Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 30 of 30

Thread: Wayland Voters Network needs to declare its biases

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Don, I'm just going to take on one of your numbered points below, because I already highlighted it myself in an earlier post, but you never responded to my question about it.

    You said:

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I apologize, this will be boring, I promise not to carry it on.

    Jeff, I try not to argue with you, it gets nowhere. You just seem confused to me. You miss points. You read things into what’s said. You pull things out of the air. I’ve pulled some of your quotes from your very recent posts. They’re numbered so I can respond below.

    Jeff’s quotes

    3. “But please, if you are going to accuse Kim of being dishonest, please back up that libel. In fact, I would argue that you've just violated the first rule of the DF, "1. Do not engage in personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming." However, I'm of the opinion that leaving your bad behavior in place is better than removing it, as it says far more about you than it does about Kim.”

    My responses

    3. You accuse me of libel – that’s a serious charge Jeff. Please show us what you are referring to? You say I “accuse Kim of being dishonest”, of “personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming”. Show us this “bad behavior” that you say is in my writing. If you can’t show us these things, I guess that will say a lot about you.
    Earlier in the thread you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I can’t understand your lack of honesty.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I apologize, this will be boring, I promise not to carry it on.
    Boring? Hardly. I found your post to be most illuminating. Oh, and since we're in the mode of apologizing, please let me apologize in advance to those not fond of "interspersed commenting." I happen to find the approach effective, particularly in response to posts like yours that beg for specific examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Jeff, I try not to argue with you, it gets nowhere.
    Perhaps you should try harder, your post below seeming to me to be the definition of argument. Mind you, I don't have a problem with arguing. Some might even accuse me of enjoying it. To that end, I ask a number of questions of you. I've highlighted them in bold. My having taken the time to reply to yours, I ask the same of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    You just seem confused to me.
    Confused about what? This may surprise you, Don, but things aren't necessarily true just because they emanate from somewhere inside your head. I certainly don't have any confusion about the following.

    This thread is about WVN and Michael Short's recent Town Crier letter to the editor inexplicably claiming objectivity on the part of his publication. Several people, myself included, took exception to this characterization. In my case, in the Town Crier "Comments" section, I provided substantial backup to support my contention. In this thread, I simply suggested several ways that WVN might improve. You then dove in with a strafing run on Kim and on Michael Tichnor. I responded by taking you to task for doing so. Along the way, I was happy to acknowledge that WVN is not immune to producing solid reporting.

    How was that?

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    You miss points.
    Which points am I missing? I'd be happy to address them if they're of sufficient substance.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    You read things into what’s said. You pull things out of the air.
    Again, Don, please back up your accusations. When you accuse Kim of being dishonest, and I object, what have I mistakenly read into your accusation? And what have I pulled out of the air? In my posts above, essentially repeated below, I've cited your words each time I've objected to your divisiveness.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I’ve pulled some of your quotes from your very recent posts. They’re numbered so I can respond below.

    Jeff’s quotes

    1. “Don, "attack mode?" I made two constructive (perhaps even "inclusive") suggestions for WVN.”

    2. “you are the proverbial pot calling the kettle black”

    3. “But please, if you are going to accuse Kim of being dishonest, please back up that libel. In fact, I would argue that you've just violated the first rule of the DF, "1. Do not engage in personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming." However, I'm of the opinion that leaving your bad behavior in place is better than removing it, as it says far more about you than it does about Kim.”

    4. “So, you want to move beyond the "bad guy mentailty" in practically the same breath that you trash Michael Tichnor? Nicely played. When you've contributed 1/100th of the positive service to the town as Michael has, maybe your words will carry some weight.”

    5. “You, on the other hand, attacked Kim for dishonesty and attacked Michael Tichnor for writing a divisive rant, for being insecure, and for not being a "contributing neighbor."

    6. “you (with your statement published by none other than WEN) were the only one who was divisive. Sorry, but you're the attack dog of late.”

    7. “As town officials go, I think I own the all-time record for engaging with residents of all perspectives.”

    My responses

    1. My mentioning “attack mode” was about your previous comments about me, and you answer with your WVN suggestions.

    Some of you said about me are in 2-6. Incidently, what I wrote about your WVN suggestions was, “I wrote this before Jeff D’s thoughtful response, so my sentiments aren’t directed towards his comment. WVN would be better for doing the simple things he suggests.” Maybe I should retract that.
    Yes, Don, you have been and are in attack mode. Please tolerate the repetition of specific examples.

    a. Earlier this year, here's how I characterized your candidate statement published by Wayland eNews.

