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#1 2009-08-11 13:58:44

For those of you who don't read Slager's blog, this post might not make sense.  His post today is titled "The former trustees must open their books".  Below is my response.  Note that, as I stated, he does not separate his piece from the "news" on his site, but this is an editorial/opinion piece, and clearly a satire using the same format as his post.

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Casual Observations: Robert Slager must leave Wareham Alone

    There is a very simple solution to resolving the controversy that Observer Media and its owner/publisher/editor/reporter/opinion writer/blogger Robert Slager has caused through alleged biased, one-sided reporting and misrepresentations of the truth in Wareham.
    Robert Slager should call a press conference at the Wareham Town Hall and inform the public and media that he is leaving Wareham alone, will not serve as a mouthpiece for the current administration, and will discontinue his practice of what many say is printing one-sided stories that divide the community and inflame situations.
    There is absolutely no reason for Robert Slager to misrepresent the truth, spins stories favorably for the Board of Selectmen, and lie to the people of Wareham anymore. He doesn't owe it to www.warehamobserver.com. He owes it to the public. He owes it to every person who has been misinformed and fallen for his tactics and methods and dodgey journalism ethics over the past few years.
    If he refuses nobody should ever give another penny to his company, view his blog, or advertise in his weekly distributions.
    For several years Robert Slager has refused to acknowledge the alleged bias and slant to his stories. He used to claim on his blog that Observer Media was "The Independent Voice of The Gateway", a claim which no longer exists on his website.  Is this a tacit admission that his writings are, indeed, not independent of influence from the current Board of Selectmen and their agenda?  By admitting that he's not independent, Mr. Slager seems to have acknowledged that his writings do have a distinct bias.  He will surely claim that he is still independent, even though he not reported on anything that this writer would consider critical of the current Board and its members in several months, if not years.  No matter what your opinion is on any politician, or group of politicians, no group with as much going on as the current Board has does everything right over that long of a timespan, and any reporter who seeks the truth reports on both sides of the issues.
    Robert Slager, who by all appearances is currently the only full-time writer for The Wareham Observer, as well as the editor, publisher, owner, and one of the most-quoted sources in its recent stories, has posted many stories critical of people who have opposed the current Board of Selectmen.  I could not find any references on his site to anything critical of the Board.  He has threatened litigation numerous times against people who have pointed out the spin and misrepresentations, and cited many laws, regulations, and even Constitutional Amendments that do not appear to have any relevance to the situation he is discussing.  It is unclear if he does this in an attempt to intimidate those on the other end of his threats into capitulating to his demands.  Slager has called for a counter-boycott of a store which decided to stop selling his weekly publication, and went so far as to list that store's phone number and encourage his supporters to call and complain about a violation of their First Ammendment rights.  Slager has not acknowledged repeated condemnation for this, as it is quite clear this is not an issue where the right of free speech applies; if anything, the store owners exercised their rights of free speech by electing not to distribute The Observer any more.
    All of the harassment in the world will not make those who seek the truth, and not spin, go away.  This website and other sources have received dozens, if not hundreds of comments complaining about The Observer's alleged race baiting, lies, spin, and bias.  They want to know why a Cape Verdean couple went to his office to complain about something he had nothing to do with.  They want to know how people without a computer managed to create a digital image for an ad on his site, and how that ad wound up being emailed by the Town Moderator to numerous individuals in an attempt to create a protest where none existed.  They want to know why this couple, who allegedly wanted to organize the protest, were not at the protest themselves.  They want to know if the fact that Slager's finances appear to be dependent on retaining access to exclusive commentary from the current Board is contributing to any bias in the stories by The Observer.  They want to know why The Observer does not acknowledge changes to articles on its website, especially when those changes are material to the story being presented.  They want to know why Robert Slager has never acknowledged that Bob Brady paid the town to rent out the auditorium for his meeting, instead only choosing to say it was hosted in a public building.  They want to know why he attempts to belittle those who oppose the Board of Selectmen.  They want to know why he doesn't separate his editorial/advocacy writing from his news reporting.  They want to know why he quotes himself in articles with no byline.  In short, they want to know why Slager claims to be a man of the people who seeks the truth, when all appearances point to him being a lackey of the board who seeks their quotes.
    These people have every right to demand the truth from Robert Slager.  They read the website and the print publication with the intention of getting news, and not spin.  For as long as I have been reading his site, I have seen spin, misrepresentation, and violations of standard journalism ethics.  He and his supporters claim that every other source of information available is biased, and he is the only one willing to stand up for the truth.  When I have pointed out his tactics, his lies, and his mistruths, he has refused to acknowledge them, instead giving "jeers" to other members of this community.  When I emailed him, before I began posting on this site in earnest, he didn't respond.  There is evidence that he reads this site, and he has claimed to have copies of every post made, but there is no evidence that he has any interest in responding to the factual claims made in my previous posts, aside from changes he's made to his posts without alerting his readers.
    Slager's supporters claim that he is the sole voice of truth in the community, and the only thing keeping the evil "power elite" at bay.  That question could be addressed very easily if Slager agreed to leave Wareham alone.  Why would anyone object to that?  The public should absolutely demand it, and they have.  So should the other media.  There is a question of transparency and accountability.  Based on the recent community meeting organized by Bob Brady and held in a room that he rented out for the purpose, there are approximately 200 residents who are willing to stand up for a new direction in Wareham, and who knows how many behind them who weren't comfortable facing the intimidation tactics of the Board and the Observer.  This is their chance to show that they aren't going to stand for this any more.
    Every single person in this town should be furious that Slager continues to publish political spin for the Board of Selectmen, especially when he has claimed to be representing the people of Wareham in his efforts.  Many of the people he attacked could be filling key roles in town government today, and much of the energy spent refuting him could be better used elsewhere.  Much of the current political turmoil could be avoided if he reported the news ethically and accurately instead of, as many people say, spinning everything positively for the Board.  Then the people of Wareham could read the truth.
    Slager has accused his opponents of targeting him.  That's a far better alternative than allowing his misrepresentations to continue.
    There is one way and only one way to end this.  Leave Wareham alone.  Until the public is allowed to see the political landscape without constant pro-BoS spin, this wound will never really heal.  Citizens of the town of Wareham will bear the brundt of this when the truth is exposed about how much money the current board's mismanagement and penchant for litigation has cost the town.  People aren't going to trust them anymore.  Services afforded by the town will continue to dwindle.  The very purpose of town government will be compromised by their inability to function effectively, and the lack of information about this ineffectivness making its way to the public.
    And all of the lies, misrepresentations, and spin in the world will not change that fact.

