Article

MORE ON STEROIDSGATE, BERRY-HELLER II, THE DEMISE OF NEWSPAPERS, and WHAT’s UP (& DOWN) WITH LIBYA?

BY DAN VALENTI

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, March 28, 2011) —Today, The Planet has some odds and ends to present, and then we will share the posts from two guest writers, up and down, on the United States’ recent adventurism in Libya.

SteroidsGate, the Berry-Heller Chronicles & More

SteroidsGate isn’t going away any time soon. There’s much more to this story. The information we have seen emerge thus far likely represents the beginning, not the end. There will be attempts to keep it hidden. It will be an interesting case study, this tug of war. There’s no question that if the Establishment had its way, it would have buried this story. They tried. They failed. They have a vested interest in keeping it covered up. The media, representing as The Third Esate We The People, have a vested interest in uncovering.

Because three people — Glenn Heller, The Planet, and Conor Berry — thought enough of the public’s right to know, the story is out there. That’s the essential point to make as we take up Berry-Heller II.  

Judging by the numbers, the online bout between Conor Berry of the Berkshire Eagle and citizen watchdog Glenn Heller has been a box-office smash. With such numbers, what the critics say proves of little importance, though we have heard from lots of folks with their views. Heller is dissatisfied with Berry’s work on the case. Berry has defended, explained might be the better word, his methods. The Planet thought Berry outlined his reportage in SteroidsGate as clear as can be stated. He put it this way to Heller:

1. I read your blog post, and the information it contained was news to me.


2. I recalled being told several weeks back that a certain Pittsfield cop was in some sort of trouble, but I couldn’t get any confirmation and no criminal charges had been filed locally — and I was told criminal charges were unlikely.


3. I sat on that info until I learned more.


4. I learned more by reading your blog, which resulted in a minor deduction on my part that the PPD “detective” might be the guy I was looking in to.


5. After getting confirmation, I proceeded with the two articles that have been published to date. More are likely over the next few days.

That wasn’t enough for Heller, and a wildfire ensued. Thus, we present some consensus findings from a wildly unscientific Planet poll. We stress that these are not OUR conclusions, but a summation of opinion we have received on what Eric Vincelette likened to Ali-Frazier II:

‘PLANET’S POLL FINDINGS’

* Berry has a delicious sense of humor, wry and dry [straight from newsroom central casting, since The Planet's heart is fond of such men (and women) stemming from long ago and our days at the Syracuse Post-Standard, working with guys like George Carr, George Swayze, and Dan Carey]. Readers also think Berry has had the best of Heller because of the injection of humor. All the other factors in the Tale of the Tape seem more or less equal.

* The exchange has lost hidden the most essential fact: that these two guys, along with The Planet, brought an important story to light, one that might have been ignored, spiked, or otherwise hushed up [The Planet goes back to this fact, sometimes as a last resort in wading through the Rock-em Sock-em Robots Show of Berry and Heller].

* Berry is the best talent in the Eagle newsroom.

* Heller is well connected in Berkshire County.

* Heller’s odd network of “mimic” websites (using “berkshire eagle”, “wamc”, etc.) and the various snail-mail addresses are troubling in that, as one person put it, “they put off a strange vibe, like he’s hiding out and hiding in.”

* Berry is not done with this story.

Newspaper vs. Cyberjournalism: Give Us Digital

Readers will have to judge al this for themselves. The Planet, as we have stated, has a professional regard for Conor Berry. Having been there and done that, we understand full well the procedural constraints he is under writing for that dying breed of media species, the daily newspaper.

The Planet imposes some of these restraints on our news work: redundant verification of information, when possible; remaining skeptical of rumor, hearsay, and the like until one has reason to go with the information; relying on such “analog” methods as phone calls, chatting up sources, and knocking on doors. Indeed, that’s been part of the fascination with SteroidsGate — how traditional newspaper journalism and cyberjournalism handle a story like this. Cyberspace has much more leeway and rightly so. The Plant much prefers this less constrained medium.

Moreover, Berry is at a double disadvantage because he works for an outfit that is adrift in so many ways. The Berkshire Eagle has these challenges:

— Its industry, that of the newsprint daily paper, is shrinking.

— Its parent company went bankrupt. Its financial future is murky. It’s losing money.

— The Eagle’s management (business side and editorial) has been co-opted by the Pittsfield GOB Network. That is the key factor in deciding what gets covered and what doesn’t. The SteroidsGate story, which has already touched upon several sensitive seats of power and promises to do much more of that, is a good example.

Conor Berry had information that something was up with the PPD earlier in March. His first story wasn’t published until after Heller got first in with an online posting. The Planet, who like Berry had some information earlier, got enough confirmation to post our initial story the following day. Berry followed with his.

