Dyster: Cuomo Press Secretary 'Cute'
By Mike Hudson
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster can be all business when standing behind a podium, looking down at a prepared speech and delivering his lines in a sober, measured manner.
But try and get him off the cuff and things can go south quick. That’s what happened when he stormed out on a recent WBEN radio interview, and that’s what he was seeking to avoid when he demanded that Niagara Broadcast Network host Sal Paonessa interview him off camera and in advance to discuss the recent settlement between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians.
One place where an unguarded Dyster is often known to appear, however, is on his own Facebook page, a place where the mayor’s desperate pleas for votes in some meaningless online popularity contest mingle with links to fawning articles in the Niagara Gazette and Buffalo News concerning his policies.
Alone and unedited, Dyster’s comments and observations can be quirky, egocentric or downright bizarre, as was the case over the weekend, when he commented on the sexual attractiveness of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press secretary, Josh Vlasto.
Vlasto had been interviewed on YNN Albany about the Moreland Commission, a proposed authority Cuomo hopes may look into the epidemic of corruption in state government. Dyster posted a link to the interview and, apropos of nothing save his own creepiness, added the following comment: “I hear some of the girls think he's cute.”
What the hell is that supposed to mean? Since when does one grown man comment on another grown man’s “cuteness” in any venue outside of a gay bar?
In any event, it wasn’t long before Kristen Grandinetti, the one-woman echo chamber Dyster employs on the city council, chimed in to agree.
“(H)e is,” she fawned, dispensing with capitalization and punctuation altogether. It was almost as if the mayor had asked her to once again agree with him on some half-baked proposal certain to draw the wrath of the city council majority opposing him.
The whole thing raises some troubling questions. Is Dyster’s lockstep loyalty to the Cuomo agenda — whether it’s good for Niagara Falls or not — somehow tied in to his obvious-stated physical attraction to the governor’s press secretary? And are the latent feelings he represses daily linked to the persecution complex that shows itself nearly every time he is caught off guard?
That complex came to the fore not only in his gutless WBEN walk off, but in several interviews he’s given since. In them, Dyster lashed out at “elected officials writing” what he characterized as untruthful things that could hurt the city.
He was, of course, referring to the city council majority — Glenn Choolokian, Sam Fruscione and Bob Anderson — who frequently contribute op-ed pieces to the Niagara Falls Reporter on various issues. Despite the fact they’re all Democrats, the majority often find itself at odds with the mayor and its members aren’t shy about saying so.
Dyster doesn’t deal well with criticism; he doesn’t deal well with opposition and he doesn’t deal well with his own ego.
But on Facebook, at least, he’s unafraid to call them as he sees them, especially when a cute guy is involved!
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
JUN 25, 2013