— Eye on Everett —

Don’t Believe what you Read

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By Josh Resnek

The mayor pulled off a tour de force of angry sentiment with his speech to graduating Everett High School seniors last week.

In a rambling and sometimes incoherent mumble and stumble through a short speech, the mayor tried to defend himself by telling the graduates not to believe everything they read in the newspapers.

What he meant to say, what he was referring to in his own way I am sure, is not to read or to believe what has been printed in the Leader Herald about him and his administration.

“It’s all lies about me,” he might well have said to the graduates but he didn’t want to go overboard.

As much as he wanted to, he kept this sorry rap to a minimum.

“Don’t believe the lies they write about me being involved in four serious sexual harassment cases with four different women,” he might have said to them.

“Yes, they are all sexual harassment cases and all of them have been detailed graphically in Boston Globe reports but they are all lies. All the women victims were lying. Women lie like this. Yes they do. None of the cases was proven – not even the one where I was supposed to have put a knife to my employees neck and asked her for a sexual favor. Its all lies,” he might have said to the graduates to make the point about how the Herald Leader prints fake news.

“You can’t believe anything in the Leader Herald,” he would like to have told the graduates.

“The Leader Herald says I’m an FBI informant. That’s a lie,” he would like to have told them.

“Sure, I signed an agreement with the FBI to inform on those I speak with. That doesn’t make me an informant. And just cause the Leader Herald published a copy of the FBI agreement with my signature on it and with the Assistant US Attorney’s signature on it doesn’t mean I’ve actually informed on anyone,” he would like to have said.

“Then there’s the bit about me receiving a 3% kickback for the sale of the land to Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts. That’s another fabrication, a complete lie just like the Federal Rico lawsuit filed by Sterling Suffolk Downs claiming I got a commission for arranging the sale. That’s another boldfaced lie. How can law suits like this be filed making such assertions in Federal Court?” he would like to have told the graduates.

He would like to have said that all of the above is a bold faced lie, as he told them, “Don’t believe what you read in the newspapers.”

“Don’t believe for a second that I have just received a $12,000 raise for a car I don’t need by the city council which I bullied into giving it to me. That’s another terrible lie,” he so badly wanted to tell graduates.

“I was just joking, even though I sounded serious, when I scolded the city council for holding up the $12,000 for the car I don’t need.”

“The Leader Herald made it sound like I was threatening the city council when I demanded the money or I was going to take retribution on the council by cutting their budget. I know I said I have done everything and they owe me, that I am owed for everything good going on in the city and I was owed the $12,000 but I didn’t mean it that way. I was just trying to get what is mine for all the work I do as mayor,” he might have said.

The Leader Herald is always quoting me as saying, “What’s in it for me?”

“That’s another boldfaced lie, even though the FBI has such comments on wiretaps and in grand jury testimony. You can’t believe the FBI. You can’t believe grand jury testimony and you certainly can’t believe the Leader Herald. It’s all lies and fake news,” he wanted to tell the graduates.

“But you can completely believe me for I am a completely honest man of the highest personal integrity and everyone who knows me knows this,” he might have said.

In another futile and fumbling effort to sound smart, he quoted Mark Twain.

Here is how a friend and observer of the Everett community put it: “The mayor didn’t speak for long but he did manage to make at least two, possibly three, references to newspapers and social media. You know, bald faced whining centered around the command that the graduates not “believe everything  you read.” It was incredibly pathetic.

“I would go as far as to say he was fixated, haunted, defeated. He even misguidedly quoted Mark Twain, saying, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” A deranged thing to say to nearly 500 HS graduates one would hope will be engaged with news and current events. He spoke to these kids as if they were seated in the Connolly Center for the Friendly Sons dinner.”

The mayor might have used this bit from Twain: “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” “Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.”

He would have gotten a nice round of applause from either of these. Or this one: “Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain’t so.”

Here’s the one that I think most relates to what the mayor implored the graduates to think about when they read the paper or listen to the news. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

For our mayor there are lies, damned lies, and a great number of both.

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