The Sacramento Bee, the region’s largest newspaper that prides itself on holding the powerful accountable, has some explaining to do about the 36-page section on Northern Californian’s numerous aquatic recreational opportunities it published Monday.
It made the fatal error of not consulting its local correspondent, Jeff “Podunk” Pelline, who likes to boast about the self-serving press releases he feeds them and his influence with the editors.
If the editors had consulted Podunk, he could have told them that Nevada County has numerous aquatic attractions, including Scott’s Flat Reservoir, recently named a “gorgeous” lake by OnlyInYourState.com. The Bee’s editors looked as far south as Big Sur and Morro Bay to find water-related activities they could include in the section, but managed to completely ignore us.
What a bunch of dumbbells.
THE SILAS PROJECT: The Bee started a three-part series today, The Silas Project, about the struggle of the family of Silas Hurd of Penn Valley to find a treatment for his epileptic seizures. A cannabis tincture has provided the most relief, and thrust him into the center of the argument over Measure W.
Depending on where you stand on the issue, Silas is either an example of why banning outdoor cultivation in Nevada County is a bad idea, or a poster boy for illegal growers hiding behind the banner of medical marijuana.
The Bee has pretty much ignored this area for the last 10 years, closing its Auburn bureau and pretending we don’t exist when it does trend stories about the counties in the Sacramento region–as defined by The Bee.
But they occasionally venture up here when they think the story is big enough, and apparently Measure W meets their definition. Inserting the story of Silas into what is essentially a life-style/law-and-order issue gives the abstract a human dimension, as editors like to say.
Today’s first segment is highly sympathetic to Silas’ plight, the kind of tear-jerker newspapers love in part because they make people in positions of authority squirm. It will be interesting to see how The Bee portrays supporters of Measure W–this is a set-up that could make them look like cold-hearted ogres, regardless of how reasonable their arguments may be.
The series shouldn’t have much influence on the vote since most people have probably already voted by mail, and there can’t be many undecideds left. But our elected leaders could come out of this looking like cold-hearted reactionaries, not the sort of image that will attract our beloved millennials.