Our Take on the NUFF Forum Last Night

A big thank you to Neighbors United For Fullerton for hosting a session last night on Political Blogging.  The panel ran about two hours and could easily have gone a third hour.  For the questions were good and I believe the audience came away with an understanding of each blog and what we’re trying to do with them.

While the Q&A was largely civil, the session broke down late in the game when Art Pedroza accused Red County of being a “pay for play” because they took $20,000 in advertising for GOP gubenatorial candidate Meg Whitman.  Art also talked about how Marty Wisckoll provided “free” ads for both Red County and The Liberal OC.  Art also made the incredible claim that “99.9 percent of his posts are accurate” (I’m still waiting for that photo of me as a pedo-priest that Sean Mill reported exists).  Tony Bushala also claimed his blog, the Fullerton Fringe site, “doesn’t censor comments.” 

Matt was given an opportunity to address the Meg Whitman ad issue and described the effort by Red County to outreach to Steve Poizner’s campaign.  Matt followed by asking Art is he ever bothers to fact check things he writes.  This prompted Sean Mill to chime in from the audience “Shut Up Matt. Shut Up Matt.”  The microphone and speakers was able to drown this out but I clearly heard it from the dias.  This is actually what got the audience buzzing some more. 

When the mic came to me, I addressed the issue of Total Buzz giving “free” ads to us and Red County, I told the audience that every ad on our site was paid or in trade.  We don’t run “free” ads like Art does on his site and did not that some of the candidates with “free ads” on the Orange Juice blog don’t want them there.  I used an example of Larry Flynt providing a free full page ad for Rick Warren’s “A Purpose Driven Life” in the back pages of “Hustler.” 

I also called out Tony Bushala for saying his blog doesn’t censor comments — because they certainly do.  Tony and Art tried to interrupt and when Tony got the mic back, he said he deletes comments that were derrogatory to Art, referencing Art’s role in routing domains he once owned to NAMBLA. On both OJ and FFFF, a “Jerbil Gerbal” continues to post a comment on virtually every post “Matt Cunningham outed sex abuse victims.”  So friends of mine who are aware of what Art did by cybersquatting my business name and routing it to NAMBLA tried to post messages that say “Art Pedroza promoted gay porn and NAMBLA on web sites he owned.” Tony and Art both spike those comments from their blogs while allowing the Jerbil Gerbal comments to go live.  Both comments are accurate, so consistancy should dictate that either both comments should be deleted or allowed.  Pick one option, but don’t censor comments against someone you like while allowing comments about someone you don’t.  Tony suggested it was me who posted the comment, but I don’t post comments to Tony’s site nor will I to OJ.

But the dustup over comments and what OJ and FFFF allows and what they censor enraged our blogger Claudio Gallegos.  Art’s blog allowed a comment calling Claudio’s children “anchor babies.”  Art allowed the comment to post because he doesn’t like Claudio any longer.  I’ve having trouble getting the screen capture of this comment to load (see Claudio’s post on this and you can see it).  If anyone suggested this about Art’s own children, he’d rail about them being anti-Latino and racist.  Two other people I don’t know in the back of the room screamed at Tony for what someone told me were comments on his blog calling someone a “baby killer” (I missed this post but I seldom read the comments on Tony’s blog); and they both stormed out.  Now, Claudio’s outburst was inappropriate but he wasn’t the one to start the disruption of the event and, as a father, I understand his anger when an anonymous poster was allowed to reference his children (one’s in pre-school and one is in elementary school) as “anchor babies.” 

A fact check for Vern Nelson who posted comments about the event while he was there.  Art said “one thing Dan and I can agree about is Sitemeter…” and what I said back was “No we don’t agree on Sitemeter.”  I never said “I don’t use Sitemeter” because this blog certainly does.  Art made a face when I said, “I wish we could agree on Quantcast.” Art has chosen to hide Quantcast data from prying eyes because it shows his blog gets less than 1,000 unique monthly views a month and has for some time.

Some fact checking of Art’s post about the event is in order too.

