Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

By Roger Gitlin – November 23, 2016 –

I write these comments as a private citizen’ they are personal and my own and have nothing to do with my position as an elected sworn Del Norte County Supervisor.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 I stopped my subscription to The Triplicate.  As an elected official, why would I cease bringing into my home all of our community news three days a week? I stopped the Trip because our window to Del Norte County is not a newspaper. It is a propaganda arm for an agenda far to the Left of mainstream Del Norte County.

At the risk of expressing “sour grapes” attitude, I felt it is now time for me to speak up about the shame and disrepute The Triplicate brings to Del Norte County. Under Editor Robin Fornoff, Assistant Editor Matthew Durkee and Reporter Tony Reed, The Triplicate has and continues to harbor blatant bias and unethical behavior; it shocks the very soul of any reasonable reader. Here are just a few examples of recent unethical, bias, misrepresentations and ideology displayed by our thrice-weekly published medium which masquerades as a newspaper.

  • In July of 2016, I was honored to be a guest speaker at the 60th anniversary of the passing by Congress and the signing by President Eisenhower of “In Good We Trust “Motto. Along with Senator Rick Santorum, Congressional House Leader Kevin McCarthy, I addressed comments to about 1,000 people at the Marriott Hotel in Bakersfield. This was a very big deal.  I sent Editor Fornoff a Press Release of the event. He declined to publish it. Further, he deleted the mention in the weekly religion column.
  • Editor Fornoff excluded any active candidate for office writing a letter to the editor or Coastal Voices piece, but made the exception to allow certain a candidate for office during the current election cycle to write a Coastal Voice piece on Last Chance Grade.
  • Assistant Editor Durkee held a different standard in allowing Letters to the Editor supporting Gitlin-Berkowitz to prove facts as presented by the letter writer but held a different standard when an oppositional letter attacking candidate Gitlin, stating erroneously, that Gitlin had been censured by the Del Norte County. I was never censured by the 2015 Grand Jury for any reason but The Triplicate allowed the un-truth to be printed.
  • Editor Fornoff often altered Letters to the Editor or refused outright to publish pro-Gitlin letters.
  • Reporter Reed wrote an extremely biased piece on my obscure Face Book comments re: many who were and remain unhappy with ingress and egress from the Safeway, continually being harassed by a steady stream of beggars. A disingenuous Op/Ed follow-up by Editor Fornoff wrote he could find no one “panhandling” in front of the Safeway on three separate occasions.
  • The final insult to injury was a phony story the Saturday before the election.  An Opinion / Editorial allowed no response before the Tuesday election. Unethical!   The subject?  Voter Slate guides… was and is a non-issue but the editor claims I should be “ashamed” of myself for trying to deceive voters via the Slate Guides,  targeting local Democrats that I was trying to fool the public I am a Democrat. Hardly the point: The office of Supervisor is a No Political Party ( NPP) affiliation. Of course, I want to reach out to all voters, irrespective of Party. The so called “flood” of those complaining to the Editor reads like a Who’s Who of the Democratic Central Committee, about five people. Mr. Fornoff conveniently forgets past candidates for Supervisor include vanquished David Finigan and Martha McClure and former Supervisor Mike Sullivan who gratuitously used Voter Slate Guides.

After months of trying to reason with Triplicate Publisher, Cindy Vosburg, I took my concerns to Western Communication corporate ownership, and the day after I was re-elected, I contacted Managing Editor, John Costa, and to date my phone call and written letter have not be acknowledged. No one wants to be ignored or dismissed. The failure to even acknowledge by written request is rude and speaks volumes about the recipient of my outreach: poor communication and blatant disrespect. The fact the majority of the District 1 voters returned me to office is quite amazing. I am so grateful to each and every one of you, Republican, Democratic, or Independent. I thank you all for your support. But The Triplicate must be held to a higher standard and there must be systemic change before I’ll consider re-upping my subscription.

Mark Twain once said, “ Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel. “ I won’t argue; but I will take action. I will not support The Triplicate. I will not acknowledge or speak to The Triplicate…I will not buy The Triplicate.

Rest assured, I will always be listening to you and look forward to working with you on behalf of our community. Please contact me via email, cell phone or Face Book. Together, our future is very bright.

