Jeff “Podunk” Pelline informs us he’ll be addressing an AP government class at Nevada Union High School this week, giving new meaning to the term “big man on campus.”
Podunk will weigh in on the topic of media and politics, comparing small town newspapers like The Union with the likes of The Chronicle and Time magazine. The students can expect a Trump-like recitation of Podunk’s terrific journalism career and the breath-taking success of his “magazine.”
High school is a time for students to develop their critical thinking skills, which includes challenging authority. Since there’s no bigger authoritarian around here than our Jeffie, here are some questions they might want to ask him:
–How come you were only a stringer for Time? Weren’t you good enough to get hired?
–Why did they make fun of The Chronicle in the movie version of “All the President’s Men”?
–Why do its peers refer to the paper as the “Comical”?
–Other than the “Last Man on Earth” and the great coffee swill scandal, what has The Chronicle done to advance journalism?
–Trick question: Which Bay Area newspaper has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for public service journalism since 1979: The Chronicle or the Point Reyes Light?
–If the issues of honesty and integrity come up, ask him to recount the story of The Chronicle critic who was fired after he reviewed a dance performance he never attended, and the neutral review The Chronicle gave Gordon Getty’s terrible opera, “Plump Jack,” because Gordon is a generous benefactor of the fine arts and the owners of The Chronicle would be very upset if the paper did anything to disturb that relationship.
–If Podunk touches on “cluelessness,” you can remind him of The Chronicle reviewer who criticized Andrea Bocelli for not connecting with the audience, apparently unaware that the great tenor is blind.
–Jeffie worked in the business news department of The Chronicle. Ask him to explain why long-time business editor Lloyd “The Rug Merchant” Watson wrote regular columns on the price of oriental rugs, a subject practically nobody but Lloyd cared about.
–Podunk likes to boast that he was the technology writer for The Chronicle. Ask him why Don Clark and Evelyn Richards were better than he was.
I could go on and on, but there’s a limit to how many questions you can ask. Good luck kids!