The Union columnist Boardman: A New Year, a new hatchet job

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!

 

Local elections show we’re center-left, but KVMR still promoting Rebane’s extreme right rants

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.

Instead it is stuck with extreme rightwing blogger George “Raghead” Rebane — a Simi Valley transplant —as the commetator on its news hour. Huh?

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.

I have also heard from prominent local business leaders who were outraged at the killing and our President’s response. It created a long thread of local outrage.

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.

What a hoot! TheUnion.com appears to have banned Todd Juvinall from commenting for a month

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!

 

Union columnist Boardman predicted: “Moon won’t make it to the November runoff.”

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).”

Will at least he got it right this time! LOL.

George Boardman’s blog: No one except for “fish” is commenting

I posted a response that Kamala Harris sent to me about the Kavanaugh case on Facebook (like the one here), and it received 21 “likes.” Shawn Garvey responded: “She responds! Love it! I never can get an acknowledgement from DiFi!”

To George, it was a “big whoop.” Except no one commented on George’s blog except for “fish.” George’s column at The Union.com — whose commenting interface is Facebook — doesn’t even get 21 “likes.”

The 21 people who “liked” my post all signed their real names. “fish” is a fake name from a troll who launches personal attacks but never has anything interesting or intellectual to say.

Most of the recent comments on George’s blog come from George himself.

I don’t understand the blog either. As a newly minted 75-year-old (his words, not mine), he takes a keen interest in high school football. Three of his last five posts are about local high-school sports. Go figure!

Ignorant: Juvinall’s rambling rightwing rant in The Union gets female U.S. Senator’s name wrong

Mazie K. Hirono (Credit: Her website)

What a hoot!

The Union published another rambling rightwing rant from one-time Supervisor and local blowhard Todd Juvinall today on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings but didn’t bother to correct his own egregious error: Todd referred to Hawaii’s U.S. senator as “Minnie Hirono.” WTF?

Memo to Todd and The Union editors: The Senator’s name is Mazie Hirono, not “Minnie.” Ms. Hirono is the Senate’s only immigrant and its first female Asian-American.

Ms. Hirono’s story is interesting, as she write on her website: “As an immigrant who grew up under difficult circumstances, I recognize that my path to the Senate was unlikely. At the same time, my experiences have shown me the incredible opportunities available in America and have fueled my desire to give back.

“Thanks to my mother’s courage, I was able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available in Hawaii’s public schools. … I went to law school to develop the skills I would need to more effectively advocate for others.”

Meanwhile, Todd wrote about Ms. Hirono in our local paper, stating: “Hawaii’s Senator Minnie Hirono says all you men need to shut up and believe the woman. She is telling the truth and all you men are liars. Wow!”

It is an ignorant remark and a Freudian slip to be sure (for Todd’s benefit, “Freudian slip” refers to “an unintentional error regarded as revealing subconscious feelings”).

And for The Union, more ignorant and sloppy editing. Can you spell “podunk”?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The excerpt from Todd’s rant is here:

George Boardman: “All hat and no cattle”

(Credit: The Union)

Editor’s note: This is one of the most pathetic resumes I’ve read for a journalist who deems himself qualified to pass judgment on others’ professional achievements as The Union’s paid weekly columnist— whether it’s other journalists or elected officials. Small towns are a hoot!

“Boardman to cover business for The Union
The Union staff
March 22, 2004

“George Boardman, a veteran journalist and public-relations professional, has been named business reporter for The Union.

“In 2001 and 2002, Boardman served as assistant city editor for The Union. He previously served as a copy editor for the Independent Newspaper Group in the San Francisco Peninsula.

“His extensive resume also includes stints as business editor and city editor for the San Mateo Times in the early 1970s. He worked in public relations for a variety of businesses in the 1980s and worked as a public-relations writer and consultant through much of the 1990s.

“In recent months, he has contributed several free-lance articles for The Union.

“A San Francisco native, Boardman is married to Mimi Boardman, a co-owner of the Stonehouse Restaurant in Nevada City. They have one daughter in Portland, Ore.”

The article is here.