By Rosalie Tirella
To Dianne Williamson, nasty, vindictive, mean, phony hack:
Dear Dianne, you wrote a column about me. Here’s where YOU screwed up:
* You say I plagiarized your column about Worcester Fire Department Frank DiLiddo being in a porn flick. Dianne, I got the “news” from you – the fact that a City of Worcester employee – a firefighter (a person the community usually holds to far higher standards than – say, a T & G columnist – was in a porn movie. Then I opined about that FACT – the fact that a city firefighter was in a movie which you described quite graphically. You wrote about: DeLiddo with his trousers down, sitting in a chair, and a gal blowing him, giving readers a “blow by blow” description of the sex act.
I wrote how I felt about the movie. That is not stealing your stuff. This is plagiarism: Remember when your colleague, Telegram and Gazette sports writer/reporter Ken Powers, copied several paragraphs from a sports story in another publication and then used his handy dandy computer mouse to paste the paragraphs the other writer wrote INTO his story? That’s plagiarism! Powers made it look like he was the real author of those paragraphs. The Telegram and Gazette fired him. This, my dear, is plagiarism.
Another quibble: Shaun Sutner, the T & G reporter I called to get DiLiddo’s name spelled correctly, spelled DiLiddo’s name incorrectly over the phone to me. He said: “D-E-L-I-D-D-O.” DeLiddo. Sutner was wrong. But you know what? I consider Shaun a good egg – and a pal. He has (before the T & G big wigs put the kibosh on his actions, no doubt) called me for quotes for a political story and we have discussed the politicians in this town. As pals – writer to writer – not writer to hack. As two people who cover this city. Shaun’s tres adorable! Not a nasty person like you. He doesn’t come on sweet as pie – and then POW! You’re fucked! I suspect you were so mean to me because I did not return any of the phone calls you made to me, looking for quotes for your attack. Why should I have called you back, Dianne? You would have just turned my words against me to create the inaccurate story that you wanted to write.
Half the city of Worcester knows this. (And, of course, you will protect the people in Worcester who have the real power – in fact, kiss up to them. You are part of the clique that keeps 95% of the Worcester population out of the discussion.)
Shaun has always been A-OK with me and I am sorry I had to “out” him like this (Sorry, Shaun!!). And he didn’t, as you wrote in your column, “take pity” on me. He just answered a question – you probably simply overheard him and decided to lie about the call.
Allen Fletcher. Some how you have decided to defend Fletcher against me – as if he needed any one to defend him. The guy is a multi-millionaire. He has always gotten what he has wanted – and will continue to. When you write I wrote that Fletcher tried to “strangle” me – that was wrong. I wrote (in one of my first columns in InCity Times) that I was at a public meeting about the Canal District – a place my family has lived in for almost 100 years – beginning with my fab grandparents – Polish immigrants. Fletcher has only been living on Ash Street, off Green Street, for several years. He has none of the roots I have and has decided to turn my old neighborhood into a yuppie playground – not the blue collar, vital ethnic neighborhood I remember it as. One that he has forgotten – and has no intention of trying to replicate. So out go the poor people – in comes Allen.
But I digress. Like I said, several years ago, when, at this public meeting, I went to a T & G reporter who was covering the event to tell him what I thougt, Fletcher butt in. As I was telling the T & G reporter: We can’t forget the working people in this neighborhood, Fletcher came behind me (as I was speaking) and choked me. Jokingly – but hard – hard enough so that I was taken aback and turned around and … got pissed. Fletcher had no right to put his hands on me. What’s more, Fletcher “strangled” my quote to the T & G – made it seem like I – or my views – were to be dismissed. Of course, the T & G reporter did just that.
I called Fletcher’s girlfriend – Dolly Vasquez (a super lady) later – and told her about the incident. She was there and saw it and told “that wasn’t right.” Actually, she came right over as Allen was choking me to see what the hell was going on. If you wanna play choke, you play choke at the buffet line or outside, after the public meeting has been held. And you choke a tad more gently. Not when someone is trying to get her views out to a reporter.
So, yes, in a sense Fletcher strangled my views. You missed the point entirely.
Also, I don’t think the guy hates me. I know I don’t hate him. He was good to me at Worcester Magazine and early on (before the choking incident) said he thought what I was trying to do in InCity Times was “admirable.”
And finally, Dianne, you are writing this all because 1. your paper sucks 2. fewer and fewer people are reading it 3. especially the Sunday paper (when you queen of the local page!). Infact, the Sunday Telegram is losing readers at a faster pace than other Sunday papers in other cities.
This probably hurts a competitive old sow like you. But you cannot be the Queen of the Tea Party any longer. With me, other papers, the bloggers, etc your column gets less and less important. It is just one voice amidst many. People don’t need to read you anymore. They can read lots of folks now – for free.
Back to Chief Dio. A mistake – it was DiLiddo who starred in the porn flick. Not Dio. I corrected my mistake in about 12 hours (preface by a little apology to Dio) – one that oh, about 40 people, saw on my blog (it never made my paper). I wrote my blog posting around 7 p.m.; during the early afternoon the next day I got a call from the City. They said: Wrong firefighter! They said: Pull the column!
I said: No, I will not pull the column. BUT I will change the name to the correct one.
I immediatley drove to a local biz – told them what happened – got on their computer and made the changes. They proofread my article. Then an hour or so later, the City called again, saying the name was still in the posting. Was it? I stopped (I am on the road most of the day running my business), got of the car – and actually went to a local fianncial institution. I told one of the managers what was up. The manager – a wonderful person – let me get on one of the institution’s computer – and actually helped me make a change from Dio to DiLiddo in the “tag” section of my website.
These people will (by subpoena or of their own will) vouch for my changing the names as soon as the City called me! The mistake was corrected. But the ICT story still stands.
Dianne, for you to use this to try to bring InCity Times down – and believe me you are – is pathetic. For you to get all self righteous and worry about someone’s reputation if he were your father, for Cripe’s sake, just shows how full of shit you are. You are using this as an excuse to get rid of me. But Dianne, I have run my business for almost a decade. You know nothing of the sweat, sweat, sweat I have put into this paper. From helping with delivery, selling ads, writing, working with artists and writers, I have, unlike you, worked my butt off. I have grown a business.
It will not go away simply because you want to be the only columnist in Worcester.