The Boring Broadsheet Eats Its Own

An Eagle newsroom source (not Conor Berry) told us that our first story, in which we goaded the Eagle, “forced the hand of [Tim Farkas].” Berry has admitted that he was pulled off the Angelo Stracuzzi story by superiors he has not named for reasons which he has not shared. Also, as he termed it, his editors “threw him under the bus” on the Carmen Massimiano early in 2010. In addition, why did the Eagle take down Berry’s story on SteroidsGate on its website after just one day? That stinks. It wasn’t Berry’s decision, just to be clear.

Who made it this decision? A machine? An Eagle staffer told The Planet it was an automated computer decision, untouched by human hands. We accept that, for the sake or argument and having no evidence to the contrary. If so, though, why can’t a human editor override the stupid machine and put it back up? No one at the paper, apparently, wants to answer that.

Folks, this is why the Boring Broadsheet is so hard to believe.

The Planet has no doubt of Berry’s abilities as a newsman. We admire them. We empathize with him for being employed by a newspaper whose management has chosen to emasculate what should be the local media outlet with the biggest set of balls. We know Berry is a fighter and that he will pursue SteroidsGate to the fullest. Whether he is allowed to report what he uncovers, that is another question.

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A Question of Politics

Most people involved in politics brand themselves. In Berkshire County, the vast majority of those who declare party loyalty are Democrats. Most of the remainder are Republican, with small numbers of “third” parties. It’s telling that a large group of the electorate has opted out of any party label and registered as unenrolled or independent. This registers their disgust of politics and politicians.

Over the many years on the public stage, The Planet has been asked for our political loyalties. We usually answer flippantly: “I am a pedestrian. My political agenda consists solely of making it safety to the other side of the street.” These words have more truth than most realize.

Politically, We Are What We Say and Write

Another way we answer is to look at the record. If you perform a content analysis of everything we have written and spoken over the years, THAT makes up what you would term our “political philosophy.” As you can see, The Planet doesn’t come at ANY issue with mind made up. Unlike Democrats or Republicans, we don’t wear the Party Goggles. These specs have colored lenses, and they force the viewer to predispose judgment in advance of information. One’s position is predetermined by the party dictates. The Planet has always found that type of dictatorial politics nauseating. In short, don’t ask for our politics. Instead, give us a specific issue and ask our views.

If pressed and the fate of the universe depended on The Planet selecting a political party that best expresses the nuance of our leanings, we would take Libertarian. In fact, we call ourselves libertarian “with a lower-case “l”. Our motto: More Freedom. Less Government. We are not, in fact, registered Libertarians. We are Unenrolled libertarian pedestrians — the Ulp Party.

——————————————————

Libya: In and Out of Focus

“C’mon all a you big strong men,

Uncle Sam needs your help again.

He’s got himself in a terrible jam

Way down yonder in …

Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya. What gives? Why are we doing this? The Planet’s position is simple: Stay out of unnecessary foreign entanglements. In light of President Obama’s speech to the nation tonight, we present two thoughtful views on our current involvement in Libya. The Planet stresses that these are not necessarily our views. Our guest writers — Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch and Peter Beinart of The Daily Beast  — speak for themselves.

Libya: Wrong country, wrong war!

By Larry Klayman

In the last few weeks in particular, American foreign policy has never looked worse. To describe it as the “Keystone Cops of Diplomacy and War-Making” would be too charitable. The fault lies not just with President Barack Hussein Obama, our obsessively pro-Arab and pro-Muslim president, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his easily compromised sidekick, but also with the inert and incompetent Republican political establishment. Here are just a few of their glaring mistakes, not only with regard to Libya but the entire Middle East.

First, as I have said many times in recent columns, the United States has taken its “eye off of the ball.” Israel and Iran are the key to Middle East stability and the potential for peace in the region. Israel, of course, is our only Westernized ally in this part of the world; it shares our Judeo-Christian heritage and is a buffer to the Islamic radicalization now under way to an even greater extent in the Middle East. It needs to be protected and cherished, not disparaged and threatened for not rolling over and ceding to the demands of the Palestinians. While Obama and Clinton have recently told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that he must essentially accede to these Palestinian demands for a state along the lines they propose, or risk having borders imposed on it in the near future, where are the Republicans in the defense of the Jewish state? You do not hear any loud screams coming out of them on Capitol Hill. They are inert and preoccupied primarily with their so-called budget issues, where they have failed to get anything meaningful accomplished.

