Ms. Hodge and others are going to stand up to our local deplorables in 2017

Editor’s note: I posted this on Facebook, where it has received 10 “likes” or “loves.” Dozens of others are reposting it too.

Hilary Hodge does a good job with her weekly column in the local newspaper. Whether people or agree or disagree, she is respectful and offers some important insights. It’s despicable that she should have to endure this. But political bullies and personal attacks have been all too common around here for a long time (AKA, “redneck behavior”), because we allow it. And like it or not, the truth is that it comes more from the right than the left. We all have stories (the fat jokes, etc.). It is often trolls who hide behind a fake ID and are not accountable. Our demographics are “purple”; so the progressives should have a voice too without hateful personal attacks. I’m excited to have young, energetic people around with our aging demographics, and Ms. Hodge is an example of that. She volunteers for nonprofits and sings in the MIM choir. But it’s understandable how being forced to endure this can scare them off. We are all Californians; this is not the State of Jefferson. Let’s speak out in 2017.

Hilary Hodge
11 hrs ·
I am begging my community: If you care about progressive voices—in local newspapers, on websites, anywhere–start commenting with YOUR progressive voices. Be loud. Be frequent. Drown out the hate. Check the aggression. Every time you read something you like, fill the comments section with love and herald the person who wrote it. The trolls may be few but they are loud and they are mean. Do not ignore this.Do not turn away. Combat this. Start reviewing the comments via our newspapers, websites etc and click through. (In my case, go to the The Union’s webpage, find articles like mine and click on the “join the conversation” button and say real things.) Please please please say something-anything! Every single thing said in response to my column is derogatory and mean. Usually, there is no voice sticking up for me and for writers who share my views. Progressive writers put themselves on the front lines of bullying to say something meaningful and real in this fucked up world. Please please please don’t expect us to stand alone. Never let bullying go unchecked. Never let a strong voice go without support. Now more than ever, be vocal and be fierce. Every time. Every single moment. Do not miss an opportunity to be the voice of reason and to lift someone up. Now, more than ever, SAY SOMETHING!

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.

14 thoughts on “Ms. Hodge and others are going to stand up to our local deplorables in 2017”

  1. A start would be the crap from Stan Meckler. (Printed as an Editorial Board Member from our non- Union news) Drooling all over the crotch grabber in chief in yesterdays cage liner. Embarrassing the entire town. Say? Wasn’t that Stan’s relative getting on a plane in New York with a gun? Then running through the streets like a coward from the media?

  2. In the comments section, local favorite Todd has “Sierra College” after his name. Click on that and you find the word “attended.” I guess he is trying to increase his credibility by mentioning that he took a few classes at the local JC.

    1. He comments rubbish on anyone’s post he doesn’t agree with. Then a couple of old cronies back his babble. I think her column was very true but some people are very uncomfortable with the truth and resort to the condescending “No, you have that wrong” when the rest of us see it was correct in the first place.

  3. If I could speak to Ms. Hodge I would remind her of how we dealt with this when we were shorter.
    “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but your names may never hurt me.”
    The operative word is “may”.

  4. Yes, and it seems like the election of Trump has emboldened such behavior. I’m looking forward to working with you to respond to this.

  5. I sympathize with Hilary Hodge, really. She’s the only non-diseased contributor to the Tea Party Gazette, as far as I can see. The problem is the venue. Most people I know with a functioning brain or conscience wouldn’t touch or engage The Union with latex gloves. They are the excreta of journalism. Hilary, you’re in the wrong place, with the wrong audience to be effective. These are diseased people who enjoy their misogyny. No cure, no treatment, and especially…no shame. They are still and inevitably circling the drain they are richly destined for, thank God.

  6. Bruce, you give the opposition joy when you vent your frustration. They love to get a rise out of folks they think of as liberal.
    But, late breaking surprise, Obama is making moves in the news.
    Check it out.
    Fiddling with our election process through a foreign enemy power is treason, no?
    Interesting days ahead.
    Do I hear, “Lock him up, lock him up!” ?

  7. As it turns out, the ugliest comments at (the ones that prompted Hilary’s note) come from none other than Todd Juvinall and Bill Tozer, who are regulars on George Rebane’s blog:

    Hilary sings in the Music in the Mountains choir; George is on the MIM board. I wonder why George doesn’t moderate the hate that appears on his blog. It is despicable. George also appears on the KVMR News Hour. Go figure!

    1. Here’s an example of a post from Todd Juvinall that appears unmoderated on George Rebane’s blog: “BillT are you picking on Hillary? Bigboy is outraged. What a hoot!
      Posted by: Todd Juvinall | 29 December 2016 at 10:23 PM”

      Meet our local deplorables, brought to you courtesy of George Rebane!

  8. Letters to the editor have more clout than we may think in this time of social media at least with a particular local demographic. I’m penning a letter asap with kudos for Hillary.

  9. I would disagree. In the era of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, personal expression is now more spontaneous and ubiquitous than at any time in human history. Newspapers are literally “yesterday’s news today.” By comparison to social media, a letter to the newspaper is only read by a small handful of people. The same people who read newspapers hold up the line at the supermarket by writing checks and entering said transaction into their register. No need to define that narrowing demographic.

  10. i agree, Jon, evidenced by the thinness of the Union. However, the demographic that does read the paper are just the ones who need to know there’s lots of community support for Hillary.

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