What ICT’s Worth

I’ve previously expressed the awesomeness that is What It’s Worth on WCCA.

So this was more than a little disappointing.

Before we get to the episode in question, let’s talk about two frequently asked questions about my new favorite stalkee, Tommy Colletta:

Q) A friend of the blog — who shall remain anonymous — said, “Crazy as always. Who’s the guy interviewing her? I dare say he’s almost as crazy.”
A) If you take a look at the 22.36 mark of the episode, you will clearly see that Colletta has teleporting powers.  In other words, don’t screw with him — the Force is strong in this one.  He is crazy in the same way that Obi-Wan Kenobi is crazy.  That is, like a fox.  A fox with excellent taste in ties.

Q) As another friend of the blog asked, “Is this guy a used car salesman?”
A) No.  He works for the WHA.

Now that we’ve addressed those concerns…let’s highlight my two favorite quotes from the interview:

Colletta: “People have to know you have roots here, because people are very provincial here.  They hate outsiders.” (4.36 mark)

RT, proving Colletta’s point: “Allen Fletcher’s come into my neighborhood — Green Island — and wanted to do something very different from what I love about Green Island.  It’s not that blue-collar neighborhood anymore.  …It’s sort of this yuppie playground as opposed to this sort of blue-collar neighborhood I remember as a kid.” (12:20ish mark)

But, really, we all just want to skip to the little quiz at the end of the show.  (26:20 mark)

Favorite all-time movie: Annie Hall (can we all collectively say — not Broadcast News? What about The Paper?!?)

Favorite actor: A young Al Pacino.

Is there anyone who appears on this show who does not say Pacino or DeNiro?  Do you have to indicate some fondness for The Godfather before an interview can proceed?  Is the show sponsored by Goodfellas Construction?

I was going to pick a few more quotes that would play for laughs, but I wanted to point out something Colletta said: that he reads the InCity Times and agrees with it 80% of the time.  Let’s hope that the 20% he doesn’t agree with includes the following:

  • Making fun of an elderly man and his mobility (or lack thereof)Making fun of Southwick?
  • Spewing misplaced vitriol at Fran Anthes, who raised her three children in one of the roughest neighborhoods in this city, and continues to devote her professional life to the least fortunate of Worcester.Insulting Anthes?
  • Making a threat (veiled or otherwise) directed at Jeremy Shulkin of Worcester Mag (“We carry guns.”)Gunning for Jeremy?
  • Various wishes of bodily harm towards Allen Fletcher, typified by this question: “Why can’t Fletcher die and decrease Worcetser’s surplus population of dunder heads?”; also, this threat: “This year I want to jump in [the canal] and drown him!”  And, in another column: “Hopefully, we will be able to wrap a wet beach towel around [Fletcher’s] skinny neck and pull … real tight.”Drowning Fletcher?Strangling Fletcher?
  • The threat of performing surgery without a license, directed at City Manager O’Brien: “If only the old Worcester State Hospital were up and running again. We’d put you in a straight jacket and stick you in a well padded booby hatch. Right after the lobotomy was performed.”Lobotomy for O'Brien?

The reason why it seems people are ganging up on Rosalie Tirella is that they are sick and tired that a great many of her rants are not directed at those who are making our lives worse but rather at those who are fighting the good fight, but against whom Tirella may have some personal grudge.  When the InCity Times began, many people felt it had the potential to be a real voice for those who aren’t often heard from and a forum for ideas on improving the inner city.  Nearly a decade out, ICT is instead a hodgepodge of free political advertisements for those currently in favor with the editor/publisher, reprints of PETA press releases, news about local non-profits, and nonsensical rants about anything (and anyone) under the sun. This paper better reflects the inner labyrinths of Tirella’s mind than the inner city neighborhoods of Worcester.

There was a possibility that ICT could truly have been an independent paper that tackled real issues, but there can’t be space for real issues when we’re devoting pages of column space to the sexual foibles of the editor/publisher.  There’s no time to research urban design or government policy when there are personal scores to settle.  There’s no space for incisive political analysis: that’s being taken up by a column or two on a politician’s pet project of the month.

ICT has passed the point of no return, and that has nothing to do with a certain columnist at the local daily.  There are not going to be any great articles about how to make the downtown pedestrian-friendly.  There are not going to be diagrams of pool designs or discussions of water quality in the Blackstone.  Reading the ICT is like rubbernecking while passing a gruesome accident, or, perhaps more likely, overhearing a woman’s discussion of her sexual exploits at the booth over from you in a diner.  You can’t stop listening, try as you may, and you’ll laugh about it with all your friends later.

But there’s no substance, nothing lasting, and you can’t help but feel worse for the experience.  That’s “what it’s worth”, Mr. Colletta.

So, yes, I’m incredibly disappointed in what was said in this interview, but I’m more disappointed in what wasn’t said.

I’m disappointed that Tommy Colletta didn’t press Tirella about why she focuses more on personal attacks and less on issues.

I’m disappointed that he didn’t identify her online rant for what it was: slander against a public official, made by someone who calls herself a journalist when taking credit for various stories but does not want to be held accountable when she publishes something (in real or virtual ink) that is grossly inaccurate.

But I’m especially disappointed that Tirella has not made a genuine public apology — with no excuses, with no comparisons to other publications and other situations, with no buts.  I’m disappointed that in all her years of imploring others to feel shame, that emotion has not once taken root in her heart.

I’m disappointed that she has once again failed to tell us what she’s going to do to ensure that another character assassination won’t be printed — online or in her paper — about another innocent person.

The readers and advertisers of InCity Times have enabled Rosalie Tirella to get away with this sort of thing for nearly a decade by not holding her accountable for the things she writes and says.

How much longer, Worcester?

7 thoughts on “What ICT’s Worth

  1. worcestergadfly says:

    Rosie isn’t entirely without shame, she recently removed most of the explicit “boyfriend” articles from the web site.

    Maybe today she’ll remove the “death threat” articles.

  2. Brian Nelson says:

    I’ll never forget RT, in a Christmastime issue of ICT, going full bore on, yes, Allen Fletcher, something to the effect of “InCity Times ought to hit him repeatedly over the head with a skillet until he dies.
    But this is Christmas! Let us be more positive!”

    Excellent post, Nicole.

  3. Hannah says:

    I know Allen Fletcher and the work that he does for the Canal District Alliance (and the Canal Business Association), as well as his support for Pernet’s work in the GI neighborhood, and his support and encouragement for our neighborhood group Green Island Residents and Friends. Yes, he may be one of Worcester’s wealthy white elite, but he puts his money where his mouth is. I’ve never met Rosalie, but what has she done for the neighborhood lately?

  4. […] [15:27] We flip through Worcester Magazine (new look for the website!) and the InCity Times. […]

  5. […] [15:27] We flip through Worcester Magazine (new look for the website!) and the InCity Times. […]

  6. t-traveler says:

    time to return ICT to the blogroll, a suitable and appropriate interim has passed

    • worcestergadfly says:

      Putting Rosie’s website on the blogroll is like writing an unsuspecting grrrl’s number on the boys’ room wall in Jr. High. She doesn’t want it there, evidently never did. Only problem is, the kid who put it there has moved up a grade to high school and ain’t around to clean it up hisself, so two janitors came in and wiped it off, per the chick’s request (or rather after she complained).
      The grrrl hasn’t asked to have that scribble put back up, has she? So if she hasn’t, don’t invite a suspension/detention (or, more likely, a keying of your car and/or broken window) by taking it upon yourself to put back what she objected to.

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