Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Lately certain unidentified folks have mounted a campaign on various Internet entities declaring that The Tattler is guilty of something called cyberbullying. And that the tragic victims of our supposed unpleasantness have been certain notable Sierra Madre political figures. The cause for this charge being our pronounced tendency to call certain elected officials out on what we see as being their rather long list of shortcomings. A practice of ours that these nameless critics are quite obviously upset about.

To me this charge is absurd. If calling out politicians on blogs and news sites is cyberbullying, then there is not a political or news website on the Internet that doesn't engage in that practice. From FoxNews.com all the way over to Democratic Underground. Let's face it, discussing the shenanigans of errant pols is a multi-billion dollar industry in these democratic United States of America, and time and again the U.S. Supreme Court has pronounced such reporting to be Constitutionally protected speech. No matter how critical or even unfair it might be to the intended targets.

Of course, the charge of cyberbullying was first directed at The Tattler only after we began posting about some of the revelations regarding convicted child pornography trafficker Robert "Bob" Matheson's surprisingly strong political connections in Sierra Madre. Particularly in regards to former Mayor Joe Mosca. Matheson having both signed Mosca's nomination papers and hosted the kickoff party for his 2010 re-election campaign.

This is something that has also been pointed out by the Pasadena Star News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier News, Sierra Madre Patch and Sierra Madre Weekly. All of whom have somehow escaped being labeled cyberbullies. As a matter of fact, the only news entity in our town that has not discussed this in any way whatsoever is The Mountain Views News. A paper whose publisher is suspected by some of being a prime source for many of the pseudonymous and unattributed attacks against this blog.

The only thing I can assume is that this represents a rather sad and futile campaign to shut The Tattler up. Something that will take a lot more than mysterious attacks on obscure Internet sites to accomplish. This blog, like most venues that cover politics and politicians, operates with the understanding that if someone steps into the political arena, then they are fair game. I did just that myself in 2010, and frankly got creamed in the press. It all goes with the territory. And whining about it only makes matters worse.

But here is something to think about. What if instead it was an elected official that was somehow closely involved with a blog, one that was attacking private citizens? Would that be considered cyberbullying? What if that elected official was the Mayor of Sierra Madre, and the site that his support enabled in a significant way was attacking residents whose opinions he opposed? Would that change the dynamic we are discussing here?

Not all that long ago there was a blog in town called The Sierra Madre Cumquat. Though it never achieved anywhere near the readership The Tattler has, it did have a sizable and devoted following. And oftentimes it used pornographic and homophobic imagery to lambaste and humiliate people in many walks of life here, including those who were not politicians and never dreamed of becoming one. The targets instead were supporters of Measure V, and The Cumquat fiercely engaged in attacking those who advocated for it.

Yet despite all that, then Mayor John Buchanan saw fit to personally endorse this awful site, and he did so in an article that was published in the January 14, 2007 edition of the Pasadena Star News.

In the article, entitled "Blog makes Sierra Madre politics a laughing matter," Buchanan was cited this way:

Even Sierra Madre Mayor John Buchanan answered (Cumquat Publisher Jim) Snider's online request for an interview, producing a piece Buchanan called "light-hearted and fun."

Buchanan was a fan of the site even before he was chosen as the subject of one of its posts. He said a political environment like Sierra Madre's, where "substantial tension" exists, is exactly where Web sites like the Cumquat can flourish.

"They provide a kind of comic relief that all human beings need to cope with life on a day-to-day basis," Buchanan said. "A little humor and a little poking fun is good for politicians so we can maintain a perspective."

Not everyone saw the Cumquat in quite the same way as Mayor Buchanan. One of those people, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times named Steve Lopez, had a decidedly different take. In an April 1, 2007 column entitled "Sierra Madre fears for its treasure," Lopez described what he found on the Cumquat site this way:

Measure V -- which would give citizens approval power on large developments -- is supported by, among others, *********, a columnist for the Observer. In an apparent attempt at humor, an anonymous blogger who's adopted a pen name that can't run in a family newspaper, likened ******, who is black, to Aunt Jemima.