Auto-edited on 2020-08-11 to update URLs

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#2 2009-08-11 14:15:04

One slight modification (not so) casual observer, Robert Slager and his pubication isn't merely publishing political spin for the selectmen. Spin is too mild a word and not really a description of what his rag is.  It is a propaganda sheet plain and simple.

Would it be only spin he might have to add a few facts from the other side here and there to create the illusion of balance. Instead he is using the old playbook of propagandists everywhere which is to keep repeating various versions of your lies until enough people start believing them.

Unfortunately he has been able to gain credibility among certain groups like those who get dinners from Meals on Wheels. We need to counter that and expose Robert Slager for what he is to those who have only been getting his side of the story.

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#3 2009-08-11 14:22:10

Casual,
That was the most accurate and well written editorial I have seen in a long time. Thank you for expressing what MANY people have privately stated. I hope you send a copy of this to the Courier and S-T. I would also send it to Slager's paper. He claims he has no problem posting both sides, so let's see if he will publish this?

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#4 2009-08-11 14:24:55

Casual,

What great insight!  It reads like an indictment of Robert Slager, count by count.

Keep up the good work.

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#5 2009-08-11 14:47:13

UR,
One of the issues Slager has is getting quotes or information from anyone. It is my opinion that he has crucified enough people and they do not return his calls or emails because of his attacks. The result is what you read on his site. If he had been a fair and proper journalist, this would not be the situation. You can see from how he handled the OVM issue and the racial baiting situation, he cares very little about ethics and getting the facts.

Casual has done a magnificient job of exposing his tactics and lies.

Of course, this is my opinion :)

Last edited by Larry McDonald (2009-08-11 14:54:02)

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#6 2009-08-11 15:22:01

Casual,
I think you are providing an invaluable service by getting the real facts out there regarding Slager and his writings. This information has to reach as many  of our town's people as possible. I agree with LM. I would hope that  you would send your editorials, or equivalent thereof, to as many newspapers as possible. More people have to know what is going on, and has been going on for far too long. Again, thank you.

Last edited by nittygritty (2009-08-11 15:25:35)

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#7 2009-08-11 16:32:18

Everyone, not to sound like a political science professor, but here's how I think you can win.

Unless you nail a member of the BoS for doing something that forces them to resign it will have to be at the ballot box.

http://www.aperfectworld.org/clipart/government/ballot_box02.png

The group of knowledgeable and justifiably outraged Wareham residents who post here have already started a movement with lots of potential to effect drastic change. It will take two election cycles to bear fruition, but essentially you have to replace at least three members of the BoS and assure a good person is the chair.

