November 7, 2010

To my anonymous friends

There's something uniquely funny about anonymous posters calling me a coward. After all, my name is on my stories. My phone number is public. My email address is, well, just over there to the right. Anyone is welcome to contact me.
And yet.
This story about Robert Mosback's on-duty crash in June, where records show he was intoxicated, appears to be bringing out the worst in some faceless accusers.
One questioned if I'm in love with Mosback since I've written about the case extensively. "I wonder if Collins is the giver or the receiver," he speculated.
That's such a nice thing to say that I'm simply shocked that whoever posted it declined to put his name to his words.
Another person, or maybe the same guy, claims I have "nothing positive to write" and that the Press should "get a new reporter."
Whether the Press should find a replacement for me or not I leave to my bosses. I'm sure there are days they would agree.
The reality is that I don't set out to write anything positive or negative. I just head into every day aiming to tell the news as best I can. The hardest part of it is trying to figure out how to get as much done as I can when there's so very much more that could be written (while simultaneously trying to keep an editor who often has different priorities at least vaguely content).
I don't really mind having abuse heaped upon me along the way. A thick skin is the best tool a reporter can have, after all. But I liked the old days when I knew who was gunning for me (so, politicians, I do sympathize with your similar complaints about the web).
What I do know for sure, though, is that I'm going to keep writing every day until somebody sends me packing --- or I wise up and find an occupation that actually pays a living wage.
Gripe all you like, but I've got a job to do.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Oh please.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Great response Steve,

It's that Code of Blue that's protecting a cop who was DUI. If it was off duty it would have been bad enough but this guy was on duty. Guess they forgot the meaning of "protect and serve"! Now it's protect your own and arrest all others!

Steve, please keep on top of this story. We all deserve to know the truth!

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the story being reported, Steve. It is what it is. But, I do have a problem with your slanted, one-sided reporting that is designed to inflame people and sell papers.

For example, you inaccurately reported that Mosback APPLIED for worker's comp benefits. You made it sound as if he took an affirmative step to seek the benefits. I also know that it was explained to you that Mosback never applied for the benefits. Rather, his supervisor sent in a report as a normal course of business. Mosback never signed any application for benefits. You know this Steve. That is but one instance.

So, report the story and do your job. But be accurate about it. Don't just try to sell papers.

Steve Collins said...

3:32 -- I'm not sure of the exact wording, but in the first story on Mosback, I reported in some way that Mosback applied for WC (feel free to look up the exact wording). After that, it was explained to me that he didn't actually apply. I wrote about the process in the next story and have never repeated that he applied for it. So if that's your example of "slanted reporting" then you really need to get a grip.

Anonymous said...

The people who have been the victim of the anonymous post in the past get it. This is not the first time you have been subject to it and I know you do have a thick professional skin. People who use the anonymous post are not brave or smart. They feel they have the right to hurt people just for the sake of hurting people. God forbid they treat people the way they insist on being treated. I attribute and have to accept their behavior do to that little piece of paper called the Constitution. It is far better to let five gulty people go free the to exicute one innocent person.

Anonymous said...

just saw that the council agenda has a grant for DUI enforcement. It apparently includes procedures for these stops, does anyone think they will be doing the DUI stops at Police HQ each day? Apparently it would an appropriate place to start. By the way the grant says Bristol is very good at this stuff- I guess that's true if it is you or me, but one of Bristol's finest who has had a long standing problem doesn't count. Got to wonder why/how this has been going on!

Anonymous said...

I agree Steve this is not contributing to the discussion and its a serious issue. I also don't agree with when people go on here and bash politicians - current and former - who are just out there doing what they beleive they were elected to do or what they did when elected. If you have an issue with them, call them. Don't air it here = it only makes you look crazy and petty.

Anonymous said...

like water of a duck's feathers, let it slide off your back steve .

internet access makes everyone a critic .

ur doing a very good job


Anonymous said...


Although I often get irritated with you because I believe your reporting is sympathetic to the liberal end of the political spectrum (albeit that includes both parties at times in Bristol), I believe your tenacious reporting on this despicable lack of action by the Bristol Police on this is a good thing.

Please keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I don't always like what you say, but in the end, I'm glad that you have said it!

Anonymous said...


