Unless you’ve been living in a cave the past couple of years, it’s hard not to take notice of the attention by the national media of the ongoing defamation lawsuit by Mayor Carlo DeMaria against the owner and publisher of the Everett Leader Herald, which has taken new life on the national stage. Over the past few weeks, Boston Magazine, as well as the New York Post, have picked up the story covered by this newspaper of the Leader Herald’s malicious intent to defame and destroy a public person’s life by publishing sickening news stories and revolting editorials – literally defining the term “fake news” – from 2018 to 2022.
The newspaper’s owner, Matthew Philbin, and its corrupt Publisher & Editor, Joshua Resnek, have admitted to fabricating stories and publishing lies, from making up quotes by sources to creating notes after the fact, all the while lying during their depositions. Resnek, who has been described by the New York Post as a “muckraking” journalist, has admitted to writing and creating what he called “BS” in stories about Mayor DeMaria.
Philbin, in his Jan. 18, 2023, deposition, stated that he offered no help in editing and approving the stories, but would then, after being shown his emails with Resnek, admit doing just that, in order to destroy the mayor’s chances of reelection in 2021. Thankfully, good triumphed over evil and the mayor won – but not after facing absolute cruelty and hate from Philbin and Resnek. When the two miscreants were asked by the mayor’s attorney if they knew the damage their articles could cause – publishing such vile verbiage week after week, year after year, knowing that the mayor had a family, including a wife and three children as well as elderly parents – they admitted they thought nothing about it.
In 1950, during the communist scare created by the late U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, McCarthy held what has been called the “McCarthy hearings,” which focused on innocent Americans, including many in the film industry, accusing them of being communists. Joseph Nye Welch, a lawyer and actor who served as the chief counsel for the U.S. Army while it was under investigation for communist activities by McCarthy’s Senate subcommittee, confronted McCarthy during the hearings when he asked him, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Philbin and Resnek obviously had none given their testimony and the evidence that was presented during their depositions; they gave no quarter to DeMaria and his family, accusing the mayor of criminal and immoral behavior and racism. The decrepit duo, especially Resnek, would call school officials of color, new to the city, and make false accusations about the mayor so as to incite hate and division in the city after publishing their hatred week after week.
Sadly, there are still a few bad actors, paid and prodded by certain individuals who crave what Philbin sought with his malicious publication: power and greed. I have a feeling their time will come as well when they, too, will have to answer for their corrupt and hateful practices.
As in the outcome of the 2021 election, the citizens of Everett saw through their lies and corruption. The Leader Herald, what once was called the “paper of record” in the city – is just a pathetic shell of itself as the spotlight grows ever larger on the corrupt owner and publisher.
The damage is done – and Philbin and his lackey will have to live with themselves and the damage they caused, not only to the mayor and his family, but to the people of Everett. Maybe then they will rediscover a sense of decency.