I think it's time to make your voices are heard in the citizen's portion of each and every BoS meeting. This will reach those watching on cable, and if you have something newsworthy enough to say the real reporters there will write it up.

From watching citizens speak out at other town's BoS meetings I'd suggest it not be the same old same old people speaking at the BoS meetings. A variety of people, including those known to old timers, should stand before the microphone.

You want to avoid giving the impression that only a few disgruntled residents are challenging the status quo for their own misguided reasons. Make sure that you present something that will be perceived as a groundswell of public opinion because, in fact, that is what it is.

I think you do need several of your best spokespersons who the responsible press will call for quotes, and who will always stay after BoS meetings to talk to those reporters. Of course their message should always be consistent but not sound like canned talking points.

Ideas on how to get the truth out to those Robert Slager reaches with his rag who don't have the Internet and in many cases don't watch the BoS meetings on cable need to be discussed. You can't let him have a way to rally a group of voters to his cause, either in the elections or town meetings.

His use of blatant lies and distortions in print, just as on television, can be very convincing and difficult to counter. A print newspaper has lots of credibility with many people even if you and I know it is a propaganda rag.

I strongly suggest you start raising funds through an existing or new PAC so when the time comes and you're ready to back candidates for the BoS you have a war chest to take out half and full page ads in the Standard Times, Courier, and if he let's you, Robert Slager's Wareham Observer.

You have to play politics better than current board members.

Anticipate how the opposition will attack you and have a counter-attack ready.

Try not to make any mistakes but don't expect not to, just learn from them.

The good part is that you don't have to play it dirty to win like they do. Just organize better, rally your troops, arm yourselves with lots of cash.

When the BoS election campaign gets rolling, let the games begin!

Last edited by urneighbor (2009-08-11 16:38:30)

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#8 2009-08-11 16:56:14

"I think it's time to make your voices are heard in the citizen's portion of each and every BoS meeting. This will reach those watching on cable, and if you have something newsworthy enough to say the real reporters there will write it up."
well bruce has told my husband that he wont be recognized so we are a no go..

great points all of them though.

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#9 2009-08-11 17:15:40

I don't know if I have ever posted this on site before, but I know I have told many of you via e-mail and private messages the following: the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen has no more or less power than any other member of the Board. He is simply a "facilitator". He speaks with various department heads, mostly the ITA I would imagine, and he notifies the members of the Board what may be coming before them in the next meeting or the next few meetings.
Never more than one at a time and never telling a Selectman what another Selectman is thinking. Sunshine Laws. Wonderful things.
The Chairman is expected to conduct the meeting of the Selectmen in a timely, civil, competent manner. He is not to be an arrogant, despotic figure that has the audacity to insult the people who actually elected him to office.
If any Selectman would sit at a meeting and allow (in my opinion) an idiot to spew his own views, shoot his mouth off to citizens and voters, insult businesses and individuals in Town, and that Selectman doesn't say anything about it, or stop it, or at least object to it...he/she has no business being a Selectman.
He/She is an embarrassment. He/She should go home and read the local paper to find out what happened after they left.
Time to say goodbye to them.

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#10 2009-08-11 17:23:57

Liz ... Is it legal for Bruce not to call on your husband. Dan, Bill anyone is this legal?

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#11 2009-08-11 17:25:01

I don't know how your BoS meeting is conducted. At ours in the "other" portion at the end when residents can speak on whatever they choose they line up before the microphone.

If you do it this way it would be pretty obvious and obnoxious if someone waiting on line was denied the right to speak.

Here Robert Slager rants about his First Amendment rights....

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#12 2009-08-11 17:40:15

Casual,

A Modest Proposal indeed!! Jonathan Swift would be proud!!!

Thanks for your well-written satire. I needed a laugh today.

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#13 2009-08-11 17:46:40

Marny...from what I have been able to gather, looking at past agendas, etc., in oder to be guaranteed the right to speak you must ask to be placed on the agenda.
That means the ITA decides, at this point, what should or should not be on the agenda.
I would say that the ITA has had enough headaches that he wouldn't want to add to it by denying a legitimate request of a citizen to appear on the agenda.

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#14 2009-08-11 17:51:06

urneighbor wrote:

I don't know how your BoS meeting is conducted. At ours in the "other" portion at the end when residents can speak on whatever they choose they line up before the microphone.

If you do it this way it would be pretty obvious and obnoxious if someone waiting on line was denied the right to speak.

Here Robert Slager rants about his First Amendment rights....

bruce the chairman has told my husband in an email even in CITZENS PARTCIPATION he will NOT recognize him..