Another blogger, known as the Sierra Madre Cumquat, reported -- in one of the lamest stabs at satire I've seen in a while, that ******* had opened a bathhouse for young men, superimposing his photo over what looked like a gay orgy. The same website made up a story that pornographic images of V supporter ******** had been released on YouTube.

"It's so vile," said *****, an author who has lived in Sierra Madre for nearly 50 years and speaks in a very proper Aussie accent. "I don't look at the blogging, but there are people around town who monitor it and let me know."

When I told ****** that DowntownDirt.org didn't appear as satirical as other sites and instead seemed devoted to jabbing the Observer, she scoffed. DowntownDirt has a space devoted to "lively, spirited and civilized debate," on which a February entry by "Cumquat" asked "how long it's been" since ****** "had an orgasm."

Certainly not the sort of "light-hearted and fun" material you will ever find on The Tattler. And it really does make you wonder who the real cyberbullies in town might be.



  1. I disagree Tattler that the point of the cyberbully labeling is an effort to shut the blog up. It's an effort to get out in front of the effects of the only free press in town before an election. If the Tattler can be equated with "cyberbully" enough, it's helpful to the big growth, high taxes, drunken sailor spending party.

  2. The biggest problem these folks are going to have is they just aren't all that interesting. They have one trick, and once that is used up there will be no reason to pay them any attention.

  3. Keep putting up articles and comments that point out our home values here in Sierra Madre are being held up by Measure V.
    It's a fact. We can prove it.
    The dirts can't prove their case. It's bogus.

  4. The Downtown Investors Club never runs issue based campaigns. It is always about:

    A) How nice they are.

    B) How awful everyone else is.

    The reason for this is they would never win a capmpaign based on the issues. So instead they go for emotional appeals that work on people with an immature appreciation of what is really at stake. Mosca was a master at that kind of politics. It does not speak very highly of Sierra Madre.

  5. Yes 8:04! That's it!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. It is possible that the cyber bully characterization is a paid-for idea, as in a PR firm's suggestion. You pay me tens of thousands, and I'll tell you that extensive focus groups were conducted to find the best buzz words to slap on your opponents, and cyber bully won.

  8. The dirts are all degenerates at the core, and, by the way, none of them seem to have matured since the age of 12. The Cumquat site was surely an example of this; their stupidity at posting all of that foundationless trash about some of the more upstanding and virtuous residents in this town is immeasurable. You'd think that Sierra Madre was isolated from society; this is the kind of muck one might find in remote mountain towns in the Alleghenies, where more sophisticated debates and shrewd political strategies were completely foreign to the local populace. I do hope that the voters in Sierra Madre will come out in force this year to replace our local overnment of fools with responsible, intelligent, conscientious and community-serving rather than development industry-devoted individuals.

  9. Darn, I miss all the good stuff, just read the article and was researching the definition of cyberbullying on wiki and came back to comment.

  10. I suggest that the persons accusing the Tattler of cyberbullying are in fact dangerous cyberstalkers, per wiki,

    Lost revenue, threatened earnings, defamationStudies are being conducted by large companies to gauge loss of revenue through malicious false postings. Cyberstalkers seek to damage their victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. A 2008 High Court ruling determined that, generally speaking, slander is when a defamatory statement has been made orally without justification. Libelous statements are those that are recorded with some degree of permanence. This would include statements made by email or on online bulletin boards.[27

  11. What is strange is that the folks behind the Cumquat (and it seems pretty obvious to me that Buchanan, Mosca and Moran number among them) later came back and convinced the town that they were the civility candidates. You really have to ask this question, are you sure this town is really worth saving?

  12. Remote mountain towns in the Alleghenies? Sierra Madre is more sophisticated than remote mountain towns in the Alleghenies? You seem to imply some experience or knowledge of the tactics used in those isolated communities... what a crock of horsepucky and a cheap shot as well.

  13. Anybody who fell for those kinds of tactics isn't worthy of much respect, 8:52. This is real life, not Camp Special Boy where all the campers get a trophy.

