Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ogden Standard-Examiner Fails to Win Pulitzer Prize Again

This in spite of the extraordinary efforts on the part of Mayor Godfrey to hand it to them on a silver platter

By: Ozboy

Well it seems that for the tenth year in a row the Ogden Standard Examiner has failed to win a Pulitzer Prize for political investigative reporting. Here's the most recent news on this topic, a Salt Lake Tribune story, reporting on how the LA Times just won a Pulitzer for exposing political corruption in a small California town:
This in spite of the extraordinary efforts on the part of Mayor Godfrey to hand it to them on a silver platter.

The Mayor was overheard complaining to his sycophant in chief, John "Pure Heart" Patterson:
Jeeze Pure Heart, can't these losers ever get anything right? I give them endless lies, I give them FANURE, I give them practically every other sleazy political trick in the books and they still can't string together an article or two that connects the dots! I don't know what else I could do for them other than write the damn stories myself, but that wouldn't work because the Pulitzer selection committee has a rule against crooked politicians being awarded the prize for self reporting.
On a brighter note, The Standard's local political reporter, Incurious Scott Schwebke, (aka ISS) was awarded the Putzliker Prize for the reporter with his head the furthest up a sleazy politicians kiester. This award was for his body of non-work over an extended period of time in spite of being exposed to a daily diet of scamming, lying and blatant cronyism on the part of the corrupt political machine known as the Godfreyites.

Although the Standard missed out on the Big Pulitzer, they did share the Putzliker award with the aforementioned ISS, along with the lesser known "Asleep at the Press" award. This last award was given by the Putzliker Committee under the theory that no single reporter could be so utterly lame and incompetent without full support and encouragement from top management.

So congratulations to all you folks over at the Standard; you might not have been in the hunt for the Pulitzer, but ya did us all proud with your outstanding achievements with the Putzliker.


Curmudgeon said...

While we agree that the SE's general news reporting isn't as aggressive as a mid-sized city's daily paper should be, and that it's too prone to print claims by elected officials without fact-checking them first, and that it does not much engage in investigative reporting of any sort, this was still a cheap shot. For, I think, three reasons:

(a) winning a Pulitizer prize is setting an unreasonably high standard I think by which to judge a smallish daily unsuccessful. There are good papers across the land which didn't win one, have never won one. An unreasonable standard by which to judge the worth of a mid-sized city daily.

(b) The long-running Matthew Godfrey Sleight of Hand Dog and Pony Show, however appalling his ethical lapses and appalling business judgment may be to those of us who live here, doesn't rise to the level, scandal-wise, of the sort of thing the exposure of which is likely to catch the Pulitizer panel's attention. Not much "wow" factor. More like the drip drip drip of a leaking water pipe. Annoying, and capable of doing much damage over time if not fixed in timely fashion, but very slow-developing and not really a Pulitzer-level scandal.

And (c), I'd argue yet again that the SE gets the reporting its news editors want. Going after individual reporters for adhering to what, it seems clear, is the paper's news policy seems unfair to me.

Proud of the Standard said...

Ozboy, you do your readers ill by not drawing the distinction between the "Putzlikers award", rightfully won by the Standard and Schwebke, and the famous Adult Entertainment Industry's "Putzlicker Prize" named in honor of the late and great Linda Lovelace.

Even though Mr. Schwebke and the Standard are more or less in the same line of work and Linda was, there is a huge difference in the awards. By your omission you gave lots of readers false hope that our local group had finally been recognized for their true talents.

And Curm, you obviously did not read in the initial report what the "Asleep at the Press" award is all about. Please try to keep up.

Stan said...


Lighten up professor, not all is as gloomy as you act like it is.

I think Oz was trying to be funny. Although he failed, at least he tried.

Doesn't the good humor man come to your street anymore?

Gerad Domiano said...