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#15 2009-08-11 17:59:59

Liz, I hope you and the gnome  send a copy of the email to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission (link)

I'd also suggest writing a letter to the Standard Times and Courier if he tried to speak and isn't allowed to.

Last edited by urneighbor (2009-08-11 18:02:22)

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#16 2009-08-11 18:03:27

dan in the email from bruce he stated it was his agenda and he would not allow my husband to take up time on it.. so we in turn call the division of public records and them them deal with the ita and bos which in turn is costing legal fees because the public records division is talking with town counsel. bruce should have just talked with us he just incurred more legal bills because of his arragance an lack of transparancy..

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#17 2009-08-11 18:04:48

urneighbor wrote:

Liz, I hope you and the gnome  send a copy of the email to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission (link)

I'd also suggest writing a letter to the Standard Times and Courier if he tried to speak and isn't allowed to.

i have not but that certainly is another step we are dealing with an appeal now.. thank you for the advice and link though..

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#18 2009-08-11 18:05:28

Dan... this is the citzens participation part of the meeting. It's right at the begining of the meeting when the chairman asks if any citizen wants to speak.

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#19 2009-08-11 18:38:11

Right, Marny...but...from what we have been told by Liz and others, the Chairman has hijacked the agenda. If he doesn't like your looks, apparently he thinks he has the right to not recognize you or allow you to speak.
If you are LEGITIMATELY on the agenda, they have to hear you.
Now we are told that the Chairman has hijacked that as well.
Any lawyers out there that would work pro-bono to get one of these citizens their time before the BOS?
I don't think it would take more than a letter if someone is denied the right to be placed on the agenda.
If the Chairman "stonewalls" at that point, I think it is time to call in everyone you can think of outside of the Town: The State Police, The Attorney General, The Feds., whatever.
Don't be intimidated by a bunch of punks.

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#20 2009-08-11 18:45:50

Write letters to the editors of real papers and as I suggested the Mass. State Ethics Commission - consider if there is any hint of a conflict of interest. For example, between Robert Slager and Bruce, or any issue you want to speak on. If you aren't allowed to speak it may fall under the purview of the Ethics Commission. It can't hurt to call or email and run it by them.

Everyone who wants to speak should document their formal requests to be put on the agenda and the result.

Last edited by urneighbor (2009-08-11 18:50:46)

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#21 2009-08-11 20:47:31

Alright, I haven't actually laughed out loud through this entire process until now....but I just saw that Slager responsedto my blog post(s) on his site, and it's utterly ridiculous.  He misrepresented the truth, or flat-out-lied FIVE AND A HALF TIMES when he was responding to me calling him out for lying.  And he didn't even respond to most of the areas where I pointed out his lies.  I have to assume he thought this was the "low hanging fruit", but it was still and epic FAIL.  I'm only going to quote his responses where absolutely necessary - for the rest, I will only describe them.  Lord knows we don't want a copyright infringement lawsuit on our hands!

First, he says he doesn't post on this site.  That's true, but it leaves me wondering why.  I'm guessing he doesn't want to leave the protected solace of his pay-to-play elitist comment system.  That's fine, but I refuse to be forced to pay to have a voice in this debate, so I'm staying right here.  He said a while back that his lawyer told him not to post because it could look like he engaged in debate with Bill, but one would have to assume that writing posts like "The Delusion of Bill Whitehouse" would count towards participating in that debate.

Then he claims that I said Savageau "won't speak" to any other papers.  That's not true - I said Slager gets exclusive commentary.  Have you seen any other quotes from Bruce on this Slager-fueled library "controversy" in other papers?  I sure haven't.  Sounds to me like an exclusive.  There's our first misrepresentation

Next he claims that I said the Observer "has never written anything critical of the Board of Selectmen".  If you look at my post, you'll see I actually said he has "not reported on anything that this writer would consider critical of the current Board and its members in several months, if not years."  Now, I've been saving an evening copy of his site on my hard drive when I get back from work every day.  In the past 2 months, by my count, he has made 38 posts with some sort of political angle to them in that time.  Of those, nine painted the selectmen in a positive light, zero were negative towards them.  On the flip side, thirty-three portrayed selectmen "opposition" (Brady, bloggers, Coleman witnesses, etc) negatively not a single post was positive towards them.  I'm going to count this one as two misrepresentations - one for lying about what I said, and one for continuing to suggest that he's balanced.  And yes, I have the spreadsheet, so don't try accusing me of making this up.  I didn't go back any further than the two months because it was very time consuming, and the pattern had already become very evident.  Note that some articles were both positive for the selectmen and negative for the opposition, so that's why the numbers don't add up.

