Media

'Mob' Hit Piece

By Ted Mitchell
Published June 06, 2007

Ho hum, he is so predictable. Regardless of the issue, you can count on Andrew Dreschel to put the best possible spin on anything his idol Larry Di Ianni does.

It seems that he now has the opposite in store for Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

Now, Fred used less than tasteful judgment at the recent Mayor's roast in likening Di Ianni to an Italian mobster. But there are two possible targets here: Italians and mobsters. Not all Italians are mobsters!

If Fred was cracking wise about Italians, well then he deserves to burn.

But try out the Mob metaphor for our former mayor. The mob is synonymous with the wedding of money and politics, backroom deals, secrecy, loyalty, reward and punishment.

Hmmm, does a story of Hamilton City Hall and real estate developers come to mind? Larry wasn't the only one, but as Mayor, he was the guy in charge.

I think the comparison is fair, and contrary to Di Ianni's right hand man Mr. Dreschel, I think a majority of Hamilton voters thought the same thing last year.

Ted Mitchell is a Hamilton resident, emergency physician and sometimes agitator who recently completed a BEng at McMaster University. He is fascinated by aspects of our culture that are harmful, but avoid serious public discussion.

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By haditwiththespec (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2007 at 14:26:36

How much do you suppose DiIanni pays Dreschel to keep his name in the paper?

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By haditwiththespec (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2007 at 14:28:55

How much do you suppose DiIanni pays Dreschel to keep his name in the paper?

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By James (registered) | Posted June 07, 2007 at 15:52:32

While I agree that Dreschel has always been a DiIanni apologist, I can tell you that the audience in that room were actually pretty uncomfortable with those comments (which is what the story is about). I spoke with my friend Ms. Horwath and she indicated that many people were talking about the inappropriateness of these jokes.

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By joejoe (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2007 at 20:16:26

I don't get it. I thought anything goes at a roast? You should have heard my mates wedding speech...
Man, if you can't laugh at yourself what you gonna do?

It should have been billed as a 'polite ribbing' if that's they way it was. I'm glad I wasn't there :)

Man I will never understand politicians...

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By comeon (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2007 at 21:52:21

um talk about bias...you're so anti-larry and dreschel that you don't mind the mayor making inappropriate cultural comments...shame shame. maybe a hard look in the mirror is in order.

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By James (registered) | Posted June 07, 2007 at 22:46:42

The bottom line is that if you believe in a principle such as racial/ethnic/religious/sexual/etc equality, then you should apply that principle in defense of any enemy who faces such discrimination as vigorously as you would a dear friend. Otherwise, you're just paying lip service to political correctness.

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By joejoe (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 08:19:35

Anti-Dianni? Anti-Drescel? I don't even know these people. I was anti-Dianni's politics and I am anti-Drescel's opinions, but that's got nothing to do with my take on this.

Perhaps it was inappropriate? If I was Irish and everyone kept calling me a terrorist then I suppose I'd get pissed. But it's a roast. You're supposed to get roasted.

I think the misjudgement here was that Eisenburger mis-read the tone of the evening, and he did not know DiIanni well enough to take the low road. You can only have a no holes barred roast when you have earned the friendship of the person involved and they know you mean nothing by it.

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By comeon (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 08:43:06

my comments were directed at ted and his post

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By pedant (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 09:44:46

> "you don't mind the mayor making inappropriate cultural comments"

Um, no. RTFA:

"If Fred was cracking wise about Italians, well then he deserves to burn.

"But try out the Mob metaphor for our former mayor. The mob is synonymous with the wedding of money and politics, backroom deals, secrecy, loyalty, reward and punishment.

"Hmmm, does a story of Hamilton City Hall and real estate developers come to mind?"

In other words, he is explicitly NOT excusing the mayor from making "inappropriate cultural comments", but suggesting that the comment was a misinterpreted dig at Di Ianni's way of doing business.

It's still risqué - if only because it's regarded as inappropriate to speak plainly in polite company - but it may well not be a generalization about Italians at all.

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By joejoe (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 10:07:37

I disagree with Ted that the Mayor intended to diss DiIanni about his developer connections and the whiff of dodgy dealings.

Knowing DiIanni's sensitivity to these things (and his outright denial of any innappropriate conduct) I just don't think that is territory any sane person would venture into.

Which means that it must have been just a wise crack about Italians... :)

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By pedant (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 10:40:15

"Knowing DiIanni's sensitivity to these things (and his outright denial of any innappropriate conduct)"

Hmmmm. That strikes me as all the more reason to roast him about it.

I guess we'll never know for certain.

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By James (registered) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 12:27:35

Regardless of the subtleties intended, it was poor judgement on Fred's part -if only because Larry IS italian and the Godfather and Sopranos examples that Fred used are italian stereotypes. It was an attempt at edgy humour that was clumsily executed.

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By pedant (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 12:59:19

True, but there's a difference between a clumsily executed comparison to the Mob and an ethnic slur. My take from this blog entry is that Mr. Mitchell takes issue with Andrew Dreschel's interpretation, which presumes Mayor Eisenberger was committing the latter when a strong circumstantial case exists for the former.

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By James (registered) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 16:31:57

I agree, but the column was about the crowd's reaction more that anything else.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 08, 2007 at 17:52:47

wow...have politician become so thin-skinned that they can't even have a proper roast?? for crying out loud. Next time maybe they can all gather solemny and read the minutes from recent Committee of the Whole meetings. Now that would be a laugh.

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By w willy (registered) | Posted June 11, 2007 at 21:20:41

This reminds me of that time, I think in the early 2000s, when a Bloc MP whistled the theme to the Godfather when Alfonso Gagliano got up to speak. The Bloc MP was rightfully roasted for the slur, but you can't fault his nose for corruption.

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