    In response to (WEN candidate survey) question 1, Mr. Bustin divisively and without foundation accuses Mr. Bladon of ducking issues and offering tired answers. In answer to several questions (4 and 8), Mr. Bustin alleges failings, again without any backup, in the area of town finances and, presumably, on the part of the Finance Committee on which Mr. Bladon serves. It's not just Mr. Bladon that Mr. Bustin attacks, however. In this thread on April 21, Mr. Bustin wrongly charged another Finance Committee member with impropriety with respect to reviewing Town Meeting articles, an allegation quickly discredited and for which Mr. Bustin felt obligated to apologize.

    Are you denying that you said that John Bladon ducked issues and offered tired answers? Do you deny that such accusations are divisive?

    To my knowledge, you were the only Board of Selectman or School Committee candidate this past spring who raised a competitor's name in a negative light. John Bladon didn't do so. Shawn Kinney didn't do so. Beth Butler didn't do so.

    b. In your original post in this thread, you attacked Kim for being dishonest without any foundation whatsoever.

    "I can’t understand your lack of honesty."

    Are you denying that you called Kim dishonest?

    c. In that same post, you levied a host of attacks on Michael Tichnor.

    "It’s one thing to read Michael Tichnor’s divisive rant about “bad WVN” (he’s being true to form), but for eNews to participate in this finger pointing, is, for me, not understandable."

    "Is it too much to hope, that mature, intelligent people might move beyond this “bad guy” mentality? The people at WVN are sincere, contributing neighbors who try to do the best they can to create something of value. As are the people here at eNews. And to make the point, so are they at SOS. (I do find it harder to include Michael Tichnor, but let’s assume that’s just me.)"

    Are you denying that you accused Mr. Tichnor of being divisive and that you explicitly excluded Michael Tichnor from your characterization of "mature, intelligent people" and "sincere, caring neighbors?"

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    2. Please explain, with examples. Your color is what?
    Example: you accused Mr. Tichnor of being divisive. Yet in the spring campaign and in this thread, you alone were the one who launched divisiveness. I don't think that I can be any clearer or more explicit.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    3. You accuse me of libel – that’s a serious charge Jeff. Please show us what you are referring to? You say I “accuse Kim of being dishonest”, of “personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming”. Show us this “bad behavior” that you say is in my writing. If you can’t show us these things, I guess that will say a lot about you.
    And if I *can* show these things, I guess that says a lot about me (and you) as well. I *again* quote from your original post in this thread.

    "I can’t understand your lack of honesty."

    I'm no lawyer, but in my book, falsely accusing someone in writing of being dishonest is libel. Regarding DF posting rule #1, your characterization of Kim as dishonest is certainly a personal attack, a defamation, and libel. In my opinion, it's also flaming. Does this do an adequate job of "showing us?'

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    4. & 5. It appears that you got parts of these two from this paragraph of mine:
    “Is it too much to hope, that mature, intelligent people might move beyond this “bad guy” mentality? The people at WVN are sincere, contributing neighbors who try to do the best they can to create something of value. As are the people here at eNews. And to make the point, so are they at SOS.”

    I think you missed something.
    What did I miss? Did I miss that you apparently cut your own quote short to exclude this last bit:

    "(I do find it harder to include Michael Tichnor, but let’s assume that’s just me.)"

    No, I don't think that I missed that. Seriously, what did I miss? Why is it that you repeatedly make statements without any supporting foundation. As a reminder, things aren't necessarily true just because they emanate from somewhere inside your head.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    And as an aside, I guess that normal everyday townspeople can’t have opinions about their elected officials because their words “carry no weight”?
    Talk about pulling things out of thin air. Based on what you've said and done publicly over time, I said that I don't consider *your* divisive opinions to carry any weight. I said nothing about anyone else. To mention two people with whom I haven't always agreed (although I often do), but whom I respect, let me give you two examples. When Alan Reiss speaks, I give his words weight. When Tom Sciacca speaks, I give his words weight. I could add the names of numerous people who don't currently hold or have never held public office--I certainly don't view such a distinction as conferring some magical powers absent in others.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    6. I would suggest that everybody might reread both your and my posts in this thread and form their own opinions. (of course, if I was everybody, I wouldn’t bother)
    Fantastic suggestion. I'm surprised you make it, though, seeing as how such a re-read backs up everything I've said above.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    7. Pretty full of ourselves are we?
    There you go again, Don, being divisive without even providing any support. Do I have strong opinions? Yes. Am I confident in sharing those opinions? Yes. Does that make me "full of myself?" Uh, no. In engaging with Wayland residents over the fifteen year span of my public service, I've learned more than I've taught. The successes I've been part of have been the result of the efforts of many--to list some of them would do too many others a disservice. In my words and actions, I've tried to be thoughtful and analytical in doing my small part to help move Wayland forward.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    165

