The Bud-I got his Time magazine article this week, although Spider-Man
aced him out for the cover. Local observers wonder if Tobey Maguire should
expect to find the complimentary severed horse head under his bed sheets if the
man -- who is not "the man downtown" -- is found not guilty on all counts.
Because of the Bud-I's fearsome reputation, there has been plenty of sotto
voce talk about possible reprisals, a la post-1972 Nixon, if the trial
continues on its present course. Where's the beef? Which brings us to Monday's
Boy, that Barney Prignano is one tough-talking immunity witness, isn't he?
First, he was excoriating reporters prior to his turn in the docket, snidely
demanding of some Other Paper scribes, "When are you going to start writing the
truth?" Well, P&J weren't there for that little attack, but we'd be happy
to oblige the former Providence police honcho: Barney is a loudmouth moron who
got his job by attaching his lips to Mayor Buddy "Vincent A." Cianci's
buttocks, and the PPD during his tenure was known for brutality, theft,
secrecy, racial tension, and rancor over inside information on promotional
exams. The people of Providence should have held a festival when Prignano
finally got drummed out of his job, an event that Barney tried to disguise as a
retirement of his own choice. How's that for the truth, Mr. Prignano?
We loved his feisty account of taking on Captain Jack Ryan over a police
academy candidate who should have been weeded out for being unfit (oops, that's
not what five G-notes said), telling his subordinate that he'd make the final
decision because, "I wear the eagles." Phillipe and Jorge must admit that the
birds looked absolutely magnificent next to the matching dodos on your clown
suit, chief. Barney "Walking Eagle" Prignano -- he's so full of shit he can't
The fact that Walking Eagle was purportedly a prosecution witness is hard to
fathom since his testimony seemed far more helpful to the defense. While his
talk will add fuel to the fire of ongoing investigations of promotional
irregularities inside the Providence Police Department (one by AG Whitehouse's
office, the other an internal probe launched by interim Chief Richard
Sullivan), it had no adverse effect for the Plunder Dome defendants.
According to Prignano, Autiello never mentioned a bribe, nor did the Bud-I or
Corrente ever use undue influence in departmental decisions. The former chief
also impeached Major Dennis Simoneau's earlier testimony, according to
WPRI-TV/Channel 12, claiming he never suggested to Simoneau that the major
start attending Cianci fundraisers.
Walking Eagle's evasive answers to prosecutor Richard "Funny Face" Rose
indicate that: A) Prignano was always fully in charge, and B) it's a mystery as
to why the name of Joseph Maggiacomo, the would-be police officer whose mother
claims to have paid $5000 to Autiello to assure her son a spot at the academy,
kept popping up as a cadet. How could that be?
Courtroom observers indicate that Prignano seemed far more comfortable and
friendly with the defense. In fact, former AG Jeff Pine and lawyer Lou Pulner,
who have been contributing Plunder Dome commentary for WPRI, both indicated
that Prignano was probably more helpful for the defense than the prosecution.
And let's hear it for Channel 12. Seeing an opportunity to trump Channel 10 on
the most provocative and widely discussed local story in years, 12 has been
running a daily half-hour on Plunder Dome at 4:30 p.m. The JARheads at 10,
meanwhile, are locked into Oprah.
Despite such innovative moves, Vo Dilunduhs remain notorious creatures of
habit, "turning to 10" like helpless somnambulistic creatures of the evil Doug
"Dr. Caligari" White. Karen Adams, the fragrant Channel 12 anchor, keeps things
moving on the 4:30 telecast, and thanks to the contributions of Pine, Pulner,
Jack White, and Sean Daly (good to see Sean back), WPRI in general and the 4:30
show in particular outshine the competition on Plunder Dome coverage.
You've come a long way, baby, boy are your arms tired
Great to see First Stepford Wife Laura Bush whoosh off on an overseas trip --
and on her own! -- as the media reported in recognition of how abysmally
unworldly she and her husband are. Daughter Jenna is accompanying mom on her
10-day tour of France, Hungary and Czechoslovakia (which will include special
side trips for Jenna to the French and Hungarian winemaking districts, and
Pilsen, the famous beer-making town in Czechoslovakia. We also like the way
that Jenna was smuggled into France, hiding behind large garment bags being
carried across the tarmac of the Paris airport, a la Harpo Marx.).
From what we understand, Missy Laura intends to tell our European friends
about her career as a teacher and domestic life as the woman married to a
former governor and current president. This will include using construction
paper to cut-out connecting paper dolls; making special cookies for a school
fundraiser with frosting for little animal faces; pouring Scotch into Star Wars
cups from McDonald's, so it looks like soda; and how to resuscitate your
husband when he passes out and gashes his head against the coffee table,
claiming it was due to choking on a pretzel.
