The Union Publisher Don Rogers misleads his readers

“Seems a couple of offended local bloggers would like their readers to think the presentation was some kind of failure,” The Union Publisher Don Rogers writes this week, defending the sophomoric panel on “fake news” that his newspaper sponsored with a self-serving column. “But they weren’t there. And that message would be false.”

In fact, one of those “couple of offended local bloggers,” George Rebane was there, with his wife, and the wrote that then presentation was some kind of failure. Read it for yourself:

“The local League of Women Voters presented a get together on ‘Fake News’ at Sierra College last night.  It featured Brooke Binkowski, Managing Editor of and Randall ‘Fink’ Finkelstein, NC Scooper editor, both supposed experts on the topic.  It was a real jaw dropper.  Jo Ann and I had never attended a more lame, information free, and sophomoric presentation as we witnessed last night.  The LWV used to be a real heads up organization and source of non-partisan voter information before its joining the progressives.  No more.  The clear political implication was to obliquely point to the Republican Party and, of course, Trump (never leave him out) as the fount of fake news, which, by the way, no one was able to define – sort of like pornography.

“About half an hour into the thing, people of the Right and Left started walking out, as people realized that no one on stage knew what they were talking about.  We greeted Reinette Senum, who sat behind us, and saw her with some friends quietly get up and leave during an unbelievable sequence with Ms Binkowski, a certified feather-head.  (Ms Senum’s ascerbic post on the evening is on her Facebook page.)  And we still don’t have any idea why Mr Finkelstein was invited to participate.  Full disclosure – it pains me to admit that we were not the first to leave.”

Don, that’s Journalism 101. Podunk.

Social media is more believable than The Union columnist George Boardman

You can’t make this stuff up!  “Much of the reporting about crime on Facebook and other outlets is rumor, half-truths, innuendo and a failure to put any of the ‘facts’ in proper context,” writes The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman.

“You can get a real education reading about crimes on Facebook and in blog posts, and then comparing that with the police report in the next edition of The Union.   Unfortunately, too many people get their news from just Facebook.”

You also can get a real “uneducation” reading George’s bull. One shining example: “What office is Hodge seeking? How about GV Council?”

No, you fool. As a wide number of people have written, from me to Don Bessee, Hodge is running for Supervisor, not GV Council.

When is The Union going to dump Boardman’s column for something more engaging (and accurate)? What’s up with that, Publisher Don Rogers?

Two published corrections in two weeks from The Union columnist Boardman — this time on Measure “B” for our schools

George “CORRECTION” Boardman (Photo: The Union)

We find this gem buried at the bottom of  paid weekly columnist George Boardman’s (AKA “Bored Georgeman’s”) column on Monday morning (October 31) in The Union newspaper, stemming from an inaccurate, embarrassing and uninformed rant against Measure “B,” a needed initiative to upgrade our schools (and support our youth):

“CORRECTION: A $784,000 expenditure for a new track at Nevada Union High School mentioned in last week’s column on Measure B is money earmarked for a new turf field at Hooper Stadium if voters approve the bond issue. District officials state the proposed expenditure is a low priority item.”


It comes on the heels of another inaccurate, embarrassing and uninformed rant — and this correction — from “Bored’s” October 16 column:

“CORRECTION: Sloppy note taking and some ham-handed typing turned a mention of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in last week’s column into Dr. Bonner’s Magic Soup. I apologize for the error.”

When is The Union’s management (AKA Publisher Don Rogers and Editor Brian Hamilton) going to dump this moronic column? What are Don and Brian afraid of? The ghost of Jeff Ackerman (a Boardman “mini me”)? Jeff is safely out of the state, much less the community.

Give us all a break! I double dare you. BTW, why isn’t Boardman’s confidant R.L. Crabb cartooning this? It should be titled CORRECTION. roflol.

George Boardman: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

Poor “Bored Georgeman.” My blog has him all tied up in knots. I’m just holding up a mirror to his “commentary,” from asinine claims that YubaNet is “smoke and mirrors” to egregious errors such as confusing the Folsom dam with the Auburn dam. Duh!

All the talent that we have in our community, and The Union chooses a fossil with a resume of jumping from one podunk newspaper to another (and then into p.r.) as its paid weekly columnist. He is not reflective of our community.

