Lowell

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October 20, 2013

A Blogger’s Sin

by at 1:11 pm.

Thou shall not impede The Sun’s meddling in local affairs.

In the role of “activist newspaper,” The Sun is legend.

In the wait-your-turn political culture of Lowell and nearby Lawrence, Kerry was a carpetbagger trying to cherrypick a seat in Congress.

In the general election campaign, Kerry was lashed relentlessly by The Sun, which questioned his patriotism, his loyalty to the district, and his financial backers. He blew a huge lead and lost to the Republican nominee, Paul W. Cronin, a former state representative who had served on Morse’s staff.

Suddenly, the fast track to political glory vanished beneath the feet of the war hero turned war protester. …

More recently,

Back in September, a photograph of the city’s plumbing inspector sleeping at a business owned by City Council Alan Kazanjian emerged in the media along with an investigative report that revealed the inspector performing private work on city time. Then in October, it was disclosed that a building in Chelmsford owned by Kazanjian was tied into the Lowell sewer system despite the city’s earlier denial of a request to do just that. Finally, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office had subpoenaed all records related to all properties owned by Kazanjian, although there have been no further disclosures about the scope or progress of that investigation.

As the ‘Blog of Record’ or ‘Dead Tree Rag’ tries desperately to survive the downturn of the newspaper business, they lust for status, for influence, for ‘juice.’ As such, The Sun has diminished itself.


 photo 2cfb85ed-e805-47d0-9c72-ad4809c11a4a_zps092384c8.jpg

The reality is, as The Sun’s credibility and distribution has waned, savvy elected officials have diversified their ‘portfolio of public opinion,’ while others have doubled down on dinosaurs. The reaction of the Blog of Record is to ratchet up the slant around the mini-cults of personalities, surrounding these short sighted pols. (Look up page) See what I mean? Gross!

So, what did Gerry Nutter do wrong?

He challenged the Blog of Record’s hegemony over the narrative, the frame of thought around public discourse. He dared to counter spin the Sun’s bullshit. Ferchrissakes. Even when Gerry agreed with The Sun’s bullshit, they were pissed that Lowellians had their eyes anywhere, but their broke dick website. Why? They are losing money.

Who here remembers when CM Lynch did a media roundtable for his sixth year as CM?

I was told, after the event, by a pal in the corporate media, that Chris Scott (leaning for the mic) was rip shit at having to share the media role with “bloggers.” That his status as a journalist, and The Sun’s status, were diminished by CM Lynch including me and my peers. I feel bad for Chris Scott. This is my hobby. I don’t need this gig, like he does.

That said, Chris Scott’s hissy fit is just a symptom of the disease. And, I don’t think it is a STD.

The disease is Jim Campanini. (Hey, Denver!)

I would love a robust local newspaper. Even, if the paper was skewed slightly past where my comfort zone was. But, we don’t have that in Lowell. And, that is a reality attributed to two major influences, imho: 1) The downturn in the print media industry. & 2) The pumping of political pornography by Campi.

Recently, I’ve inquired: Campi’s tenure at The Sun is catastrophic. Should the paper fold, will he stick around to sort out the scorched earth?
My gut says, no, but maybe he has settled in with the rest of us ‘grow ins?’ Maybe that is why he is trying so desperately to fashion Lowell in his own mindset?

One thing I hear a lot of, is the idea of ‘local ownership.’ We hear it in the offensive slogan, “From Lowell. For Lowell.” We hear it on City Life, as a constant barrage of blurts to ‘hire Lowellians.” This whole crew goes on & on with their ‘Lowell First’ chorus.

When hiring a City dog catcher, or electing a pol (I’m told Bud Caulfield is from Billerica), I don’t think looking outside of Lowell for talent is a bad thing. Isolationism has proven limitations. However, in Media, local control could prove beneficial. While local ownership of The Sun is probably NOT in the cards (Welcome to WalMart!), having an Editor with deep Lowell roots would likely be a boon.

