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.