The Union joined The League of Women Voters in hosting a sophomoric presentation on fake news last week. One of the “panelists” was a computer monitor that displayed the image of a swimming fish (AKA the editor of NC Scooper). The local left and local right rarely agree, but both agreed that this presentation was sophomoric. That was an understatement! Some in the audience walked out. Details are here and here.
But The Union, rather than apologizing, is now defending this mistake with an asinine narrative: “HIT: To the timely and insightful discussion of fake news and satire last week organized and hosted by the League of Women Voters on Tuesday at Sierra Nevada Community College (sic). The managing editor of Snopes, a national fact-checking site, spoke with the publisher of Nevada County Scooper, a news satire site on the spectrum of fake. The anonymity of the site’s contributors irritates some and the mystery adds interest for others. But it appears there’s far more interest in Scooper’s brand of satire than in a couple of local blogs carping about them, based on Alexa’s measurements.”
First of all, it is Sierra College, not “Sierra Nevada Community College.” What idiot wrote and copyedited this? Second, check out the headline from today’s “Scooper”: “My sexbot cut off my penis,” claims area man.” Wow, isn’t that clever “satire.”
In addition, The Union seems to think that “Alexa’s measurements” (AKA projected but not verified web traffic) are the arbitrator of this fiasco.
In fact, the arbitrators are The Union’s circulation and revenue trends, as well as the League’s fundraising efforts as a supposed nonpartisan, nonprofit. This presentation was an embarrassment to both and has damaged their credibility.
How stupid does The Union think its residents are? The self-appointed “establishment” in small towns are a hoot, keeping it “small” and provincial.
The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman can’t stop mocking Nevada City Councilwoman and community volunteer Reinette Senum’s words on his blog. But he forgot to mention this egregious “correction” he ran involving Reinette:
“I published a post December 7, “There’s Reinette Senum, and then there’s the truth,” in which I criticized Senum for telling The Union that a demonstrator at the Standing Rock protest almost had her arm blown off by a water cannon.
“After the original story was published, Senum informed the reporter that she said the woman was injured by a concussion grenade, not a water cannon, and cited several other errors in the reporting of the story.
“My post appeared five days after the original story appeared in The Union, and no corrections or clarifications of the original story had appeared in the print edition of The Union by then. The paper apparently concluded that Senum was right and its reporter was wrong, and corrected the online version of the article, but never formally acknowledge the original mistake. (I rarely read the online version of the paper.)
“Based on The Union’s original reporting, I criticized Senum for lying about the incident in an effort to advance her political agenda. I apologize for my erroneous criticism.
“The original item was published almost three months ago. Since the premise of the post was based on erroneous information, I have removed it from this blog.
Yet he “unpublished” the post long after it was published and indexed by Google. After a blunder like that, he ought to be apologizing to Reinette for life and lucky she did not sue him. And he should have been dumped as a columnist for The Union for total incompetence. Duh!
Did you ever notice how The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman never interviews people for his columns? It often leads this “armchair” journalist to publish “fake news.”
This one was a classic: “Based on The Union’s original reporting, I criticized Senum for lying about the incident in an effort to advance her political agenda. I apologize for my erroneous criticism. . . Since the premise of the post was based on erroneous information, I have removed it from this blog.”
Well isn’t that special? Just hit the delete key (a few weeks later) and hope no-one noticed.
On this blog this morning, Boardman gives us a window into his “journalism.”
“I take two hours every Wednesday afternoon to research and write my column,” he writes. “I spend another 20 to 30 minutes Friday morning assembling observations and sanding down the rough spots before I send my column to The Union.”
“Sanding down the rough spots” also should including confirming information that is based on erroneous reporting— in any forum. What are The Union’s standards for its columnists?