Saturday, January 26, 2013

Did the Hoboken Reporter Pull the 'Tim' Letter?

Why all the blank space on The Hoboken Reporter's Letter's page?
Did you notice something strange on the Letters page at the back of The Hoboken Reporter? There were only 3 letters above an over-sized note from the paper which begins:
"The Hoboken Reporter gets lots of letters."
That's true. It sometimes takes a week or two before a submission gets to print because of the HR's volume of reader mail.

So why the sea of non-used space on the normally-crowded Letters page?  I was wondering about that when this letter came in from a reader:
Notice anything strange about the HR letters page?

They seem to have made a last minute decision to pull an approved "fact checked" letter and fill the space with filler - the bizarre insertion of the HR letter policy taking up approximately the same amount of space as Tim's op ed piece and leaving the whole page really formatted.

Think maybe they had accepted Timmy's letter without any of the fact checking they apply to others, and were going to print it obvious untruths and all,  but pulled it at the last minute (that would be Friday too late to replace it with another letter) because it had been exposed as false prior to publication by the blogs?

Look at all the empty space on the page even with the filler.  This was badly done last minute damage control by people with the design skills of a toddler who didn't have time to come up with a better designed fix.    This was literally done 1/2 an hour before their publication deadline in a panic.

The question is rhetorical - it's pretty obvious that's what happened here.  Pretty funny!
Well, GA doesn't have a crystal ball, but I think this reader is onto something.

Why the huge holes in the Letters page?   It seems fairly obvious that the media 'roll-out' of Timmy's letter would have included publication in the Hoboken Reporter. 

It makes sense that the HR pulled the plug on Tim's extraordinarily truth-challenged letter after it was thoroughly debunked on the blogs and its authorship called into question.

Timmy claims to have authored the piece, but according to sources the culprit is WhiteHorse Strategies, a political consulting firm.  Really, would a guy who can barely enunciate a 3-syllable word have Fiorello LaGuardia quotes in his quiver?  Which means the letter was the work of a paid political consultant, disingenuously accepted by the Jersey Journal as Tim Occhipinti's.  By doing so, the JJ has made itself part of the Occhipinti political machine.

GA noted there was no 'Paid for by..." language.  If  Occhipinti did not pay WhiteHorse Strategies for the letter then it was an in-kind donation. So we all will be looking for that on a future Occhipinti ELEC...

Why else might the HR have pulled the 'Timmy' letter?

Well, the author (allegedly WhiteHorse Strategies) lied like a rug about the Mayor and about Timmy.

It accused her of inaction ("Zimmer can't be trusted to fix a pothole") and incompetence.  It falsely claimed that she did no street repairs in 2012.  The truth is, she did- repaved River Street- and could have done MORE but not for the obstruction of Tim Occhipinti and the other 3 Council minority members: Mason, Russo and Castellano.  All FOUR voted 'NO' on a bond ordinance to repave Washington Street, parts of Sinatra Drive, Observer highway and Newark Street.

And Timmy has the BALLS to LIE like that about the Mayor, hurl insults at her when HE has obstructed her efforts to repave Hoboken's busiest roads.  

The letter is an amateurish work; brazenly dishonest and strident in tone, guaranteed to land with a thud. Another shot in the foot.  How many has Timmy got left?

5 comments:

  1. I had the same thought - odd amounts of blank space, actually more informative than the text of their articles.

    The Reporter's lead article is about parents challenges to get their kids to school after Sandy closed down Connors. As has been pointed out on this blog and elsewhere, these parents would have had an inexpensive, viable, public transportation option but for a simple fact: Occhipinti and his obstructionist colleagues voted against new HOP buses.

    Just as with the lack of road repairs - a debacle of his own causing, Tim Occhipinti and Ruben Ramos Jr. are banding together to not solve a problem but rather lay blame on the Mayor when it really belongs at the feet of the minority council members of NO. The parents are being exploited and they should be pissed at Tim & Ruben.

    Like many of Mason's supporters and staff, Tim may have gone to school on the little bus, but under federal guidelines, busing is not provided unless a child lives at least two miles from their school and if it's provided for any grades or schools, it must be provided to every kid in the system, including those who go to other districts for their special needs.

    Perhaps the Nazi truck can be re-purposed for this use - with free, on-board videos for the kids. Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy commute. Watch out for those pot holes!

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  2. It would be nice to live in a land where that was implausible.

    But the JJ already published it as an Op-Ed.

    The political editor of the JJ already posted a snippy comment about the administration's responsibility to fact check for him.

    The actual author of the letter already tweeted about the imaginary author's fine work.

    The imaginary author already tweeted his own imaginary horn.

    Film of the imaginary author voting against Washington Street repairs is already being re-deployed on the blogs because, given the above, we have long since stopped relying on "the credentialed media" for anything.

    The only interesting question remaining is whether the imaginary author told the real author that he voted down the repairs in the commissioned letter. It's only interesting because, being raised catholic, I was always reminded to draw a distinction between people who merely did stupid things and people to did willfully nasty things; the former cause hell while the latter end up there. I should add that I was raised catholic in Cook County, Illinois. We did have our doubts about the limits of what a deathbed confession might excuse. Perhaps because of the sheer number and scope of them.

    So, no, I wouldn't doubt that the faux op-ed was pulled at the last minute. I just doubt that the Reporter has enough shame left to bother with such niceties.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, yes. Sins of omission vs. sins of commission. Now Occhipinti's done both, but we won't hold our breaths awaiting a confession. But if he did, and was granted absolution, what would his penance be? 1. Admit that he lied about the pot holes and stopped the HOP from running; 2. Churn water-logged pulpy ballots and Mason's foundation makeup into an indestructible mix to fill pot-holes; 3. Quit his day job, retreat from public life and drive the kids to school in the re-purposed Nazi van. We can call this the retraction tour, sponsored by The Jersey Journal, The Hoboken Reporter, "Mason Civic" and Rogaine.

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    2. My understanding is that the day job amounts to asking if your computer is plugged in before handing the call off to someone who can actually help. So I doubt his absence there would be noticed. But use of the Nazi truck would have to be scheduled around Beth's sparsely attended "Look how much the county loves me!" events where it will be used to ferry unsuspecting seniors back and forth and thus elevate the mood from a supremely gloomy wake to a supremely gloomy wake with 30 angry seniors.

      I'm for the foundation make-up road patch. Indestructible. And it's not like we're gonna run out. I bet we'd have enough left over for a sickly pink seawall. Take that, Sandy!

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  3. Well it's just lucky the Reporter got this ringing endorsement of the John Birch Society and the NRA to used up a few column inches or they would have wound up with a completely blank page.

    But you can't blame Beth for giving up on 411 and switching to the reporter as her propaganda site. Have a gander. 24 replies for 15 articles. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, "Fat, drunk and 1.6 replies per post is no way to go through life, son."

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