County-clerk recorder Greg Diaz wrote this about The Union columnist George Boardman’s blog entry from earlier this week: “After reading Mr. Boardman’s blog, I called Mr. Boardman to invite him to my office to discuss his blog entry. I left a message as no one answered the phone. I hope he comes in to discuss with me.”
Diaz —now in his third term as Clerk-Recorder — added that Boardman’s post was “at best misinformed.”
But Boardman is refusing to meet with Diaz; instead he is hiding behind a statement — a tactic more common of a public relations person (AKA “flak”) than a real journalist. Of course, Boardman has a career in p.r. The ex-p.r. man wrote:
Let’s hope George meets with the Office and corrects the misinformation on his blog — as George did with an erroneous post about me earlier in the week.
Exit question: Why didn’t Boardman contact the Clerk-Recorder’s office for comment? He didn’t seek comment me either — even to confirm basic facts that were wrong. That’s Journalism 101. I’ve noticed these holes on his blog but also in his column in The Union:
After reading Mr. Boardman’s blog, I called Mr. Boardman to invite him to my office to discuss his blog entry. I left a message as no one answered the phone. I hope he comes in to discuss with me.
As for the article: My official announcement came in the form of a Notice of Election which was published in the Union on 1/19/19. I received the official announcement from the Governor and the Special Election Calendar from the Secretary of State the morning of January 16th, 2019. The Notice of Election was sent to the Union the morning of January 18th. I have attached the Notice of Election for your reference. [It is here: notice of special election]
We noticed the Union got dates wrong, so our office called the Union asking them to correct the dates. It is interesting Mr. Boardman is critical of our office when the Union makes a mistake.
Mr. Boardman talks about ballots in 2016 being sent to vote-by-mail voters were missing a page. Our staff remembers getting a complaint from one person that they were missing page two. We gave them page two. Since only one person complained, we feel perhaps the voter misplaced their original page two. We received one complaint from an elderly voter.
Mr. Boardman claims in 2016, ballots were late getting verified. We do not know what he means. In 2014, I found a printing error and we made the correction in a timely manner. The printers’ inkjet nozzle malfunctioned leaving spots on our ballots. I even asked Tom O’Toole to come to the office to view the ballots, and Tom concurred with our evaluation of the problem. I spoke to Tom today, and he can verify my statements are true.
In 2010, some registrars were counting undervotes as votes cast. This was based upon a federal ruling. This issue is still unsettled to this day.
I hope Mr. Boardman comes to speak with me and my staff. I copied Sandy Sjoberg and Abby Kelly as they have been around since 2007 when I was appointed. If you have any questions or require additional information, please let me know. Also, Sandy and Abby, if you have anything to add, please do so.
We have a great elections’ office and Mr. Boardman’s blog entry is at best misinformed. Thank You. Greg.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
The last local election results showed we’re center-left: The returns are HERE and show our County continuing to go “blue.” Democrats Newsom, Yee, Becerra, Hallinan (not Gaines), Denney (over LaMalfa 55-45), Morse (routing McClintock 76-24), even Sisk (over Dahle), and “no” on gas tax repeal, among others, all won — much to the chagrin of our local Republican Central Committee.
I’m glad to see some diversity among our electeds too — in offices such as Sheriff (Shannan Moon), Grass Valley City Council (Hilary Hodge) and Clerk-Recorder (Gregory Diaz). We’ve turned the corner politically — and I doubt we’ll be turning back. Truckee has been a leader, and the rest of the county (sometimes begrudgingly) is going along. Meanwhile, our national demographics are changing — in the year 2044, white Americans are projected to fall below half the population and lose their majority status, according to Census Bureau data.
The Union newspaper — with a long-deserved reputation as being the “Tea Party Gazette” — is becoming more center-left. The newspaper showed real courage in banning righwing blogger and resident loud-mouth Todd Juvinall from posting at TheUnion.com for a month. (Some users claimed Todd was offensive; Todd said The Union had “no balls.” You go, Todd!) Rebane himself has been more critical of The Union’s politics — a sign that he’s not getting his way (think Baby Huey).
With the winds of local political change blowing through our towns, locals would think KVMR — long a local beacon and pioneer of progressive ideas — would be feeling good about its precient programming.
Rebane’s post this past week was another over the top, even outrageous, “rumination.” On KVMR, he claimed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was somehow “resolved.” An excerpt: “So now the Saudis execute one of their own on foreign soil but in their own consulate, and the world’s ‘moral majority’, led by the US and its allies, gets their collective undies in a bundle, decrying the murder and demanding confessions and justice from the Saudis.
“So, despite the public gnashing of teeth and rending of garment by Trump’s political opponents, everyone understands that this is the correct way to end the affair.”
“Undies in a bundle”
That’s right “undies in a bundle” over a brutal murder and this is the “correct way” to end it.
Meanwhile, The New York Times is calling Trump’s statement “extraordinary”; a Washington Post columnist writes: “In effect, Trump is doing his best to help the Saudi regime get away with the murder of a U.S. resident and one of the Arab world’s most prominent writers. If the administration continues down this path, it will further destroy whatever is left of America’s moral credibility on global human rights and freedom of expression.” Turkey ripped Trump for turning a “blind eye” to the killing.
What is KMVR thinking? The rest of us are becoming more open minded politically, and the commentator that KVMR chooses during the “news hour” is a political troglodyte — all but parroting Trump’s lame defense of this brutal act. Rebane’s bizarre “rumination” is here.
You can’t make this stuff up! I’m in London, attending the London Literature Festival, visiting some friends and sightseeing. This morning (local time), I was catching up with the news back home, and I stumbled across this item in the Nevada County, CA, blogosphere:
“It appears the Union has banned me from commenting online for 30 days,” Todd Juvinall, local right-wing activist, blogger and former county supervisor (yup, he was), writes on his blog “SierraDragonsBreathe.com” (sic) under the headline: “The Grass Valley Union bans free speech”
Imagine that! Of course it’s all The Union’s fault, Todd tells us.
“I am like Trump in that if you attack me I hit back twice as hard. Hit as in comments and words. … The results are they banned ME! You cannot make this stuff up. So I will use the FB groups and connections to get the conservative messages out as best I cam (sic).”
You go Todd!
Todd’s conclusion: “This opened my eyes more to the bias that exists even in our little paper that I have subscribed too (sic) all my life as did my parents. All because the Editor has no balls to defend his own paper from liberal attacks.”
I sometimes comment at TheUnion.com, and I do notice a preponderance of personal attacks and outlandish remarks. It’s the same few people — again and again.
Of course, being editor of The Union is like being a “bouncer in a bar,” a former editor John Seelmeyer once told me — and I couldn’t agree more.
To borrow an expression from Todd: What a hoot!
(Note: Please be judicious in commenting here, and no personal attacks. I don’t want to monitor this while I’m on the road). Cheers!
What a hoot! George Boardman has another ponderous post on his “blog” this week, handicapping the Sheriff’s race in the November runoff: Shannan Moon vs. Bill Smethers.
Except this so-called journalist — The Union’s weekly columnist — forgot to mention he wrote this back in May, under the comments of his own blog post no less:
That’s what I’d expect from a journalist whose claim to fame was working for San Mateo Times (now defunct). But Boardman should at least admit his colossal mistake. Instead our crack-jack journalist glossed over the blunder this week:
“Moon finished first in the primary so you have assume she has the lead (in the polling).”