How Somerville Mayor Curtatone Controls The Media To His Advantage

By William Tauro

This article is about how stories that affect our everyday lives here in Somerville are possibly and/or intentionally overlooked nor reported for the people of Somerville to see.

These stories include many serious accusations, public concerns as well as facts and truth of how seven term Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone tries to control the media and in most cases with great success.

Let’s face it, news agencies depend on sponsors to keep their publications going most of the time and in some cases but unlike the rest we here at Somerville News Weekly are self funded, and we can’t be controlled as puppets, and we won’t.

Somerville’s own TV station SCAT or as their called today Somerville Media Center that’s located at (90 Union Square, in Somerville they provide a wonderful service to the citizens of Somerville but, are they telling you the whole story when they tell you that they cover a broad range of great programs and events in and around Somerville but why aren’t they covering any news worthy stories up on Highland Avenue at Somerville’s City Hall.

You would think with all the allegations recently uncovered by investigative journalist here in the city that SCATV or Somerville Media Center would be covering it or at the least a .001% of it wouldn’t you think?

The television station’s board president is Somerville’s own celebrity Joe Lynch.

We here at The Somerville News Weekly have nothing but the upmost respect for Joe Lynch where he’s been a friend of mine for a long time and I have only good things to say about my good friend.

Joe Lynch is a member representative of SCATV. An active member of SCATV since 2008, Joe is the creator, producer and host of the talk show “Greater Somerville”. The recipient of multiple awards and nominations for best Hot Set, informational, political and special episodes of Greater Somerville, Joe is a retired banker, a mayoral appointee to multiple civic advisory initiatives, the founder of the Magoun Square Neighborhood Association and was voted the “Best Somerville Celebrity” and “Somerville News Weekly Special Person of the Week” by local print media. Joe Lynch’s work with SCATV has received local and national recognition and was featured in a 2014 Boston Globe article highlighting the important work local community access television stations perform in the community.

As noted in the paragraph above, Joe was once voted “Somerville News Weekly Special Person of the Week” and by this very newspaper. I am so fond of Joe that I am actually going to vote him as special person of the week again this week as you will notice on page 6 of this coming week’s print edition of The Somerville News Weekly just to show how much I care for him and how much of a friend he is.

Also, if you would please take notice to that same paragraph above that reads Joe is also “a mayoral appointee to multiple civic advisory initiatives.”

In other words Joe has been appointed to the Somerville Liquor Commission as chairman of that particular board. We sincerely congratulate him for his accomplishments, but doesn’t that mean he’s a conflict of interest as well as at the will of the mayor?

Does this mean the mayor has control to let you hear only what he wants you to hear because the mayor controls the media? We certainly hope not but you can be the judge on that one.

Let’s take the Somerville’s Times publication as another example. The Times have always boasted their “Somerville’s only locally owned independent newspaper”, but what does that exactly mean? The administration allows the Times to receive 95% of the city’s lucrative city of Somerville’s legal ads every week. City of Somerville legal ads can run in prices as low as $100 to $2,000 each per week fair to say a substantial amount of income for a local newspaper wouldn’t you agree? And oh yes, we forgot to mention again that these lucrative Somerville city ads that we mention are at the will of the mayor of course at the taxpayers expense. Not to mention during the 2017 election cycle that one of the publishers of the Somerville Times was promised an opportunity to serve as the Somerville Liquor Commissioner, but as we recall he was dumped after all his hardworking efforts of bashing us and sugarcoating the Curtatone campaign bandwagon trail, but unfortunately for him that broken promise was scrapped after the mayor’s reelection and Joe Lynch was decided upon instead by the mayor. Oh, well!

Now again let’s just place what we just mentioned above here aside for a moment and go on with yet another example.

Let’s take a look at Somerville Cable TV and the City of Somerville’s Communication Department also refered to in the past as “the mayor’s personal news station.”

This department is run by Director of Communications and Community Denise Taylor alongside Jackie Rossetti Deputy Director of Communications in the City of Somerville and again to be noted both of these people are political appointees of the mayor and at his will. Not to mention that Rossetti‘s mother is a city councilor and her father works in one of the city boards as well.

City & Educational TV on RCN 613, 13 & 15 and Comcast 22 & 15 allows the people of Somerville to watch meetings, events, and great community shows about their city on City TV on RCN (Ch. 613 or 13) and Comcast (Ch. 22). It also allows its viewers to check out school sports, school events, and educational programming on Educational Channel 15.

As part of the City’s Communications Department, Somerville City Cable provides programming and production for the two City cable television stations, City TV (Comcast 22, RCN 613 and 13), and the Educational Channel (15). These stations make up two-thirds of the PEG triad (Public, Educational, Government) of municipal cable TV access. City TV 613/13/22 and Educational Channel 15 provide Somerville’s cable subscribers with a wealth of information and entertainment about the city and schools. In other words again it is all at the will of the mayor.

And let’s not forget the city’s Council of Aging Department that’s run by Director Cindy Hickey. The Somerville Council on Aging supports older adults in their efforts to maintain their independence by enhancing growth, dignity, and a sense of belonging in mind, body, and spirit while aging in place. They provide access to fitness, health, and wellness activities, socialization opportunities, educational programs, transportation, and support services.