It’s fairly obvious watching Jim Campanini flail under the mantle left for him, under the heavy weight of Kendall Wallace’s legacy, that Campi just can’t find a ’sweet spot.’ Sure, the print media industry is collapsing. But, as The Sun and their corporate masters try to embrace New Media, thus “swapping out print dollars for digital dimes,” The Sun’s current chief runs the readership towards older, more conservative people. Maybe, Nana is totally tuned into Facebook? Who knew?!

How can such, apparently, divergent paths chart a prosperous path for The Sun? Are they trying to find a solvent business model? Or, is it just about Campi letting the paper swirl the bowl, while he tries to fill Kendall’s shoes?

Regardless, local control of The Sun, would be better. And, please, the Providence Puff Piece living in The Belvidere, sipping wine while he toasts his niblets over a ritzy chiminea, is not what I mean.

Does this look like Lowell to you?:

 photo Culprit.jpg

Do you doubt my assertion of local control of The Sun? Ya see, I’ve been reading this little book, “The Wired City

Dick Howe, Jr. did a blog about it. Dick’s summary includes this bit:

There’s no substitute for local ownership – For local news, Kennedy maintains that there’s no substitute for local ownership. Many of the problems evident in the newspaper business today would be eliminated or at least mitigated if the people who actually owned the newspaper were of the community it covered.

We bloggers do sin. Are they crimes of passion? What they are NOT - crimes for profit.

All this talk about whores? How about the ones that butter their bread with ink, while tearing your City apart?

2 Responses to “A Blogger’s Sin”

  1. OneFrogCan Says:

    It’s a grave disservice what Voldemort Elliott and Lyle Draco are doing to this city via the LOL Sun. Howie Carr and the Boston Herald have nothing on this rag. I’ve never read a more single-voiced (Rodney’s) newspaper in my life. Is fact checking and balance too much to ask of Lyle Draco? He talks to only Voldemort Elliott after City Council meetings, no opposing points of view, no fact checking on anything Voldemort says, just rush to print and treat everything Rodney says as gospel.

    Unfortunately, too many people still read and believe the LOL Sun, and that could cost us one of the best things to ever happen to Lowell, Bernie Lynch as our professional city manager. Bernie has endured nearly nose to nose salivating rage from Rodney Elliott, rudely pointing finger punctuating his rants.

    In his hunger for power, behind the scenes Elliott seeks to oust Bernie and replace him (and his excellent team who won’t stay without him) with either a political hack or a city planner who will “develop” and spend pie-in-the-sky amounts of money without a commercial revenue stream to support the spending. And back we’ll go to the desperate financial days of 2006.

    Bernie and his team have brought this city from the brink of financial disaster in 2006 to an A1 Moody’s rating and a AA+ Standard and Poor rating. That’s some seriously sound city management with excellent credit ratings as a result. And now that he and his team have returned the city to resounding fiscal health and excellent credit ratings, the work of improving the city can continue at a thoughtful and controlled pace as long as we retain Bernie Lynch as our professional city manager.

    He’ll attract businesses to fill existing empty spaces, not move Lowell High out of downtown, creating a huge expense for a new school and a huge empty space in place of the existing school. There has to be commercial revenue stream to support development. Better to attract a hundred small and medium sized businesses to Lowell than one large corporation. Job growth occurs more rapidly in small and medium sized businesses, and risk is mitigated by diverse business types.

    I for one can’t wait to see what Bernie and his team will do next. They’ve done an excellent job thus far, given where we were in 2006. To quote my dad, “Dance with the one that brung ya.” Reward Bernie and his team with new contracts for a job well done. Don’t hand our city over to a political hack to ruin or a city planner with no practical city management experience. It will be disastrous.

    Voters and the rest of the City Council need to take a good hard look at Rodney Elliott’s motives and aspirations and maybe distance themselves from him. His hunger for power and glory are not at all in the best interest of the City of Lowell.

  2. NedMillCity Says:

    That would be an ILLEGAL chiminea, btw. As illegal as egg producing chickens.

    “God bless America.”

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