Friday, May 08, 2009

Emerald City Chalks up its 100th Puff Piece

Something for the lumpencitizens to think about with a municipal election coming up

This morning's Standard-Examiner puts the spotlight on another of those "city ratings" puff pieces which appear from time in magazines of national circulation. The latest of these comes from Newsmax Magazine, which has Ogden City pegged as fifth in the nation among cities "that best embrace core American values." We got high scores for Hospitality, Wholesomeness Family-Friendliness, among other attributes, and even finished above Logan City, which we've always kinda considered to be the gold standard for these core American civic virtues. Read Charlie Trentelman's full writeup here:
Ogden recognized for 'American values'
In our never ending effort to provide our readers with all the necessary links, we've googled and present the very short Newsmax Magazine tout piece here:
Newsmax magaaizine Rates the Top 25
Yeah. it's just a brief blurb; and Godfrey plays it down for that reason. Still it's the hundredth magazine article in the past 3-1/2 years, Godfrey reminds us. His scrapbook is getting pretty thick we suppose.

But in our heart of hearts we know that there's one more magazine issue that Godfrey craves, and that Godfrey won't rest until it's in newsstands across the nation:

There's a city council race coming up November, in which the lumpencitizens will be called upon to fill four seats. The Council candidate filing period commences in a little more than a month. Unless we want to see a magazine cover like this on the newsstands some time in the near future (or a similar golf magazine cover story touting a bulldozed and flattenened Mt. Ogden Golf Course), it's probably time to recruit some responsible, prudent grown-ups to run for these offices, we believe. Just a helpful reminder from yer old pal Rudi.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?

Feel free to expound upon the ratings... Boss Godfrey's self-consuming gondola obsession... the upcoming council race... or whatever else lifts your skirts.


Lynda said...

"His scrapbook is getting pretty thick we suppose."

Along with his head.

watchdog said...

Ogden city attorney Gary Williams has set up a lawless atmosphere in Ogden, through his practice of Ignoring his boss Godfrey's crimes.

When the "Ogden riots" break out this summer, it will be Williams's fault. He's the one who signalled that Ogden will be lawless.

By his failure to do his job, and to enforce Ogden city election ordinances, this piss-poor substitute for an ethical Utah Lawyer will be exposed for the legal hack that he is.

RudiZink said...

Godfrey's latest moves indicate that he's gone way beyond "Anally-retentive" and moved on to a psychotic version of "Obsessive compsulsive."

Lynda said...

You're right Rudi.

Godfrey is seriously insane.

ozboy said...

Interesting that this "magazine's" article about Ogden had a picture of some where else! Snowbasin? perhaps, but definitely not Ogden.

It is a good thing this mag did not measure Mayoral hubris, administration back door dealing, routine executive lying, criminal electioneering and general governmental incompetence; otherwise Ogden would have came in dead last in this "American values" contest.

democrat said...


I agree with you over the pickle Andy Howell and Doug Gibson are in with keeping their paper alive vs exposing the corruption to their republican friends.

However their into the stone throwing business. These two guys have been throwing stones at democrats and victums of crime for years.

They can't throw stones and expect people not to throw stones back.

It's all about ethics. They have become what they fought against.

It's all that more important for them to resign.

democrat said...

If Howell and Gibson want to act like polititions then they need to go into politics.

Their business is to report the facts.

They have a habbit of reporting liars and act like its investigative journalism.

It does the people of Northern Utah a dis-service.

Curmudgeon said...

Ah... guys.... this is good ink for Ogden. It certainly doesn't hurt Ogden to have articles like this appearing even in niche publications. 25th Street got a nice plug in Via! [AAA travel mag] last month. I'm a little hard put to understand all the angst these little puff pieces produce. Would you rather have nothing appearing about Ogden in niche sports mags or club travel mags, etc? Or bad ink?

And of course the Mayor's going to bask in the glow and take some credit. Comes with the office. So does catching the heat when something goes bad. Witness some of the oddly gleeful chortling when Ernest dropped its rehab building plans for Ogden because it couldn't raise the cash.

Hizzonah --- any mayor --- gets credit for what goes well on his watch, or even what seems for a time to go well --- just as he catches heat for what goes wrong on his watch. If I were Mayor and The National Toe Clippers and Cuticle Connoisseurs Digest did a puff piece on Ogden being among the top ten cities in which to get a foot manicure, I'd say something about it too.

It was good ink, guys. And Ogden can use whatever good ink it gets, where ever it gets it.

democrat said...


It's not good ink. Godfrey paid for those articles to be printed.

It was taxpayers money that payed for that ink and that ink is not what taxpayers want in Ogden.


Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: If Howell and Gibson want to act like polititions then they need to go into politics.
Their business is to report the facts.
Well, that's certainly part of a newspapers business. But you need to keep two things in mind: (a) "reporting the facts" involves selecting which facts to report, and it involves putting them in context so readers can gain some understanding of what the "facts" reported mean. If the SE simply reported undisputed facts everyone agreed on, they could print it on a postage stamp.

And (b) another of their jobs is printing opinion. The opinion of the editorial board [Mr. Gibson is after all the editorial page editor], the opinion of regular columnists [like Mr. Trentelman and others], the opinion of other op ed contributors [which have in the past included not only Mr. Geiger's puzzling effusions, but op ed pieces by Dan S. and others who post here regularly.... why on one v-e-r-y slow news day, they printed an op ed submitted by me. And they print letters from lots of people.

So, Democrat, their job involves, and must involve, a great deal more than approaching journalism as Sgt. Joe Friday would: "Just the facts, M'am." That this is from someone who's opposed most of their endorsements for elected office since they began making them, and who has regularly complained about coverage of political matters to the old editorial page editor, the new one, the managing editor and Mr. Howell. But it's not as easy as you seem to think to do it well. I wish they did it better than they do, but in fairness to them, I don't think they --- or you --- or I --- could write a story with political implications that wouldn't anger some. Perhaps many.

Curmudgeon said...


If you have evidence --- evidence --- that the mayor "paid for those articles," I'd like to know what it is, please. Particularly with respect to the latest one that triggered all this heart burning.

Bennie said...

Newsmax "magazine" is an extreme right wing republican web site who's "readership" is highly disputed in the internet news business. They have apparently been suspected of inflating their web hits. They also publish a very thinly printed dead tree version on a monthly basis. It is a site for right wing wing nuts.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, let's take a look at the individual ratings that won Ogden 5th place:

Hospitality 8 --- I really can't argue with this. It is a pretty friendly place. Most folks, anyway.

Wholesomeness 8 --- Well, depends on where you look, who you ask, and what you consider to be wholesome. Soooo fuzzy a category, it's pretty meaningless. I consider the "family bars" of South Louisiana to be wholesome, family friendly institutions in which three generations of family turn out every Friday or Saturday night --- kids to grandmas --- to have a good dime, dance and [the adults] enjoy a legal beverage or two. Others we could all name would consider such places dens of satanic iniquity. Ya pays your money, ya takes your choice.

Family-Friendliness 9 --- Similarly vague. [See comments about family bars above.] What exactly constitutes "family friendliness?" I suspect my list would not be the same as Sean Hannity's or Focus On The Family's list. Again, so fuzzy as to be meaningless.

Business-Friendliness 7 -- there are measures for this, metrics that mean something, but whether the mag used them or not, I can't tell.

Devotion to Religion 9 --- I don't think any reasonable person could doubt this rating. You can't swing a cat in Ogden without hitting two, sometimes three, churches.

Culture 7 --- OK, a fair rating I'd say, considering both city and WCU offerings.

Community Activities 6 --- again, not entirely sure what this encompasses. But if it means what I think it means, it's maybe one notch low. Maybe not.

Scenic Beauty 10 --- Absolutely.

Education 6 --- Again, I wonder exactly how they measured this in Ogden. We have a largish U. in the city, and public schools of varying quality.

So, in the end, it's a puff piece, without question. But it doesn't hurt Ogden. So why the heartburning?

PS Guys, New Orleans --- crime and murder capital of the Southeast --- rated a number 7. The city that touts Bourbon Street [which makes 25th Street look like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood] nationwide got a 6 for wholesomeness. Gimme a break....

dan s. said...


Welcome back!

Just wanna remind you that although the S-E has printed several of my guest commentaries in the distant past, they've rejected the last three that I submitted. I ain't sayin' it's a conspiracy, but I do think their editorial judgment in such matters can be biased at times.

Curmudgeon said...


Their policies, which seem to be somewhat flexible over time, regarding what can go in as an OP ED and what has to go in [250 wd limit] as a letter seem to me at times mere pettifogging. [The reasons given for rejecting your last... that it replied to an editorial, I think it was, and they don't take such as op-eds... is a good example.] Seems to me what's needed is the exercise of judgment, and on a case by case basis, on the part of the editors. After I win the Powerball and own a newspaper, I'd want my editors to ask of all op-ed submissions: "Is this something that is well- written, well-argued, and supported by evidence included within or referenced on a timely topic or one many of our readers will likely find interesting or informative?" If the answer is "yes," then it should get serious consideration as an op ed submission, regardless of what it was in reply to.

I'm hard put to see how Mr. Geiger's latest rambling but one --- the meaning of which I still am scratching my head over --- was deemed worthy of inclusion and yours was not. By no standard known to a native-English speaker with more than a sixth grade education could his effusion have been judged better written or more cogently argued than yours. So if you're expecting me to defend that particular editorial judgment, you're waiting in vain. I can't. [And said so at the time.]

democrat said...