We are sure le haut monde of Paris and the continent is atwitter with
excitement at the idea of hearing Laura's bon mots and accumulated
wisdom. (C'est 12 heures. Savez-vous où votre fille
Lost chance to 'deliver' the primary?
The sight of our news editor, Ian Donnis, in tuxedo and shiny black vinyl
pants, posing for photos with Scotty the Blue Bunny (near seven feet tall with
fully extended ears) was a true Casa Diablo/AS220 moment at the annual Fool's
Ball on Saturday, May 11. As was former Leo's head ramrod, John Rector, in an
amazing orange jacket. But this is all par for the course down on Empire
Street. The Fool's Ball was, as usual, a swell time. But an event that might
have capped the evening and actually changed the course of Vo Dilun's 2002
election was, alas, not to be.
Attorney General Sherbet Whitebread, Democratic candidate for governor,
dropped by the party early and was chewing the fat with your superior
correspondents when Lizzie Araujo, AS220's soon-to-be-leaving associate
artistic director, stopped by to say hi. Lizzie and husband Tobias are
expecting a new arrival in just a few weeks. P&J suggested the AG might
have the PR coup to trump his rivals for the Democratic nod, Myrth York and
Tony Pires, if were to induce Lizzie's labor and deliver the baby then and
there. For some unknown reason, Sheldon shunned our sage advice.
We certainly hope that Mr. Whitebread read the "Political Scene" column in the
Other Paper of Monday, May 13. If so, he would have noticed that it's becoming
increasingly common for candidates to engage in hero-like behavior.
The column noted that Secretary of State Ed Inman recently applied the
Heimlich maneuver to a resident of a Cranston nursing home, where he had been
campaigning (although he'd probably rather apply a '50s-style pro wrestling
sleeper hold to Joe DeLorenzo and Chris Wall), dislodging whatever was lodged
in her throat. It was also revealed that US Representative Patrick Kennedy
recently entered a burning garage in Pawtucket, just in case there was anyone
to rescue (there wasn't). If Sheldon had heeded our advice, we dare say that
Tony Pires would have to start appearing in tights and cape to keep pace.
Newspaper Guild gets another Belo job
Unfortunately, it appears that the trip to Dallas by emissaries from the
Providence Newspaper Guild, for the annual Belo Corporation stockholders'
meeting, concluded as a fool's errand. The Guild's Web site reports that the
pleas to Belo CEO Robert Decherd by Guild members Marion Davis and Kerry
Kohring -- that he come to Our Little Towne to "talk to us at our desks and see
how we feel" -- fell on deaf ears.
Decherd reiterated his support of BeloJo publisher Howard Sutton and veeps
Mark Ryan and Bob Shadrick, casually waving off the validity of the dozens of
National Labor Relations charges faced by the Urinal in connection with the
festering Guild dispute.
Davis reports that Decherd was obviously uncomfortable being confronted by
Kohring during the public session of general meeting in Dallas. Perhaps he was
troubled in contemplating the effect of a Guild-organized circulation boycott
on his annual bonus Davis faced an even worse case of heavy-handed Texas
squelching of open dialogue when Decherd's VP for corporate communications
physically blocked her from trying to speak with Decherd after the meeting.
Obviously taking his lessons from the Catholic Church, Belo's bishop of PR
flackery explained, in Davis's words, "Decherd had said he didn't want to be
approached by us at the meeting, that he had talked last year and it had been
put on our Web site and he didn't like it, and that he didn't want to talk
about our problems in this setting."
Bishop Bob, meet Bishop Bernie -- both men of honesty, sensitivity, and
character, right dear readers?
Fifth annual Bob night
Yes, it's that time of year again: time for the Bob Dylan Revival Night at
Patrick's Pub on Smith Street in Providence. It's this Saturday, May 18.
Featured will be Bob videos, both contemporary and vintage, an open mike in
which people who want to perform one of Bob's zillion or so songs are invited
to do so (give a call to John Larson at 726-6018 if you want to make sure to
get on the performing list), sing-a-longs, and some very interesting personal
dedications that in past years have ranged from the tearful to the bizarre. Bob
fans will, of course, want to be there, but we also recommend this evening to
casual cultural historians. The intensity of some Dylan fans is not to be
Send stuff tangled up in blue and Pulitzer-grade tips to email@example.com.
Issue Date: May 17 - 23, 2002