Blasting Off? We Shudder

Teapots: All shapes and sizes, including hysteria.

Assuming Pam Malumphy holds her promise to blast off from THE PLANET for good —which we hope is not the case since it is rarely good form to storm off with the football because the game didn’t go your way — we shall probably be done with the non-story she created by refusing to respond to a simple request for comment on our recent “Teapot in a Tempest” story.

“Teapotgate” began when we received a post from someone with direct access to Pam’s inner circle, saying she had filed a lawsuit against Mayor Jimmy Ruberto and OCD director Deanna Ruffer.

That, if true, all agree, would qualify as news. True to our long-established policy of checking out tips, we immediately contacted all three — Ruberto, Ruffer, and Malumphy — simultaneously, by e-mail. Due to an innocent computer mistake on this end, Pam didn’t receive the e-mail. She found out about the story, however, the same day by reading this post.

At that point, one would expect a public figure such as Pam Malumphy to take the opportunity to clarify the claim, regardless of how she found out about it. She did not do that. Instead, wrongly assumed she was deliberately left off the routing of THE PLANET’s original e-mail. She then sent a storm of ranting e-mails to us, accusing us of the most nefarious behavior. Her response was emotional and angry in a way that bore almost no proportionate relationship to the stimulus.

Anger, my dear, makes for a bitter brew. Sweeten according to taste.

Malumphy herself, in an e-mail to this website, admitted she didn’t not answer our inquiry out of sheer anger. She got upset additionally when we described her hot-headed reaction, saying it didn’t serve her personal cause well or help women in general, who too often are unfairly accused of reacting to questions of policy and politics in less than measured, rational ways — or in precisely the same way Malumphy answered our request.

THE PLANET ultimately learned that the informant was writing about a charge against the mayor et al Malumphy filed with the ethics commission, not a lawsuit. Pam could have simply told us this on Day 1. She did not do that, thus not only perpetuating but creating the non-story “story.” She had created a Teapot in a Tempest.

On a personal level, THE PLANET took no satisfaction in seeing Malumphy self-implode in this way. She has lost her last three elections and her state position as a regional economic director, for which she blames the mayor. With her unfortunate behavior here, she has become non-electable at least for this lifetime, which is quite an achievement: a staunch Democrat with name recognition who has no chance in this overwhelmingly Democratic territory.

Yesterday, Malumphy sent an e-mail to THE PLANET:

One last note and then I [sic] buckling up, signing off eternally and blasting far, far away from Planet Valenti.  Mr. Valenti apologized to me in our emails for all of the misunderstandings and also clearly stated that he would delete references to ‘blind hatred’ knowing that I don’t blindly hate anyone and to say so only diminishes and devalues what many of us have been trying to say: we simply want honorable leadership in this city. Period. But then again, almost every statement above is somehow diminishing and devaluing…what woman doesn’t enjoy being referred to as ‘hysterical.’  However, as I look above, the reference to ‘blind hatred’ remains.  So much for keeping one’s word, Mr. Valenti.  At the same time you sent the email clearly telling me you would make this edit, you were simultaneously responding to writers commenting on this story as if a story exists.  And you wonder why people, including me, no longer trust you, your sources, or your storytelling.

THE PLANET's special brew: Truth, steeped in the water of integrity.


(1) I did apologize for the misunderstandings, which were inadvertent and innocent.

(2) I have removed the phrase “blind hatred” as I said I would. She apparently hasn’t gone to the updated story and thus makes another rash accusation.

(3) I share her desire for honorable leadership at all levels of government.

(4) My coverage of “Teapot” was hard hitting but fair. My references to “hysterical female” were done to stand up for all women who get unfairly accused of this tired stereotype because of reactions like Pam’s, of not responding to a simple question but instead sending a series of angry e-mails that avoided the question. She acted this way and then blamed THE PLANET for pointing it out. As the Robot used to say on “Lost in Space,” that does not compute.

(5) Pam says she doesn’t understand why I respond to people who take the time to respond to the story, as if, somehow, we should all pretend the story SHE CREATED never happened. THE PLANET cannot and will not treat our readers and especially correspondents in such cavalier and inconsiderate fashion.

(6) I never wonder what people think about my journalistic methods. Such thinking is not productive.

Finally, what Pam doesn’t tell you is my attempts to patch this up. I will not violate a trust and share her prickly e-mails to me, but I can share something I wrote to her:

I am sorry for the misunderstandings that have given this thing a life of its own. I’m also sorry to hear about NAME REDACTED but glad he is OK.
I don’t think the action of filing a complaint is “silly” or “worthless.” I didn’t try to make them look so.

Again, please forgive any inadvertent hurt this has caused.

That was sent yesterday. I have also offered to meet with her and talk this out. She has refused. At some point, when a person won’t accept your attempts at reconciliation, you have to walk away and kiss it off. And so, my dear Pam, as you blast away from THE PLANET, we wish you Aloha on the steel guitar, baby. Have fun. Don’t hold onto this or anything of the sort. Life’s too short.

The Stooley is White Hot

VICK: Tackled by an aggressive defender but otherwise unstoppable versus the Skins.