  • A show of hands showed most people in the room read FFFF and OJ over Red County and TheLiberalOC.  Since Tony’s blog is Fullerton centric and he cross posts on OJ, that is sort of a given. 
  • Art failed to note that Marty Wisckol followed Red County and TheLiberalOC because of the track record both of these blogs have in actually breaking legitimate news stories.  Perhaps Art can look up “legitimate” so he can see where his blog falls short.
  • Art stated the moderator shut down Claudio; wrong. The moderator directed his comments at the audience in whole and to no one in particular. Claudio was not the only one speaking out. 
  • Art said “Claudio got in his face.” I didn’t see it, but perhaps Art could care to explain why he allowed Claudio’s kids to be referred to as “anchor babies” in comments on Art’s blog?  Claudio did what *any* father would do; call you on your actions.
  • Art claimed the audience was shcoked when he told them about Janet Nguyen voted against Letter Grades for restaurants; per Colony Rabble, no they were not. Art came off as arrogant and smug.
  • Art claimed I was flummoxed by his suggestion we agreed about Sitemeter; no, he was flummoxed that I don’t agree with his faith in sitemeter since one of his former bloggers told us the numbers are juiced; he wasn’t pleased that I brought up Quantcast since that service makes his numbers look awful.   
  • Art commented that Matt Cunningham was seen hugging Jean Pasco, who works for Tom Daly at the Clerk Recorder’s office as some sort of proof that Cunningham and Daly are in cahoots.  Jean was a longtime political reporter for the LA Times.  I hugged her too.  It was the first time I saw her since her husband passed away late last year.  It’s called human compassion for someone who’s suffered a loss Art.  You should try it sometime.
  • Art commented Red County won’t reveal their SiteMeter data; fair enough, why not reveal your Quantcast numbers big guy?  What are you trying to hide? And Art seemed to inflate his Sitemeter numbers as the night wore on.  40,000 hits turned to 45,000 which turned to 49,000.
  • Marty talked about the follow up the Register did to a post Art’s site did about Janet Nguyen adding staffers to Chris Norby’s old office since with Norby gone, the residents of the Fourth District aren’t being served. As BoS Chair, Nguyen has a measure of authority to help Fourth District residents with some basic level of support for county services.  The Register’s investigation didn’t show anything out of the ordinary or improper, but Art scoffed at it citing his sources telling him something different.  The difference here is the Register reveals their sources and Art doesn’t.  Who would you find more trustworthy. And Art, in comments, told Marty he doens’t believe anything Nguyen says.  That’s objective reporting!
  • A funny moment; Thomas Gordon, who blogs for Red County and has been criticized by both Pedroza and Bushala for his support of Harry Sidhu in the Fourth District BoS race showed up late and had a soft drink cup from El Pollo Loco to poke fun at the criticism.  Sidhu owns several El Pollo Loco franchises.
  • I just saw the photo of all the bloggers; looks like Art found some of the weight I lost.  Cheap shot, yes. But no cheaper than the post he wrote about me suggesting I can’t eat more than a boiled egg without yakking and then yanked it down.  I’m happy to refer you to my doctor Art.

After the event, I did have a nice chat with FFFF blogger Chris Thompson after he almost got into with Thomas Gordon as Thomas and FFFF blogger Travis Kieger were chatting.  Chris disagreed with me about my position on anonymous bloggers (I feel if you don’t attach your name to what you write, it’s not worth reading) and expressed fear of government retaliation.  I started blogging during the height the Bush administration when the Republicans were all for eavesdropping on phone calls, monitoring bank activity, emails and website visits.  Nothing ever happened to me despite my strong criticism of the Bush administration and Republican policies, so I disagree with his contention that we shold fear our government.  But it was nice that we could diagree without being diagreeable.

The notion that only one side had their tempers get the better of them is inaccurate.  There was plenty of animosity to go around. 

In all, it was a fantastic event.  And one I hope is repeated.

  8 comments for “Our Take on the NUFF Forum Last Night

  1. Sean H. Mill
    March 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Dan,

    As I said to you privately in an email this morning I felt you did a terrific job last night at the forum. Your wittiness was great and you were quite engaging with the audience. Kudos to “you” for a job well done last night.

  2. Sean H. Mill
    March 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    As I expressed to you in a private email earlier today, great job last night. You were quite witty and entertaining and really connected with the audience. I hope we can do this again.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks Sean. It was a fun night and there’s obviously a demand for these sort of things.

  3. March 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Cynthia Ward from Red County has a nice summary from the audience’s point of view here: http://www.redcounty.com/recap-nuff-bloggers-forum/38049#comment-44533

  4. Art Pederasty
    March 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hey Sean, whats your take on this here post about your anger management issues.http://www.theliberaloc.com/2010/03/19/anger-management-or-inconsistent-ramblings/

  5. Chris Thompson
    March 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Dan, I’m laughing that I get to tell Pam Keller that your nice conversation after the event was with me. \But it was nice that we could disagree without being disagreeable.\

    You made my day!

    Nice meeting you to.

    CT

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    March 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Likewise Chris. And looking at all the anonymous commenters on the “Balls” post on FFFF tells me irony isn’t lost over there.

    But tell Sippy for me I actually have a journalism degree and was a paid journalist during my career.

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