As for Iran, rather than committing valuable American resources to questionable adventures like Libya, the United States should be doing everything possible to overthrow the mullahs in Tehran. If they fall, and Iran becomes a secular state, then any nuclear weapons in the possession of this non-Arab Persian state, now or in the future, will at least likely be controlled by rational persons. And, an end to the neo-Nazi Islamic regime – which executes the opposition at a rate now exceeding one every eight hours and admits to wanting to kill all Jews and Christians – would end Iran’s terrorist support of Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and other radical groups throughout the Middle East and the world, including here in the United States.

To hear Obama and Clinton try to justify their intervention in Libya as a humanitarian issue was particularly insulting, especially to Iranians who yearn to be free and have been fighting for their freedom, with greater geo-political stakes, far longer than the Libyans. What we have seen in Iran is an ongoing genocide of students and others in the opposition, for which I have filed suit in Washington, D.C., federal court for crimes against humanity. But a court case is far from enough. Why have at least three successive American administrations, comprised of both political parties, ignored and appeased Iran for decades, when it is the key to restructuring the Middle East, removing the nuclear threat and stopping the Islamic revolution in its tracks? The negligence – if charitably you can call it that – borders on the criminal.

Second, even assuming that Libya is an important “adventure” and conceding that multilateral action may be preferable, multilateralism is not worthwhile when it delays action, which if taken quickly can change the balance of power, save lives and also be effective. President George W. Bush made this mistake with Iraq, when for at least nine months he waited to remove Saddam Hussein and asked for United Nation approval and support, but got none. In the end, his dithering and waiting likely gave Hussein time to hide or destroy his weapons of mass destruction and Bush – to save face when none were then found – sought to disingenuously justify the costly war as an effort to create democracy in this essentially autocratic and factionalized state, run in large part by Muslim terrorist militias in the wake of Saddam’s removal. To date, nine years later, there is no real democracy in Iraq; only mostly radical Shiite factions loyal to the mullahs in Iran, not the United States. These factions themselves are on the verge of yet another civil war in the Middle East.

Similarly, Obama’s effort to get NATO and other Arab states on board for his Libyan campaign – which he never really wanted in the first place but was forced on him politically by the perception, if not reality, that he has shown indecisiveness in foreign affairs – delayed removing Gadhafi when he was weak and easier to remove in the early days of the civil war. With the administration’s new and contrived goal of merely stopping bloodshed to the Libyan opposition, Obama has sown the seeds for a divided Libya – now that Gadhafi has regained the upper hand – and a protracted war that accomplishes nothing, just as we have seen in Iraq, is likely. Again, where has the Republican establishment in Congress been in taking a lead or even having a real voice here? It knew or should have known where Obama and his secretary of state were taking us. To hear their screams and political hackery now are hypocrisy and dishonesty at its worst.

The situation in the Middle East is not a game show! Nor should it be driven by television commentators on Fox News or MSNBC and the failed politicians they call consultants. It is serious business.

What we have “accomplished” in the Middle East in the last many weeks, months and years is frightening, and if American foreign policy and war-making continues along these lines, it will not simply be a question of poor foreign relations. As the price of oil spikes higher due to the mess furthered by the U.S. government establishment, and as Americans lose more of their hard-earned income to higher gas prices during what is in effect a continuing economic depression, the cost of having Keystone Cops in charge will become increasingly apparent.

The 2012 election is likely to be driven not just by domestic but also world politics. Our next president must have both credentials and, as importantly, be honest, competent, have a logical world vision and be strong and principled. Certainly, no one in either political party qualifies at this time. The future is not bright.

Larry Klayman is a former Justice Department prosecutor and the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. His latest book is “Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment.”

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LIBYA: IS ‘HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION’ ENOUGH FOR WAR?

Peter Beinart

NEW YORK – In the President’s Libya speech tonight, he’ll have to deflect critics who ask why we’re taking on Gaddafi–but not other murderous regimes. Peter Beinart on Why Consistency in Foreign Policy is Overrated.

There are plenty of smart objections to America’s Libya intervention. But when President Obama addresses the nation on Monday night, he should rebut the stupidest one: that America shouldn’t wage humanitarian war in Libya because we’re not doing so in Congo, Zimbabwe and every other nasty dictatorship on earth.

The consistency argument, it’s important to understand, has nothing to do with Congo and Zimbabwe. Most of the people who invoke those ill-fated countries showed no interest in them before the Libya debate and will go back to ignoring them once Libya is off the front page. Ask someone who demands moral consistency in humanitarian war how exactly they propose to intervene in Congo and you will quickly realize that the call for moral consistency is actually a call for immoral consistency. The point of invoking the horrors of Congo is not to convince the US to act to stop the horrors of Congo; it is to ensure that, out of respect for the raped, murdered and maimed in Central Africa, we allow innocents to be raped, murdered and maimed in North Africa as well. The Congolese, presumably, will find it comforting to know that the great powers are as just as indifferent to savagery in other lands as they are to the savagery in theirs.