  14. After more than nine hundred (900) essays by Mr. Crawford, if this town still doesn't understand the difference between rusty pipes and bonds, suites and units, and honesty and perversion, I don't think we ever will.

  15. Yes, 9:13 and if the resident voters of this town don't get it now and make up for the terrible mistake they made in the last election.....we're finished, and probably not worth saving. I'll sell my property, but my home will be listed by an honest slow growth realtor from Monrovia, not the Webb Martin gang.
    I'll never forget a comment by a local realtor many years ago, when she was fairly young...."I can't wait for all these old people in town to die so we can list their houses". Sweet, this is one of the well known "civil" dirtbags, who is getting to be one of the "old people" herself.

  16. Anon 9:13
    Do not despair, a person must read this blog before one can connect the diabolical dirt dots.

    Have heart, be encouraged, this blogs readership is growing at an exponential rate.

    Spread the news. I have thought that business cards with the blogs web address, and email on them would be an easy way to do so.



    Vista Print will only charge you for shipping, and you can make the cards from the premade templates.

    For just a few dollars you would have a tangible piece of information to hand out to those in need.

    Neuroblast Films

  17. 8:45, I have not been able to understand that weird, weird twist, the turning of the dirty players into the victims. Is it projection? Is it just pure baseness of character? Is it a few genuinely immoral people leading others into illusion?
    One thing for sure, it's a microcosm of some very bad ju-ju.

  18. We see a community and a place we can call our own. They see a chance to cash in on our birthright and make a lot of dough selling block after block of identical condos. This has happened to so many small cities in California. Now the wolves are at our door.

  19. Amen, 10:04, thus is the big difference between the dirts and those who actually want to live in and enjoy Sierra Madre as it is...

  20. I'm reminded of when someone played what was called a "dirty trick" on Caroline Brown by mailing out invitations to a gathering at her house, ostensibly to talk over the status of the volunteer fire department and the UUT.

    It was phrased in such a way to suggest her position which was diametrically opposite from the meeting announcement.

    The date stated was a day after the invite was mailed and the address given was wrong by a couple of numbers. All designed to deceive people into thinking the opposite of her and to turn her friends away from her.

    Same thing happening these few years later would be via facebook or e-mail or blogging=cyberbullying/cyberattacks.

    The medium changes, the hatefullness and lying continues.

  21. Carol Parker Director Southern Cal I TeenAngelsDecember 27, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Cyberbullying is harassment online which often leads to bulling offline. Cyberbulling is posting hurtful or disturbing comments, sending threatening messages repeativly, making the other person nervous or afraid.

    How does it work:
    Ignorant and naive people hurt other people on technology, sometimes not realizing what they are doing.

    Does it lead to offline danger?
    Yes. It can get out of control and the bullying and harassment can lead to suicide it can be very painful. Google PHOEBE PRINCE.

    What is the best thing to do when you feel you are being cyberbullied?
    You should STOP

    That way you have taken action by not allowing yourself to communicate anymore, to block the person, and to report the person to the authority.

    Be aware that the Bully can become the victim and even when the victim has died the bully will continue to comment nefarious things on line about the victim.

    Adults must take responsibility for their actions and be superior role models on and off line for teens.

    People cyberbully because they are angry, bored, self-righteous, careless, power hungry or not using common sense.

  22. Cheap shot, 8:52, really? The buffoons who currently run this town are the same slobs who subscribed to the form of "satire" sold by the Cumquat. They (and probably you are among them, or you would not have taken such great offense to backwoods power plays) are deserving of little or no respect. Words are cheap, and the "civility" campaign platform these twits ran on two years ago is so far from the truth of their very beings that it would be laughable if they had not done so much damage by pushing their agenda to destroy what's left of this town's charm. At the very least, I would refer to the dirts, et. al., as cretins, but even that description is far too good for them.

  23. Rich Johnson: repost your comments without making references to my children and I will post what you said.

  24. Elections I Sierra Madre are about a step or two short of open war. And actually the Measure V election did feature attacks on people's property, particularly mailboxes. One of which was dynamited.