I know how the Standard Examiner and Howell work.

I'm not disputing people who want to run their opinions in the opinion part of the paper... That is what it's there for.

You must not read the paper very often. Because they do indeed run "he said and she said." Their reporters are trained to do so, and it's wrong. When they have their reporters do a story they need to follow up on the "he said she said." But I know for a fact from experience that they allow damaging here say to ruin good people's reputation.

It's disgusting that you defend these horrible actions.

As for how do I know that Godfrey pays for those articles to be written? Look at the fine print of the articles. I've read a dozen out of state articles that do full disclosure. Godfrey also prints them up and sends them to various organizations and businesses out of state. However it's not illegal because nobody will do anything about it..

Who has the Subpoena Power.. Yes you guessed it.... Godfrey does.

democrat said...

By the way as Richard Nixon said "it's not illegal if the President does it."

It is the same for any elected official, when you don't have a prosecutor who will be a check and balance on these officials.

Curmudgeon said...


1. I read the SE every day.

2. If you've been a long time reader of WCF, you've seen me, here, take the SE to task for he-said/she-said journalism many times, and for not asking [and answering] followup questions, and for not fact-checking the press releases of elected officials. It's not a perfect paper. But it's not a worthless rag either. Far from it. Dismissing the whole paper because it's printed some things you didn't like, and didn't print others things you wanted printed.... well, I'm hard put to think of any newspaper I've ever read anywhere that didn't do that.

3. I haven't, so far as I know, defended any "horrible actions" on the part of the SE. With the possible exception of their continuing to promote The Ogden Raptors, who are so abandoned to decency and honor they became a farm club of the Los Angeles National League Baseball Organization [falsely called "the Dodgers" by the depraved, the deluded and the badly brought-up.] Come to think of it, I haven't criticized the SE for that. I should have. Decently brought up people, of course, will root for the visiting team. Every game. I do. [Except Orem. All I can hope for when they come to Ogden is a rainout.]

4. And, as I suspected, you don't seem to have any evidence to back up your claim that Hizzonah pays the magazines to publish puff piece articles on Ogden. If you meant that he has off-prints of articles favoring Ogden run off and sent out to promote the city... hell, every mayor in the land does that. Universities do that with articles favorable about them. If I were Mayor, I'd do the same thing. Most cities have a promotional budget. Using promotional budgets to do offprints of favorable pieces for distribution not only is not illegal, there's no reason it should be. Promoting the city is part of the Mayor's job.

I just wish he'd remember that next time he decides to tell reporters that Mt. Ogden Golf Course is unplayable.

democrat said...


You right. But i'm firmer against Andy Howell's printing practices.

Just like most people are firmer against tobacco than I am.

democrat said...


Sorry one more thing. I hope Howell or Gibson never try to lift your skirts with
"he said she said" when the "he said" was lieing and they knew "he said" was lieing.

I don't think you'd like it very much and I'm sure you would call for Andy Howell's resignation too.

Avid council meeting minute reader said...

If the new "improved" city website had minutes and recordings from City Council meetings and work sessions from the past few years you would be able to hear/read meeting where requests from the Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors for funding their various media projects were addressed. Sunset magazine, AARP, NY Times- all these puff pieces written by freelance and staff writers here on taxpayer dollars. Airfare, transportation, lodging, food, ski passes and rentals...all covered. Of course you'll say something nice. In the industry it's called a FAM tour. I like to call it free vacation in exchange for some ink.

I personally would rather have lower taxes or better city services instead.

Ogden Fan said...

Jeez. I get that there are lot of legitimate things to complain about, and most of the time I agree. But it seems like people like to complain just for the sake of complaining sometimes...

Anonymous said...

Anyone who voted on this bit of core American Values, missed the scene in our loft early this morning.

Unless core American values includes shrink tubing, a hair dryer, a rubber suitcase, a dayglow mask of Peter Lorre, and a gallon of bright blue paint.

Go Raptors!

Godfrey Watcher said...

Cool it, Ogden Fan.

WCF provides a venue for the lumpencitizens to blow off steam.

If you're not into it, perhaps you're a Godfreyite.

If you're a Ogden citizen, and you're not totally pissed off at this pissant Godfrey, you need to read up on Weber County Forum a little more regularly.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, GW, I think there's something to Ogden Fan's comment.

drewmeister said...

And thank god we have somewhere to complain for the sake of complaining. I'll complain 'til I'm blue in the face if I want to. Why? Because I CAN!

(Sort of like Godfrey.. he screws us over because HE CAN!)

My tapwater may taste like fish, and my water bill has tripled, but at least we'll soon have a velodrome!

Curmudgeon said...


By the way, love the magazine cover! Still chuckling two days later....

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