Is Pelline getting soft on The Union? Probably not

Jeff Pelline sounded almost conciliatory earlier this week when he sort of said something nice about The Union in his blog.

Ever since a former publisher of the paper decided he needed an advertising manager more than he needed an editor, Pelline has regularly excoriated The Union for real and manufactured shortcomings. Your basic attempt at payback.

One of his main gripes (there are too many to list here) is The Union’s treatment of controversial issues on its opinion page. The most recent example involves Nevada City’s Boardwalk.

Resident Jean Gerard wrote an “Other Voices” column in the paper Tuesday calling for the structure’s removal. The article included a gratuitous shot at the Boardwalk’s main proponent, referring to “Reinette Senum shills.”

A real task master

A real task master

This struck a nerve with Pelline, a big fan of Senum ever since he identified her as one of the young up-and-comers in our community when he edited The Union. (He said the same thing about Sierra College trustee Aaron Klein, who has apparently been a disappointment to Pelline since then.)

Pelline criticized The Union for carrying just one side of the argument, and right before the City Council was to decide the Boardwalk’s fate. “The Union publishes the opinions without context or counterpoint. It happens again and again.”

He apparently had a change of heart when the paper ran Senum’s response the following day. “I was glad to see (the reply) right below the masthead, no less,” he wrote in his blog. “The victory was one of fairness, not who’s right or wrong.”

Pelline called it a positive step that Senum and The Union were able to work it out, “which should be enough proof that the place has some socially redeeming value.” But he prefaced that by pointing out that Senum’s reply first appeared on her Facebook page Tuesday and that Pelline picked it up on his blog before The Union published it.

If he wants to be fair and consistent (I know, I’m asking a lot here), he would also direct his blunderbuss toward the Sacramento Bee, a place where he would like you to believe he has some influence. The Bee occasionally promotes puff pieces in his blog, and he alerted the paper’s editors to the Pascale Fusshoeller story. (The Bee used to have a full-time reporter in Auburn, but decided our area isn’t worth covering.)

The paper ran a Viewpoint piece on its op-ed page Jan. 28 written by a shill for the University of California that discussed the university’s principled stand in negotiations with one of its dastardly employee unions. Three days later (THREE DAYS!), the Bee ran a reply from the union. Just like The Union.

This is a clear violation of the Pelline fairness doctrine, and I’m sure Dan Morain, the Bee’s editorial page editor, would be receptive to some constructive criticism from our foothills task master.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I  was assistant city editor and then business writer at The Union from 2001-05. I currently write a weekly column for the paper and TheUnion.com provides a link to this blog. Finally, I won Kane’s Keno several months ago.

–George Boardman

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8 Responses to Is Pelline getting soft on The Union? Probably not

  1. We’ve enjoyed the Union for over 60 years, and our parents before that. It represents our community, and it disgusts me how Mr. Pelline attacks it continually as though he knows it all. He and his supporters claim he’s trying to show it how to survive financially. I find that hard to believe. One reason is that he can’t stand opinions that differ from his. Variety is what makes an interesting community forum. Personally we hope the Union keeps on going another 100 years.

  2. jeffpelline says:

    Are you seriously comparing the quality and caliber of The Bee to The Union? LOL. You should also disclose that you never worked at papers as big or well-known as The Bee and The Chronicle, and you wear it on your sleeve.

  3. jeffpelline says:

    Todd,
    Well The Bee whooped The Union on the Citizen’s Bank failure and the Lester case. It’s what happens when the management your local paper is controlled by “good old boys.” As far as “variety,” it’s telling to see Bonnie and Todd giving praise to The Union; their political views are in lockstep.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      Are you serious? You think the basketball games, football moms, FLC and School Board meetings don’t mean anything? You have no clue what is important here. You are out of place and the lack of following for your extremist, hateful liberal musings is apparent on your own blog. No one cares what you have to say Pelline.

      I am and have always been part of the community. You are simply a usurper. I attend many functions here and I ever see you there. Helping the community and the people in it, you know, as a volunteer. We just don’t pat ourselves on our own backs like you do. You have a small circle of lefty dissidents and so your worldview if skewed. Get out and meet the folks, well, they may not like that.

      So, your “jihad” against Ackerman still gets you in a lather it appears. He was three times the man you are and well liked in the county. He wrote well and had a sense of fairness and of humor. You are a sourpuss and prved that you are still a “flatlander” without any respect for anyone else.

      The community laughs at you Pelline, you just dpn’y hear it. They like me and the people I am friends with, try it.

    • A bunch of us listened for three hours to the evidence and difficulty one victim went through to get something done. Back and forth between DA and Attorney General both of which were passing the buck, but finally there was a prosecution. The same individual felt sorry for the Lester victims so got the Bee to investigate. They did and thought our DA should resign. Now maybe you’ll understand why the Lester victims are so frustrated with what has been going on with their case. It was funny to read the letter Hastert wrote to the Union from prison stating his biggest mistake was not lending money to the DA. If he’d written it to another paper most of us wouldn’t have seen it.

      No lockstep here with anything nor anyone. Like most, we Just want the truth.

  4. This is interesting. Why do people read newspapers? To learn what’s going on…especially in their community. We love it when there’s a picture or story about somebody we know. For example, I had a friend who grew up here and eventually wound up in Denair, California. I’d wanted her to write her fathers memories, but she complained she wasn’t a writer. Well, she eventually got a job with a Denair newspaper that was mostly a business and events advertiser? She was just going to be a typist, or whatever they needed. She had a hard time just doing the typing. Eventually she started writing about local people and coming events. Before that people were throwing the paper in the garbage can…but then it became the most popular paper in the area. Here’s one I saved because it was funny. http://www.mcguiresplace.net/Short%20Stuff-Reporter%20Ramona%20Caught%20Speeding

  5. jeffpelline says:

    Todd,
    There are many sources of news for our community for what you’re discussing: Yubanet, KVMR, KNCO, NCTV, city and county websites and now Facebook and social media, which is reshaping the way we communicate. You cannot seem to complete a thought without a personal attack. I’m doing just fine, thank you.

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