PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2012) — From the Fortress Ballroom, high atop a mountainside overlooking the city, we present a few reader and commentator notes to begin with, for your dining and dancing pleasure. We shall emit the dulcet tones of Johnny Polio and the Poliotones, famous for the hit, “Walk this Way.”

First, our investigation into the phony poster who sent fake e-mails using the name of the manager of a branch of Greylock Federal Credit Union has revealed the culprit. We won’t reveal all of the details, but we can say that each message sent to THE PLANET contains a bit of photonic DNA, so to speak. This bit of electronic matter serves as a “stamp” that identifies the origin and the originator of a comment.

We should play this like Sherlock Holmes, who assembles all the suspects in a room and announces, “One of you is the murderer.” If this were a serial, it would be Chapter 15, the last chapter, in which The Iron Claw gets unmasked (who out there remembers “The Iron Claw” from the 10-cent movie night at the Boys Club back in the late 50s/early 60s?).

Well, no one was murdered, but forging someone’s name to a document is, in our estimation, cause for high treason. Forging the name of the manager of a financial institution and issuing false information might even be criminal. That’s another part of this story THE PLANET shall keep in house.

The criminal wasn’t  Col. Mustard in the library with the rope. It was the person who has posted in the past as “Andrew Stevens.” This man falsely presented himself as the bank manager. Again, we did not make this identification, nor is THE PLANET making this accusation. The computers did. Let’s put it this way: The stamp numbers do not lie. We have contacted “Stevens” and read him the riot act. His silence has been deafening.

We contacted “Stevens” privately, we add, and we publicly (and strongly) encourage him to respond to us in that way with admission and proof he is who he claims he is.

“Stevens,” come on: Deny it was you. Do so, and you will be receiving a knock on the door. You also might want to be contacting a cheap lawyer.



THE PLANET received lots of attention regarding yesterday’s column on the vomit comet of marketing slogans and campaigns, “Lenoxology.” That included numerous substitute suggestions that played off of the ridiculous term. We proudly announce the winner of the contest we have just this moment declared. The winner is …

Fan Dan Go, who suggested a word that crosses “Lenoxology” with a literary bent. Fan Dan Go sent in “Lenoxymoron.”

Lenoxymoron” — It can’t be improved.

An oxymoron refers to a contradiction in terms, or, to adapt from Robert Frost, it allows a means of saying one thing and meaning another. This epigrammatic combination of contradictory terms — examples, “living death or “a silent cry” — fits the Lenox situation beautifully. We also love the “moron” part of the term, since it fits so well not the Big NYC Agency that snookered $56K out of taxpayers to come up with that tripe but the Lenox officials who pulled the trigger on the mass murder.

We thank Fan Dan Go, who receives with Mrs. Fan Dan Go a full course dinner at the fabulous Red Lion Inn (main dining room!), courtesy of THE PLANET.



Finally, there was this message sent to THE PLANET yesterday by Edward, no last name given. Edward took exception to our comments on the sainted “Lenoxology.” We thought the strident nature of his response deserved greater attention, so here goes:

Edward writes:

What a load of crap, obviously from someone who knows NOTHING about marketing, especially destination marketing, nor about the process that the town went through before deciding on the Lenoxology campaign. How dare you? What gives you the right to so vehemently diss serious professional work. You do not have to like it, nor do you have a stake in it. Reminds me of the anti Semitic rantings in some of your previous “writings”.

Yes, there are some problems with the Lenoxology campaign, but not from the the target audience – which does not live in Lenox or even Stockbridge. The problems arise from the decision making process when public money is used – and in this case, took much longer than anyone anticipated, in an open, serious manner. As not many towns have undertaken to market themselves independently, Lenox had to invent the process. The board of selectmen that begun the process took a courageous decision and should be admired for their commitment.

In case you wonder, I am not one of them, but have been involved in the process from its outset, so write from knowledge, not guessing.

As for Federspiel, rarely can you find a public servant as
professional, ethical and totally devoted as he is, and Lenox is lucky to have him.

The civil war you talk about derives only from the fact that a certain local talent was not chosen for the task.

Frankly Valenti, it is your blog that is a vomit comet. made me want to vomit when I read it. But I guess that’s what you wanted.