Not to belabor the genius of our resident Wise Guy, but The Stooley has been unconscious with his Nostradamus-ing. He called for the Eagles to pummel the Redskins last night, even though the Skins were at home, and even though they had just announced a $78 million extension for their QB as a means to fire him up to play a great game.

Donovan McNabb did not play well, but Philly QB Michael Vick did. Vick passed for 4 TDs and ran for a couple more in a 59-28 thrashing. The Stooley put money in the pockets again!

We shall, based on the popularity of this feature, continue The Stooley’s NFL postings. We might even share some of his views on local happenings, since he “gets around” and seems to know everyone.


  1. Pam Malumphy
    November 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Your writings have returned to being personal, Dan. Nearly everything you’ve written above is not true or grossly contorted. … And relative to your comment about reconciling- I did that once 18 months ago, Dan. Remember when you wrote a hate-filled story about me in the Gazette? And then you reached out to tell me you were writing a second column and wanted me to comment if I wished? Remember this? We ended up talking, and over a period of weeks you asked for my forgiveness. I know they say that once is never enough…in this case, it’s been more than enough.

    • danvalenti
      November 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

      Nothing personal in this, except in the way you are taking it. I have never written a hate-filled column, article, or essay about anyone. That’s not how I operate. Because you term it that does not make it so. I write about events and the people in the them on the basis of circumstances, not personalities. I wish you good luck. I hope your blasting away from THE PLANET’s gravitational pull is a scenic one!

      • Pam Malumphy
        November 17, 2010 at 6:44 am #

        I haven’t blasted yet, Dan, because I find it disturbing that you erased the second part of my posting which included my email to you that I reprinted in full. Or was that just an inadvertent error, too? You offered an edited versions of emails that you wrote to me but purposely delete one I that I wrote to you, which was unedited, to your readers. I will post it again so that people can see what you don’t want them to…that I’m not irrational, I didn’t implode, I’m not an hysteric…nor, was your coverage hard-hitting given that you wanted a statement about an issue which has been public knowledge for months, I didn’t ‘lose’ my job, I resigned…I’m not a staunch Democrat, I’ve been unenrolled for years…even simple statements like these prove untrue, Dan. And I think your readers deserve an explanation as to why you erased the following: DELETED

        • danvalenti
          November 17, 2010 at 10:54 am #

          I laugh, since you have now a number of times said “I am truly signing off,” only to keep coming back. How can we tell you to go if you won’t leave? Pam, you have still NOT ANSWERED the one simple question that could have prevented “Teapot” from having to be written: Why did you not simply respond to any number of my respectful e-mails asking you to clarify the nature of the original report? I deleted the material because it contained an unsupported allegation of a serious nature regarding a person. This site will not allow such.

  2. Jim Gleason
    November 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Pam did not create the story, as much as you want that to be true. You and one of your posters did. You are the one who sent the initial inquiry to the wrong email address, not Pam. You are grasping for straws here Dan, to make it look like it’s Pam’s fault, when in fact all the blame lies with you for printing an untrue story. Please have the guts to admit when you’re wrong, as you are in this case.

    • danvalenti
      November 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

      I can’t admit to what is not true. My poster referred to a claim she made against the mayor. That is true. She has filed a complaint against him. My error was an inadvertent computer mistake. Hers was not correcting the information or commenting, when she had the chance.

  3. JB
    November 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm #


  4. white queen
    November 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I’ve got to agree with Jim Gleason on this one. Valenti is coming off as desparate, clinging to something that just isn’t there.

    But now Valenti feels as if he is trapped in a lie and has to keep piling on new lies just to claw his way out of the hole he has dug, but all he does is keep digging a deeper hole for himself.

    • danvalenti
      November 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

      ” and the white queen, is talking backwards” — Grace Slick.

  5. excelsior
    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm #


  6. WidgetWoman
    November 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    I don’t know the exact circumstances, but as a young professional woman, I have to agree with Dan. Pam could have responded to the inquiry from a reporter instead of getting emotional over a bunch of tweets. Dans right Pams reaction, it paints all women with the hysterical role, too easy a dismissal for our views and contributions. I would hope I would never react that way but instead deal with the matter as an adult.

    • Hubble
      November 17, 2010 at 10:38 am #

      Now that she has blasted off from he Planet, I wonder if she wants to claim she’s the first woman in space? Maybe not but she comes off as a space shot. now I under stand if Mayor Ruberto dismisses people like that as not seroius.

  7. Jim Gleason
    November 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Dan why do you keep deleting Pam’s posts? Too much info for the masses? You only want people to hear your side of the story? As I said before, have the guts to admit when you’re wrong. To Hubble and widget woman, you are very, very naive as to what you’re dealing with in ruberto. He’s a snake in snake’s clothing, make no mistake about it.

  8. Jim Gleason
    November 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Dan, did you delete Pam’s posts because they said ruberto has nine (9) ethics charges against him or because [REDACTED. THIS SITE WILL NOT POST UNSUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATIONS THAT CORRESPONDENTS STATE AS MATTERS OF FACT]

    • danvalenti
      November 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

      The post was deleted because of an assertion made against a person that cannot be factually proven. Unless she or anyone else who makes such an unqualified claim as a statement of fact can produce the evidence to prove it, it won’t make the cut. Rumor, however strong and convincing, is not enough at this address to justify making a charge like that as a statement of fact. Stay well.