Curm, I have to agree with Stan when he told you to "lighten up." I seem to recall some scathing articles you yourself has written, wherein you criticize both the Standard and Schwebke. Hey, it's a slow news day and has been, at least for this blog, every since Godfrey announced that he wasn't going to seek re-election. You are so serious that you had to regale Ozboy over this. Man, get a life or you'll soon be known as the Trentleman of the WCF,

As for funny, yeah, Ozboy's article could have used a couple more lines or two that captured the some of the more comical aspects of this mayor/newspaper relationship, but I did crack a smile here and there and at least the guy's out there giving it a shot.

The real comedy are these absurd posts, like Curmudgeon's and the idiotic claim that Linda Lovelace and Godfrey/Standard are in the same line of work.

ThisSumsItUp said...

Envision Ogden and the Standard-Examiner

Curmudgeon said...


"Oz was trying to be funny. "

Oh, I know that. But there was a serious point behind it he was making. In fact, several of them.

And this is just the latest installment in a long running conversation he and I have going about the SE's shortcomings [about which we largely agree], the reasons therefor, and where responsibility for its not being a better paper than it is properly lies [about which we often disagree].

Carol Richie said...

I think the link by the above poster summing up the News Paper, mayor and fanure affair pretty much proves out the other poster who said that the mayor, the Standard and Linda Loveless are actually in the same line of work.

It was an interesting article by Dan. I wasn't aware of the history of this and I want to thank this blog site for being a voice of truth and information here in Ogden.

I am disappointed with the News Paper after learning about this. I hope they can do better in the future.

Mike Brice said...

I like a good roast, and I have enjoyed reading this blog for the great information it provides, but this post seemed to be in poor taste.

I moved here about a year ago, so I don't know the history, but as a former reporter, I think the Standard does a lot with a little, and while not perfect, I don't think any locals think their local paper is perfect.

Like I said, I enjoy a good roast, but the spirit of the comments make the difference, and these seemed mean spirited.

Another thing that I find interesting is that many people don't use their real names. That's one thing you have to save for those that do (some on this blog), including Scott, they stand behind what they write.

RudiZink said...

"I moved here about a year ago, so I don't know the history..."

Bingo, Mike.

What will it cost us said...

Mike, we don't use own own names because in the past the mayors minyons have verbaly attacked us via phone. They can be a rabid bunch when the mayors backers feel their tax payers handouts might end.

RudiZink said...

That's right, wwicu. And in addition, we can document at least two instances where WCF posters who lodged comments under their own true names had their jobs threatened.

Keisha said...

LOL! I love it when Ozboy occasionally stirs the Weber County Forum pot!

Godfrey's momma said...

Totally hilarious, Ozboy


President said...

I have some thoughts, but would like some opinions.

Why the frenzied mad rush to put spend $30,000-$40,000 on some rushed plans for the Fieldhouse. Was Godfrey closer to running than not at some point?

Mr. President said...

Oh shit Curm would you lighten up... Shit man

pretty funny oz

Off topic now:

If we backstep in time several months the Administration paid some out of State Architects to spend a week to scramble together some scrappy Fieldhouse "plans".... Why?

blackrulon said...

curm-It is interesting how you often defend the standard when someone else attacks their reporting and direction. I guess that since the news editors allow bad reporting we should be satisfied that nothing can be done. I guess raising objections and complaints about the paper has no impact. Does that mean that you are happy with the paper. No! You often raise objections but usually attack others who raise and air concerns. It is beginning to appear that despite your rare concerns you are satisfied with the paper. Your last poost seemed to be a thriple threat, condenscing, patronizing and dismissive.

Curmudgeon said...


I've been a long time and persistent critic of the SE's political reporting in re: Ogden City. And particularly of its habit of printing press releases and statements from elected officials, the mayor mostly but by no means only him, without fact checking them first. The paper's editors have it seems forgotten that old advice for journalists: "If you're mother says she loves you, check it out."

But when the SE is, in my view, unfairly criticized [and sometimes it is], seems to me I'm obligated, as a frequent critic of it, to say so. I particularly think it's unfair for critics to go after particular reporters for reporting in the way the editors clearly want news reported. Going after individual reporters for conforming to the paper's news policy is I think what Oz did in his post. And I said so. It's a point on which Oz and I have disagreed before and doubtless will again.

