Last week The Hartford Courant editorial board found another way to endorse Tim Stewart by defending some foul-mouthed language of the incumbent in a call to a dispatcher during 2005 flooding. The call, widely circulated in a You Tube posting, drew considerable press coverage. “The most appalling thing about this episode is that New Britain’s Democrats can’t seem to come up with anything better,” opined an editorial last week. “They ought to be playing ball by telling New Britain residents how they’ll further the city’s future; instead, they’re low-balling.”
The Courant states the obvious in saying voters could give a rat’s *** (excuse the paraphrase) over Tim Stewart’s mouth. More on “rats” in a moment. But the editor’s indulgence of Stewart’s trivial “indiscretion” comes after the same editorial board ignored the facts and circumstances of Stewart’s public policy indiscretions — indiscretions raised by James Wyskiewicz and other Democrats that can hardly be called “low-balling” unless the Courant feels transparency in government and telling the truth to residents matters. The Courant devoted no less than three editorials on “Tilcon Water Rat” legislation last summer, condemning legislators but not once mentioning that it was Stewart’s request and misrepresentation of facts that prompted the special legislation. Subsequently, New Britain lawmakers rescinded the action that would have allowed a Tilcon lease of watershed land.
Did the Courant acknowledge that Democratic legislators addressed their concerns? We’re still waiting.
According to one comment to the latest editorial: “So after giving the mayor three passes on negatively written comments, they proceed to give the mayor a glowing endorsement, and again not mention his significant role in the creation of hated legislation. To compound this oversight, neither the editorial board nor any reporters ever comment on the fact that the mayor actually went ahead and signed a lease with Tilcon a few days before the legislature repealed the enabling legislation. He did this despite the fact that the original bill had provisions in it clearly stating the mayor could not do this without first holding multiple public hearings and having the city council approve the lease.”
As Courant editors defend the mayor on his salty language and his right to get a good night’s sleep during ’05’s serious flooding, they ignore a far more serious indiscretion over the Tilcon “rat” they professed to care so much about. Colin McEnroe, whose blog is carried by the Courant, found no small amount of irony in the Courant’s defense of the Mayor over last week’s “potty mouth” episode.