But don’t take my word for it: Ask around. I wonder if the new publisher, Mr. Rogers, is asking around. He should be.

I guess it reflects The Union’s demographics — aging and declining. George at least ought to upgrade his email account from “AOL” to “gmail.” After all, it’s 2016, not 1998. ROFLOL.

New publisher of The Union is from Vail Daily, where the ‘Canni-bus’ rolls on page 2

Don Rogers (Credit:
Don Rogers

I spent my early teens in Denver, including some vacations in Vail, before we moved back to our native California, and I went to UC Berkeley for a bachelor’s degree and Northwestern for a master’s. Now we live in western Nevada County, where we’re raising our son and are close to two sets of in-laws and my beloved Lake Tahoe. Based on those experiences, I can easily compare and contrast both places.

Round peg, meet square hole

If Vail is a round peg, then western Nevada County CA is a square hole.

But the new publisher of The Union newspaper is the publisher of the Vail Daily — Don Rogers. Both newspapers belong to the Nevada-based Swift newspaper chain. Rogers is more experienced in journalism than predecessor Jim Hemig, largely a production guy. Over the years, Don has worked at numerous small newspapers in the Midwest and West.

Coffee with Bob “a few weeks ago”

“This all started a few weeks ago, over coffee at Yeti’s in Eagle with company President Bob Brown,” he writes in the Vail Daily. “He had some shocking news: Grass Valley’s publisher was leaving to join his dad’s real estate firm. Would I be interested? Let me think. Would I be willing to give up the crown jewel of the company with colleagues I wouldn’t trade for anything? … This will be a bigger job than what I’m doing now.”

Don’s current newspaper town, Vail, is largely a “one company” town (dominated by publicly traded Vail Resorts, which also owns some Tahoe ski areas). This has sparked some journalism controversy too, shining a spotlight on Swift’s newsroom ethics.

Like the towns themselves, The Vail Daily and The Union are different publications too: The Union is a subscription-based broadsheet, while the Vail Daily is a free tabloid. (Swift’s President Brown, also of Vail, is a fan of the free tabloid model; in fact, Swift sold one of its broadsheets last year, the Roseburg, Ore., newspaper where Jeff Ackerman was the publisher). Vail publishes some niche publications too.

Here’s how Rogers once described the Vail Daily’s strengths: “Our core product and service is dominant, and our little fleet of niche publications and digital tools are competitive in each of their categories. We have a good brand.”

And the weaknesses: “Alas, plenty and we’re hardly alone in these times, but there’s an awful lot to do and not quite enough people to do it all, at least not to the level we wish. Pay is too low and of course we’re in the communications business, so we don’t do nearly enough of that among ourselves.”

Rogers on politics? Here’s a column from February, where Rogers wrote: “But say the final showdown does come to Rubio and Clinton. Well, the kids who fell for Bernie’s BS will flock right across party lines to Rubio. This bloc fell as mindlessly for Ron Paul, if you remember. The Hispanic vote will come up for grabs; no Democratic lock there.”

He’s a little off base on the analysis, at least on that one.

“Local liberal editor”

The Eagle County Times (an irreverent online weekly newspaper) wrote of Rogers in 2011: ” In attendance at last year’s (GOP dinner) was our local liberal editor from over at the Daily Fishwrap…Don Rogers.

(Credit: Eagle County Times)
(Credit: Eagle County Times)The Eagle County Times (a irreverent online weekly newspaper) wrote of Rogers in 2011: ” In attendance at last year’s (GOP dinner) was our local liberal editor from over at the Daily Fishwrap…Don Rogers.”

“With all that evenings talk about individual Liberty vs. Big Government – had Don wondering if his glass was half-full or half-empty. Don’t worry Don, your reputation as our local ‘Editor Half the Story’ remains intact!”

And here’s what Rogers thinks of the Eagle County Times.

His son, Ben Rogers, is co-general manager of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, which also belong to the Swift chain. He previously had been general manager of the Grand Junction Free Press, which Swift shut down last fall.

Last but not least, here’s an ad from Page 2 of the Vail Daily this week — a pot ad titled “The Canni-BUS” is rolling.” And the ad is in color. Welcome Don!