Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Letter the Canton Repository Doesn't Want You to See--A Letter to the Editor from Don Cirelli

Today it is our pleasure to print the letter the Rep refuses to publish--a letter from long-time Rep commenter Don Cirelli taking the paper to task for allowing its online edition to become dog box for anonymous posters practicing character assassination for the fun of it. A few hours after the letter was sent, Cirelli received an email from Rep editor Jeff Gauger informing him the Rep did not intend to publish it.

Cirelli's experience, as documented in his letter, illustrates the disregard the current Rep management holds toward its readership. Spirited discussions and even flame wars are tolerable and can even by fun. Accusing individuals of criminals acts and worse, from behind a veil of anonymity is not. The number of people who have stopped reading "comments" or even the Repository is unknown, but it's no mystery why the smears don't make it into the print edition.

Here is he letter the Rep doesn't want you to read:

As a daily reader of your paper and participant in your cantonrep online comments section, I am greatly perturbed by an abusive situation that has been allowed to go on ever since you permitted people to us pen names in your online forum. At least five times this past week, some person, or persons have committed outright libel in the comments section.

First, someone insinuated that a local politico stole money from a neighborhood association. I found out who made the comment and forwarded her identity to the individual she slandered. Then, someone implied that another local officeholder had stolen money from his employer. As if that wasn't enough slander for this individual to commit, he (or she) then implied (falsely) that I had been fired from my job because of criminal behavior.

That particular attack caused me to call Allen Schulman to discuss a possible lawsuit against this individual. Now, the latest tidbit from this rotten slanderer is the claim that a local judge indulged in illegal drugs in the 1970s, including LSD. I am sick to death of these phony names being used as a shield for malicious individuals to hide behind as they commit outright libel against people in this community. Mr. Gauger -please don't ever write another editorial discussing the "professional ethics" of your business. Not while you are allowing your news medium to used as a vehicle to destroy the reputations of local citizens.

I have spoken to you and your publisher about this by phone. You hung up on me, and your publisher was as casual and non-chalant about this situation as he could possibly be. Your attitude about this is shameful.

Don Cirelli


John E said...


mary said...

I am baffled as to why the Repository won't print a letter that is critical of them, and their very unprofessional practice of letting one commentator get away with murder.(So to speak.)

This woman, and EVERYONE knows who she is, and is and is and is, (I got dizzy from those 3 or 4 personalities that she has. There's at least 20 more) has been allowed to say whatever she wants, whether it's a put down on the mentally retarded, a racist statement, a libelous statement, an accusation against a politician, or just a rotten filthy comment about the many commentors that she doesn't like. She's been allowed to bring to comments,and fill up each thread with, her personal dislikes and agendas with former friends, and to desecrate everyone and everything.

She was kicked off of comments for life a few years ago when Mike Hanke was general manager, for threatening another commentor via a private e-mail. He took her seriously. The present staff at the Rep seems to be having a love affair with her. She also has the power to get everyone's comments deleted, even when they are breaking no rules. However, you can flag her's all night and they won't go anywhere.

She's even stole other people's ID, and came on comments, and posting a comment, pretending to be that commentor. You'd think all of these infractions against Repository rules would get her booted. Think again.

It's sad that such a great forum, enjoyed by so many, has become just the opposite of what it once was. It was clean, and for the most part, it was honest. People looked forward to getting up in the morning and tuning in to other folk's opinions on stories in the Rep. Many have dropped off of commenting, an others have stopped reading them because of the argumentive, degrading face that he has take on. I miss the old Rep. It's certainly a thing of the past. I keep looking for it in the obituary section, to see when the calling hours and funeral will be. If they do an autopsy, the cause of death will be a woman with multiple names and a personality to match. Many of us will weep, while the real culprit will laugh. What she fails to realize is that the death of the Repository comment forum, will be the death of her too. Where else will she find a place to spew her venom and vent her hatred while the editorial staff will stand idly by and let her have her way.