THE PLANET responded:

Thank you for your unambiguous post. Allow me to address certain points:

1.) I know nothing about marketing: Well, I did own a thriving PR and press relations agency for many years, and we worked closely with many ad agencies — even “Big New York Ones” (I love the way when people like you justify your decisions to go to NYC, you do so reverently).

2.) Anti-semetic writings? What would those be? We don’t recall any. Please be more specific. Oh, you can’t, because there aren’t any such writings. Thus, Edward, we are calling you out anddaring you to produce one such piece from our pen. We are a truth teller, boy. That’s all. No more, no less — what the Old testament calls a prophet.

3.) The board of selectmen acted on “Lenoxology,” but to call them “courageous” is ludicrous. Courageous is when you’re a soldier departing from a Higgins boat on June 7, 1944, in Normandy, France, hip deep in surf and lead whizzing over, under, around, and through you.

4.) Would you care to be more specific about your ties to the project? You are not on the board of selectmen, you say. Are you, then, a staffer at the NYC agency? Only by knowing that can we assess your expertise.

5.) You are not alone in your unqualified praise for Federspiel. There are others who share that praise, though not many are what you call “ordinary” taxpaying members of the public. Almost all of the ones we know of are members of Vested Interest Inc.

6.) “Certain local talent” — If you mean Winstanley and Associates, the town fathers blew it by not selecting Nate’s great bunch. I know something about Nate Winstanley. I gave him his start, back in the ’82-84 range, with Media Services Group.

7.) I did not want to induce vomiting, Edward, but, yes, I did want to stimulate discussion, deliberation, and debate. As George W. Bush would say, “Mission Accomplished.
Again, THE PLANET thanks you for your side of the story.

 Aren’t we soooo gracious?!
THE PLANET thanks Edward, Fan Dan Go, but certainly not the cowardly “Andrew Stevens,” and all of the denizens of our otherworldly world. for sharing their views. Keep on keeping on!


  1. levitan
    April 26, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Well, I’ll be dipped in shit.

    • danvalenti
      April 26, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      So is “Lenoxology.”

  2. Andrew
    April 26, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Shouldn’t it have been your job to check the veracity of the guy’s claims before you put them online? Running a site like this is a responsibility and knowing that you won’t hesitate to publish a troll’s claims as real without a second of hesitation doesn’t look good. A journalist should know better. I hope you personally apologized to Mancari.

    • danvalenti
      April 26, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Can you read? I have addressed this matter sufficiently. The Professor assigns that to you for next week. Be ready for a pop quiz.

      • Andrew
        April 26, 2012 at 11:38 am #

        You should have never published that information before verifying it and you know it. A mea culpa is in order.

        • danvalenti
          April 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

          Read what we wrote. Our mea culpa in this case was, is, and shall remain a private matter.

          • The Embalmer
            April 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

            dan, if this was something that happened with a politician and they said it was a private matter you would be all over them like flies to horse manuer on a hot summer day. i think you owe it to “we the people” who support this rumor site.

          • danvalenti
            April 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

            AUNTIE EM
            Ah, but I’m not a politician nor a public official. We “owe” nada. If anything, you owe us for rendering you this great, and free, service. We’d put it on your tab, but you don’t have one here.

          • Andrew
            April 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

            I’m responding to your response to The Embalmer:

            Wow. That statement was so chock full of arrogance and self righteousness it’s astounding the website didn’t burst open at the seams. We owe you? That’s how you feel? You provide such an amazing service that somehow you feel that you don’t even owe it to your readers to apologize for eagerly misconstruing the truth? Simply astounding.

          • danvalenti
            April 27, 2012 at 6:23 am #

            The website DID burst at the seams. It does that everyday. Think not with your emotions but with your head. That’s my advice.

        • Molly
          April 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

          Andrew – should we take this as an admission that you were, indeed, the one that posted under the name of Mark Mancari?

          • levitan
            April 27, 2012 at 6:48 am #


            Andrew has already stated he is not A.S.

            I understand a moderator cannot thoroughly vet every comment and maintain a continuing conversation, but the posts that abused an employee’s reputation (who has no association here) is serious and does merit some ire.

        • Scott
          April 27, 2012 at 4:01 am #

          You should have never did that but I realize what you were doing so touché the Planet will recover its pride and has learned from this I’m sure.

