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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Next time, try IM

Memo to the Patrick Administration: Next time try instant messaging. Or better yet, try voice conversations.

The midterm slump continues over at the Corner Office -- aided and abetted by one e-mail trail that exposed the game plan for putting state Sen. Marian Walsh into a controversial job and another taking a controversial cabinet transportation secretary to the woodshed for a foolish move to excoriate one of the administration's media critics.

Didn't they teach you guys on day one that all e-mail in a public system like the state's Internet domain is a public record? And even if they didn't, haven't you learned somewhere along the way that e-mails are just as discoverable as any document sought in legal action?

Which also gets to the point -- didn't you learn to be really, really carefully what you commit to e-mail?

I'm not here calling for secrecy. And there is nothing at all extraordinary about the contents of the e-mails describing the Walsh hiring strategy or the dressing down of James Aloisi.

But I know as a basic fact of my own work life that I need to think very carefully what I want to put in an e-mail. It's often better to say it than write it down. Why is that apparently so hard a concept for the governor's office?

Aloisi deserved his dressing down. And it would have been far more effective IN PERSON. Have him stand there and squirm.

The Walsh strategy is tougher to keep out of print. Public relations strategies often need intricate details, including talking points. The lesson here is: remember what you have already committed to paper and don't try to fudge.

It's always easier to remember what you said when you tell the truth. Instead of denying the Walsh process, redouble your efforts to actually use (credible) talking points.

Is that so tough?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jeanne said...

I just finished both those articles in today's Globe. Neither story seems to want to die.

March 28, 2009 10:34 AM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

Oh come on. I read the guys scribble in Blue Mass Group, a notably crappy blog and followed a bit of the thread.

The Glob sux, it has sucked forever and will reliably continue to suck until the NYT finally pulls the plug leaving us with the even more ghastly Hairoil.

And then it too will go the way of the buggy whip and mustard plasters.

I wouldn't touch the greasy damaged hacks from either entity with a wet match.

I loved the way William Bulger used to point out that newspapers are just businesses and need to sell papers.

Why the Patrick people even care is beyond me.Putting your relatives on public payroll for sketchy reasons is the Masshole way.

I learned at an early age that in Mass it ain't watcha know, it's whoya know.

At the time I thought it was a useful revelation but after 12 years living in way more honest Seattle, I realized that it is an embarrassment and underscores the truth that this state has been crooked forever.

And I send scabrous e mails all the time, well less frequently now that I reduced alcoholic beverage consumption.

I've sent some beauts to Jon Keller and Joan Vennochi and I know intimate details about Kellers life from a friend who grew up with him. He was pretty sloppy as a kid.

Nothing much came of it beyond knowing I probably antagonized the bejeezus out of them.

Massholes need to move beyond style and start embracing substance before the pathetic pirouettes leave is in some dysfunctional lurch.

Dammit, there's a Depression on. What you didn't know?

March 28, 2009 9:02 PM  

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