A knock-down, drag-out steel cage death match erupted recently between Nevada County Scooper and the proprietor of Sierra FoodWineArt in the safe confines of the blogosphere, capturing the attention of a disbelieving audience of Nevada County thrill seekers.
The bitter exchange of threats, insults and other verbal nonsense was triggered by a column written by yours truly in The Union in which I discussed the attitude of techies toward the homeless. The column was inspired in part by the observation by Jeff “Podunk” Pelline, proprietor of an alleged magazine that promotes the interests of his advertisers, that a facility to feed the homeless has opened near the Digital Media Center (since renamed the Green Screen Institute).
I gave him credit for the observation, but Podunk dismissed it as just throwing him a bone in a blog post headlined “What would The Union do without this blog?” He whined that I should have mention the full name of his blog and provided a hyperlink to his “scoop.” (If I ever give him credit again, I may also include a color mug shot and a list of the fine retailers who stock his “magazine.”)
That prompted a response from Delaney Faris of Nevada County Scooper: “What would your blog do without The Union?” Faris was referring to Podunk’s obsession with any real or imagined errors or transgressions in The Union, which he then points out with as much faked outrage as he can muster.
Podunk shot back with a poke at the “family-unfriendly” sponsored content carried by Scooper, prompting the following from Faris: “You’re going to pick on a satire rag? We own your ass. Bring it on.”
“You’re a flea bite on the ‘you know what’,” Podunk replied, then followed with school boy taunts like “NC Pooper” and “Scooper: Sometimes humor.” You know, the kind of sophisticated repartee you expect from a rhetoric student at UC–Berkeley.
Scooper is a satirical online site that pokes fun at the foibles and idiocy of life in general, and Nevada County in particular. Scooper’s pictures and headlines tend to promise more than the articles deliver, but they occasionally run an article that is both funny and hits the bulls-eye, like the Board of Supervisors declaring war on the outdoors. Scooper makes no pretense of being factual or fair, but it’s usually good for a laugh.
That’s more than you can say for Sierra FoodWineArt, chock full of sponsored content. Podunk would have you believe that he applies professional journalism standards to coverage of food, frolic and booze in Nevada County. In fact, he is pedaling skepticism-free cheer leading for the businesses that advertise in his magazine.
I’ll have another scoop of Scooper any day.