        • GMHeller
          April 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

          Mr. Valenti,
          Please take the time to verify whether or not ‘Andrew’ is affiliated with the disgraced ‘Andrew Stevens’.

          • danvalenti
            April 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

            To the best of my determination, they are different people. That is a tentative determination, but I have good faith in the reliability of the conclusion.

    • Troll Hunter
      April 27, 2012 at 5:06 am #

      DV is above the rules that he espouses for everyone else. Surely you have realized that by now. He can say anything and do whatever he wants. Take this site for what it is. It should be renamed “The Berkshire Lampoon.”

      • danvalenti
        April 27, 2012 at 6:28 am #

        I like the title!

      • Troll Destroyer
        April 27, 2012 at 6:29 am #

        Why do I have a feeling troll hunter is andrew stevens?

        • GMHeller
          April 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

          Funny, but I got the same sense of deja vu.

  3. Busted BigTime
    April 26, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Dan, great job. Now that you have the DNA of said “andrew stevens” all future posts (including this one), should be checked to make sure they are not stained.

    Great job!

    • danvalenti
      April 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      Appreciate it.
      As for tracking, “Vee haff our vays.”

  4. Cousin O
    April 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Love it that someone finally has taken Lenoxology down to the bottom peg on the ladder. DV you are correct in everything you write about this disaster, spoken by another disgusted Lenox resident. Thank this site for keeping the playing field level.

    • danvalenti
      April 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      But of course, Cousin. It’s good people like you who give that town the little life it has left.

  5. Patty
    April 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I hate the word Lenoxology – it sounds like Lenox needs major surgery – its not easy to say and doesn’t mean anything. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with what Lenox should and does stand for. My take, as a former Berkshire resident – it’s stupid.

    • Scott
      April 27, 2012 at 3:57 am #

      It fits perfect with the idealology of local govt how much can we rape the tax payers wallet while giving them minimum service and maximizing their own profits. Lenoxology… When I think of Lenox two things come to mind tanglewood and Loebs food town is there anything else in that that town?

  6. Scott
    April 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    I use my real name because everything I say on here I would say in person. You should print who this Andrew Stevens character is. I’m curious to know.

  7. tito
    April 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Planet,maybe you could post the rules on the Planet’ concerning e mail, specifically. Like Andrew says, none of us can control what your website will post, but, using someones full name and not checking the legitimacy of this particular post is nonsense on your part. I mean A? S? Is kind of a tell, isn’t it? What is confusing are some of the posts that use the real name and slander many public employees.

    • GMHeller
      April 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

      Tito, please provide examples of just which public employees have been slandered and/or libeled and by whom on these threads?

    • GMHeller
      April 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Tito, ‘Andrew Stevens’ went way beyond any limits.
      He posed as an official of a federally-chartered credit union and then deliberately, and with malicious intent, spread misinformation concerning that institution.
      Further, he lied to an elected official, the Monterey Town Clerk, in order to obtain voter registration information.
      Further, he used inter- and intra-state telephone lines when communicating with the Monterey official and when posting his malicious information on
      That’s a partial list.

      • Molly
        April 30, 2012 at 10:48 am #

        Yet there is no proof of this that will be shared with us. Why is that again? It certainly can’t be to protect the accused since you published his name. So why no proof?

        • Proof
          May 1, 2012 at 6:31 am #

          Molly, agreed, I would like to see the proof too. Just my humble opinion. Dan rocks.

  8. tito
    April 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    …..we still love you’Planet!

  9. tito
    April 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    And my grammar still sux.

  10. Luxor Rex
    April 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Rules. DV has posted them multiple times. I like the way the Planet doesn’t nag on this but has limits. He treats the readers and the posts on this site as the adults that most of us are. He leans in favor of the majority, who are good. DV has raised teh bar in terms of comments, the internet cannot be controlled, tho, the way other media are. The “rules” are common sense.

  11. dusty
    April 27, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    The site is not perfect. What is? But someone or somehow, dirty dealing need to be brought out in the light of day so that the hard working taxpayers are not taken to the cleaners as often. As with everything else some collateral damage will occur. When it gets as bad as Fox news I will beg off.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2012 at 6:20 am #

      Yes, like this is the first media outlet in history that ran a story with misinformation. We got the truth later the same day and posted the correction immediately. Accuracy as much as humanly possible; Truth above all.