There will always be horrors that outside powers cannot or will not prevent. But the fact that they cannot be stopped everywhere is no reason not to try to stop them somewhere.

There is a serious argument against humanitarian intervention. It starts with the belief that international affairs is by nature tragic. Terrible things happen in distant societies but we do not really understand them, and so our efforts at amelioration either prove futile or actually make things worse. We think that because our motives are pure we can violate the norms of sovereignty that we guard jealously when it comes to our own affairs, but in so doing we open—or reopen—the door to a predatory imperialism that can do even greater harm. And finally, by spending money on distant lands we bankrupt our own.

What unites these arguments is a belief that foreign policy must be Hippocratic: First, do no harm. But the advocates of moral consistency cannot stomach this moral minimalism so they cloak it in moral maximalism: Rather than arguing against humanitarian war anywhere, they argue for it everywhere, which is a less honest way of saying the same thing.

But humanitarian war is not possible everywhere because war is never waged for humanitarian reasons alone. There is nothing strange or scandalous, for instance, about considering logistics. NATO is intervening in Libya in part because Libya lies relatively close to the NATO countries that are doing the intervening, as did Bosnia and Kosovo. That means the operation can be done more cheaply, at less risk to American and European lives, and with a greater chance of success, than in Zimbabwe or Congo. Those are all valid considerations, as valid as a doctor choosing to operate on the patient he has the best chance of saving.

Libya also resides in a more strategically important part of the world than do Congo and Zimbabwe. In intervening there, the US hopes not only to save innocent Libyans, but to bolster its reputation and relationships with the activists seeking to replace Gaddafi and his fellow tyrants in the oil-rich Middle East. To say that makes the Libya intervention immoral is like saying that covering the uninsured was immoral because Barack Obama hoped it would win him votes. It’s also true that NATO is intervening in Libya because, unlike say, Burma, is does not lie within the sphere of influence of a hostile great power. That’s also a pretty reasonable consideration if one wants humanitarian interventions to succeed, and not increase the risk of superpower war.

The point is that there is no purely moral position from which to judge international affairs. At best, moral concerns coincide with practical, self-interested ones. It may be that this nexus never offers much hope for a place like Congo. But that hope is probably slightly greater if the West intervenes—successfully—in Libya than if it does not. In the 1990s, after all, critics condemned the Bosnia intervention because the West was not stopping genocide outside Europe. It was in large measure because the West did stop genocide in Europe, however, that the world’s non-intervention in Rwanda was considered in retrospect such a disgrace. Spurred by the memory of Rwanda, activists from around the world drew attention to the killing in Darfur. And now, in part because of that widening circle of outrage, NATO is doing in North Africa what fifteen years ago critics charged it would do only in Europe.

There will always be horrors that outside powers cannot or will not prevent. But the fact that they cannot be stopped everywhere is no reason not to try to stop them somewhere. And showing that they can be stopped somewhere—first in Bosnia and Kosovo, hopefully now in Libya—may make dictators pause to reflect that they could be next. That’s moral progress, which in the ugly, real world is a pretty impressive thing.

Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His new book, The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, is now available from HarperCollins. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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AND WITH THAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN< BOYS AND GIRLS, WE MOVE ON TO APOCALYTICA. LOVE TO ALL.

48 Responses to “MORE ON STEROIDSGATE, BERRY-HELLER II, THE DEMISE OF NEWSPAPERS, and WHAT’s UP (& DOWN) WITH LIBYA?”

  1. GMHeller
    March 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Mr. Valenti:
    Point of clarification.
    Despite what that poster, the alleged Berkshire Eagle employee, claims, the stories linked on the left two-thirds of The Berkshire Eagle’s home page on its Web site are editor-driven, NOT-computer driven as is being alleged concerning stories cycling-out.
    If article placement and cycling out were computer-driven, then why are stories from Friday still on the list of current news, whereas Conor Berry’s piece on Saturday about the Pittsfield Police Department’s Internal Affairs report now deleted?
    It’s very plain that The Eagle wants news articles about this federal probe into illegal anabolic steroids use/dealing off the public radar ASAP.
    Also, regarding the right third of The Eagle’s home page, specifically that small section dealing with ‘Most E-mailed’ and ‘Most Viewed’ articles, are readers seriously supposed to believe that Conor Berry’s articles about the steroids probe are not amongst the Top Ten under each category?
    Also, where is the normally prompt Berkshire Eagle editorial taking some type of self-righteous breast-beating stand on the matter.
    Also, where are the letters-to-the-editor which no doubt flooded into The Eagle if the number of folks posting comments on-line on Disqus and in Topix threads is any indication?
    The Berkshire Eagle is unquestionably involved, as much as it can be under the circumstances, in a cover-up of this entire matter.
    Do you doubt me?