  25. Rich Johnson doesn't have any boundaries.

  26. This election has got me confused. Here we have Christ Koerber and Colin Broadrick running for the same 2 year seat. They are both fiscal conservatives who want to run this city in a more responsible way. So why are they running against each other? And will there be a third candidate?

  27. Time will tell about any other candidates, 1:10. But one thing about the pro-development folks - they do take the long view. Remarks like "Is the town worth it?" smell like paydirt to them. Developers count on citizen fatigue.

  28. I just want a chance to really hear the candidates and ask some real questions.
    Like what is your opinion of Joe Mosca.

  29. 1:10, they may both be fiscal conservatives but have different ideas about how to go about things. Just because they share a core value doesn't mean that they are the same.

  30. Nobody is allowed to ask the candidates questions at the debates without first going through the League of Women Voters filter. People who see some virtue in sending in people from out of town to handle the questions.

  31. Joe Mosca is a victim. None of that bad stuff was ever his fault and anyone who says anything about it is guilty of a hate crime.

  32. True 1:18, but those core values could be enough to split the common sense vote and allow another Nancy Walsh to get in.

  33. Wouldn't it be remarkable, unusual, encouraging, if all the candidates would just tell the truth?
    The development folks had the courage to do that in the election they lost.

  34. Heaven forbid ---another Nancy Walsh? I think the cyperbulling claim is more of the very dirty campaign we'll see starting Jan. 19th.

  35. I hope people vote no on the UUT rate increase.

  36. My two cents; Mr. Crawford is being labeled a "cyberbully" in order to demonize him and shut him up. He isn't actually indulging in cyberbullying behavior. Strong opinions are protected.

    On the other hand, calling him something he is not -- a "cyberbully" -- with the intent of harming him and his reputation, could be considered libel and slander. Hiding behind a faux name and royal title is no protection from that.

    It appears the Tattler Tattler is trying to do what the Southern Poverty Law Center is fond of doing. If there's a group they don't like politically, they label them a "hate group," even tho' what the group advocates is legal and they do not support nor encourage violence. Doesn't matter: SPLC has taken on itself to define who spreads "hate" and who doesn't. Sounds like the Wistaria bunch has appointed themselves the definers of "cyberbullying."

    Say what you really mean and use your real names, you cowards!

  37. It is how politics gets played in Sierra Madre, Sage. The other side whines a lot about how their feelings got hurt and how mean everyone is. That way the candidates they prefer don't have to talk about any of their weak spots, which are usually things like policy and government.

  38. Beautifully put, Sage!

  39. As I have said on several occasions the Tattler provides a valuable service to the community. It is the level of vitriol that I object to. When an anonymous poster says that the gang of 4 isn't good enough to lick the horsesh**t off of John Shears boots and you post it, that is so over the top. I do intend to ask MaryAnn, whom I have great respect and admiration for, whether or not she approves of the level of vitriol on this blog. Your politicizing of the horribleness of the Bob Matheson revelations is cyberbullying and yellow journalism. And obviously so. And the Mountain Views News did run a front page story on Bob Matheson. Ms. Henderson did allude to your (and the PSN) attempt to make political adversaries look like they were somehow complicit or at least knowledgeable of Matheson's horrible activities. She just refused to participate. Finally, and epilog: I find it interesting the "Sage of Altadena" (2:03) called for Tattler Tattler Cowards to use their real names. What's yours Sage?

  40. Crawford at 2:40
    you forgot to mention a few more of these dirt's "weak spots" like integrity, honesty, and morality.

    And yes, Sage, that was beautifully put, Sir.

