Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Evidence That SE's Publisher and His Editors Don't Read Their Own Paper

If the Publisher of the Standard Examiner is going to foist this kind of editorial embarrassment on readers, not to mention his staff, he should have the courage to sign his own name to the drivel

By Curmudgeon

Having just read the Standard-Examiner's Sunday morning editorial over my morning coffee --- the coffee at least was good --- I am forced to wonder, yet again, if the SE's publisher and his editors read their own paper. It seems they do not.

Today's editorial takes the Council leadership to task for [allegedly] refusing to communicate with the Mayor. But didn't the SE print an editorial just a while ago berating the Mayor for springing the contract to privatize operation of the Marshall White Center [and to close its pool] on the Council by surprise. Playing "Gotcha!" the SE then told the Mayor, was no way to keep the Council informed on important matters.

Then, going back a bit, there was the Mayor's secret instructions to Ogden's legislative lobbyist to encourage a bill removing the Council's ability to choose the head of Ogden's RDA [then Mayor Godfrey]. He had to keep the instructions secret, because he'd agreed with the Council earlier that the city's lobbyist would work only on legislation that both the Council and Mayor agreed he should work on. How do I know that happened? I read it in the Standard Examiner.

Going back a bit futher, there were the Godfrey team emails stressing the importance of not letting the Council know the Mayor was trying to get UTA to launder federal grant funds to pay off a consultant he'd hired to do a gondola report. How do I know that happened? I read it in the Standard Examiner. [After of course Dan S. discovered the emails via GRAMA request, and Weber County Forum made them public.]

And going back just a bit further... Godfrey has a long history displaying plainly his lack of interest in communicating anything to the Council other than orders... there was the time Godfrey wanted the city to sell some RDA property downtown to a particular buyer [who had not, by the way, made the highest offer for it]. The infamous "Bootjack" matter. The Council asked who the Mayor wanted to sell the property to, and the Administration told the Council not only that it wouldn't tell them, but that they had no right to ask. How do I know that happened? I read it in the Standard Examiner.

But now, the SE editors have decided the problem is the Council, not the Mayor. Do they read their own paper at all? Seems not.

And then we come this shameful bit of pandering to the Mayor:
We are also concerned with the accessibility of Council Chairwoman Wicks. By her own admission, she frequently is not available until after 5 p.m. Given her position in Ogden city, she needs to follow the example of hundreds of her colleagues across the state and be available more often for the city administration and news media inquiries. We respect Wicks' work responsibilities, but if they interfere with her council chair responsibilities, maybe someone else should do the job.
Well, let's see now. Ogden has a full-time Mayor who we pay a six figure salary to do a full time job. The Council chair gets about $9K a year to work part time for the city, mostly evenings, while holding a full time day job. So, if someone has to go out of their way to schedule a meeting the other can attend, who should it be? Our six figure full time Mayor? Or our part time Councilwoman? Why, the Councilwoman of course, says the Standard Examiner.

If the Publisher of the Standard Examiner is going to foist this kind of editorial embarrassment on readers, not to mention his staff, he should have the courage to sign his own name to the drivel.


wildcat said...

Curm, the other shameful thing about the SE editorial this morning was that it actually accused Wicks of being afraid of our "bulldog" of a Mayor. That rather than meeting him face-to-face and negotiate with him she chooses to run away -- flight rather than fight was their language. I think they were calling Wicks a coward. Not the bravest of things to do when the editorial has no particular name attributed to it.

Ray Vaughn said...

How long, if at all, before the S-E allows a response to be published in the paper? The paper delays or ignores comments or corrections to their viewpoint long after a timely response would be helpful. The online letters to the editor have many comments and correction of misstatements but few if any are printed weeks later when the original letter is published in the print edition. The S-E than then claim they published other virepoints without exposing the other opinions to the largest possible audience. The editorial could have been written by the Mayor or his staff. How long befor Ms. Wicks and the city council is allowed to response with the real facts surrounding the rift between the Mayor and the Council? The citizens of Ogden deserve better from the local newspaper.

Curmudgeon said...


Nice point.