Next, he says that I claimed nobody could take a screen shot of his site to obtain a digital image.  He just made this up.  100%.  I never claimed such a thing - I just pointed out that I, and many others, are a little suspicious about how the administration got a hold of this ad and used it to attempt to create a protest out of thin air.  We're up to four misrepresentations in his three rebuttals so far.

Next he calls me a liar for claiming that he never responded to my email.  I don't know how to feel about this - I'm actually impressed that he put 2 and 2 together and actually got 4, but I'm completely flabbergasted that he would claim he responded to the email when he knows I have an email from him saying "I do not respond to anonymous questionnaires, especially those with an obvious political slant."  For those who are interested, I've included the original email, to which he never responded (and he knows he never responded) at the end of this email.  I sent the original email on June 5, with the intention stated in the email that I was trying to get both sides of the story.  I asked him 9 questions, including if he planned on performing a cost/benefit analysis of the audit when it was complete to see if it was worthwhile (seemed like a good 'investigative journalism' piece), about the technology behind his site, if he was going to notify readers of updates, a couple of questions about media bias, both in general and related to him, and a few other things.  On June 20th, he replied to a follow-up email that I sent asking if he received the email, and inquiring into whether or not he was going to reply.  It was in this reply that he said he was not going to respond to me.  Now he's claiming that he responded.  Bizarre.  We're up to 5 misrepresentations now.

He then says that he's not going to respond to anything else, followed immediately by a comment about me saying that he didn't note his latest article as an editorial.  I'm going to cut him some slack and not count his comment about not responding any more as a lie, even though it technically was :)  I'll admit, I didn't see the Editorial notation at the end of his article.  What I did see, though, was the section header that said "FrontPage News" right above the headline, and the lack of his standard "In This Corner" headline and pic. The notation of "Editorial" occurs at the very end of the article, after the "Read More" link, and the font size in the HTML code is "-2".  Real clear there Rob-O.  This is another example of his tactics - he slipped this in there, presumably so that people like me wouldn't notice it, but he can sit back and say "but it says editorial!"  Given that he technically had the word in there, I'll only give him half a misrep. 

So now that we've debunked all his claims, let's list some the things he didn't address:
Nothing about his violation of many parts of the code of journalism ethics
Nothing about his spin/propoganda tactics
Nothing about how his own math didn't support his claim of a $250k loss - when he claimed that $361k + $60k of donations equates to a $241k loss, a claim which he removed without notice from his site after I pointed out the lie.
Nothing about how he's taking about 4 minutes from a 2 hour meeting and using that to say it was a "recall meeting"
Nothing about how he's making improper and misleading claims about the 4th ammendment
Nothing about misrepresenting Cara Winslow's quote about the "traitor in our midst"
Nothing about implying that the former library trustees were "missing" $250k

etc, etc, etc...  It probably shouldn't be, but it's amazing to me that he picked these items to try to refute, and so utterly failed at all of them.  I suppose I should be proud of the fact that Slager finally lied about me.  Do I get to learn the secret handshake for the club now?


Finally, as promised, here's the original email I sent to Slager, to which he didn't reply.  He did reply to a followup email, and told me in that email that he would not respond to this one.  This is straight copy & paste, with email addresses removed:

From: Me
Date: Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 4:23 PM
Subject: Some Questions About Wareham
To: slager


Mr. Slager,

I am not a resident of Wareham, but have family who live there and I am immensely intrigued by the current situation in the town.  Like many, I believe there are three sides to any story - mine, yours, and the truth.  In this case, it would seem to line up as The Standard Times/Bloggers, The Wareham Observer/Board of Selectmen, and The Truth somewhere in between.  I have spoken to some of the "bloggers", and reaching out to you is my first attempt to ask some questions of the other side.  Please don't take these questions as attacks - they are not meant to be, as I am simply trying to understand where each side is coming from.  I will not be publishing your responses anywhere, but I hope to be able to engage in a substantive discussion on these issues with you.

