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 snopes.com 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.

The Union and League of Women Voters defends “My Sexbot Cut Off My Penis” journalism?

“NC Scooper’s” front page headline today

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.

A “fake news” seminar should focus on The Union columnist Boardman, not NC Scooper

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.

–George Boardman”

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!

Boardman Part II: Even Hodge thought The Union columnist was being unfair to Miller

What a hoot! Besides belittling staunch conservative Brian Dahle’s ability to work with progressives on some issues, The Union’s weekly columnist Boardman took a swipe at Dan Miller.

Boardman was challenged, and as usual, his response was defensive and arrogant on The Union’s website: “One more time, Linda: KNCO is a major force in a small media market, and any on-air personality associated with a popular activity like high school football develops a ‘good guy’ aura that can influence undecided voters in an election. Major networks remove personnel from the air when they declare their candidacy but before they officially file; KNCO should follow the same policy.” Then he blamed ‘Dave Bear at KNCO,’ instead of himself, for getting Dan’s tenure in the booth at football games wrong. How’s that for accountability?

But it gets better. Even Hilary Hodge, who is running against Dan for District 3 Supervisor, thought Boardman was being unfair.

She wrote on The Union’s website: “While The Union asked me to step down as a columnist, I think it is a mistake for KNCO to remove Dan Miller from the air as a local football commentator. Both Dan and I spend a lot of time in our community. We live in a small town, and our contributions to our community matter. Dan’s commentary is a service to our community. Whereas, my column was issues-based. While I understand that FCC regulations require equal time, I don’t think Dan’s contribution for NU Football poses a problem. Of course, if KNCO is worried about equal time, Dan and I could do the broadcast together. I love football.”

That had Boardman gnashing his teeth, responding: “That’s practically the same thing Terry Lamphier said four years ago. That approach didn’t do him any good.”

And Hilary handled the snipe beautifully, stating: “George Boardman I’m not Terry Lamphier.”

You can’t make this stuff up! Memo to Don Rogers: Take George out of his misery, and find a new columnist.

The Union columnist Boardman is out in left field again — this time on Dahle

The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman’s headline in this week’s column reads: “Will Dahle lead Assembly Republicans to even greater irrelevance?”

He concludes this week’s turgid, wandering column with: “It’s a truism that ideological purists have greater influence as a group shrinks in size, and Dahle was likely made the caucus leader because he reflects those values. Most observers believe that stance will just make California Republicans even more irrelevant than they already are.”

And with that “Bored Georgeman” is off base — again.

To be sure, Brian Dahle is a staunch conservative, including on the social issues, gun rights, right to life, and so on. He once signed the “Grover Norquist” pledge. And he voted against the recent bipartisan bill to extend cap-and-trade funding — an unpopular idea in his rural district. Although Dahle’s vote might not have pleased some progressives, it helped clear the way for his election to lead the Republican Assembly over his predecessor — a savvy move.

But Dahle also is a pragmatic legislator. He has worked constructively with all stakeholders.

—Two years ago, Dahle (R-Bieber) and Assemblyman Rudy Salas’ (D-Bakersfield) Assembly Bill 590 passed the Assembly unanimously with bipartisan support. AB 590 added incentives for biomass utilization of agriculture waste and forest waste, as the bill noted.The legislation aimed at diverting biomass from landfills and creating renewable energy along with jobs and benefits to wildlife, air quality and water supply.

—Dahle also has been part of a bipartisan effort to speak out on the need for more statewide county fair funding, joining with Assembly member Susan Eggman (D-San Joaquin).

—Dahle was part of a coastal-rural legislative collaboration to secure funding for solar power at Malakoff Diggins. Boardman got that wrong, however, as SYRCL executive director Caleb Dardick pointed out in a letter to The Union.

Dahle also has been a supporter of the Sierra Nature Conservancy. His supporters have included Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. He has attended the Sierra Business Council’s “Peak Innovation” conference.

I first met Dahle at a fundraiser in Grass Valley. The hosts included none other than former liberal County supervisors Peter Van Zant and Izzy Martin.

Dahle is not a “bomb thrower” like so many of our staunch conservative politicians (or wanna-be politicians); he will listen.

Why isn’t any of this in Boardman’s column? Because his “MO” is to sit behind a computer in his gated community, relying largely on Google searches for his research, rather than going out and interviewing people — all for a small stipend. Memo to The Union Publisher Don Rogers: You get what you pay for.

The Union columnist Boardman runs yet another correction

“CORRECTION: I wrote last week that the president of Google cut short a family vacation in Africa to return to California to fire an employee. The CEO had completed a business trip to Africa and cut short a family vacation in California.”

No kidding! I identified this one last week. Line editing and content editing was never a strong suit at The Union; management hobnobbing with “good old boys” is valued much more. Podunk.