    • danvalenti
      March 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      GMH
      I don’t doubt this. In my response to the Eagle staffer who said (or a tleast implied) that the comment generation is all automatic, I said, fine, for the sake of argument, we grant that: Even so, a human being — that is, an editor — can override the machine. If not, then the BB is in more trouble than we realized. Our point is that an editor should make the decision to place the story back up. I believe Conor Berry would join us in that desire. I could tell you what one Eagle editor told me to do with my advice, but I gave that up for Lent.

  2. GMHeller
    March 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    By the way, Conor Berry, as you well know, challenged me repeatedly to be ‘here’ at Noon today.
    I was here, where was Mr. Berry?
    Hopefully, Mr. Berry was out interviewing clientele and members of Berkshire Nautilus and of the other gyms and fitness centers in Berkshire County to get a handle on just how pervasive is anabolic steroids use throughout Berkshire County.

    • Conor Berry
      March 29, 2011 at 4:11 am #

      Sorry, Glenn. I was taking a snooze. Plus, I didn’t think it was worth the trip over here, to Planet Valenti, considering you’d already strongly suggested you weren’t going to reveal the disposition of your stalking case — guilty or not guilty?

      I was willing — and ready — to satisfy your Stracuzzi craving.

      • GMHeller
        March 29, 2011 at 9:00 am #

        Conor Berry,
        You are guilty right here and now of doing the same thing you claim you try to protect your employer, The Berkshire Eagle, against; and when you make those statements here you are not protected in any way by The Eagle’s legal department.
        Suggest you do your ‘due diligence’ before making libelous and slanderous statements.
        And Mr. Valenti should know better than to allow such obvious slander on his web site.

        • GMHeller
          March 29, 2011 at 10:49 am #

          @reality check,
          You make a slanderous comment that no doubt is meant with malicious intent.
          Mr. Valenti, is it your intent to allow plainly slanderous and libelous comments to be posted on your Web site?

        • GMHeller
          March 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

          Mr. Valenti, This is notice that one of your posters, calling him/herself ‘reality check’, has posted with malicious intent a slanderous and libelous comment above.
          Thank you in advance for immediately removing same from your website.

          • reality check
            March 30, 2011 at 4:49 am #

            It sure seems like your stalking Mr. Berry!!!

      • GMHeller
        March 29, 2011 at 9:03 am #

        Further, Conor Berry, you leave little doubt that your slanderous remarks are made WITH malicious intent.

        • Conor Berry
          March 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

          Glenn,

          You have a well-documented electronic paper trail of accusing Angelo Stracuzzi of being something that no court of law has determined him to be (and of The Eagle not bringing enough rope to the lynching). We know the disposition of Stracuzzi’s criminal case in Maine, and I’ve asked you for the disposition of your criminal case, which is a matter of public record.

          You’ve asked for information in regard to who “muzzled” me on the Stracuzzi affair, and I’ve offered to reveal the truth, albeit with a caveat.

          You’ve dedicated an inordinate amount of space on your blog to your theories, all of which are dripping with derision and scorn. Every one of your online exhortations could be deemed malicious, including your diatribes against Andy Mick, Alan Chartock, Clarence Fanto and now me, apparently. Your reportage of our collective failings, as you view them, is a truth-seeking exercise, yet you refuse to be truthful when challenged to be honest.

          You routinely question and mock the capabilities and trustworthiness of the media — The Eagle, in particular — willfully impugning the good reputations of those who make good-faith efforts to seek facts and truths. Your mockery is malicious and intended to cause maximum damage to whomever enters your crosshairs.

          Meanwhile, I’ve merely questioned your capabilities and trustworthiness as a gatherer of facts, a teller of truths, in the same electronic format that you’ve questioned mine. I’ve asked you to be forthcoming, just as you’ve asked me to be forthcoming. The difference is you’ve been asking me for months, while I’ve only been asking you for a week.

          You routinely point out other people’s failings, yet you get more than a bit peeved when asked to clarify your own.

          Sarcasm? Mockery? Malice? I suppose it’s all in the eye of the beholder, really.

      • GMHeller
        March 29, 2011 at 9:36 am #

        Further, Conor Berry, regarding your malicious slander posted above, you have made it plain here on this web site and acknowledged a number of times in the past few days — with Mr. Valenti as witness no less — that you have yet to do any research on this matter at the Great Barrington District Court, and also that you have NOT done what would usually and normally be considered ‘due diligence’ on this matter.