    Default Dog hater indeed

    I'm pleased that you enjoy my posts. Calling me and Jeff Dumb is certainly a mature and effective way of showing that.

    I would strongly suggest that you take my last post seriously. Your approach to what you deem as "newsworthy" in fact took a swipe at WEN's attempts to help reunite separated pets from their owners. Only a heartless fool or a seriously socially tainted individual would seriously think that those sort of things are not newsworthy. And by the way, I did not vote for you primarily because you are so full of your own self envy, that you couldn't possibly fairly represent any issue this town may have. Please - continue to enjoy my posts Mr. Dumb and Dumbest.

    Carl

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Wow!

    I’m overwhelmed by bull, things pulled out of context, distorted, inaccurate. But let’s stick to the libel shall we. Both Jeff, and I guess Kim too, seem to agree that I libeled. And both pulled out the sentence “I can’t understand your lack of honesty.” all by itself (out of context again) as proof. Proves what? Nothing.

    Following is the paragraph that sentence comes from. It was the third paragraph of my original post, up until that time I’d been addressing the three original posters and don’t mention Kim until two paragraphs later. Perhaps it’s my use of the word honesty that you don’t like, used as in honest appraisal. To focus on WVN’s bias and neglect any of their good qualities is not an honest protrayal of the situation. And I guess I’m not supposed to ask why not treating WVN as a news source is a “curious omission” for an unbiased news aggregator.

    But here’s the mischievous paragraph –

    “Let’s look at WVN’s current newsletter (#362, here), the piece by Betty Salzberg. For all WVN’s faults, this is depthful reporting. Can you point to anything else (or anyone) in town that comes close to providing this kind of information? Can you name any board or committee member or town administrator who in the newspaper, on the town’s website, or in any manner, tries to explain what’s going on in town? Michael Tichnor? Please. Jeff D. (ex officio) does engage with the public (but he’s kinda odd, so perhaps he doesn’t count… grin). There’s nothing else like WVN in town. I can’t understand your lack of honesty.”

    Exactly now, who is this libeling, and how? I suppose I have no hope of getting a simple and honest answer from any of you

    In fact, I get the feeling you’re slandering me (is that the right word?).

    Carl

    What? Where? Unbelievable! Such a skill at making things up, and not very nice either.

    Kim

    You and the eNews board might do a little soul searching and ask yourselves if this is what you had in mind as your contribution towards making Wayland a better community?

    And I thank you all, this has been very informative for me. In the sense of seeing people’s true colors.

    Speaking of true colors – Jeff would you explain about the timing of the announcement of your retirement from the School Committee? You could have made your announcement before the May election. This would have given the citizens of Wayland the option of voting on your replacement. Instead, you chose to wait until just after the election to announce it, giving the right to appoint your replacement to your cronies. (Now don’t go saying you didn’t know until after the election – even I had heard about it before the election and I’m certainly not part of your inner circle.) As someone who professes doing what’s right for the people of Wayland, that wasn’t very democratic of you. I submit that the hidden political agenda was that if Ms. Butler won, the Selectmen would not appoint Mr. Kinney. (Now don’t go saying I’ve disparaged Ms. Butler – I think she is an excellent School Committee member.) But you, political agenda over people’s right to choose their representatives. Is that your true colors?

    See ya.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Don, I never said that what I thought you had written rose to the level of libel. I merely said that you had called me dishonest, which you did. I think I understand now what you think was dishonest, though I firmly disagree with you. As I understand it, you think I am being dishonest about the value that WVN provides.

