New columnist “true confessions”: More corporate PR than journalism

George Boardman, the Union’s new weekly columnist, has wasted no time confirming he is an Ackerman “mini me.”

Though promising to find a “middle ground,” his blog wastes no time ridiculing my personal appearance and even my business, which unlike (The Stonehouse restaurant his family once ran) is thriving.

Why so petty? Because he doesn’t have anything tangible to grab onto, so he throws rocks from the sidelines.

Though The Union editor praises George’s “career in journalism,” George confesses that he spent “most of working years in corporate public relations.” (He left the word “my” out).

George is already being spun by the hard right, clueless about their tsunami that is about to engulf our local political scene for the 2014 elections, including the “nonpartisan” posts (because he has no “sourcing”).

You can also be sure that Ackerman has a direct pipeline to Boardman’s email “in” box, as he has in the past.

George promises to report from the “center,” though he ridicules the sustainable food movement, laws to protect the transgender community and praises McClintock’s legislation.

So what’s new at The Union? Nothing. Our western county politics is about as toxic as it gets. First Amendment rights are OK — as long as they are like-minded opinions.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

11 thoughts on “New columnist “true confessions”: More corporate PR than journalism”

  1. Then there’s Boardman’s friend Crabb: He picks a fight with you, then when the going gets too tough for him he says “stop, stop, I don’t way to to play anymore.” “Then Bob,” somebody should tell him, “don’t throw rocks in the first place.” Duh.

    “How dare you write about the Stonehouse restaurant bankruptcy”! he adds. Well, it’s fair game (I was a regular customer), and more so than his personal attacks, ridiculing someone’s appearance.

    In fact, it’s a pattern for our revered small-town cartoonist (who claims not be begrudge people): Crabb calls Todd “Dragonboy” and draws an insulting cartoon of him as the devil. Then Todd calls him “a man who could not win election at the Mustang ranch.” Crabb’s response: “You are a real piece of work, Todd.” Memo to Crabb: When you throw rocks at people (even a fellow old-timer), they will throw rocks back. Duh.

    I think we need a cartoonist on this blog to poke fun at all this — with a protagonist from the “Coast,” who relocates to “Quanity-town” for a more blissful life. I’ll ask around.

  2. FreedomWorks deals the “free speech” card — when it suits them, of course. From an email this morning:


    The Obama Administration wants to silence conservatives like you.

    Last year, we learned that the IRS is targeting conservative groups. They want to intimidate you. And it gets worse: Obama’s IRS is already creating new rules that would block non-profit groups like FreedomWorks and thousands of local Tea Party, 9/12, and conservative groups from using their right to free speech.

    First Obama’s Administration tried to silence patriots like you by skirting the law. Now they plan on making that the rule.

  3. Well, in my case this is a sideshow to more pressing problems. But when you throw rocks at people, you take a chance. I wonder if there is a common relative here:
    I do think “religion” will trump “patriot” this year when it comes to the political rhetoric, even locally.

    1. I am reading a most interesting book on the psychology of human interactions from a system perspective, but it applies as well to blog conversations: System Theory in Action….by Smith-Acuna. She describes what is called circular causality where each individual’s misunderstanding of the other contributes to a sort of unhealthy spiral that feeds on itself. To escape both parties together must be guided past seeing only what is wrong with what the other is saying toward comprehending the sense of what is being said, and then demonstrating it building trust and expanding consciousness. Responsibility must be shared. Those in a marriage who can learn to hear and appreciate the other’s point of view can find a lot of richness and joy in their differences.

      If this type of interaction could take place on the blogs where very different points of views are displayed it would be quite gratifying and a lot of good would come out of it. I think the first step in this direction is to agree on it as an ideal. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

  4. If Boardman’s column at The Union continues to be anything like his kick off today on the need for better representation at the state level, it will be good thing.

    1. Clearly his Shakespeare reference was inappropriate and he should change it now or The Union should tell him to clean up his act if he is to be a columnist there. Why he said this and hasn’t changed it is a good example of the circular causality mentioned above and the desperate need for those that can to move towards a climate of mutual respect in spite of what the others are doing, in order to turn this around.

      As to the referenced articles about transgender showers creating a sexual identity maelstrom and cutting food stamps forcing the poor to eat unhealthy diets, I think these points deserve a seat at the debate.

  5. I liked George Boardman’s column in The Union this morning, and I think he was absolutely correct that our local representatives need to find a way to be true to their core principles while working across the aisle, because that is how politics works, like it or not.

  6. I don’t give a crud what his column said. It includes a live hyperlink to a blog that is laced with personal attacks, and The Union is endorsing it. Do you think they’d tolerate that for one of their “good old boy” friends in our community? Of course not.

  7. As predicted, George Boardman is proving that he is “owned” by the local hard right:
    It’s not a matter of being “right or wrong,” it’s an interpretation. George doesn’t even link to the press release or get a comment from Diaz.
    Barry Pruett needs to break bread with Greg Diaz and bury the hatchet. George Boardman is exactly what I figured he’d turn out to be.
    And The Union will continue to decline, because there just aren’t enough people to support this kind of warped political perspective any more.

    What’s also interesting is how the hard right is using The Union to promote its perspective. When George’s column runs on Monday, there will be a link directing readers to his blog, where his one-sided report on Diaz will be sitting at the top of the pile. Duh.

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