Local newspaper still doesn’t fact check letters it publishes from local tea party founder — latest one unfair to Heidi Hall

KVMR interviews Stan Meckler in 2010

In 2011, The Union ran a rebuttal from KVMR, calling out the local tea party’s founder Stan Meckler for incorrectly stating “KVMR refuses to interview me” in a previous editorial that it published without fact checking. KVMR’s article, signed by its program manager and program director included a photo of the interview, held in August 2010 at the fairgrounds.

But there was no apology from Mecker or The Union (dubbed “The Tea Party Gazette” by some critics) to the community for allowing the glaring mistake (AKA a “lie” to many of us) to get published in the first place.

Now The Union has repeated the same mistake. This morning it ran a letter from Stan Meckler, whose son Mark is co-founder of the national Tea Party movement, that the  “Americans for Good Government PAC is not tea party affiliated.”

“Ms. Hall misled the press when she said that the tenor of the Board of Supervisors campaign changed when a Tea Party affiliated group, Americans for Good Government, backed her opponent, Duane Strawser,” the local tea party founder wrote.

In fact, “Americans for Good Government” has identified itself as: “we are conservative grassroots organizations, such as tea party groups and other independent groups, who are willing to work with political operatives to recruit candidates for positions in local government.”

“(Tea-party co-founder Mark) Meckler first met with a well-known local political operative named Kim Pruett,” a website for “Americans for Good Government” (no longer working) said. “Kim is the local field representative for Congressman Tom McClintock. In that position, she is well known in local political circles. Meckler pitched her on the ‘Status Go Project,’ and she expressed immediate enthusiasm, saying that this was ‘exactly what was needed locally.’”

More about the Americans for Good Government PAC from YubaNet  — noting that it has been managed by tea party members — is herehere and here. The PAC’s donors also include prominent local tea party members and leaders.

The tea party, with its extremist views, has been one of the most polarizing elements of local politics in recent years.

The Union continues to do its readers a disservice by not fact checking and clarifying letters that it receives. Instead, it is running free political ads. To borrow Meckler’s words: “Nevada County deserves better.”

About 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 SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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4 Responses to Local newspaper still doesn’t fact check letters it publishes from local tea party founder — latest one unfair to Heidi Hall

  1. Bert Wheeler says:

    Jeff how can the Union fact check letters that are submitted to them,when they don’t bother to fact check the content that they generate? Terrible excuse for a newspaper .One day the Union will get sued big time and go away .

    • jeffpelline says:

      I still wonder if The Union understands it is responsible for the content that it chooses to publish — just like Todd Juvinall’s blog.

      • brucelevy says:

        It should be pretty clear by now they just don’t care. Their primary readership just wants to hear what they want to hear, facts and honesty and competence be damned. It’s a poor man’s Fox News…at best.

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