    I have said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    I will say that I think that WVN has a done a somewhat better job in recent months than they did back in the 2005-2006 timeframe of reporting information. As Jeff D noted, some of their reporters do a better job than others of reporting objectively. I have no objection with their putting out newsletters with their own slant in them. I just think it's silly for them to claim not to have a slant, and I think it's wrong that their corrections have been so infrequent and, in a case or two that involved me personally, so completely inadequate. I think they should provide a mechanism for feedback. They are a Yahoo Group, which are by default two-way streets, but they have intentionally turned off the feedback mechanisms.
    and

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Don, we have discussed among our Editorial Board linking to WVNs reports in the past. Some of their pieces are worthy, others are not. And that is the challenge. We don't link to editorials or Letters to the Editor (except here on the Discussion Forum, where opinion is to be discussed). So, some of their pieces are like editorials and others are like news pieces, and sometimes, unless you've been to a particular meeting, it's hard to know which is which. Further, in news pieces in news websites, readers can add their comments and corrections below in the comments section, which can't happen with WVN. So there's the rub. If WVN allowed for feedback and properly labelled opinion as opinion, we could link to their news stories and discuss their opinion pieces here. In the meantime, we can just discuss all of their pieces here, as you sort of suggested.
    If you think that to "focus on WVN’s bias and neglect any of their good qualities is not an honest protrayal of the situation", then we're just going to have agree to disagree. I do see some good qualities in WVN, and we do link to WVN on our news links page on the website. And I do acknowledge, at the risk of this comment being used out of context, that some of WVNs reporting can be quite good. They expend significant effort to attend meetings and write those reports. I do not neglect their good qualities.

    But my single biggest issue with WVN is that they do not provide a feedback mechanism. In my personal experience their "corrections" have been far too little and far too late (when they happen at all, which is rare). If this has happened to me, how many others has it happened to? how many events have been described inaccurately or in ways that are extremely misleading? If a writer for WVN has an issue with what I have just said, he can write about it in WVN (and nobody can counter it to those same readers) or he can come here and tell you what he thinks. But if I or a member of the Historic District Committee or Planning Board or Board of Selectmen have an issue with something WVN says, what can they do? So bias is an issue, but it only is so especially important because there is no feedback mechanism.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I’m overwhelmed by bull, things pulled out of context, distorted, inaccurate. But let’s stick to the libel shall we. Both Jeff, and I guess Kim too, seem to agree that I libeled. And both pulled out the sentence “I can’t understand your lack of honesty.” all by itself (out of context again) as proof. Proves what? Nothing.

    Following is the paragraph that sentence comes from. It was the third paragraph of my original post, up until that time I’d been addressing the three original posters and don’t mention Kim until two paragraphs later. Perhaps it’s my use of the word honesty that you don’t like, used as in honest appraisal. To focus on WVN’s bias and neglect any of their good qualities is not an honest protrayal of the situation. And I guess I’m not supposed to ask why not treating WVN as a news source is a “curious omission” for an unbiased news aggregator.

    But here’s the mischievous paragraph –

    “Let’s look at WVN’s current newsletter (#362, here), the piece by Betty Salzberg. For all WVN’s faults, this is depthful reporting. Can you point to anything else (or anyone) in town that comes close to providing this kind of information? Can you name any board or committee member or town administrator who in the newspaper, on the town’s website, or in any manner, tries to explain what’s going on in town? Michael Tichnor? Please. Jeff D. (ex officio) does engage with the public (but he’s kinda odd, so perhaps he doesn’t count… grin). There’s nothing else like WVN in town. I can’t understand your lack of honesty.”

    Exactly now, who is this libeling, and how? I suppose I have no hope of getting a simple and honest answer from any of you.
    Don, Kim started the thread, and added the next post. Steve, Carl, and I followed. Then you blundered in. It's common convention in online posting that unless otherwise specified, "you" refers to the thread orginator. For that reason, both Kim and I (at least) assumed that you were calling her dishonest. Now, it appears that you are saying that it was not Kim, but rather Steve, Carl, and/or me. So, who are you calling dishonest?

    And, I've consistently answered your questions. Will you do the same for the ones that I asked in post 17? I even put them in bold to help you find them.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    In fact, I get the feeling you’re slandering me (is that the right word?).
    No, that is not the right word. If it's in writing, it's libel. If it's spoken, it's slander. In both cases, of course, to rise to those levels, the "it" must also be untrue.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Speaking of true colors – Jeff would you explain about the timing of the announcement of your retirement from the School Committee?
    Happy to--below is the text of the letter that I submitted to the Town Crier announcing my resignation.

