‘The facts’ and hypocrisy are not problems for ‘Podunk’ Pelline

Jeff “Podunk” Pelline never tires of reminding the local yokels that he’s a former big time newspaper guy. Too bad he still doesn’t have editors who make sure what he writes is truthful and accurate.

Those two elements of good journalism are lacking when he uses his blog, Sierra Foothills Report, to education Nevada County’s bumpkins on why they should abandon their ways and implement his progressive ideas.

He provides these lectures when he isn’t find faulting with The Union newspaper, tooting his own horn, promoting his magazine, or giving free plugs to advertisers in his magazine (Trattoria Milano has finally decided to buy an ad). His writing tends to be what a former boss of mine called a “workman-like effort,” what you would expect from a promising student in an Introduction to News Writing class.

Pelline has no use for dissenting opinions, and is quick to pull the rug out from under anybody who sharply disagrees with his opinion of the day. (Full disclosure: I quit commenting on his blog when he routinely rejected any comment I made. The final straw came when he complained about something and I replied: “Would you like some whine with those sour grapes?”)

He also has no use for what I call intellectual honesty–a fair representation of what he’s about the criticize. Pelline generally creates a highly selective summary of an article or comment he doesn’t like in a manner designed to make the author look stupid or ignorant, then proceeds to criticize what he summarized.

He banks on the fact that most readers are too lazy to seek out the original material, and comments from his regulars suggest he knows his readers. An excellent example of what I’m talking about can be found now near the top of his blog, a picture of Melanie Trump’s “assets” you’ll also find here by scrolling down to the next post.

Note that one key element is missing from Pelline’s representation: My headline over the front page of the New York Post that reads, “Is this what social conservatives, evangelicals signed up for?” Pelline edited it out because it didn’t create the impression he wanted to leave with his readers.

This is part of his continuing criticism of one of my posts that can be found by scrolling down, “YubaNet: All the news that fits…its political agenda.” Pelline has proclaimed his support of YubaNet and took offense at my criticism of this community resource. The assault started with a comment entitled “Union columnist Boardman’s uncalled for attack on YubaNet.”

“YubaNet mostly republishes press releases…”–Jeff Pelline, blogging on Feb. 28, 2009

In his summation of what I wrote, Pelline wrote that “Boardman claims that YubaNet is ‘smoke and mirrors’ when it comes to being a genuine news source. The real issue is that Boardman can’t stand that YubaNet won’t agree with own views, so he belittles them.”

Pelline didn’t bother to quote the paragraph that followed the “smoke and mirrors” comment, which reads:

“What passes for news at the web site is basically press releases and opinion pieces picked up from other sources.” (I’m late to the party, because here’s what Pelline wrote in 2009: “YubaNet mostly republishes press releases…”)

“And as we saw earlier this week, the news it runs is heavily influenced by the political leanings of its owners.”

That led to the reason I wrote the post: A “news story” announcing the Nevada City Council called a special meeting to express support for police agencies, but didn’t explain the meeting was called to counter criticism generated by Council member Reinette Senum’s incendiary remarks that essentially called police paid assassins. Clearly, YubaNet was protecting Senum.

Podunk didn’t bother to mention any of that in his summary of what I wrote. As for Pelline’s claim that I disagreed with YubaNet’s views so I belittle them, here’s how I ended the post:

“I have no problem with YubaNet taking any position it wants. But if it’s going to let its political bias infect its news coverage, it should at least publish a disclaimer at the top of its ‘news’ section.” Pelline must have confused my post with something else because his summary bears no relation to reality.

He continued his criticism on July 26, when he had a chance to take a shot at both me and The Union with “Wise up Boardman! YubaNet scoops The Union and NCTV on big Supes vote.”

Pelline was referring to the Board of Supervisors’ passage of a temporary medical marijuana growing ordinance. YubaNet “scooped” The Union by announcing the action at 7:07 p.m., one minute before the paper did. (Personally, I was doing something more interesting by then, but I won’t dismiss the possibility that some people wanted the news one minute before they could get it from The Union.)

People who were monitoring the proceedings earlier witnessed a classic example of how Pelline operates. The Union reported that six marijuana plants would be allowed on 2-5 acres in certain areas, while YubaNet reported 3-5 acres. Pelline immediately jumped on this, implying The Union was wrong and YubaNet was right.

Then YubaNet (to its credit) admitted it was wrong. Faster than you can say “Podunk Pelline,” his criticism of The Union disappeared. (You didn’t expect him to give the paper credit for getting it right, did you?)

“I’ve advocated (paywalls) for a long time, for papers ranging from The Chronicle to The Union.”–Jeff Pelline, blogging Feb. 28, 2009.

This is a continuation of Pelline’s criticism of the paper, something that started almost eight years ago when he was let go as editor of The Union–some people apparently can never let go. He mixes occasional legitimate criticism with an endless stream of cheap shots. Pelline will even contradict himself when it suits his purpose.

Regular readers of Pelline’s blog know he routinely criticizes the paper for erecting a paywall around the online version of The Union. But that wasn’t his position in 2009 when he had this to say about paywalls:

“I’ve advocated this for a long time, for papers ranging from The Chronicle to The Union. In a small market such as ours, it’s a ‘no brainer’ to charge for some local content, because it is more ‘unique’ and less ‘commodity’ news.”

YubaNet republishes press releases. Paywalls are a no brainer. I call those good examples of hypocrisy.





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21 Responses to ‘The facts’ and hypocrisy are not problems for ‘Podunk’ Pelline

  1. RL Crabb says:

    Don’t you know the Internet is changing the way we get our propaganda? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq2_wSsDwkQ&sns=fb

  2. Todd Juvinall says:

    I enjoy you two smacking each other around. Pelline v Boardman. A match made for TV. Or Vegas. LOL!