The one suggestion in the editorial I'd agree with is for the leadership/mayor meetings to be open to the press and public. Such open meetings would not be nearly as productive as closed ones could be --- sometimes it's useful not to have the press and public peering over officials' shoulders as they discuss city business --- provided the closed meetings involve people on both sides whose word was good and whose negotiation stand involved something a bit more complex than "my way or the highway!" [Recall the mayor's petulant announcement when the Council overrode his veto on a budget matter that he intended to ignore the veto and do what he damn well please anyway.]

Putting a reporter in the room, and a microphone, might help. Maybe. Can't hurt to give it a shot.

But the rest of the editorial was drivel.

never curses said...

I've never cursed on this blog. However the s/e editorial board are f***ing idiots. As long as I've said it once, let me say it again. The s/e editorial board are f***ing idiots.

What a POS newspaper!

history tells all said...

I read that the standard is going to endorse candidates. Well who ever they endorse, I will vote for the other candidate. It looks the standard is trying to run the city with their ink and They should be another check and balance on the system and not be the system. Since the paper has tax exempt status they sould stay out of the endorsement business. I guess that if a Candidate should win the race, and have not been endorse then it would only be fitting that that new official then can pick another paper to give his or her interview to. because they would say this is in the best interest of the community.
So Standard think twice about what you are doing. I do believe that what goes around, does in fact come around.

I want the truth to be known said...


constitutional rights said...


Did all the votes get counted?
Is there something wrong?
I looked on the city web site and the vote totals are much less than what it was on election night.
Who can explain this?

Curmudgeon said...

History tells us:

I don't think the SE company is tax-exempt. I think it pays taxes on its profits in Utah as any other private company. If I'm wrong about this, I'd like very much to know it.

OgdenLover said...

Maybe John Patterson of Matt Godfrey wrote today's editorial. Sure reads like it, doesn't it?
I think the SE owes the Council and especially Amy Wicks an apology. Groveling would be a nice touch too.

Rockford J. said...

Having Amy Wicks in office standing up to "that ****ing piece of **** lying rat-bastard developers tool of a craven mouth piece of Satan" is one of the best things that has happened in Ogden politics in over a decade.

Any slur that to the contrary is not only inaccurate, but a disservice to all who try to make our community a better place.

Rockford J. said...

Whoa. I was being accurate, but I thought that would be bleeped out. Sorry, gentle readers.

Jennifer Neil said...

Right after I signed up for candidacy in the City Council race, I interviewed the mayor ... most of the content of the first editorial (Our View) sounds like words that came out of the mayor during my interview.

I believe I posted before on this blog, the interview went something like this:

1- how do you feel about the current relationship btwn the administration and council?
2- what do you see as the biggest contributor to this?
3- what would you like to see in a new council member after the elections (to which, this one he aswered he wanted someone who was smart and forthcoming and communicative - describes phipps to a TEE? NOT)

weird - this deja vu stuff,


Danny said...

I would suggest this is all much simpler that the comments we have heard so far:

1. It's entirely up to the council who they meet with - not the mayor, and certainly not the anonymous newspaper editorialist.

2. Each is entitled to his opinion. The mayor has one, the paper has one, and each council member has one. The council may take opinions but in the end, the choice is theirs.

My opinion is:

1. The council already spends far, far too much time listening to the mayor's opinion, whether coming from himself, or from his frightened subordinates, or from his phony committees (like the golf course committee.) The council, if anything, needs to spend far less time with the mayor and far more time with their constituents.

2. The newspaper in reality is merely pining away for a more insular system, where insiders, such as themselves, can control the system to their benefit as they are used to doing.

The city council should react to this editorial in only the following way: Ignore it.

Danny said...

BTW, Curm's article covering this was superb. The great writing in this town is here, on the WCF.

Curmudgeon said...


Thank you.

Dan D. said...


So Danny is right once again, don't let it go to your head!

Ray Vaughn said...

Obviously they do not read their own newspaper.But in their defense a the explanation is simple. Home delivery is not available to Dayton Ohio.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan D:

Thanks... I think?

Bill C. said...