    TO THE EDITOR:
    I’m writing to announce my resignation from the Wayland School Committee. To the residents of Wayland who have honored me with the opportunity to serve these past ten years, I offer a heartfelt thank you. And to town officials and employees with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working, your efforts on behalf of Wayland never ceased to both impress and energize me.

    When I ran for re-election a bit more than a year ago, I didn’t know that I would be moving to a new company. With prior employers, I had the good fortune for the most part to dictate my travel schedule. Over the past few months, it became obvious that my new role would not provide that same flexibility, the result being more missed meetings—past and expected future—than would be fair to school families, residents in general, and my fellow committee members.

    Serving the community as a School Committee member has been a fantastic experience. I’ve become friends with people whom I might otherwise not have had the good fortune to meet. My tenure, interesting in its own right, taught me much about public education, not just informing my career in educational publishing, but helping to launch it. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to contribute to the education of Wayland’s students—for that, I’m truly grateful.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff Dieffenbach
    Pleasant Street


    As to the timing, I took my new position in February, only a bit more than a month before nomination papers were due back at the Town Clerk's office. At the time that papers were due, it had become apparent to me that my new responsibilities might create a conflict, but I had by no means made a decision. That decision--with a better understanding of my work schedule--came later, shortly before the election and Town Meeting. At that point, in my opinion, it would have been wrong to make the announcement, since two declared candidates were at that point in the midst of campaigning.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    You could have made your announcement before the May election.
    As I indicated above, that would have intruded on campaigns already under way.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    This would have given the citizens of Wayland the option of voting on your replacement.
    No, it would not have, since it would have been too late for a person to get his or her name on the ballot.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Instead, you chose to wait until just after the election to announce it, giving the right to appoint your replacement to your cronies.
    "Cronies?" You mean, like the type of shady characters with whom one might be in cahoots? What is this, a 1930s gangster flick? I happen to hold the current Board of Selectmen and School Committee members in high regard. Your use of "cronies" is yet another example of your insulting divisiveness.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    (Now don’t go saying you didn’t know until after the election – even I had heard about it before the election and I’m certainly not part of your inner circle.)
    I'd be curious to know what you knew, from whom, and when? You didn't hear it from me, of course, and if you heard it from anyone before April, you heard it from someone who was speculating. As I said above, I did not make the decision until after papers were due.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    As someone who professes doing what’s right for the people of Wayland, that wasn’t very democratic of you.
    Allowing an election to run without "intrusion" strikes me as being exactly the democratic thing to do. It allowed two candidate to continue their campaigns. Sure, they might have liked it if they'd known, as they might perhaps have throttled things back (although both strike me as being of the character to have charged hard to the finish line), but I didn't think it my place to put them in that position.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I submit that the hidden political agenda was that if Ms. Butler won, the Selectmen would not appoint Mr. Kinney.
    I have no doubt that had the election result been different, the Selectmen and the School Committee (it was a joint decision) would have appointed Mr. Kinney, as I would have advised them to do if they'd asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    (Now don’t go saying I’ve disparaged Ms. Butler – I think she is an excellent School Committee member.) But you, political agenda over people’s right to choose their representatives. Is that your true colors?
    Don, in case you weren't paying attention, the people DID have the right to choose their representatives. And to what political agenda do you refer? The one where I've served the town of Wayland for 15 years with thoughtfulness and integrity and with the best interest of the town and the school population in mind and at heart? Yes, those are my true colors, thanks for asking?

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Not nice? You wrote the book on "not nice", so I guess you must be right about me. What is it with you anyway? It'd be interesting to understand why you insist on making disparaging comments about others while exhibiting much worse behavior, but one can only guess what it must be like to live in the a world Bustin' out with Bustin perfection. Yikes.

    -C

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    (I wrote this before Jeff D’s thoughtful response, so my sentiments aren’t directed towards his comment. WVN would be better for doing the simple things he suggests. Perhaps if they had a real website, and more help, they would.)

