PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, AUG. 21, 2014) — Today, THE PLANET would like to present this annotated photo feature. The pictures are the work of our good friend Ben Garver, ace photographer of The Berkshire Eagle. His subject: The Empty Suit, depicted in a variety of strained poses during a recent photo op — caught again in the act of not being himself.

Outside of ribbon cutting, beyond issuing proclamations to girl soft ballers, and notwithstanding reading to fourth-grade science students, TES seems to have proficiency for little else beyond photo-ops. He certainly hasn’t the knack for “good government,” judging by popular opinion.

Wither, The Photo Op?

The “photo opportunity” is an exercise in PR practiced at its highest zenith, which also happens to be its lowest sinkhole, none better than by failed politicians. The more an elected official realizes he or she has courted irrevocable and justifiable wrath among We The People for the substantive aspects of office, the more that windbag pols turn to the trusty photo op. They do so in the heartfelt belief that Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski are simple-minded dolts, incapable of understanding policy issues but worthy enough to be taxed to death.

That is certainly how Dan Bianchi thinks of his constituents at this point in his wretched tenure. THE PLANET makes this confident assertion based not on TES‘ words but by the repeated actions of fiscal irresponsibility and the pattern he has shown, if the testimony of half a dozen or more credible people can be believed, of bullying those he thinks are weaker than him and who disagree with him.

The photo op, so its adherents believe, comes in particularly useful in distracting the public from the political belly-flop. For example, when Richard Nixon found himself in the middle of Watergate, he hightailed it to the Florida estate of his good friend Bebe Rebozo. There, he let the wire photographers take his picture in casual dress, walking the ocean shore. The resulting Polaroid produced one of the great pictures of our time: Nixon by the beach, wearing shined wing tips. More recently, THE PLANET recalls Bill Clinton holding hands with Hillary on Martha’s Vineyard during Monicagate and Geroge W. Bush on the aircraft carrier in his official Hasbro G.I. Joe flight suit telling all about “Mission Accomplished.”

Bianchi appears in Garver’s pictures in a number of near-indecipherable poses. Fortunately, we had Jerry Frobisher, THE PLANET’s expert photo analyst, explain what TES was doing. Based on Frobisher’s 783-page report, we have come up with the annotation. For a larger view of any of Garver’s excellent work, simply place your mouse over it and click.


In this picture, a prematurely aged Bianchi — as soft, flabby, and pasty as the Pillsbury Doughboy — holds up his arms while pretending to be a Piper Cub ready to take off for Pittsfield’s sister city in Ferguson, Mo. Word has it he crash landed.




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Here, TES can be seen teaching “The Children” how to give a proper “Seig Heil” salute. We hear that Bianchi got the idea while watching a History Channel documentary on “Youth for Hitler.” We know the mayor is quite the history buff. Do you think he taped it?




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In this photo, TES walks with a woman of color. That’s news in and of itself. Observers likened the rare event the appearance of Bigfoot skinny dipping in Loch Ness during a meteor shower under a super-moon. Perhaps some of his best friends are Negroes.

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The Empty Suit makes a rousing speech on taxes in front of what used to be a house of God. As you can see, the rapt, energized crowd hangs on his every word. THE PLANET cannot confirm the rumor, however, that several within listening range of the mayor’s speech were driven into comas, brain damage, and chants of “I’m Not a Bully!”

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Inspired by one of “The Children,” who asked him about his current popularity, Bianchi does his impression of a kamikazee pilot banking downward on a one-way plunge into the Pacific Ocean after missing its target. There were no survivors reported.

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THE PLANET thanks Garver for his marvelous portraits of a washed-up politician caught in the act of self-destruction. Word has it that Garver, not even once, had to yell “Cheese.”


“Historically, the stuff of the universe goes on becoming concentrated into ever-more organized forms of matter. But where, when, do these metamorphoses take place? Is it indifferently, at any point in space?  Not at all, as we all know, but only in the heart and on the surface of the stars. The stars are laboratories in which the evolution of matter proceeds according to determinate rules.”Pierre de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man. … and then quantum physics came along.