  3. What a generous assessment of the former union editor. There is a long list of descriptive phrases I would have used, but most of them probably wouldn’t be appropriate for this forum.

    Cowardly and intellectually stunted.

    He does have a habit of blocking comments, especially when the comment makes him look foolish (which is probably most of them). I’ve invited him to chat with me in real time, but I guess he’s only interested in dialogue he can control.

    It’s not surprising to read that his views are wishy-washy or that he simply deletes his mistakes and pretends they never happened. Takes a certain amount of integrity and bravery to admit you’re wrong and extend an apology. These are two traits thathat all cowards lack.

    Nice piece. I enjoyed reading it.

    • I just can’t make Podunk happy. He wrote in 2009 that “YubaNet mostly republishes press releases…” but he criticizes me when I agree with him.

      Now he’s making a big deal about a public meeting on the Yuba River, proving…? Aside from updated visitor numbers, nothing was said at the meeting that I haven’t read many times in The Union.

      But apparently it was a revelation to Heidi Hall that “access and parking is one of the biggest issues.” This seems strange since she wrote about her love of the river when she had a column in The Union.

      Maybe Hall has a secret parking place, or maybe she’s just clueless. We’ll start finding out in January.

  4. Todd Juvinall says:

    Did you date his wife or something? He really doesn’t like you. Oh well, it appears he doesn’t like many people. Yubanet is a local Drudge. Funny though hw many of us supported the woman at Yubanet who was illegally here. Let her stay! Even I supported that. And Pelline was no where to be found. But you should think hard about engaging the FUE. He is truly a bore.

  5. Todd Juvinall says:

    It is true I am a unworthy podunk Nevada County native. Just like RL Crabb. We are so below that status of Mr. Pelline. We wait around for the leftovers of the street dinners he attends. Now he is posting a foreclosure notice that has been printed in the Union three times. I think he is bonkers.

  6. Now Podunk wants the Nevada City Council to investigate the police department because the Tri-Counties Bank branch has been robbed three times in two years. Is he suggesting the police are to blame for this crime spree?

    Perhaps the bank has some responsibility here. As the chief told The Union, the location is a good one for robbers because it is set back from the street, is in an area with little foot traffic, and is close to the freeway. Tri-Counties could move to a safer location or have a rent-a-cop on duty when it’s open for business. Maybe Podunk has a better idea.

    • RL Crabb says:

      They could put another ATM in the National, like BofA did.

    • Maybe the council will appoint a subcommittee chaired by Reinette Senum to investigate the matter. That should work well.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      I thought bank robberies were a FBI thing? I like your idea of getting Senum to investigate to cops for Pelline.

    • While bank robbery is a federal crime, most of the robbers are caught by local police. I’m guessing the closest FBI agent to Nevada City is in Sacramento.

      From a security standpoint, the Tri-Counties branch is in a bad location and they should move their operation to Broad Street when their lease expires. There’s plenty of empty space on the town’s main drag.

  7. Podunk doesn’t think Nevada County is in the North state. He knows this because some government researchers arbitrarily excluded Nevada County from a group that included the 15 counties north of us.

    He must be getting his geography lessons from his buddies at The Sacramento Bee, who think the Bay Area isn’t in Northern California. LOL, as they say.

  8. Another “scoop” from Pelline: An outfit I never heard of has bought a magazine I never read. Now that’s news I can use.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      Oh, now you get to experience what I have all these years.

    • I consider it an honor that Pelline doesn’t like me. In fact, I get nervous if he goes too many weeks without criticizing my column; people might think I’m a progressive!

      There’s also money at stake. Most people don’t know this, but my agreement with The Union calls for a substantial bonus at the end of the year if Pelline knocks me a certain number of times. I won’t reveal what that number is, but he’s on pace to easily exceed it. I’ve already spent the money.

    • RL Crabb says:

      I think he has a crush on you, George.

    • No, he has the hots for Jeff Gale. Probably has something to do with the first name.

  9. You have to wonder about somebody who has nothing better to do at 4:22 a.m. than take a shot at me. No wonder Podunk is in such a bad mood; he doesn’t get enough sleep. He would have a much better outlook on life if he had joined me on the lake this morning for an hour of water skiing.

  10. Podunk Pelline isn’t satisfied with the correction and apology I offered in my column in today’s issue of The Union for a mistake I made in last week’s column. Utilizing his unique ability to delve into the recesses of my mind, he determined I’m “clueless” and should be fired forthwith before being tarred and feathered in the public square.

    Podunk is a lot more forgiving when it comes to his own mistakes. When he was called out in 2014 for misspelling the names of some well-known locals, be replied that his blog is a “personal blog,” apparently absolving him of any mistakes he makes but granting him license to criticize others who err.

    As his good buddy Greg Goodknight has observed, if Pelline didn’t have double standards, he’d have no standards at all.

  11. In case you forgot (and how could you?), Podunk Pelline used the 27th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake to remind us once again that he used to be a big city newsie, this time recalling the drama in the newsroom of The Chronicle after the quake hit. He even included a picture of people working by flashlight.

    Why, you might ask, were they using flashlights? Because the geniuses who ran The Chronicle at the time were either too stupid or too cheap to install a backup power system in a city that has had its share of earthquakes, essentially sidelining the paper during the biggest story to “hit” San Francisco in decades.

    For subscribers on the Peninsula (where the freeway system was fully functional), The Chronicle was missing in action for the first two or three days after the quake. We had to reply on those suburban dailies Podunk likes to denigrate to find out what was going on because the self-proclaimed “Voice of the West” was speechless. LOL, as they say.

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