    My apologies for not reading or posting lately, I’ve been on break. But last night I stopped by and see what? I’d be embarrassed if I was you. It’s one thing to read Michael Tichnor’s divisive rant about “bad WVN” (he’s being true to form), but for eNews to participate in this finger pointing, is, for me, not understandable. I can’t even see what you’re trying to accomplish through it. Just disparaging some of your neighbors who put a lot of effort into creating something that they think is of value to the people of Wayland.

    Let’s look at WVN’s current newsletter (#362, here), the piece by Betty Salzberg. For all WVN’s faults, this is depthful reporting. Can you point to anything else (or anyone) in town that comes close to providing this kind of information? Can you name any board or committee member or town administrator who in the newspaper, on the town’s website, or in any manner, tries to explain what’s going on in town? Michael Tichnor? Please. Jeff D. (ex officio) does engage with the public (but he’s kinda odd, so perhaps he doesn’t count… grin). There’s nothing else like WVN in town. I can’t understand your lack of honesty.
    Don, I do agree -- let's not take that "I can't understand your lack of honesty" quote out of context. I've put it back into its full context, right from the start of your post. I think we can ignore the parenthetical at the start.

    In the first real paragraph you said: "I'd be embarrased if I was you". Who is that "you" there? I thought you meant me, because your next sentence was "It’s one thing to read Michael Tichnor’s divisive rant about “bad WVN” (he’s being true to form), but for eNews to participate in this finger pointing, is, for me, not understandable." If you didn't mean "me", maybe you meant Steve (who, by the way, isn't even an official member of the board anymore)?

    There's nothing in any of these earlier sentences that would indicate that "you" is anyone other than me, so when you say "I can't understand your lack of honesty", I'm having trouble trying to figure out who "you" would be if not me. Or why you never corrected anyone earlier if "you" meant someone else.

    So help me out here. If you didn't mean me by "you", then who did you mean? And if you did mean "me", then I'm sorry you feel that way, and I hope my prior post helps address your points.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    I just re-read this thread, and wondered if perhaps I should put on my Administrator hat and warn all of us (Kim,Jeff, Don, Carl) to please remember to stick to the issues and leave the personalities out of the discussion.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 08-02-2010 at 12:53 PM. Reason: typo - replaced "post" with "thread"

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Sounds like a great idea Kim. I can't say I enjoy reading nonsensical musings regarding who said what to who when and how one-sided it all is.

    It might be fun to resurrect some of the recent WVN articles and extract the "not-so-subtle" slant...

    -C

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    165

    Default

    How convenient! WVN just published newsletter #363. A small excerpt from their "lead" story:

    "At the November 2009 Special Town Meeting, reconsideration was part of an
    exceptionally divisive, acrimonious debate before the selectmen succeeded on a
    second try in getting enough votes to pass an article they said was essential to
    keep the proposed Town Center mixed-use development alive. This article
    decreased the amount of affordable housing at the Town Center."

    OK - maybe I'm reading into this, but doesn't this just scream "bias" against the selectmen? Really - it's just their choice of words and implied bullying by the selectmen (who succeeded on a SECOND try in getting enough votes THEY said was essential to keep the proposed Town Center .... I mean, come on. No bias? Thank you WVN for your timely example. Oh, and the closing sentence is taken completely out of context, and implies that the evil selectmen were bent on decreasing the affordable housing that will be made available at Town Center. Wow. Nice unbiased journalism.

    -C
    Last edited by Carl Rosenblatt; 08-02-2010 at 08:05 PM. Reason: fix spelling error

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Carl, thanks for getting us on track. Here are a few examples (by no means an exhaustive list) of WVN bias that I've found over the years.

    WVN 346
    WVN devotes 303 words to School Committee candidate Beth Butler and 509 (67% more) to candidate Shawn Kinney. As has been argued on the Town Crier web site, word count alone isn't necessarily a demonstration of bias, but my read of the piece detects a pro-Kinney leaning.

    WVN 226
    WVN titled a rare single-item January 2008 article, "Reiss running for re-election." To my knowledge, WVN ran no such campaign ad for Joe Nolan or any other Board of Selectmen candidate that year.

    WVN #186
    WVN wrote: "Management consultant and Wayland parent Steve Goldstein is a principal in a firm specializing in helping corporations do strategic planning. After observing the School Committee's floundering attempts to do long range planning at their annual "off-site" meeting in June (held in the Public Safety Building), he volunteered to lead an effort to do some serious strategic planning for the Wayland school system."

