Editor’s Note: I’ll be going on Howie Carr shortly (6:05) to talk about this. Watch here.
Bridgewater-Raynham Superintendent Derek Swenson has responded to the graduation video that shows him and School Committee Chair Lillian Holbrook delivering commencement speeches while clearly under the influence of alcohol. Predictably he is blaming audio system difficulties and deflecting from the undeniable fact that he was piss drunk.
You gotta be kidding me. I’d have so much more respect for him if he just said he was a raging alcoholic. At least then people feel bad for you. But the fact that him and his boss (the School Committee Chair) showed up drunk together shows that this was coordinated. They pregamed HARD for a high school graduation, knowing they’d have to deliver speeches to kids and their families.
We know they were drunk because audio feedback doesn’t happen if you’re not wearing ear pieces. We know they were drunk because last night at the 59:15 mark of the live show we spoke with a graduate named Chelsea who was in the audience who shook Swenson’s hand when she crossed the stage and said she smelt booze all over him.
TB – “When you shook hands with him could you smell it?”
Chelsea: “Oh absolutely.”
Every other kid in that audience and their parents knew they were drunk too. I suppose this was their only play since they were both guilty as sin. He can’t admit to being drunk because then the townsfolk would rightfully demand his resignation, since it’s such a horrible example for the kids. He can’t say he’s an alcoholic since no one has ever seen him like that before, and the School Committee Chair was wasted with him. Just deny, deny, deny like Joe Petty when he got caught on a hot mic calling his own supporters “friggin morons” in 2017.
But it’s just so insulting to everyone’s intelligence, and we all knew it was coming. They think people are dumb enough to believe that the “audio malfunction” only occurred during three speeches – his, hers, and salutatorians. Then it magically went back to working fine again. But listen to the principal and salutatorian speak between 59:00 and 1:04:30. They don’t make a single mistake, nor do they mispronounce a single word.
They are clear, articulate, and concise. Swenson really thinks the people he serves are stupid. This is the definition of gaslighting.
Bridgewater Television is helping to cover for him by bringing up other situations where malfunctions with the audio actually did happen, and weren’t being used to cover up for shitfaced administrators. This was Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman during halftime of the Michigan-Nebraska game in 2013.
She was clearly wasted. The “proof” that she wasn’t came from Michigan’s Spokesman Rick Fitzgerald.
“She, absolutely, had not been drinking alcohol,” university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald wrote in a statement. “I want to underscore that point in the strongest possible way.
“The awkward audio of University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman’s remarks during the halftime of the Saturday’s football game resulted when she attempted to slow her speech to deal with significant feedback from the stadium public address system.
She wasn’t drunk because the guy who she is the boss of said she wasn’t drunk. Case closed.
Here’s the 2020 Rob Manfred soundbite:
The Commissioner does not sound well pic.twitter.com/UA5Fry3PAz
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 28, 2020
This one was blamed on feedback by a lot of people, which I suppose could be believable. But the obvious difference is that Manfred had an ear piece in. Superintendent Smirnoff and Box Wine Barbara were standing at the microphone, far away from the speakers, and they had no ear pieces in.
Either way, feedback wouldn’t make you do this:
“I would like to thank this op-tunity to welcome parents, family, friends, dignitaries, and of chorus all of the wonderful mmllllll-immigri-mayors-of-the-uh-the 2013-uh-2022 graduating class of Bridgewater-Ranium.”
“Hannah was a member of the non-itional-ayonce society.”
Or just constantly forget syllables and slur his speech.
This is the kind of thing that dictators do in banana republics when they know the people they rule over can’t do anything to stop them. Any sympathy I had for the Superintendent is now gone, and I hope the people of Bridgewater and Raynham make noise and demand his resignation, because he really thinks you’re a special kind of stupid.