PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

TONIGHT ON PLANET VALENTI TELEVISION: Tune-in as we hand the keys to guest-host Terry Kinnas. That’s PV-TV live beginning at 7 p.m., Channel 16, from the PC-TV studios.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, OCT. 30, 2014) — With the $130 million school project in Pittsfield all but a Done Deal despite decreasing enrollment and performance, there’s another faux school project being foisted on bedraggled taxpayers. This one is in South County, where water runs pure, the geese are flyin’, and “golden worlds revolve and shine.” That last bit is from Shelley. The rest is pure PLANET.

The effort to push a needless $51 million renovation of Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington has as one of its flacks Herr Doktor himself, the author of the polluted trash and drivel spewed each Saturday in The Boring Broadsheet via a dreadful column titled, I, Pretentious.

To press his non-existent case in favor of tens of millions of dollars of needless taxpayer spending, Herr Doktor — sensing he is again on the losing side — has been slinging mud. That is a desperation tactic much in fashion when one has to argue for that which has no case; emotions, red herrings, and smear replace facts, reason, and logic. For the truth of this case, THE PLANET refers you to the latest issue of The Berkshire Record and a fact-filled column by Mickey Friedman.

Since When Is It ‘Un-American’ to Have an Opinion?

In The BB, Herr Doktor actually called those who oppose the renovation project “un-American.”


Thank you, Herr Doktor. Your idiotic remark has turned what had been a nail-biter into a win for fiscal sanity. On Tuesday, South County voters will again shoot down this latest attempt at blackmail by the apologists for our failing public schools.

With that preamble, we turn you now to this blog/column by our journalistic colleague, Terry Cowgill:

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Pot, Meet Kettle: The Delectable Buffoonery of Alan Chartock

By Terry Cowgill • October 26, 2014 @ 1:21 pm • 0 Comments



There are few things in life more delicious than receiving a lecture on tolerance from the intolerant. Such occurrences make life worth living. Indeed, I’d put them on a par with a glass of fine single-malt scotch or a grass-fed beef burger at The Well.

This weekend, Alan Chartock suggested in his artless column in the Berkshire Eagle that those who oppose the proposed $51 million renovation project for Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington are “intolerant.” This is a man who, in two previous columns, branded any vote on the project that goes against his wishes as “un-American” and “selfish.” No, I’m not making this up. I couldn’t even if I wanted to.

And in his second column on the topic, Chartock denied having called a no vote un-American in the first column. I’ve been a journalist for almost 20 years and a keen observer of the craft since high school. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a columnist write a column blatantly misrepresenting what he said the week before. I attempted to point this out politely in the comment thread, but the gods of the Eagle’s web team would not approve it.

Chartock didn’t mention me by name in his most recent effort, but it’s clear that he was referring to yours truly as “a poor journalist who should be ashamed of himself” and who is “aiding and abetting” a curious alliance between the “anti-taxers” and the “uber-rich.” I’ll leave it to others to judge if that’s true, but if I’m lacking talent, what do you call a man with a Ph.D. in political science who thinks it’s un-American to vote in a manner in which he disapproves? What do you call a professor emeritus of communication who falsely denies writing precisely what he “communicated” the previous week?

Curiously, the Eagle did not publish this weekend’s column online, but if you want to see it, scroll down and click on the screen grab below. [ED. NOTE: The screen grab is not included. We have also edited out a paragraph related to WAMC public radio. THE PLANET chooses to keep the discussion riveted on the Monument Mountain issue.] …

… [W]hat continues to amaze me is that his admirers still look to him as a source of wisdom on public policy. To wit, his columns for the Eagle are always short on facts and long on feelings. In addition to my position at the Record, I write for a highly respected publication that covers politics and public policy in Connecticut and I can tell you with certainty that if I wrote columns as thin and lazy as Chartock’s, I would be taken out of the op-ed rotation in very short order.

Chartock is no doubt stung by the Oct. 16 article I wrote for the Record that held him accountable for his words. And he certainly is entitled to his opinion on The Record’s coverage of the Monument renovation campaign. He can even call me names (he labeled me a “twerp” from his Olympian perch at WAMC).

But it is he himself who has “aided and abetted” the no voters. Trust me on this, Alan: Nothing will galvanize the no voters more resolutely against your cause than by echoing Joseph McCarthy’s words. And no amount of denying will ever erase those words. 

[Terry Cowgill is a blogger, a columnist for, a former contributor to, and was an award-winning editor, columnist, and senior writer for The Lakeville Journal Company. In 2013, he was named news editor of the Berkshire Record.]

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PLANET prognosticator Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice predicts the a “NO” vote on Tuesday. That would be a win for taxpayers. Of course, in elections, anything can happen. THE PLANET can merrily live with either outcome. At least it’s a heck of a lot more than poor Pittsfield voters can do. They have no choice in the $130 million THS project. The Suits railroaded them completely out of the picture.


“The night did shed on thy dear head / Its frozen dew, / and thou didst lie / Where the bitter breath of the naked sky / Might visit thee at will.”Percy Shelley, closing stanza, “Lines,” (1824).



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