    As I wrote in response here, "Describing the committee's June 2006 initial long range planning discussion as "floundering" is both insulting and incorrect. That meeting was intended to do nothing more than begin the conversation, an objective that it accomplished with the assistance of an agenda to which it stuck. The fact that a conversation under "brainstorming rules" covered multiple topics and allowed for digressions is far from "floundering." Moreover, Mr. Goldstein had been involved in the committee's process prior to the June meeting. He helped develop the agenda in advance and was at the meeting at the invitation of the committee to assist it with its planning process. He did not, as WVN implies, "rescue" the committee.

    Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the "floundering" assertion, it's hard to see the assertion as anything other than anti-School Committee. To that point, WVN has rarely if ever lauded an action by the Board of Selectmen, the Finance Committee, or the School Committee. I'll repeat--I have no objection to WVN's taking an "anti-establishment" point-of-view, just to their denying same.

    WVN #145
    WVN wrote: "Selectman Alan Reiss is scheduled to present a slide-illustrated rundown on tax override options at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday during a regular BoS meeting. Unless you are there you might not be able to view the slides. For an electronic copy of the presentation, email Reiss at AlanJReiss@Verizon.net."

    It is interesting to note WVN's selectiveness in what materials they "circulate." [Note: this isn't an isolated example of what is clearly WVN's "standard operating procedure."] For whatever reason, the WVN did NOT see fit to direct its readership to the presentations made by the School Committee at public forums held on 10/17/2005 and 2/2/2006 despite the fact that unless residents were able to attend, they would not be able to view the slides.

    WVN #127
    WVN wrote (in December 2005): "Again meeting before a large crowd largely composed of concerned Happy Hollow parents, the School Committee struggled like a hooked fish before finally deciding to eliminate closing Happy Hollow from consideration next year."

    I responded (12/4/2005): "It's unfortunate to see the WVN mock the Open Meeting Law, which requires that committees meet in public sessions to discuss matter such as budgeting. Perhaps the result would be cleaner if committees were able to meet in private to arrive at a final and polished public statement. Instead, in the interest of open government, committees must struggle like thoughtful public officials with difficult decisions. The budget process may be messy to watch at times, but the result is better for it."

    I'll repeat: the point is not whether you agree with the characterization, but rather, the point-of-view with which it's expressed.

    WVN #84
    WVN had this to say about an April 2005 presentation: "It wasn't a true debate, but rather two opposing PowerPoint presentations: Vote Yes to maintain services or vote No to force creative change in town government."

    "Creative change in town government" is to my eye their preference.

    WVN #44 and WVN #47
    They repeated factually incorrect information (after having been informed of same) that attempted to undermine a construction project.

    WVN #19
    WVN came out against advertising on school buses.

    WVN #17
    WVN said that it supported Article 33 of the 2004 Annual Town Meeting. If this isn't going beyond informing, I don't know what is.

    WVN #10
    WVN's first (to my eye) example of bias was in WVN #10 back in 2004. WVN wrote with respect to the upcoming election, "And please remember to vote… your conscience, not someone else's."

    What prompted them to issue this "caution?" The existence of a group called, "Citizen's for Wayland's Future." How does WVN characterize this group? With negativity-laced phrases like "not-so-hidden agenda" and "strengthening the current power structure and promoting its policies and pet projects."

    It is interesting to note that WVN #10 appears to be the first instance of a common tactic of theirs: quoting an anonymous "resident" or "neighbor" or "voter" expressing dissatisfaction with the words or actions of town officials without ever, to my knowledge, doing the same for anyone in favor.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    A couple of my personal favorites are these:

    In WVN 173, WVN wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland Voters Network
    The recent financial disclosures indicate that SOS is already working with one group, WaylandeNews. SOS expenditures include three monthly payments for "eNews update fee." The Wayland eNews website's founders include Betsy Connolly and Kim Reichelt. Connolly is a former selectman and longtime advocate for the town center project. Reichelt was the head of the advocacy group pushing in 2005 for a new Wayland High School. Though eNews claims to be even-handed, it evidently accepts money from one side of a political campaign.
    Clearly, since in fact, SOS had never contributed any money to WaylandeNews, WVN had done none of the research one would expect from professional journalists, but rather had jumped to erroneous conclusions. When I immediately informed Michael Short that most of this paragraph was incorrect - that WaylandeNews had not received a contribution from SOS, that Betsy Connelly was a board member, but not a founder of WaylandeNews, and that WaylandeNews does not accept contributions from anyone, they made this correction (six days later, at the bottom of an email):