  3. GMHeller
    March 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Mr. Valenti:
    You write:”Heller’s odd network of “mimic” websites (using “berkshire eagle”, “wamc”, etc.) and the various snail-mail addresses are troubling in that, as one person put it, “they put off a strange vibe, like he’s hiding out and hiding in.”

    Hiding out and hiding in?
    Not only do I post my real name on all my posts, something only about 1% appear to do on Topix, on Disqus, and even on Planet Valenti, but I also post my email address, my snail-mail address, and my telephone number for anyone who wants to contact me.
    (Why else do you think I so often receive information ‘over the transom’?)
    If anyone’s ‘hiding out’ and ‘hiding in’, it’s the gutless wimps who insist on posting anonymously.

    • danvalenti
      March 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

      GMH
      As I said, I attempted to characterize the feedback I received (and it was lots, almost every time I showed my face in any kind of prominent public place this weekend), and the point about the various addresses came up over and over. I hold out the greatest respect for anyone — you, Conor Berry, Jim Gleason, Eric Vincelette, and anyone else who posts under their own name. This site allows anonymous posts knowing the retaliatory nature of Pittsfield politics. We do require a valid e-mail address from everyone, so we can contact if conditions warrant. Overall, I am pleased at how we’ve managed to police the comments section. I want it bare knuckles without devolving into the ignorance of what happened at the BB.

  4. toto
    March 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    This is my real name, winning!

  5. GMHeller
    March 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    And speaking of burying news of the federal probe into anabolic steroid usage/dealing in Pittsfield:
    Not one single mention in Berkshire Living Magazine’s daily email update aka ‘Berkshire Daily’ edited by Seth Rogovoy.

    Nothing. Zip. Nada!

    • danvalenti
      March 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      Yes. what a shock, eh? BERKSHIRE UNDYING MAGAZINE’s daily update, edited by the Big Tweeter Fedora, hasn’t heard a thing, doesn’t know thing, will not see a thing about SteroidsGate.

  6. CONCERNED
    March 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Boy I wish I had all ths time that Mr. Heller has with nothing to do but pick on people

    • GMHeller
      March 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Which people do you claim are being picked on?

  7. Dusty
    March 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Somewherrrre…oooout there….little bluebirds fly.

    Hard to believe they can keep a lid on this forever. Cops wives gotta know and they like to chat amongst each other. And sooner or later somebody gets pissed at hubby and spills some beans. Then when it all comes flowing out like steaming lava laced with popping gas pockets, some people who were part of the cover up will look like low life snakes and it will be hard for them to show their faces in public. Maybe they will even want to move away because they can’t look their fellow citizens in the eye anymore.

    Kirchners name is out so the genie is out of the bottle…ya ain’t gonna get it back in without it continuing to pop back out again.

    What is for sure is that the Eagle is part of the info block and both subscribers and advertisers should take note of this.

  8. toto
    March 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Check your water, if you drink from a tap.

    • GMHeller
      March 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      With the level of PCBs, Hexavalent Chromium, Volatile Organic Compounds, and just about every other chemical nasty one can think of in Pittsfield’s air, water, and soil, a little radioiodine-131 might just be the spice needed to give the whole brew real panache.
      Drink up!

      • danvalenti
        March 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

        Maybe radioactive iodine kills PCBs!

  9. toto
    March 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    I guess scientists are worried about the problem in Japan, affecting Mass. Maybe nothing, who knows.

  10. PCP
    March 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I am more worried about the chemicals and bacteria already in the water. Read the city and dep reports. Japan nuclear fallout is nothing to us, you have a better chance of being robbed in the city by an unbelievable factor of 200,000 plus. Could the 3 writers concentrate on the other 100 plus major problems in Pittsfield. Dan, could you play dueling banjos each time the two egos get out of focus?

  11. toto
    March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    One is very simple. Drains installed many moons ago and a pipeline of pcbees poored into Silver Lake. Fact..Next….

  12. Luxor Rex
    March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    There are a lot of indication and a lot of buzz in town, at the restaurants and the watering holes on how far wide and upand down deep the seteroids thing runs. Names are being named, and rumors pop. Maybe people who make reports outing the bad doers do it so they themselves won’t get caught by the searchilights, cause their into it up to their bank accounts. you think?

    • GMHeller
      March 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      I find it mighty strange that we have not heard from Conor Berry all day and he never showed up at Noon as he had promised to do.
      Something is afoot.

