The Town Committee’s bloggers went over the line
The following letter appeared in local newspapers and is shared with us here by the author Michael Chambers
It was bound to happen. The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee’s bloggers have gone too far. Will Collette, co-editor of that blog, printed an article that accused two Chariho School Committee members and an administrator of Chariho High School in a plan to cater a private party at a Charlestown residence. There was no disclaimer attached to the article when originally posted. Of course, this was a lie apparently created by one of the regular contributors to the blog. Collette, who purports himself to be a journalist showed a decided lack of professionalism because he knew this was a lie and yet printed the accusation anyway.
A week later, he printed a half-baked recusal by asserting that the article was a spoof, a piece of satire, just joking around. He realized that he and his writer went too far and took the no harm – no foul approach to dismiss the gravity of the accusations. The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee’s blog is one such site that tries to disguise hatred with what they call humor. This was not humor. The accusation isn’t done with tongue in cheek good nature, but is an example of the hate this blog has become famous for. We, as a community, must emphasize that it would be wrong, morally and politically, to give the impression that such attacks are “just jokes”. It is dangerous to defend this type of writing as “satire” because it can promote the social acceptability of negative group stereotypes. These bloggers have consistently dealt in lies and innuendos aimed at the supporters of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance and any public official supported by that group. Unfortunately, calls for the bloggers to tone down their invective have been ignored. The current accusation is not an unforeseen consequence of the blog’s recklessness. Now innocent bystanders are being drawn into their web of lies. I truly hope that no adverse consequences result from this “satire”.
Once a lie is made public, it is almost impossible to squelch it. The Chariho School Superintendent may have to wade in on this issue. Someone has to address this abomination. I have urged the members of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee from Donna Walsh to Catherine Collette –the committee’s chairperson, to its general membership to take responsibility for the conduct of these rogue bloggers. My urgings seem to have been ignored by all concerned. I am again asking these public political entities to do something positive to benefit Charlestown by reining in all this hate mongering.