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  1. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Wayland MA


    I don't really have a problem with an anonymous post that asks an honest question or makes an interesting observation. And I could care less when anonymous posters bash each other. What crosses the line for me aren't just the anonymous smears, but also even "mere" anonymous constructive criticism.

    Jeff B., as far as getting a handle on it, well, you can't. You can expose inaccuracy and vile, but you can't stop it. I participate because I enjoy the sport (there are so few other avenues of life where prevailing comes as easy).

    To get a handle on the smears (and just the comments that I thought rose to the level of smears against identifiable people), I went back to five of the most heavily commented Town Crier articles leading up to and following the April 5 election. Here's what I found:

    • "cleareyesfullheart" was the worst offender, with a total of 13 smears: 8 aimed at Shawn Kinney, 2 at Jeff Baron, 2 at Ellen Grieco, and 1 at Alexi Obar. In hindsight, I wish that I had asked that he/she tone it down a bit. I did, however, write the following in Mr. Kinney's "defense."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    For what it's worth, I have ZERO problem with Mr. Kinney having missed the deadline to submit the disclosure form. While this might have been a problem had the other Wayland School Committee (WSC) members voted 2-2 on the budget, that scenario was not the case in this instance. Certainly, he had nothing to gain by being unable to vote.
    • "cleareyes" was the only "smearer" of the challengers or those supporting the challengers. By comparison, there were a total of 6 posters scribing 32 smears against incumbents or their supporters.

    • "ggrish" was the worst anti-incumbent smearer with 9: 4 aimed at Louis Jurist, 2 at Barb Fletcher, 2 at Juliette Fay, and 1 at Tom Fay.

    • Close behind was "Parents" with 7. "Parents," interestingly enough, repeatedly admits to violating the Town Crier posting rules. Since the Town Crier admits not enforcing its rules, perhaps there's a symmetry there. Targets: 2 against Dr. Jurist, 2 against Ms. Fletcher, and 3 against Malcolm Astley (who wasn't even running!).

    • "alldone" was close behind at 6: 3 against Dr. Jurist and 3 against Ms. Fletcher. "alldone" hard arguably the most reprehensible quote of the campaign (and also a strong runner-up candidate.

    Quote Originally Posted by alldone
    The time has come to rid the school ( and wishfully the town) of the Fletchers and the Jurists and all the others who think their money and clout allows them to bully and intimidate others.
    Quote Originally Posted by alldone
    '[Jurist and Fletcher] will be nothing but a toxic malignancy to 'train' a new Super.
    • Not to be too outdone by "alldone", "A Better Community" (winner of the Irony Award for username) tallied 5 smears: 2 against Dr. Jurist, 2 against Ms. Fletcher, and 1 against Mr. Astley.

    • Jeff Baron came in at 4: 2 against Ms. Fletcher, 1against Dr. Jurist (although the one against Ms. Fletcher and Dr. Jurist was really more of a falsehood than a smear), and 1 against Mr. Astley.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron
    'Since the closing, the School Committee has reinstated all the positions that were cut to create the savings. with the exception of a crossing guard.
    • "TransParent" brought up the anti-incumbent rear with 1, aimed at Juliette Fay.

    Backup for the above is attached. Note that the numbers in brackets at the end of each "smear" on Sheet1 of the spreadsheet refer to different Town Crier articles as shown on Sheet2 of the spreadsheet.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 04-11-2011 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Clarification regarding footnotes.

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