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland Voters Network
    In WVN Newsletter #173, we erroneously listed WaylandeNews as a recipient of $90 from Save Our Services. The money in fact was for SOS' own email service, called eNews.
    It is immediately evident how insufficient this correction is. Someone who read the first email immediately comes away thinking WaylandeNews receives money from one side of political campaigns and that WaylandeNews' claims at even-handedness are thereby disproven. The correction does not undo this because it does not provide any context. And it didn't even correct all the inaccuracies.

    Another favorite of mine is this one from WVN #82:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland Voters Network
    A questioner asked whether eliminating after-school programs would leave more children free to make mischief after school. Superintendent Gary Burton seemed to agree that Wayland's children were sufficiently undisciplined as to make this a risk.
    I sent the following corrections to WVN:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt
    (1) Gary Burton did not state that our children are "undisciplined". That was your reporter's opinion of what it means for some children who don't have anything structured to do occasionally creating mischief.

    (2) more factually inaccurate was the following:

    "Another resident pointed out that the high school offers 166 courses, and asked if the cost of all these options was known. Assistant Superintendent Wayne Ogden responded that while all those courses were offered, they were actually run only if an adequate number of children signed up for them."

    Actually, it was very carefully and clearly explained, there are only, for example, two art teachers, who combined can teach 8-10 courses. While more art courses may be listed as available, only the most popular will be run. Even if all the courses were fully subscribed, they would not all be able to run.
    But no correction was ever issued regarding either item.

    The first example is typical of the "try to make those who disagree with you seem unsavory" approach that WVN seems to employ, the second (though not an important issue) is a nice, simple example of a writer twisting what was actually said to suit the writer's purpose.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Nice! Now THIS is worth reading. Thanks for the great examples - and I'm sure there are more to be found.

    Of course, this will not change anything, as WVN will continue to do what they do, but at least it sheds some light on what comes closer to the truth.

    Carl

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default Here's another small example

    This from WVN #371 on September 28:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland Voters Network

    READER THOUGHTS ON VALUES FORUM

    As promised in an earlier WVN Alert, here are suggestions from readers about topics they would like to see discussed at a forum scheduled for Wednesday Sept. 29 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m at the Town Building.

    [...]

    -- Overcrowding at Happy Hollow and larger class sizes there than at Claypit are unacceptable.
    What's the plan to rectify this NOW so that the school department keeps its word to offer equal educational opportunities on both sides of town?
    A reader may have thought that Happy Hollow had larger class sizes, but this turns out not to be true. Since the question list WVN posted was stated as having been submitted by a reader, WVN may have seen fit to have checked on its veracity before just posting the assertion. Otherwise, another reader might have sent them a suggestion such as, "Spousal abuse among journalists in town is unacceptable. What's the plan to eliminate it?" Would they have published that? (I hope and suspect not!) When one posts a statement with a following question of what to do about it such as what is done above, readers generally will assume that the assertion must be true -- because that is what is clearly implied. But based on past experience, I knew it was worth checking.

    I sent the following correction to WVN 35 minutes after receiving their newsletter:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt in email to WVN

    Just a quick correction… class sizes are not larger at HH than Claypit. You did not state that they did, but did site the question of why they are larger at HH, which kind of implies that this is a true statement. Average class sizes are nearly identical between the two schools (though HH’s are actually ever so slightly *smaller*).

    439 students at HH and 20 classrooms = 21.95/class overall
    571 students at Claypit and 26 classrooms = 21.96/class overall

    Claypit has larger classes in 1st grade and 5th, HH in 2nd, 3rd and 4th

    Source: http://www.wayland.k12.ma.us/distric...ent%202010.pdf

    I hope this information is helpful to you.
    I should note that there are really just two grades in which the difference in class size is significant, and one is much larger at HH, the other at Claypit -- in both cases, it just has to do with a grade being a few students shy at one school and not at theh other of warranting an extra classroom.

    No response to me or correction issued to date.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 09-19-2013 at 10:40 AM. Reason: corrected error - the word "larger" corrected to be "smaller*

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •