The Union columnist Boardman: “The dog ate my homework”

In a response to another one of his error-ridden reports earlier this week, George Boardman wrote on his blog (and this is a direct quote):
“As for my supposed conflict of interest … I never wrote about The Stonehouse when I was the business writer for The Union. In the few instances when I wrote about other restaurants, I disclosed my conflict upfront.” (Boardman’s wife was a co-owner of the Stonehouse).

“never wrote about The Stonehouse.” … “I disclosed my conflict upfront.” OK. But I did a quick search on TheUnion.com (this took less than 5 minutes), and  I found this article with Boardman’s byline in July 2005: “No place like home for local wines.”

In fact, the online article by George had (1) included Stonehouse in the article and (2) there was no disclosure. You can read it here:

“The Stonehouse restaurant has emphasized local wines since it opened in Nevada City more than a year ago, and bar manager Joe Benavent reports that they’ve been well received.

“’What you feature by the glass is what sells, and we’ve made it a point to feature those wines,’ he said. ‘They are outselling everything, actually.’

“About 30 of the 75 vintages on the restaurant’s wine list are from Nevada County, and Benavent said interest in them is equally divided between area residents and visitors.

“Nevada City, Indian Springs, and Lucchesi wines lead the local contingent, but all of the local wines carried by the restaurant “sell very well” against wines from outside the area, Benavent said.

“To contact staff writer George Boardman, e-mail georgeb@theunion.com or call 477-4236.”

And this is the best George could do for an explanation. In the comment section of his blog, George  fessed up: “ …The article quoted the bar manager at The Stonehouse, where my wife was a partner at the time, but a note at the end of the article acknowledging my conflict never made it into the paper..” (AKA, the “dog ate my homework.”)

And he didn’t address this one: “I never wrote about The Stonehouse.” Even though he did.

Go figure! Small towns are a hoot!

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.

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