None of that adds up to me being pleased with the paper's news policies in re: political reporting in Ogden City matters, or its usual lack of any real investigative reporting on the same subject.

blackrulon said...

Curm-Since many of the readers of the S-E are not friends with the editorial board we respond to what the reporters write. If enough pressure is applied to the reporters and reporting content the news editors will change. Your response seems to indicate that allowing shoddy and medicore reporting is alright. Excusing the judgement of the news editors continue to empower their practices and policies. Raising the standard of news reporting has to begin at some level. Your being an apologist allows them to ignore improvement.

Curmudgeon said...


Three points: (a) "Your response seems to indicate that allowing shoddy and medicore reporting is alright." Nonsense. It indicates nothing of the kind. (b) "Excusing the judgement of the news editors continue to empower their practices and policies." I haven't "excused the judgment of the news editors." I criticized it above. Merely said holding reporters responsible for the news judgment of their editors is unfair. And it is. (c) "Since many of the readers of the S-E are not friends with the editorial board we respond to what the reporters write." Since I'm not either, except as someone who emails some of them occasionally with a question about what appeared in the paper... or what didn't... and why, I too react to the stories that appear. Be hard to do otherwise. But when a story I think is a poor one shows up, on a matter I'm interested in, I figure it's worth the time to try to figure out what went wrong. Sloppy reporting, or bad news judgment on the part of the editors. Since the papers' reporters consistently do not fact check elected officials' press releases and statements, seems pretty clear to me the editors are getting precisely the reporting they want, and that the "take 'em at their word" policy is the paper's policy, not the shortcomings of a particular reporter.

blackrulon said...

Curm-your response to ozboys story on the S-E not winning a pulitizer was to criticize his story and claim to find no humour in the story. While humour is subjective his criticism was valid. It sometimes seems that you take offense at other people criticizing the reporting in the paper. If we, as consumers, do not demand a higher degree of reporting we will never seen a better paper. BTW did anyone else notive the lead editorial in the paper criticixing Senator Lyle hillard for attemting to dictate athgletic scheduling for Utahs university. Seems to be a basic rehash of Ozboys WCF story on the same subject. Now is the editorial board so short of editorial ideas that they have to steal someone else idea? Now lets change the subject and talk about subjects we can all agree on. Like interperting the Bible and the constitution.

Curmudgeon said...


1. " claim to find no humour in the story." Said no such thing. Merely noted that there were serious points he was making behind the satire. Most effective satire has as its goal making serious points. Oz's was no exception.

2. "Seems to be a basic rehash of Ozboys WCF story on the same subject. Now is the editorial board so short of editorial ideas that they have to steal someone else idea?"

Oh, good grief. Hillard's proposal was a bad one, and many many people took him to task for it, on similar grounds, as soon as the story was printed. You can find dozens of them doing that at the Trib comments board attached to the story. It was not only a topic worth an editorial, the SE editorial was a good one, based on sound reasons. The claim that the SE editorial must have "stolen" its opinion and argument from Oz is nuts.

What would you have the paper do? Spike an editorial and editorially ignore an issue because someone somewhere on a blog made similar points in a blog post first? That's just plain silly.

blackrulon said...

Curm-Lighten up. It seems that you have adopted the position that anyone who critices the newspaper and its reporting must meet your standards to have a valid omment. I merely assert that the paper will never improve unless and until the consumers of the paper apply pressure to improve. Other people besides myself hope that the newspaper will accept input from readers and improve. My point on the editorial was to point out that the paper was following other comments posted elsewhere. Unlike their blind eye to city wide administration problems i see this as a small but positive sign that the cloud might begin to lift from their eyes. But like some of your comments you are defending the paper for being a follower instead of a leader in the community.

Curmudgeon said...