I’ll finish this the way I started. I write these comments as a private citizen.


4 thoughts on “Why I stopped my subscription to the Triplicate”
  1. ok, I’ll bite..i agree that the Triplicate’s policies are ridiculous and immature at best and i will not cooperate with the Triplicate any longer due to their contention tactics and i also cancelled my subscription due to their lack of professionalism however,,,

    in regards to Roger Gitlin and Bob Berkowitz who utilized slate mailings to get elected…dishonest period…

    maybe Finingan and McClure did utilize slate mailings in the past posing as republicans and maybe they didn’t..who knows..I don’t know..but the fact of the matter is this…nobody said anything regarding slate mailings in the past because Finingan and McClure didn’t get caught probably because no one at that time was paying attention like we are now…or probably because they didn’t utilize slate mailings that indicated they were republicans…

    now you want to cry in your milk because the Triplicate exposed you…boo hoo…very unbecoming for a grown man in the position of a supervisor to get caught wetting the bed and then cry about it…that’s all…

  2. Roger: It appears that your article on the Triplicate infers that any entity to the left of your somewhat circumspect views is to be condemned, or driven out of business. That seems a bit intolerant; conveying disrespect for the intent of the US 1st Ammendment. You have no statistic proof that the beliefs of the majority of Del Norte residents are to the right of the Triplicate. The total number of persons who voted for you in this last election are 1/56th of this County population, or less than 2%; exactly the same percentage of US citizens who approve of, or belong to, the Tea Party. Claiming that the Triplicate brings “shame & disrefute” to this County is a bit too much drama. Or possibly it may be an intended political ploy attempting to shut down a free press that reports some of your more obscure antics that lack propriety. Roger, you seem to be awfully thin skinned for someone in politics.

    1. Mr. Ryan, I think you may wish to go back and read the words contained in the article, then try again to write a comment. I believe all Mr. Gitlan is saying is that the Triplicate needs to start acting like a newspaper again instead of the way that they currently offer the written word. If you make the claim to be a newspaper there is more to it than simple writing in kind with your particular philosophy or agenda. A newspaper has the responsibility to print more than just editorial content. This is something more than “less than 2%” of Del Norte County residents feel that Mr. Fornoff does. When someone makes the claim that someone is “attempting to shut down the free press” you need to be very clear that that is what is happening. All Mr. Gitlan appears to be saying is that the Triplicate no longer represents a “free press” due to Mr. Fornoff’s policies at the Triplicate. If you do not read Mr. Gitlan’s words with any more care than your comments indicate, then maybe you should read the Triplicate with more care, or at least understand that the Triplicate has on more than one occasion behaved not as a free press, but as a censor of the written word. When a newspaper behaves in such a fashion, it is incumbent on the paper’s readers to point this out by either refusing to buy the paper or to speak out in any alternative form available. That unfortunately is the course that many readers of the Triplicate have taken, because Mr. Fornoff has elected to enact policies at the paper which do not allow discourse of any kind that he objects to from the stand point of his personal philosophy. Again, that is not his job or the Triplicate’s to craft public opinion. Their job is to deliver the news in a factual and honest fashion. The Triplicate no longer does that. If the paper chooses to continue to behave in this fashion, it is only right for its readers to object. Just because we view a newspaper as the “bastion of truth” does not mean that it cannot also be intolerant. This is after all a free Country and Mr. Fornoff, the Triplicate, and you, Mr. Ryan, can’t have it both ways.

  3. Roger describes the Triplicate as “a propaganda arm for an agenda far to the Left of mainstream Del Norte County.” I find this description extremely accurate as I, too, have been a victim of the Triplicate’s extremely biased editing. During the local judicial election in 2014, the Triplicate flatly refused to allow my letter to the editor telling the truth (with documentary evidence) about the corrupt rulings of a local appointed (now former) judge. The judge had ruled in a local court case that attorneys who lie to the court are protected under the First Amendment, despite California law that makes it unlawful, even criminal, for an attorney to lie to the court. The Triplicate has demonstrated to me that their agendas are number one and the truth is somewhere down the list.

    I find it a shame such a powerful entity as a newspaper abuses their power to the detriment of the community.

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