Curm, good work but you haven't gone far enough.
Obviously this bit reflects what lying little matty's take would be.
How do the editors know what may or may not have caused the cancelation of each and every meeting? Do we even know this to be fact? If they did meet in April, why wasn't the Council informed then about the plans to hand over the Marshal White Center or the switch-a-roo of the water tanks? Both deals were well along the way and yet the lying little tiny mayor never mentioned a thing.
How about the recently announced river restoration project, the one the folks were sucked into believing was pure philanthropy by none other than the MIA gadi? The administration had taken that one over in April and had entered a contractual arrangement with River Restoration Org. at that time.(more on this one later)
Obviously squirrel patroller lee carter is taking his marching orders directly from the tiny little liar on the 9th floor and making sure his troops stay in line.
Who could not have noticed how the unknown geigerian crooked little candidate auto-dailer endorsed by the tiny little liar himself in a recorded message recieved a mountain of name recognition from the gondola examiner as well as their continued efforts to invent some false issue of comunication that now appears to be his platform.
I would think that the gondola examiner should be resourceful enough to check the little liars own attendance at Council meetings, he's the only one with a worse attendance record than blain johnson.
Curm, you've commented on the gondola examiner's being played like a fiddle by this lying little midget on more than one occasion, smell the coffee, they're his offense and defense.

Danny said...

Once again, we must call him "The Great" Bill C.

He sees. He reveals things that only after he does so, seem obvious.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Curm , Wildcat, and Bill C.,
Very good points you all make. Amy, Caitlin and I (and the other Council members) were invited to a meeting with the SE editorial board last week, but the three of us were the only ones who went. They showed us a number of emails that the Mayor had provided to them addressed to Amy over a period of about a year. Bill Cook provided us with a copy of the emails.
I mistakenly thought that they were honorable men and that they were giving the Council the opportunity to respond to the Mayor's point of view, and thanked them. It is obvious now that they had an ulterior motive -- to trap Amy into saying something that thought that they could use against her! These are not men of honor! They are nothing more than pawns of a Mayor who manipulates the truth like he does people.
I can't begin to count the times that the Mayor has lied to the Council and withheld information from us at other times, so the Mayor is more guilty in all respects of not communicating, at least in a way that you can trust.
What is ironic is the editorial board admitted to being yelled at and bullied by Godfrey. They know what kind of jerk he is, yet they don't have enough scruples/guts or whatever you want to call it to tell the little twit where to go. Like most male chauvenist, they believe it is easier to pick on women. They are in the same mudhole as Godfrey.

Ole AKA Ozboy said...

Comment posted to the Standard:

This is about the most disingenuous of all the groveling articles and editorials concerning Mayor Godfrey that the Standard has printed lately. It is pretty obvious that the Standard is firmly in the mayor's pocket and that the paper will do whatever they can to strengthen his position with the council by writing highly slanted articles about the mayor's hand picket candidates - Phipps, Hains, Garner and Dean - and by scurilous attacks on the council - like this one. The objective seems to be to return to the "Rubber Stamp" council the mayor enjoyed several years ago. This was the same council that fully supported the mayor in his obscenely bush league obsession with building the bowling alley and penny arcade (AKA the Junction) which indebted the tax payers of Ogden to the tune of $40 million or so dollars and is currently costing the same citizens over a million a year to make up for the financial failure that the mall is with this silly combination as its anchor.

You say the mayor has "tenacity of a bulldog", well I believe he has the personality, intellect and behavior pattern of a pit bull. It has been said that he is especially contemptous of women, that he bullies them when there are no witnesses around and there have even been reports, from an Ogden police officer, that he physically smacked his own wife once during a 24th of July parade. This of course was never reported in the Standard. Considering that the leadership of the Ogden council are women, I think it perfectly appropriate that they refuse to meet with him in private. Your suggestion that these heretofore private sessions with the council leadership be made public is actually a pretty good idea as the mayor doesn't have the courage to abuse them in the presence of witnesses. Most bullies are rather cowardly in that manner. I rather suspect that if the meetings are in fact made public that the council leadership would be most willing to meet with him.

The bottom line fellas is that there is no negotiating with an ill tempered pit bull and it is a real pitty for the citizens of Ogden that the Standard is the only news outlet that reports on Ogden politics. I suspect that if you had any competition you would not dabble in such one sided and disingenuous nonsense.

democrat said...

Do you really expect the S E to read their own work? Why, that would be accountability. We republicans aren’t for accountability.

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