"It seems that you have adopted the position that anyone who critices the newspaper and its reporting must meet your standards to have a valid comment." Not sure what you mean by "my standards." But if you mean I have to agree with what they said for me to consider their comment accurate...well, of course. You do the same. If you don't agree with what I said, then you clearly don't think the comment is a valid or accurate one. How could it be otherwise?

(2) "My point on the editorial was to point out that the paper was following other comments posted elsewhere.... I see this as a small but positive sign that the cloud might begin to lift from their eyes."

Once again, the notion that the SE editorial board necessarily got the idea for an editorial on Hillard's silly bill from Oz or other blog posters, I think, itself a stretch.

On most news stories of wide interest, people will have comments up on blogs and comment boards a lot faster than the SE or the Trib or any other paper with an editorial board will be able to get up an editorial. When I see a story go up around midnight, as I often do, I can scribble something quick and post it instantly either on WCF, or the SE or Trib comment boards. So can and do many others. But a newspaper has to get its Ed Board to agree on both the topic and the paper's take on the issue. Then an editorial has to be composed. Not [I hope] dashed off in three minutes in the wee hours as I'm prone to do with comments, but composed with some care, re-read, edited, polished, read over by someone else [at least one someone else, more if possible], their comments taken into account, and the final text has to be proofed. [All of which I do when I'm submitting something to be printed by anybody, and which I generally do not do with comments thrown up quickly... like this one.]

I expect blog and story comments to often reflect what used to be derided as "instant analysis." I expect editorials to be more carefully composed, more thoughtfully argued than most [not all] blog posts and comments. Sadly, not all of them are. [A good example of one that isn't would be today's SE editorial on Rob Bishop and borderland nature preserves, which editorial the SE has not so far made available on line.]

ozboy said...

Misters Blackrulon and Curmudgeon -

In the immortal words of the great Rodney King - "Can't we all just get along?"

It would be great if Mr. Howell, Mr. Gibson and the rest of the folks at the Standard did take my lead in what they put in their news paper, but unfortunately they are not that enlightened! I don't think my posting here on the WCF influenced their actions one way or the other. Bottom line, I got the story from the SLTribune in the first place and put my own twisted spin on it, so it was the Trib that scooped the Standard in any event, not me.

As to my insults toward Mr. Schwebke, wellllll - Mr. Curmudgeon is right, (and ain't he usually!) I was out of line toward Mr. Schwebke, I do recognize Mr. Curmudgeon's take on it that the lame Ogden political reporting by the Standard is the doings of the Suits from Sandusky who own the paper, and that Mr. Schwebke is doing what the naybobs in control want him to do.

So Mr. Schwebke, if you are reading this, please accept my apology for the slams and bangs I threw your way. I will try to be more civil toward you in the future - even if you are an agent of Satan!

By the way, I do think Mr. Schwebke is a pretty good reporter and writer - except for the ever so lame, and management induced, coverage of the Godfreyites and especially the Wizard hisself.

blackrulon said...

I must agree with Ozboy, arguing with Curm makes online solitaire seem a useful use of time by comparasion. However I must disagree with the Standard slogan calling itself the "Top Of Utah". A better monicker, considering their general reporting and editorial content would be "Striving To Achieve Mediocrity".

Mike Brice said...

I just realized this, but my first job out of college was working for the Suits from Sandusky. I was a reporter for the Sandusky Register. I left there to go to a Gannett paper, and then on to a career in PR.

I guess we knew that there was a paper in Utah, but I never thought I would be living out here working in the PR field.

Small world.

Curious 1 said...

Will they be condos like the Earnshaw Building where they pre-sold then went bankrupt before completion? Does "G" Train have her hand in this new developer?

Did the buyers every get their money back, since I don't see any articles since it was never completed.

Good point, MB said...

As for Mike Brice, sometimes it's nice to get an objective point of view from someone who isn't biased or prejudiced by "the history."

Kit Carson said...

As for Mike Brice, it's nice that he acknowledges that he ought to read the "lay of the land," before he starts issuing "directions."

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