I sighed when I read the latest hatchet job on the personal blog of George Boardman, who moonlights as The Union’s columnist each week. (Or is it the other way around?)
News outlets often have policies that discourage this because of the risk for conflicts, discrediting the newspaper, and double standards. An example is here.
Boardman’s blog had gone dormant, but with a New Year comes a new hatchet job. In his latest post, Boardman stitched together a string of half-truths and outright lies that confused time and place to build a false narrative — a tactic that I presume The Union would not condone in its news pages. At least get the facts straight.
*”Jeffie had been in Diaz’s camp since he was editor of The Union.” Wrong. And provable. Jeff Ackerman and/or the editorial writer, not me, wrote The Union’s editorials praising Greg Diaz (here and here). I had nothing to do with them. I was never asked for input. That would come out in a deposition during “discovery” proceedings. The Union’s editor, Brian Hamilton, should remember this too.
*”Pelline has been a reliable foot soldier for Diaz over the years, contributing money to past campaigns …” Over the years? Boardman muddied the waters with a vague phrase: Our family’s contribution to Diaz’ campaign was in 2010, long after I was a newspaper journalist and when I was writing this blog. It was disclosed too. (Not surprisingly, Barry Pruett has been gleefully sharing Boardman’s post this afternoon, since Pruett was the loser in this race. In fact, Pruett, a gymnastics-school owner turned small-town lawyer, lost in every precinct. Ouch!)
*”He has certainly reminded me on several occasions, informing me that (Oracle’s) Larry Ellison … has praised his work in the past.” Huh? That also would be proven false. In fact, I have noted that Ellison was a little steamed about this article I wrote for The Chronicle because it expressed skepticism. Example: “But before you nominate ‘people’s champion’ Larry Ellison for president, remember that the concept of a network computer is not new — in fact, it dates back to the ’70s.”
*”It shouldn’t surprise anybody that the recent death of Herb Kelleher, long-time head of Southwest Airlines, prompted Jeffie to write that it was a ‘privilege’ to interview Kelleher during his big-time reporting days. (Privilege? You would think Pelline was granted an audience with a potentate.)” That’s downright distasteful, since I was eulogizing Herb the week he had died.
You get the point. It is time The Union re-examine whether Boardman is meeting its own standards of journalism that parent Swift outlines for its newspapers. Does it condone this?
Meanwhile, lawyers have their own challenges.: “Considering the fake news phenomenon, newspaper and TV reporters tend to score poorly in the honesty stakes.
Lawyers and business executives are trusted even less while lobbyists are rock bottom with only 8 percent of Gallup’s respondents saying they have high or very high honesty and ethical standards,” according to a recent article at Forbes.com. Ouch!