1. You recently stated "In the private sector, no one would have batted an eye over such an audit. Employers have every right to know what their employees are doing on company time".  While it is true that employers have that right, this is most definitely a non-standard approach to performing such an audit.  I have spent my entire career in IT, specifically in information security, and I have significant experience performing these types of audits.  If I were a taxpaying citizen of Wareham, I would be furious at the cost incurred given the overall financial difficulties.  If the employer is searching for evidence of specific misconduct, a "carpet bombing" approach like what appears to have been performed seems improper.  If it's specific to Internet use, such information can be gleaned rather simply by installing monitoring software at central access points, bypassing the need to spend the time copying so many hard drives.  I would be interested to see a cost/benefit analysis of this investigation once information becomes public - do you have plans to write something to show if it was truly worthwhile?
2. You also state "...the logic question to ask is if nobody has anything to hide, why is there so much panic?" (SIC: I believe you meant to say "the logical question").  This seems to be a bit of a slippery-slope argument - taken to the fullest extent, why do we need the fourth amendment?  If nobody has anything to hide, shouldn't the government be able to examine everything, at any time, for the sake of our protection?  From what I've seen, there is a certain element of crazy-blogger-types who are freaking out and typing ignorant comments in all caps, but there's also a rational subset who is angry at the fact that the selectmen appear to be targeting specific groups of employees, or even individuals, and they are doing so with great cost to the town.  The silence from the selectmen and the TA can be deafening in this case, as it only spins the rumor mill up higher.
3. In your article when you state that two selectmen are convinced that the broadcasting of the executive session meeting was intentional, are you going to update it to denote WCTV's position that the broadcast was due to human error, and that Mr. Sanguinet apparently knew that "something" was wrong, but assumed that he fixed the problem when he turned off the speakers?
4. I am most definitely not a lawyer, but it's my understanding that executive sessions can only begin after a public meeting with a noted statement of purpose.  It seems that the executive session in question was held before the selectman's meeting - is that correct?  If so, is this a violation of MA meeting laws?  Also, you indirectly accused (through the "we're not accusing anybody of anything, but...." technique) a WCTV employee of being in league with the bloggers, otherwise how else would they have known to watch?  Will you be reporting anything about the claims that people tuned in to watch the public meeting, but heard the executive session instead?
5. I'm quite intrigued by the position you have taken regarding reporting of information from the broadcast.  If one of your sources gave you the same information as was included in the broadcast (which I have not heard), would you print it?  It is difficult to understand your position on this after you published some information from the investigation - specifically, the pornography that is alleged to have been found on police computers.  Where do you draw the line between what is, and is not, able to be reported from such an investigation?
6. You accused the Courier of giving Chief Joyce a "free pass", making it obvious why the Chief would talk to them to "spin" his resignation.  Would you agree that your publication has been predominantly supportive of the current Board of Selectmen?  If so, do you think that affects your access to the Selectmen for quotes, and do you feel that they view your publication to "spin" their initiatives?
7. When I look to the national media, the comparison I can make to your publication is Fox News (Depending on your political affiliation, you probably either absolutely love, or absolutely hate that comparison).  Fox has historically claimed to be independent, when it has statistically been shown that they are supportive of conservative and/or Republican causes.  However, the argument for their independence can be made with the balance that it brought to the traditionally liberal media spectrum.  Do you feel like your publication is truly "independent", or that it is supportive of one side of the debate, but balances said debate overall?
8. I have noticed that some of the articles on your website change without notice.   For example, the paragraph "On Wednesday morning, Sauvageau said Town Counsel is drafting a letter to be sent to the Plymouth Country District Attorney's Office as well as one to be sent to Wareham Community Television, requesting a full investigation." appears to have been added to your "Warrehamgate" article after it was written - it originally showed up in a different font than the rest of the article, but has since been changed to be the same font as the rest of the article.  Will you be adding notification when you modify articles to denote any changes that are made?  This seems to be standard practice on other media websites, and I'm surprised you don't have a policy to do the same.
9. Out of curiosity, do you have plans to update your website to use current technology standards such as RSS feeds to be able to follow the stories more easily? 
I hope you take the time to respond.  I'm sure you have concerns with my not giving my name, but given how heated the discussion has gotten in the town, I do not want my family's name to become involved.

Thank you.

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#22 2009-08-11 21:59:30

Congrats Casual! Your are officially in the "Slager lied to me" club. Unfortunately, the club has become so large, we hd to build a bigger clubhouse.

I have a hard time following his twisted rationale.

I appreciate your efforts and cheer you loudly!

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#23 2009-08-11 22:18:28

I cannot believe slager interviewed sweet brucie about financial advice. Don't these people realize asking a "financial advisor" who owes 181,000 dollars in back taxes about the trustees is quite humerous

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#24 2009-08-12 07:24:17

i agree WITH I HAT E SLAGER DI WE WANT TO TAKE ADVICE FROM BRUCE WHO CANT PAY HIS TAXES OR RUN A BUSINESS OR SLAGER WHO CANT RUN A PAPER WHERE ALL HIS EMPLOYEES LEFT AND  WHERE HE IS RUNNING A FALING PAPER, GIVE ME A BREAK ASS HOLE.