  1. dusty
    August 21, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    Maybe Ben could set up a time lapse camera and film TES going in and out of Global. Then put it on a loop on Youtube. Or the Valenti show.

  2. Pussy Galore
    August 21, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    Ben, where are the photos of TES square dancing at the First Street Commom a couple of years ago?

  3. BOC
    August 21, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    Dan, these photos and annotations are hilarious. But you and Ben left out the one pose the mayor is in the most – of him reaching into the taxpayer’s pocket and stealing his/her hard earned money.

  4. Thomas More
    August 21, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Interesting obit in todays paper. 92 yo lady was predeceased by her husband who died Dec. 1, 2014.
    also – local teachers have to learn Spanish so they can teach the illegals. I dated a Polish girl who graduated magna from UMass. Never spoke a word of English before 1st grade. The Italians, Germans, Greeks and Ukranians all seemed to figure it out. How did we do it?

    • MrG1188
      August 21, 2014 at 6:17 am #

      I saw that too Thomas. My first thought was, if I was her husband I’d be REALLY worried. But then I realized it IS the Eagle after all, and they rarely get it right so I’m sure he’ll be fine well after 12/1, and I’m also sure they’ll not print a follow up story after, admitting their mistake when he doesn’t keel over on 12/1. Interesting business plan tho, predicting the future instead of reporting on the past…could improve circ. numbers.

      • ed shepardson
        August 21, 2014 at 8:34 am #

        Her husband, Noble G. Francoeur, whom she married July 27, 1946, in Utica, N.Y., died Dec. 1, 2004.

    • Shakes His Head
      August 21, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      soplar mi loro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • dusty
      August 21, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      If the teachers all have to learn Spanish that means they will want more money or go on strike or work slowdown. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we set up a school at the border and teach cram courses in the native language. And shouldn’t all the cops and fireman and doctors and check out clerks all need to learn Spanish as well.

      and can we change the currency to Pesos please? What is this dollar thing?

      • Thomas More
        August 22, 2014 at 3:59 am #

        Wonderful observation dusty.

  5. MrG1188
    August 21, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    A photo caption contest would be fun. I particularly like the one on the church steps where he looks like he’s trying desperately to rouse some excitement out of a bored, apathetic group of friends. “Heyyyy…I know….Let’s get the GANG together and put on a show!! Wanna guys?!? C’monnn guys!” Or “OK, who’s up for some weed? I’d LOVE some weed right now! Anybody?”

  6. Edconnect
    August 21, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    Don’t mess with TES. He has a yellow belt body guard.

  7. Linda
    August 21, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Hilarious, DV. Thanks for bringing a laugh to the middle of my day.

  8. dusty
    August 21, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    If you watch the whole tape you will see TES.s arm come down and pick that kids pocket.

  9. Heil Hitler
    August 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm #


    You should photoshop the one where mayor Bianchi is doing the Sig Heil. Put the Hitler mustache on him and edit in city hall as the background with the long nazi swastika flag hanging. Then post it on your pics section of your web-site.

  10. Nota
    August 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    looks like he’s tripping.

    • B
      August 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      I want what he took, then I could become a clown and make the big bucks and give myself a 40,000 dollar raise.

  11. Nota
    August 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    It seems the City Council was never informed of the potential move to 100 North St. Now Council Clairmont wants accountability. The question still Begs? Does the Mayor need permission or not concerning the move? Simple Question!!!

  12. Pussy Galore
    August 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    So now, the Building Inspector Gerald Garner contracted a sinus problem as an employee located at City Hall. Gerry, you’re the Building Inspector. Why did it take so long?

  13. Pat
    August 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    I want to give myself a $40,000.00 raise too. Maybe this is why TES looks like he is flying.

    • Jamie
      August 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      TES looks like he’s flying because that what liars do.

  14. outfox
    August 21, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    If we cross the ninja guarding TES with some of the teenagers doing the downtown foot patrols and throw in a turtle from Silver Lake and a handful or two of PCBs, will we get Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Because that would be better protection for our downtown, me thinks.