How come they are taking funds from the Mall project to pay for the purchase, demolition and other expenses for the Park street house?

Anonymous said...

Steve, you created this monster. Now, you know how it feels to be on the receiving end with no want to talk to because...this blog is to create "anonymous" responses no matter how.

Steve Collins said...

5:10 -- I've been on the receiving end since day one. It doesn't really bug me.
For what it's worth, though, I didn't create the problem. The internet did. Before this blog existed, these same sort of crazy anonymous comments were posted all the time on They're now also posted on the Press site itself and on the Courant's discussion boards.
It's the nature of the beast, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Steve, the problem is, these stories get published, and right, wrong or indifferent, people read them and believe them. Then, when a detail comes out that shows things in a clearer light, it is buried 3 pages back and few people pick up on it. The reason being, the retraction or clarification just doesn't sell like a nice inflammatory story does

Adam Benson said...

Steve, I've said it before and I'll say it again. You and your wife are two of Connecticut's best assets.
I know you don't let this anonymous b.s. get to you, because you are a professional.
I will say this, however....and put my name to it. I won't mind if one day you're reporting on the arrest and lurid details of the kiddie porn ring one of your anonymous fans is no doubt behind, while eating mac and cheese in his or her mother's basement.

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts

Anonymous said...

In some cases, the media is not unlike the negative political ads.

Some people read the articles and believe every word.

Anonymous said...


I think you are doing a decent job. While one can argue that there is a bit of overkill o this one story, the fact is that seems to be something seriously amiss with the Bristol PD. For a small department over the last few years problems have repeatedly surfaced. We have had reports of guns in a locker, active cases purposely discarded, road rage, and who knows what else that has been successfully concealed. All point to poor management and poor leadership.

Bristol is not unique in its PD problems. Milford and Windsor Locks come to mind. The common element seems to be a willingness to overlook and even actively conceal criminal behavior on the part of fellow officers.

Bristol is lucky in that unlike the two examples, no one died that night.

Ben said...

Attack the messager!
yea that works

Why don't you report nice things about the BPD?
Cause that what you are suppose to do. A good job! Bunch of babies!

You reported false info about who put in the workers comp claim.
Who really cares, does it change any important fact? No. get over it. Why did it take two months to put in a claim? Who cares. The guy was drunk on the job!!!

Let me clue you in to the real world. You get hurt on the job you get drug tested. Impaired? You are fired. End of story.

We police have a hard and dangerous job, for low pay.
Hey nice to know your job sometimes relates to what "real working" people go through. What would you like your pay to be? 2-3 times what an average worker makes?

Come to the union meeting Steve.
Why don't we all go to the union meeting. It would be nice to see them defend a impaired worker. I want them to explain why he deserves special rights that we the public don't get.

Slanted? Only in your opinion.
You guys are beginning to really disgust me. I hope the majority of the BPD feels ashamed, and hopes there is an ending to all of this. Puts a black cloud over the entire town, not just the BPD.

Sit on your rears, thumb your nose at us. "You can't prove a thing", attitude.
Makes you feel good as a citizen and tax payer, don't it.

We should be able to use this at negotiation time. If it effected your pay, I think your attitude would change.
At the bare minimum a written procedure should be in play anytime an officer gets into an accident. You have collectively proven yourselves totally untrust worthy, time, and time again.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

I've been "online" since 1988 back when one needed a subscription to a service; the biggest was CompuServe Information Service or "CIS".

There were scads of `forums' on CIS and anyone could could post with the caveat that on CIS we were requred to use our real names; the same one on the account which generally was the same as the name on the credit card used to pay CIS.

Things were quite civil; I recall "meeting" Phil Katz; the original inventor of file compression (PKARC, PKZIP) and other pioneers of what would become "the `net".

THEN AOL bought CIS; suddenly anyone could post with whatever goofy name they thought up so suddenly "Red Rider" and "Silver Bullet" appeared where John Jones once had been, and any sense of decorum was gone in an instant.

I liked it better before.

For those that don't know; ACR is Authentic Connecticut Republican

- Doug Hageman
CT GOP Republican State Central Committee district #16

Ben said...


Thanks for the course in computer online history.
What does that have to do with the subject at hand?
I would consider your post SPAM for the ACR.

Oh well, The Mosback saga continues...