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#25 2009-08-12 09:01:57

Apparently Slager attempted to refute my facts above again, and again he failed.  The only claim he countered was the positive/negative portrayals of each side of the debate.  He says he wrote a jeer about sweet Brucie on 7/17, and in his corner on 7/30, he wrote that the selectmen have said some boneheaded things.  Now, even if these were both accurate (which they're not, i'll get to that), then it would be 8 positve/2 negative about the selectmen, and ZERO positive/33 negative about the other side.  If Slager thinks that's "fair" reporting, then I give up, because that's just insane.  Now, let's look at his claims to show why they're bunk:

7/17 - The word "Sauvageau" appears in a poll, an 8-line blip about selectmen arguing at meeting, and a note saying he's not a wife beater.  The only jeer on the main page is when he calls a member of this forum "one seriously moronic, delusional and hateful human being" and another a "psycho stalker".  Maybe he wrote a jeer about Bruce and buried it somewhere, but it wasn't freely-available.  And if you call me a liar again Slager, I'll send you the copy of the file, along with the forenically-acceptable digital signature proving it hasn't been modified.  You're either lying here, or trying to game the truth to suit your agenda.  Either way you should be ashamed.

7/30 - He appeared to be referencing his "Ending the Civil War in Wareham" post.  The same post that has gems like:

Over the next month the remnants of the power elite will do everything within its power to bring down the government in Wareham. The one-sided propaganda battle has already begun.

I might start using the following line when I correct Slager...seems like it might be fun

“Mr. Urbon, you do a disservice to the people of Wareham when you write such blatant misinformation. I realize you will not run a correction on these matters because that runs counter to the editorial objective of the Standard-Times, but I thought I would bring the matter to your attention nonetheless.”

People tell me I should ignore the bloggers, but I can’t. These are not nameless, faceless people. Most of them are past and present police officers, town officials, library lobbyists and others who have a personal stake in the selectmen’s investigation into corruption in Town Hall and beyond. They are the true evil in this town

This is no “community” meeting, despite what Brady is claiming. It is a recall rally, plain and simple, one held in a public building that was paid for by your tax dollars

The line below was followed by "history lesson" comparing Brady to the Nazi minister of propaganda.

"I can dictate who gets in" is an interesting choice of words. Does that mean the future of Wareham will be a "dictatorship?" Just wondering.

Will members of this wonderful community be barred from attending the meeting? I can't wait to hear Mr. Brady try and justify that one. The lawsuits could be staggering.

The Observer has been predicting this recall attempt for more than a year.

(The Recall Crew/CBW/Power Elite) are so desperate to control the flow of information that they no longer care how dirty they have to play to accomplish their goals.

I support (the Board of Selectmen's) collective mission.

Now for a whopping five sentences of not-blind-support for the selectmen:

The selectmen have given their political adversaries plenty of ammunition to distract attention from that mission, however. Selectmen have made more than their share of bonehead statements during meetings. They have sometimes responded with anger to the relentless pounding they have endured. They have been too dismissive of other viewpoints at times. They haven’t always been publicly forthcoming with information.

Ok, back to supporting them and ripping the opponents:

But (the selectmen) have never wavered from their commitment to changing Wareham for the better. I have never seen any indication that anyone on the board has acted with premeditated malice. Despite what they may lack in political grace I have always believed they have the best interest of Wareham at heart.

I do not believe that is the case with most of their political opponents. I have heard lie after lie after lie from some of these people.

They stay in the shadows because if the level of their self-interest were exposed they would quickly lose their propaganda war, and they know it.

The recall crew will try to keep the good people of Wareham from having a say in their own future.

The only way the wounds of Wareham will heal is when people learn to stop being afraid of these bullies.

So that's Slager's example of his recent writing that has been critical of the Board.  I'm not going to do the math, but it looks like 5 somewhat critical sentences about the board, 3 supportive, and the rest is a hit job on the other side of the debate.  This is the example that he came up with to prove that he's been critical of the board.  I hope his readers take a look at this post so they see how blatantly misleading Slager's writing is, and how he continues to stay on the attack, and get even more aggressive, when he's wrong.

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#26 2009-08-12 09:35:20

He is grasping at straws Casual. He spends his entire waking hours trying to find a way to defeat the "power elite bastards" and "recall crew" instead of reporting news. I said he was 0-3, but he is 0-4, if you count his recall meeting statement. Thank you for bringing that to my attention! Another fine job!

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#27 2009-08-12 10:25:21

update..rip dinkle on break i am filling in..
COA director Marcia Griswold has told slager that "somebody came into the Senior Center shortly after" he "dropped off 100 free papers intended for local seniors and the Meals on Wheelers program and stole them all. Shortly after the hatebloggers started complaining that the Observer gives free papers to local seniors. These people are sick. How they can claim they aren't trying to censor the news is beyond me."