  41. Every election time the same sob sisters show up on the scene. They're like parrots returning from Anaheim.

  42. I don't know what they put in the kool aid over there at Camp Sunnyside Rich, but you always seem to be way off the mark. Nowhere did I say on this blog that any of those you are concerned about knew of Matheson's criminal activities. The thing is that they did not. This guy freely mixed with what passes for an elite in this town. The got their pictures taken with him, socialized with him, invited him to all of their best parties. And yet there it was, a horrifying secret life that if anyone in this community did know about it, they certainly didn't tell anyone. The newspapers all got it right. This was a guy with big connections in town. He was on first name basis with at least 60% of our City Council. He even dispensed political favors to them. But that hardly means they were in on any of Matheson's secrets. That is the point. These are not people who are likely to know all that much about anything. They aren't that curious, and would never think to pry.

  43. Mr. Johnson, I gather you are not familiar with local blogs. The Sage of Altadena writes a wonderful blog for Altadena. You can see everything you'd like to know about him by using the link Mr. Crawford so kindly provides. Altadenablog. Second site on sites of interest in the right hand margin.

    I agree with you that some posters go too far, but still think that this is the only free press in Sierra Madre.

  44. The Tattler x 2 bunch is just the same old Cumquat crew. Rich always looked up to them.

  45. It would be interesting to find out who the busy little bodies are, with all that free time to make a mock up. It's not easy to copy someone so thoroughly, to so painstakingly duplicate an object of obsession. So are they paid? Or unemployed?

  46. Anonymous by choiceDecember 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Here you go Rich:

    About Altadenablog/Altadena Online
    “Telling Altadena's story.”

    Altadena’s only independent, advertiser-supported, locally-owned community news source

    Got news? Call 626.791.5327 or email: altadenablog@gmail.com

    Timothy Rutt, Editor/Publisher

    A project of
    Timothy Rutt Communications
    PO Box 6596
    Altadena, CA 91003

    Phone 626.791.5327
    Fax 626.791.9147
    Text/Cell 626.201.1023


  47. The Sage's name is right there on his blog. Which, by the way, is a hugely popular and highly successful enterprise that serves the people of Altadena with distinction. Of course, Rich was just not curious enough to check. All he did was jerk his knee.

  48. Here you go, Rich. You can still visit the Cumquat and kick it old school. It'll be like old times.


  49. Looks like Lady Elizabeth Wistar got booted off Patch for posting bogus information on their events calendar.

  50. Rich: the level of vitriol, as you put it, is somewhat reactionary, a result of the citizenry of this town being deceived endlessly by the G4, now G3, and their predecessors in city government. Tolerance for such mean-spirited profit mongers as Buchanan, Doyle, Mosca, Torres, Stockley, Moran, Walsh and many others is not, however, equally endless. You can only push folks so far before they explode, and the venting that goes on at times on this blog (I participate frequently myself) is a direct result of the shenanigans played by the dirts and their development industry supporters. We may be tired, but we will keep fighting and not so very nicely any more.

  51. Hi, Rich Johnson. Looks like some of the constant Tattler readers filled in the blanks for you (thank you). They left out that we've been commended by the State Assembly and the LA County Board of Supervisors, profiled in the LA Times and Hometown Pasadena, we write a weekly column for the LA Times Community Newspaper Group, and we've been named Altadena's 2011 Business of the Year. So we're not exactly hiding behind fictional skirts. You need to know anything else, we're easy to find.

  52. Anon. at 6:39

    Thanks for posting. You speak for the majority.
    Well said.

  53. It's official. Bill Tice pulled papers for yet another City Council run today.

  54. Ha-ha! The "Eagle" has landed...!

  55. The Matheson investigation will fall into the same sinkhole as the EVG investigation. Few crimes in this community are ever solved.

  56. Haven't seen the Eagle lately. I kind of thought somebody had clipped his wings. Maybe Mrs. Eagle.

  57. I'm not poking fun at Buchanan like the good natured Cumquat used to do - I think he's sort of shiftless as a Councilman - it's been about Edision, his image and SCAG.

