Kevin Landrigan of the Union Leader is blowing it out his other pie-hole – No, it didn’t

Kevin Landrigan“Thanks, Skip. That should have gone up a while ago but let me know if you’re still seeing an old version.”

Ayup. Er, no.  That was Trent Spiner, Executive Editor of the Union Leader telling me that, like in Animal House, ALL IS WELL! Nothing to see here….move along. It went up a while ago. Again, nope. I started to get that feeling someone was trying to do a stonewall stand. Open and transparent?  If that were true, the following didn’t have to be written:

On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 4:03 PM, skipdcm <Skip@granitegrok.com> wrote (emphasis mine):

As of two minutes ago, there was no correction (I’ve been manually checking – that’s 6.5 hours after I first notified you and 2.5 hours since your first reply to me. It now just appearing; is your publishing system that convoluted that it takes that long for 2 sentences? You are correct – it should have gone up a while ago. Pretty much, almost immediately. It didn’t.

Here is that retraction (the ORIGINAL one):

(Editor’s Note: The Granite Status political column incorrectly reported last week that state Sen. Andy Sanborn, running for the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District, had the support of the leader of the GraniteGrok political website. GraniteGrok co-founder Skip Murphy says the site has not made an endorsement in that race.)

I dryly note that it was a good thought to have saved off the page at the time.

At least someone had the presence of mind to bold the retraction. Thank Heaven for small wonders.

However, I dryly note that there is not even a whiff of an actual apology to YOUR readership for getting it wrong by not following basic journalistic standards and misleading them. Nor is there one to MY readership and the great volunteer writers (now CC’d on this email) at GraniteGrok?

Is this not called, in the biz, a “non-apology apology” or “a skate”?

Which goes to my second item – putting it on the front page. You and I both know that most readership happens in the first few hours that an article is posted – most will now never see your retraction (sans apology). Will you put this on your front page so as to signify your error to those that would otherwise continue to have the wrong impression?

– Skip
GraniteGrok.com

Now, I’m betting that while I pointed out a couple of things – things that he would expect US to do if the situation was revered, it wasn’t. I don’t think it was well received but it is rather like a politician to do the deflection schtick – which he plowed right into aGAIN by assuming the past is supposed to determine current performance and actions:

From: “Trent Spiner” <tspiner@unionleader.com>
To: “skipdcm” <Skip@granitegrok.com>
Cc: “grokcrew@googlegroups.com” <grokcrew@googlegroups.com>
Sent: 7/24/2018 4:31:26 PM
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Retraction of a falsehood

Skip,

You have personally endorsed Sen. Sanborn several times, including calling him your “favoritist” senator. Other bloggers have supported and endorsed him on GraniteGrok.

I’m not trying to get in a fight with you but the story didn’t specifically say you endorsed him – it was talking about his history of having support from people other than traditional establishment figures, which has included you. In an effort to be absolutely clear, we corrected the record at your request. That sentence also didn’t appear on the front page or even in print, so we’re not doing an apology.

Trent

Yes, that first line is true – in the past.  We’ve made it clear to all the candidates that we are talking with that we MIGHT issue an endorsement but we might not.  Just because we acted one way in the past doesn’t mean that will always continue.  I already made that clear to Spiner yet here he is again making the same wrongheaded assumption that we / I will.  Yet, again, he goes there trying to say that because of our history, Landrigan is correct in assuming that ALL of his readers would know what he meant (when a clear reading of his wordsmithing doesn’t even come close).

From: “skipdcm” <Skip@GraniteGrok.com>
To: “Trent Spiner” <tspiner@unionleader.com>
Cc: “grokcrew@googlegroups.com” <grokcrew@googlegroups.com>
Sent: 7/24/2018 5:10:53 PM
Subject: Re[6]: Retraction of a falsehood

Trent,

What GraniteGrok, either in the aggregate or as separate writers, has done in the past is just that – the past. It has no bearing on the current cycle as there are new items and actions on which to base decisions. Unless, of course, there is now a new journalistic standard of which I know nothing about? After all, I’m just a old school software engineer that does go by the who, what, where, why, and how that I learned in elementary school.

But it raises an interesting conundrum for you – should we also start treating the Union Leader according to your past? Should we be extrapolating only from past performances, reporting, and Op-Ed – and make stuff up about your operation? Should we both be acting in a double standard style? I hardly think so – for one, GraniteGrok has to be Consistent to keep the Trust we’ve built up over the years – I couldn’t begin to think or operating differently or allow our writers to do that.

Let’s face it, if the tables were reversed, you’d be on me even faster than I was on this issue (WMUR tried it years ago – until I proved them they were WAY off base). You would be expecting, nay, demanding an immediate retraction as well as an apology – backed up by your cadre of lawyers. And in that case, you’d be right to do so.

No, “the story didn’t specifically say you endorsed him” but that line doesn’t even pass the smell test about “our history”:

“He’s got Rand Paul, the federal Gun Owners of America, and leader of GraniteGrok on his side.”

Rand Paul – the present tense. GOA – the present tense. If your now new premise is that the line is about the past, where’s the past tense structuring about the ‘Grok? I don’t see “on his side in the past” or “they endorsed him in the past”?

Go ahead, I’m listening in how the Union Leader gets “historically” out of that sentence. You folks are supposed to be the top wordsmiths in the State – I don’t buy your explanation for a moment because there’s no there there on which to base it.

Like I said – I’m listening; convince me because so far, you’re sounding like a hack solon who knows he’s been caught with his pants down.

– Skip
GraniteGrok.com

I guess, with that last line, I may have gone a bit too Howie Carr but I believe the point had to be made.  You can’t use a structured line to make it seems as it is in the “now” and then backscrabble to claim it was “in the past”.  Even as a mere engineer, I know that English doesn’t work that way unless one’s “word tightness” is as loose as an AK-47 specification. Yet, Spiner stuck with it.

Knowing that I wasn’t going to hear anymore, I decided that one more thing had to be corrected in Landrigan’s piece: ““He’s got Rand Paul, the federal Gun Owners of America, and leader of GraniteGrok on his side”.  Heh!

From: “skipdcm” <Skip@GraniteGrok.com>
To: “Trent Spiner” <tspiner@unionleader.com>; “Kevin Landrigan” <klandrigan@unionleader.com>
Cc: “grokcrew@googlegroups.com” <grokcrew@googlegroups.com>
Sent: 7/24/2018 7:01:18 PM
Subject: Re[7]: Retraction of a falsehood

Oh, and not for nuttin’ in your same line: there really isn’t the word “federal” in actual name of GOA – “Gun Owners of America”. Just “Gun Owners of America”. And their PAC doesn’t have “federal” in its name either.

They are of course, a national group (with a NH branch) – which has nothing to do with “federal” or some such verbiage.

Or is this yet another new journalistic practice of which I am not aware of – of just flinging words out there? Who are your fact checkers and editors that let this stuff go by the boards? If Landrigan gets to skate on this – what ELSE has he been allowed to fudge? And to head off the retort, we’re just lowly bloggers – YOU guys are supposed to be the PROs!

– Skip
GraniteGrok.com

So, I guess they decided to “spank” – they changed their retraction later; here is what is on their site now:

He’s got Rand Paul and the federal Gun Owners of America.

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this column incorrectly reported that Sanborn had the support of the leader of political website GraniteGrok in this race.

Gosh, I just can’t understand why they’d change it….heh! They couldn’t even write out Andy Sanborn’s name any more.  Petty?  We present, you decide.

As Steve said, they’re probably not going to quote us much in the future. C’est la.

Trent Spiner – how apropos.