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#28 2009-08-12 10:41:58

If anyone had a thing to do with this, please take them back. As much as I dislike Slager and his Propanda sheet, I would not encourage anyone to steal it. So, if this is something that was done by anyone posting here, please undo it.

That said, if this is a set up, I want to be sure that comes out. If Steve Urbon is out there, will you check into it?

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#29 2009-08-12 10:59:17

When were the papers stolen? Last week? Because today is Wednesday and I thought the rag came out on Thursday afternoon. This sounds a little fishy to me. So is she saying that the seniors didn't get any papers last week? Why just mention it now? You would have thought ragboy would have been all over it if it happened last week.

Maybe I misunderstand your posting Liz. Can you qualify your comments?

I agree with Larry. Let's not stoop to the level of they who shall not be named. Actually, even Voldamort has more character and moral fiber than these jokers.

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#30 2009-08-12 11:01:44

Molly, Rip Dinkle started a thread on the theft. THank you Miss Lovely Gnome!

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#31 2009-08-12 11:12:40

Molly wrote:

When were the papers stolen? Last week? Because today is Wednesday and I thought the rag came out on Thursday afternoon. This sounds a little fishy to me. So is she saying that the seniors didn't get any papers last week? Why just mention it now? You would have thought ragboy would have been all over it if it happened last week.

Maybe I misunderstand your posting Liz. Can you qualify your comments?

I agree with Larry. Let's not stoop to the level of they who shall not be named. Actually, even Voldamort has more character and moral fiber than these jokers.

no other info was given update though mslilly want slager to charge her for the papers and give the papers directly to mr gaines to hand out so this wont happen again john donahue has asked slager to bill him half of the cost to split with mslilly..

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#32 2009-08-12 11:18:01

Look who's bailing out the boy ?  Bravo.
We've got to get that propaganda out to those elderly because they believe it.

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#33 2009-08-12 11:23:22

Now that is funny. Did Marcia call the police? I think she should! There needs to be an investigation. People shouldn't steal and they should be caught.

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#34 2009-08-12 12:03:01

Alright, one more time - Slager responded, and he's still making stuff up.  Let's go through his response again:

First he claims I'm trying to make him share my viewpoint.  Nowhere did I say that.  Ever.  I simply want to hold him accountable for the misrepresentations and spin that he posts on a regular basis.  It's fine that he wants to have a different opinion - but what's not fine is when his opinion affects his journalistic integrity.  What's not fine is when he calls me a liar, I respond with facts, and he changes the subject.  What's not fine is when some of his most egregious lies get pointed out and he just changes his website without acknowledging what he tried to do.

He says he "will not debate a proven liar".  I'm not sure where I've been proven to have lied.  I responded to his latest attack with a series of his own quotes which proved him wrong.  I can't tell if he's just trying to change the subject, or if he actually thinks that his accusations, which have been refuted with facts from his own site, are true.

Finally, he says it's pointless to argue with me because I just spin my way out of my lies.  Again, my most recent response was nothing but quotes from his own site.  I have the files, and the digital fingerprints, to prove it.  He knows he never responded to my email questionnaire.  It's insane. 

Sometimes, I feel like this guy:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

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#35 2009-08-12 12:16:40

Maybe he thinks he is debating himself?
That is his standard procedure. As an example:

By: robertslager on 8/12/09
COA director Marcia Griswold just informed me that somebody came into the Senior Center shortly after I dropped off 100 free papers intended for local seniors and the Meals on Wheelers program and stole them all. Shortly after the hatebloggers started complaining that the Observer gives free papers to local seniors. These people are sick. How they can claim they aren't trying to censor the news is beyond me.

He NEVER says the hatebloggers stole the papers, but he insinuates that is the case by how he writes the comment. Now he is going with poor pitiful. Look what the hate bloggers have done?

The questions that need to be asked, Did Marcia call the police? This is a theft and needs to be reported. Did she see who took the papers? If she was there when they were delivered, maybe she saw who took them.

The desired effect is to point the finger at the hate bloggers, but the bigger picture is that this is a crime and needs to be reported. Period.

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#36 2009-08-12 12:44:12

Can you steal a free paper?  Please!  The Police have better things to do than...

Investigate stolen papers that are free
Investigate people who challenge Bobo's point of view
Charge Billw for changing a name posting
Charge someone for sending an Icarus poem
Remove six jerks acting like babies because they weren't invited

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#37 2009-08-12 12:51:53

Common,
My point is, I would like to know the facts, not slagers twisted comments. You are right, I 'll go and ask her myself. I was curious whether she reported it or not.

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