    He lied to us about the water pipe - creating a false public emergency, allowed our city attorney to dabble in the gray areas of the state constitution to push a SCAG agenda to double our population and constantly bemoans about his great plight to improve our city and how we don't just appreciate his efforts

    he proposed selling a city parking lot to a developer for a multi-story parking structure and was giddy pushing against Measure V because he had visions of 50 condos at the old Howie's lot and originally 70 + condos at the Nursing Facility.

    so, I'm not poking good natured ribbing at Mr.Buchanan, I think he's really shown his true vision for Sierra Madre when he took the initatitve along with Mosca and Moran and orchestrated completely false public forums about potential water infrastructure collapse and was hiding a internal agenda from the public

    not to be trusted - sorry John. One strike as a liar as a public official and your done.

    but then again, lawyers are known for fudging on details

  58. lol Rich - defending Henderson - jeez, just because she gives you free ink you're defending her?


    next you'll be defending her credit card misuse that got her fired from the Democratic party or those bogus law degrees she used to claim when she was making the social circuit around town

  59. Oh boy! I hope Forrest Gump runs to..what a waste of time.

  60. Susan collects strays. Rich is one of them.

  61. I guess it matters not that I endorse reading the Tattler. I challenge it and get thrown under the bus. That's okay. I still encourage people to read John. He performs a valuable service to the community. But I recommend avoiding the comments made by people unwilling to stand behind those comments using their real names.

  62. Dear Mr. Johnson,

    I don't know you and you don't know me. So I would like to preface this message with the fact that I do not intend to offend you in any manner and intend the delivery to be with the highest level of respect.

    With that said, the Tattler is not the "media". It is a "blog". The Tattler cannot be accused of "Yellow Journalism" because it is simply a reflection of Mr. Crawford's opinion. He isn't pulling news from Reuters and AP, then modifying the articles to include libelous content. He posts quotes from newspapers and includes the hyperlink to the originating article. Therefore, if he was held to the same ethical standard as the media, he is abiding by journalistic ethics. Let it also be known that some of his research has proven to be truthful (and sometimes shocking). And whether you like his opinion and/or the opinion of the readers, it is a constitutionally protected right for this forum to exist.

    I agree that some of the opinions expressed in the comments can be propesterous and highly offensive. But I am respectfully requesting that you keep the above points in mind when reading. If you don't find it informative or at least enertaining, there are many other sites in Sierra Madre that you can visit. I quite enjoy reading all of them.

    Best Wishes!

  63. Rich, nobody threw you under a bus that I can see. People responded to what you said. It ain't personal.

  64. What I find curious is if Bob Matheson is so close to Joe Mosca and so many other well known Sierra Madreans from the Chamber of Commerce to the Beer Garden and all the other civic activities he was involved in, why is he not listed as a "Friend" on anyone in towns Facebook page as a friend. Did everyone who had any connection with him quickly delete Bob Matheson as a friend in fear of being associated with him? Maybe Bob did not have a facebook page as I have not found one on him. Maybe he quickly had Mr. Greek delete his subscription. Just seems like the paper trail has been cleaned up. I would quickly delete him if he was on my "friends" list.

    Another weird thing Im curious about is if he was that close to Joe Mosca who is openly gay and has a son or two, wouldnt Joe have a suspicion. I know as a parent myself I make it a point to be suspicious of everyone who is around my child. You just never know. I find it curious that Joe Mosca suddenly announced he was leaving the country to England. I wish he and his partner the best. I still have a strange sense there is more to there sudden departure. It came around about the same time Bob Matheson was arrested. It would be horrible to hear if illegal and inappropriate behavior was going on in the homes of these people. One does have to wonder though. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Maybe the fact is that all that Bob is guilty of is downloading child porn on his laptop. Im not so sure that is a crime unless he is selling it or doing the filming or even participating. What turns one on is one's own business in my book so long as you dont effect others. If it is true that more was going on than photos for self gratification he ought to be hung from Kersting court and stripped of his clothing.

  65. Wish someone would "leak" Mosca's pedophilic campaign supporter info to Encinitas/San Diego news. There's been lots of heat for putting out the "mean-spirited" negative carpetbagger parody ad (and some support too). Any Sierra Madreans who want to help Encinitas out at this 11th hour would be appreciated!


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