      • Robocop Steroidcop
        March 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

        Cant vouch for this. Heard from one of the pressmen at the bb that management “ordered’ him off the planet. heard they are also going to kill the cops story. Agin i dont know if theres anything to this but a lot of us foiund his sudden disappearnce curious

  13. rick
    March 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    with the eagle being in financial straights and needing to sell news papers, here comes a story laid in their laps, a reporter right on top of it and they dont take advantage of it. theres nothing on their site, they could be selling the news stands out. i just dont get it… this steroid thing is a way to rebuild the trust they lost from the people of pittsfield that they report the news to us. i guess its a good thing there are sites out here that we can find things out without depending on the eagle…the times they are a changing…..and not for the better for the eagle.

    • Scott
      March 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

      Keep in mind that the supreme court ruled in favor of fox news for firing Jane Akre and steve willson. They were covering a story on Monsanto’s Bovine growth hormone and found compelling evidence that there is links to cancer but the big guys over at fox news put the breaks on it because Monsanto was a major advertiser with it’s Round up weed killer. The final verdict was it’s not illegal for the media to lie and intentionally deceive the public. This is the problem with capitalism it outs monetary gain over the well being of humanity. Sites like this are wonderful but enjoy it while it last some in government are trying to put a stop to it. The real question is are we just going to stand by and let them??? Also before I get attacked and called a socialist I’m not against capitalism I’m just pointing out a major flaw I believe it can still work it just needs to adjust it’s priorities. Paul Hawken wrote a magnificent book called The Ecology Of Commerce where he explains in great detail some solutions that I agree are very obtainable. Interface the worlds leading carpet manufacturer will be 100% sustainable by 2020. Not only are profits increasing which keeps their investors happy but their impact on the environment is lessoning.

  14. Scott Laugenour
    March 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    You say that a “large” group of voters affiliates with neither ‘major’ party, declaring itself independent. This large group would more accurately be called a majority.

    • danvalenti
      March 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

      I take your word. I didn’t have time to get the actual numbers in the city of Pittsfield, let alone Berkshire County. There is rampant disgust with Traditional Two-Party Politics. Let me ask you a Q: Do you see any way for libertarians, Libertarians, and Green-Rainbows to unite? What would the philosophical frame be for a Grand Coalition? I’m playing around with some constitutional ideas.

  15. Dusty
    March 29, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Here is one for the fantasy world. Dan Valenti has a radio talk show and Andy Mick is the guest. The public is allowed to call in. Could the city find out just who this shadowy figure that controls the main media in the city is?

    • GMHeller
      March 29, 2011 at 2:53 am #

      @Dusty
      You write: “Could the city find out just who this shadowy figure that controls the main media in the city is?”

      It’s doubtful it’s any one person, more likely a consensus amongst the city’s Liberal Democrat power players.
      It’s also like that joke about which organ is the most important in the human body: No matter who it is who thinks he/she ‘controls’ the city’s media, that person doesn’t have to be smart, nor strong, nor have the ability to keep the body going, the person just has to be an asshole.

      • rick
        March 29, 2011 at 3:11 am #

        everyone talks about the good old boys and power players who run the city from, but who are they? what are their names..? its been going on way to long, people should know who pulls the strings…… about the 2 parties, the have been killing this country for years. they are no longer for the people,its all big buis. lots of money in politics. you take a look at the lack of voters and you see the disgust..

        • GMHeller
          March 29, 2011 at 9:09 am #

          Did you say you think there are TWO political parties that run Pittsfield?
          Now THAT’S news.
          Can you tell us the last time the city had a Republican mayor?

  16. GMHeller
    March 29, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Just read Conor Berry’s latest report entitled, “Steroids probe not confined to county”. The article says it was posted on 03/29/2011 at 12:09:35 AM EDT.

    Not much, if any, new information reported except in the last graph: “Sources have told The Eagle that only two police officers have been tied to the probe, WHICH EMANATED FROM BOSTON and involves the delivery and receipt of steroids through the U.S. mail. No other officers are expected to be charged, the sources said.”

    So when is Conor Berry going to interview members of Berkshire Nautilus and clientele of the other gyms and fitness centers in Berkshire County to find out whether or not use of illegal anabolic steroids is widespread in Berkshire County?
    No doubt customers of these work-out facilities would talk to a reporter if assured of their confidentiality and that their statements would only be used without attribution.

    • Conor Berry
      March 29, 2011 at 4:54 am #

      How do you know I haven’t already, Glenn? That’s for me to know, and you to find out (maybe). Just because a reporter casts his net wide doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll catch anything, ya dig.

      Conducting interviews with sweaty patrons of a Pittsfield gym may be your idea of a good time, but it can also be an exercise in futility.