Director Hicky, who I adore, another mayoral appointee and her department works wonders and offers fantastic programs to our seniors. I’m sure it would be fair to say that this department could easily sway the minds of our lovely seniors in any direction that they want especially during election season together and of course at the taxpayers expense and at the will of the mayor again.

Now with that said with all the above you can see where we’re going withDo you really think the good people of Somerville are getting the true story of what’s going on in the around the city. I doubt it because I know. The citizens of Somerville only hear what the media wants them to hear and the media in Somerville is controlled by the mayor.

We’ve even been approached in the past by our own sponsors who’s either board of directors, employees or even friends of friends who are controlled by the mayor in some capacities who will run to a sponsor and say “he’s talking bad about us shut off his advertisement.” These appointed hacks have being appointed on special boards, committees and even serving on the Somerville Redevelopment and Zoning Boards. And you guessed it because its at the mayor’s control again at his will. But we’ll save that for a future article.

Believe me when I say the mayor has his fingers in everything and able to push a button at any given time to call one of his political appointed hacks up try to persuade one of our sponsors and/or get his word out there at you the taxpayers expense on anything he wants you to hear so wake up people. Maybe instead of Somerville TV it should be called “Somerville’s Apointed Hack-Ville Productions?”

The magical question that arises here is why is The Somerville News Weekly the only publication reporting on any political corruption or just bad things that investigative journalism professionals here in the city are trying to warn the public of?

Have you heard any more news on the mayor’s sister Registrar Maria Curtatone’s infamous drunk fest that she hosed last spring with over 200 underage teenagers drinking alcohol on her property that resulted in a stabbing?

Did you hear any news about one of Joe’s police officers who put his penis on a copy machine at a city of Somerville elementary school then emailed it from the same school computer to harass a fellow police officer? And just for the record, the mayor shortly, and yes we said shortly ha ha, after that incident promoted that police officer with the infamous penis photos to the rank of sergeant then shortly after that unsuccessfully tried to promote him to lieutenant?

Are you hearing anything about on how the mayor and his administration arranged to have Slain MIT Police Officer Shawn Collier bumped off the municipal hiring list by illegal tampering that positioned his destiny in the paths of the Boston Marathon Bombers resulting in his murder?

Are you hearing any news about allegations of how the Somerville DPW Commissioner was charging an illegal $10,000 entrance fee to get candidates on a fire or police department hiring list? One of those stunts of his also resulted in death of a former Somerville Firefighter candidate who was a former Navy Seal who was on that same list waiting to become a Somerville Firefighter. After that abusive move and illegal rejection from the city, he fell into depression and killed himself.

Are you hearing anything about the city’s personal FBI agent, a Somerville Police officer he has on loan to the FBI for the past 12 years who is allegedly hiding dirty deeds for the administration?

Are you hearing any more news about the Somerville Police Department compensation and overtime scandal that recently occurred only about a month or two ago even with one police officer getting caught and admitting his crime?

Has anyone heard about any reportings of internal investigations regarding any employees doing the wrong and/or getting fired for things maybe like sexual-harassment regarding senior citizens here in Somerville?

Are you hearing anything about the mayor’s cousin Alex on how he was allegedly selling drugs to the high school students while the mayor gave him back his job then handed him a sweet deal of a retirement package reward?

How about that idiot down at the DPW that rebuilt and refurbished his classic Oldsmobile convertible on the taxpayers dime and how he got away with it and by the way still works there?

Apparently none of us here in Somerville has heard of these incidents in the news well because either we are all deaf and/or the mayor is controlling in what he wants us to hear and if I were a betting man, I’d bet on the latter choice.

I recently attended a news summit this past week hosted by the Somerville Media Center with many Somerville‘s news reporting agencies attending the event. They talked about many issues that they would like more news coverage on including on the reporting of Somerville trees, they talked about up paving, they talked about climate change here in the city, and they even talked about Uber drivers and on how much they’re getting paid on certain peak times, but nothing about real news.

That day was sad, real sad, I wanted to throw up in my own mouth it was so sad. I felt I wasted a perfectly sunny Saturday afternoon when I could’ve been scraping barnacles off the bottom of my boat having more fun.

Do I think the media in the above references are being swayed by the mayor’s powers over them and their affiliates, absolutely! I think they panic every time the mayor calls them and their reaction is to automatically do what the king demands!

We’re willing to bet that the Times and a few more of these fair weather news people will try to come back with some stupid retaliation with some cockamamie bullshit story over this, but that’s them, especially the Times. They can’t report the news, all they like to do is use their newspaper as a personalized baseball bat for themselves and the mayor. Would you expect anything else from them like actually reporting the local news that affects our daily lives, we doubt it.

Unlike all these other news outlets mentioned above, we here at The Somerville News Weekly are proud to say that we don’t rely on the mayor nor his administration for survival, and we won’t let them stand in our way of our reporting of the news for any sort of political favoritism. We can’t and we won’t be bought!

But with all that said I can positively assure you that we here at The Somerville News Weekly and especially in any article written by me that we will never water down nor sugarcoat any news story for the mayor nor anybody else ever and yes the mayor will never control my media.

So with all that said wake up people. Wake up and demand to know the truth of what’s going on in and around your city. Don’t just sit back like sheep and take what they give you and ask questions, be part of it get involved and demand answers. Don’t let the mayor’s micromanaged robots further control your minds as they have been doing for over a decade here in Somerville

This story is still developing…

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