You would think Jeff “Podunk” Pelline would have run out of reasons by now for criticizing The Union, but you should never underestimate a fevered brain that never rests. Bitterness is a powerful motivator.
Now Podunk is teeing off on the paper for having the audacity to actually publish a news story about the fake news forum organized recently by the League of Women Voters. “The Union embarrasses itself further writing about ‘fake news’ seminar,” proclaimed the headline on his blog.
Jeffie was upset because the alleged Randall “Fink” Finklestein, the alleged ring leader at Nevada County Scooper, didn’t make a promoted appearance to discuss the subject with Brooke Binkowski, managing editor of snopes.com. Instead, he sent a computer monitor that displayed the image of a swimming fish. (As far as I know, it was not a picture of David Larsen of Carmichael, aka fish in local blogging circles.)
Podunk apparently thinks the event wasn’t worth covering because one of the featured participants didn’t show. But that’s not The Union’s problem–its job is to report what happens, even if what happens is a disappointment to some people. Sometimes, that’s a better story than what you expect to find.
If we apply the Podunk standard universally, newspapers wouldn’t bother to review a concert that was dud, report on a political speech that revealed nothing new, or write about a city council that didn’t make a decision on the major item on the agenda. Try to sell that to any newspaper editor I’ve ever known.
While Podunk’s animosity toward The Union is well documented, he also has a grudge against Scooper because it has run several stories making him look like the buffoon he truly is. That piece about Jeffie recovering from a coma was hilarious, and some people actually believed the story about him returning to The Union as a copy editor.
Jeffie apparently prefers more refined events like the recent visit of food maven Alice Waters to the Center for the Arts. For $32, you could sip some wine, eat some munchies, and get Waters to sign a copy of her new book. Then you could pay another $70 to hear her talk about food–and, oh yeh–plug her book. Jeffie’s kind of event.
But what’s really rich about Podunk criticizing The Union for covering the forum is his former association with the San Francisco Chronicle–did you know, he’s a former ex-big time journalist?
The Chronicle is known among those in the news business as the “Comical” because of such ground-breaking journalism as the great coffee swill scandal (“A Great City’s People Forced to Drink Swill”) and the Last Man on Earth series that was exposed as a hoax. The paper was even mocked in the movie version of “All the President’s Men.” (The scene got a big laugh in the theater where I saw the film.)
Then there’s Jeffie’s “magazine,” his crowning achievement after 35 years in journalism. Now that’s embarrassing.