      Me: Sir, excuse me, sir (to a lumbering man as he exits a Pittsfield gym, his workout bag slung over his shoulder, a menacing look [roid rage?] in his eyes). Have you heard anything about steroid issues, in general, or anyone here at the gym using the performance-enhancing drugs?

      The Man (we’ll call him Moose Magee): You talking to me, buddy? Steroids? What the $#@*! …

      Anyone, Glenn, despite your lazer-like focus on a certain gym, I just don’t think there’s any way to tie the gym to this investigation, based on what I’ve learned — or, perhaps more aptly, haven’t learned. Lots of cops work out at that gym. So do lots of regular folks. And, as you might already know, cops generally hold the press in about the same esteem as you do. Sorry to disappoint, Glenn, but that’s life in the big city.

      Again, if certain legal documents ID a certain establishment, I’ll be sure to ID said establishment’s role, if any, in all of this mess. Until then, there’s no point in throwing a local business under the bus, whether it be a gym or a beauty parlor. We tend to focus on facts that are germane to the overall thrust of a story, and so far no one we’ve spoken with can describe or detail anything akin to a police action, overt or covert, at the facility you’ve repeatedly identified.

      Again, if you’ve confirmed the gym’s ties to this investigation, I’d love for you to e-mail me the contact information about the person with whom you confirmed. That way I, too, could confirm, etc.

      Gracias!

      • edconnect
        March 29, 2011 at 5:35 am #

        Moose magee?? You should call him tODD goRILLA.

      • GMHeller
        March 29, 2011 at 10:19 am #

        Maybe you should approach these folks on theior way into the gym instead of on the way out.
        Also, don’t forget to give these dudes your business card in case they decide they want to talk to you without anyone noticing.
        This is Pittsfield, after all.

      • GMHeller
        March 29, 2011 at 10:38 am #

        Conor Berry, have you been able yet to determine just who is the second Pittsfield Police Department employee you allude to in your article published Saturday, March 26th?
        You wrote:
        “Evidence used in the internal affairs report to discipline Kirchner was supplied by officials conducting the steroid probe. Some of those officials met with Granger on March 7 and March 8, turning over various investigatory materials, including supporting affidavits, written and audio statements and other evidence implicating Kirchner AND AN UNIDENTIFIED INDIVIDUAL in the illegal purchase of steroids.”

        • Conor Berry
          March 29, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

          Glenn,

          I have no idea who this individual is, as of yet. Could be three possible future defendants (this mystery person, the PPD cop, the MSP trooper). Or, perhaps the unidentifed individual is the trooper.

          Nothing is available yet because no one has been charged locally — yet. That said, who really knows if anyone has been charged in another Massachusetts jurisdiction. There’s no way to get a bead on this thing until a criminal complaint is issued, then all sorts of legal documents suddenly become part of the public record.

          That’s all i know.

  17. to be commended!
    March 29, 2011 at 3:44 am #

    I would just like to thank you Mr. Valenti …GM Heller (& Berry when he is allowed to do his job!) for allowing us, the citizens the ability to follow this story or any newsworthy story with out any one micro-managing the facts. I find your web-site not only to be factual but very helpful in finding out what is actually going on in our county. It is clear that you do not have a higher up telling you to keep it hush-hush and for that I am grateful.

    • danvalenti
      March 29, 2011 at 7:54 am #

      Thank you. The Planet loves comments such as this. We are doing our bets and will pledge nothing less.

  18. kman
    March 29, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    well, this at least show sthat mr. berry hasn’t been ordered to blast off and stay away from the planet. the investigation granger did was designed more to throw the investigation OFF the track. ask yourself why would that be done. Coul it be to protect other higher ups in ppd? Kirchner was set up to take the fall. why? Word of Boston snooping around (law enforcement is a very tight bunch) gotsome of the of higher ups panicky. the purpose of this “probe” is to put an end to any further looking don’t ask me how i know

  19. danvalenti
    March 29, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    The Planet got a comment yesterday about the rumor that the BB suits had banned Berry from the Planet. We didn’t believe it, though we give credence that such a rumor has been circulating. Berry seems too much his own man. How extensive is the use of steroids in the PPD? It’s greater than zero and less than 100%.

  20. GMHeller
    March 29, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Mr. Valenti;
    Request that when you, as editor of this Web site, delete a poster’s comment, or that when you edit out selected portions of a poster’s comment, as has been done above and on other pages on your Web site, that you put some form of editor’s notation to indicate to readers that the entire comment was deleted or portion thereof.
    Thank you for considering this request.

    • danvalenti
      March 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      Noted. It is my intent to keep readers in the loop as much as possible.