Nevada County Scooper makes a national “fake news” list — but no word in The Union

No word in The Union or other local media, but Nevada County Scooper has made a prominent “fake news” list, as a national debate on fake news heats up.

Nevada County Scooper – Although it is considered to be a source of satire, several of its articles confused people on social media,” the listing on Wikipedia  reads.

Another site added: “Among NC Scooper‘s crossover bits were pieces claiming official ‘gun confiscation units‘ were taking people’s weapons, that Merle Haggard left his estate to an LBGT group, that Meg White of the White Stripes was joining Rush, and that Sen. Bernie Sanders called for ‘chemtrail reform.'”

The news blackout is ironic too, since The Union has editorialized against “fake news.” Examples abound: here from the “editorial board,” here from Publisher Don Rogers and here from the paid weekly columnist George Boardman.

To the contrary, The Union has been a champion of Nevada County Scooper (the local “fake news” source).

In fact, the newspaper ran a a laudatory front-page article on Nevada County Scooper.

“We’d like for Nevada County to become famous internationally via The Scooper. It would be nice if we could do that in a fun and interesting way, but if we have to do it by hoisting the dim and senseless on various petards, so be it,” the article said, quoting an anonymous “Lou LaPlante.”

The Union protected all these people’s identity, declaring “not his real name.”

More podunk reporting from our local newspaper, supposedly a “serious” news source.

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 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.

10 thoughts on “Nevada County Scooper makes a national “fake news” list — but no word in The Union”

  1. It’s interesting that you provide links that support your argument, but neglect to provide a link to the “laudatory” (really?) article (http://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/the-nevada-county-scooper-sheds-light-on-issues-of-the-day-through-satire/) The Union ran about the Nevada County Scooper.

    The Union (i.e., staff) did not “write” the article. As a freelance writer, I sold it to The Union on the absolute condition that I would not reveal the identity of my sources, not even to them.

    It is also worth noting that I gave you the opportunity — as the target of the Scooper’s most vicious attacks — to comment on the Scooper in that article, and you refused to comment … because you don’t like The Union.

    You also neglected to note that I wrote an Other Voices for The Union (http://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/the-nevada-county-scooper-sheds-light-on-issues-of-the-day-through-satire/) that was critical of The Union Editorial Board for failing to distinguish between fake news and the satire of the Scooper. Perhaps that was an oversight?

    What bothers me about your post is not what you said. Because, First Amendment. It’s that you only gave links that support your point of view. The snarky “laudatory” comment about the front-page article in The Union deserved a link (regardless of who wrote it). If you’re the journalist you say you are, cite all your sources.

    1. Tom,
      Let me be more blunt: You got USED by the Nevada County Scooper to write a “puff piece” about them and protect their identity. (This isn’t Watergate). And The Union got used too, because it published the article — on the front page, no less.
      I absolutely did not want to comment about this article, but it wasn’t because “I don’t like The Union.” It’s not a matter of like or dislike; it’s a matter of INCOMPETENCE:
      1) I did not agree with the “slant” of the article and did not want to participate in it.
      2) I had no idea how my information would be used. Many people are cautious about cooperating with The Union because they are misquoted or misrepresented. Look at all the newsroom turnover.
      Compared to others I have not been as viciously attacked. I did, however, have several people in the community ask me if I had rejoined The Union as a copy editor when that article ran in the Nevada County Scooper. That article was not parody or satire. It was “fake news.”
      And let’s be clear about this again: It’s not a matter of whether I like or dislike The Union; it’s a matter of its ongoing INCOMPETENCE.

      BTW, Tom, do you write for the Scooper? If so, that obviously should have been disclosed.

      1. You may not have liked it very much, but the one about you being the new copy editor definitely read as satire and not fake news. Practically every line had the knowing winks/tips of the hat that give away satire. Fake news never has those. But I agree that it was certainly mean-spirited towards you. The scooper has some funny stuff, but they also have a fair number of articles that go into the gray area between satire & fake news. And I wish they didn’t use pen names, too.

      2. “Ted,”
        Thanks, but I received comments from a few customers in our business wondering why I was returning to The Union. It was news to them — “fake news.” Not everybody “gets” the satire; sometimes you have to be an “insider.” Hiding behind a pen name is cowardly too.

  2. After printing Frank Pinneys full page fake news, the Union has shown itself to be just like the Chamber in Grass Valley. Speak out of both sides of your mouth. Play with the public’s trust. Willing to print lies for money, becoming a bottom line business instead of providing us with real news.

    1. Two Frank Pinney pages of “fake news,” no less! After reading the Sunday editions of The Chronicle, New York Times and Sacramento Bee for a few hours, I continue to shake my head at The Union. It’s sophomoric. A real “con” in the “pro and con” list for this community. Podunk.

  3. More comments on Facebook:

    “Isn’t it amazing how our very own local NCscooper.com made it onto the notorious ‘Fake News’ List and there isn’t a peep about it in our local press..? Yes, the same ‘Fake News’ that had the fake headline that I said ‘Dallas Police Got What They Deserved’ made it onto a national list, calling them out. Again, where’s the local press on this? LINK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fake_news_website.”
    —Reinette Senum

    “That no chem trail zone article i saw posted a lot.. way after it was written too Lol” —Raza Maya Xochill
    “Believe it or not, as a NC city council woman I and the other council members continue to get email regarding the supposed “passage” of this (chem trail) ordinance.” — Reinette Senum

  4. No, NCscooper has gone beyond satirical. It is malicious and from what I can gather it likes to create and perpetuate misinformation. Tom Durkin is one of the few writers who uses his real name, but he also mislead Union readers by not disclosing he is actually a NCscooper writer doing a fluff piece on website that has done NOTHING but been a disservice to this community. As far as the other writers who have hidden behind their pseudonyms (like Michale Anderson who is pushing Nevada City to install Verizon towers) actually provide their names to what they pen they are all cowards and should be called out. And while Michale Anderson insists he no longer writes for the scooper… really? How the hell do we really know if you don’t use your real name. Again. Coward.

    1. I hear that they didn’t stop the pipeline in Dakota until a certain former Mexican Restaurant owner showed up and scared em”. Thanks Reinette, you represent!

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