      • levitan
        April 27, 2012 at 6:52 am #


        On the other hand, let’s not forget those commentators on your site who love to drag down Dan Rather for falling for a professional spoof, in spite of 40 years of distinguished journalism.

        • Ray Ovac
          April 29, 2012 at 8:52 am #

          Levitan, Dan Rather was attempting to influence the outcome of a presidential election using demonstratably bogus reporting. It was not an honest mistake that was made, Rather knew exactly what he was doing.

          • levitan
            April 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

            RO, you have a strong sense of conspiracy, so let’s not neglect the possibility someone wanted to remove questions of GWs service from discussion and planted a clever forgery and set Dan Rather up for embarrassment.

            I stand by my position, it could be seen as hypocritical for some here to commit Dan Rather to the dustbin for falling prey to a professional forgery, but remain completely silent for Dan Valenti falling prey in a way to an amateur job.

          • danvalenti
            April 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

            Nope. You got bested this time out!

          • levitan
            April 30, 2012 at 11:03 am #


            I’m not beat until I’m six feet under. RO has only kicked up a little dust.

          • danvalenti
            April 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

            Love it!

          • Molly
            April 30, 2012 at 11:13 am #

            Lev got bested? What does THAT mean? I think you’re getting confused…

          • danvalenti
            April 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

            Confusion, when it comes from the one who is confused, is confusing. Are you confused?

          • Molly
            April 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

            Actually no, I’m not at all confused. Perfectly clear to me!!!

  12. tito
    April 27, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    When the host lets a phony quote as real person, then yes, it would be, as Andrew said, an obligation to verify certain subject matter. If The Rules were common sense, then common sense wouldn’t have let the post in period.

  13. Scott
    April 27, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    I’ll admit I was surprised at the info you know Angello got something.

  14. Eric Vincelette
    April 27, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    I gotta say guys, the dispute over “Lenoxology” is old news. They essentially have just started the marketing end of the campaign. I’m not a marketing specialist, and I would have liked to see the work have gone to a local firm, but you gotta run with the horse you got boys and I will support the campaign and withhold judgement until the end result is in. Tourist dollars are are essential to Lenox avoiding an override and I am happy that We are being proactive as a Town. You can’t go back in time and run your town like it was 20 years ago. Times have changed. It seems like your weighing in on an issue FAR after the fact. As far as the Town Manager evaluation is concerned, my understanding is that is has yet to happen. All I can say about Greg is that he is an extremely hard worker, completely ethical and very knowledgable and an asset for the Town of Lenox. Now whether or not he has either worn out his welcome or the Town needs a change of a Face at the Top is another matter. Sometimes a change is needed because one is no longer effective. But I must diagree with TT about him being a mis-manager, that simply is not true. And I am certainly not part of the Vested Interests in Town.

    PS…Update..Special Board of Selectman meeting this coming Wed at 830 am to review Evaluation/Contract of Town Manager.

    • [Re-posted]levitan
      April 27, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Your point is reasonable, but thus far the results of BH is questionable. How could a marketing firm produce a platform that depends on local buy in without first researching how it would be received? Professionals test, amateurs do not.

      Meanwhile, if they expect to produce tourist results for Lenox in 2012, they may have missed the boat. I believe deadlines for advertising are passing rapidly each day, and tourists are already booking their summers.

      Also, why overlook local marketing. Can any town here be a national magnet if it cannot draw locally?

  15. levitan
    April 27, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    [Prior post got up before my final edit.]


    Your point is reasonable, but thus far the results of BH is questionable.

    What sort of marketing firm produces a platform that depends on local buy-in without first researching how it would be received even within Lenox? BH said success depends on local support.

    Professional advertisers test, amateurs do not. In marketing, getting the job done is easy, but getting it right is incredibly difficult. Did BH perform any tests to glean information that could be used to launch successful campaigns, current or future? The lack of internet and print advertising here and abroad and an unpopular slogan casts some doubt there.

    If they expect to produce tourist results for Lenox in 2012, they may have missed the boat. I believe advertising deadlines are passing each day, and tourists are already booking their summers.

    Also, why overlook local marketing. Can any town here be a national magnet if it cannot draw locally? Imagine Lee trying to draw interstate traffic while remaining insulated from surrounding towns.