Worcester Telegram and Gazette reporter Clive McFarlane and I have had a long history. Before I became Turtleboy he had written two columns singing my praises. The first was when I ran the Boston Marathon in 2007 and raised a few thousand dollars in the process for the Doherty High School track team, which I was the coach of at the time. The second time I organized a student-faculty basketball game at Shepherd Hill, used the funds raised from ticket sale to give to an immigrant widow and her children after their husband and father died, and Clive wrote glowingly once again.
I would link those columns but the Telegram has taken them down now that I’ve become Uncle Turtleboy and they decided that I’m suddenly a bad person. However, Clive’s never ending obsessive columns about me continue to this day. And it all began with the infamous hit piece “outing” me after I was outed five months earlier. The first thing he did of course was go after my mother, and accuse me of really mean things.
Aidan Kearney, son of former School Committee member Mary Mullaney, is the face behind TurtleBoy Sports, a crass and craven local blog that peddles the cheap thrills that dehumanizing groups and individuals bring to some people.”
He was always upset that legitimate members of the community read this blog that he thought was so beneath him.
What makes these callous and insensitive comments more troubling is that this guy, until recently a teacher at Shepherd Hill Regional High School, appears to have a fair share of enablers. So much so that he feels the blog is the true voice of the community, bragging of how warmly it and its cesspool of profanity-laden commentary are being received by judges, doctors, nurses, teachers, cops and firefighters.
Clive always hated Turtleboy because we stood up for teachers at North High School who were being assaulted by students, and we called them words like “savages” because their behavior was savage. He hated that Turtleboy was growing in popularity while he was working in a dying industry; one in which up until that point he had a monopoly on public opinion as one of the featured columnists at our local newspaper. So he got desperate and spread libelous nonsense about me being sexual at a Bills-Patriots game.
Last October, his alleged lewd and intimidating behavior toward a young woman at a Patriots-Buffalo Bills game in Buffalo triggered an investigation by school officials at Shepherd Hill. Mr. Kearney, however, chose to resign rather than face the music.
Of course we now know none of that actually happened, and Clive knew it then. If I cared or thought anyone else cared what Spanky thought about anything I would’ve brought them to deformation court. All you have to do is look at the comments on the Telegram’s Facebook page back when this story was published to see how badly he came across, and how widely supported Turtleboy was even back then.
Clive was one of our earliest rivals, and wee’ve written about him more times than I can count. But the rivalry was one-sided and we outgrew him over time. Nevertheless, his obsession with Turtleboy is a major reason this blog began to gain popularity and credibility in the Worcester area.
Well, Karma caught up with Clive today when Bret Killoran alerted me to the news:
Thoughts and prayers. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person of termination, and it’s a shame it took this long. Clive has been a one trick pony his entire career, and his obsession with Turtleboy was unprofessional and really pushed him over the crazy wall.
It’s not just that I, and many others disagreed with him. It’s that his writing was predictable and uninteresting. If everyone knows what your next column is going to be, and what your take on that topic is, then there’s no point reading your column.
It’s remarkable they took this long to fire him, and I love Gatehouse Media for it. Gatehouse Media is a predatory monopoly that buys up local newspapers, cuts the fat, and then puts in a paywall that only a moron would ever contribute to. The only thing they care about is money, and the fact of the matter is the newspapers hold onto people for years who don’t bring value to the company. There’s nothing I love more than watching mainstream media hacks who have been calling Turtleboy “not real journalism” lose their minds every time Gatehouse Media makes more cuts. The topping on the cake is that he didn’t get the goodbye column that everyone else gets, probably because they know he’d blame racism.
I published a blog on Turtleboy about the Top 10 Clive-Turtleboy blogs in remembrance of Spanky. Read it here.
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