Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Will The Real Tom Johnson Please Stand Up?

STUCK ON THE HORNS...Tonight I find myself on the proverbial horns of a dilemma. Tonight I'm going to write about someone I've grown to consider a friend, but I'm afraid I'm not going to write about him in very friendly terms.

 
THE BEGINNING
Way, way back in the dark ages - shortly after the turn of the century - I wrote my very first "Letter to the Editor" to the Daily Pilot in response to something then-columnist Byron De Arakal had written about the Costa Mesa City Council. It struck a chord with me, so I fired off a little note and, much to my surprise, it was published. Tom Johnson was the publisher of the Daily Pilot at the time and he, along with his pal, Bill Lobdell, had managed to salvage our local newspaper of record from dire times.

CLUELESS IN COSTA MESA
I had lived in Costa Mesa for almost three decades at the time and, like most of us, paid very little attention to local political issues. I just trusted the elected officials to do the right thing, keep our city safe and clean and do so with a minimum of fuss. Like most of us, I had been busy making a living. But, with my then-recent retirement I began to pay attention and, knowing just a little bit about management, didn't much like what I saw evolving. Those were the days when Chris Steel finally got elected after being rejected by wiser electorates nine times before. This was the beginning of the politicizing of Costa Mesa politics.
HEY! THAT WAS EASY!
A month later something else
provoked me, so I wrote another "letter" and it, too, was published. That relationship grew and, at one point, the Daily Pilot was publishing my submissions three times a week. That's how all this began, so Tom gets some of the credit/blame.

KIND OFFERS, GRATEFULLY DECLINED
Over the years Tom and/or his lieutenants and successors have offered me a chance to write a weekly column in that fine newspaper eleven times. While extremely grateful for those opportunities, each time I politely rejected the offer. I can't write on someone else's deadline, nor can I write "on assignment". I write what I write, when I write it because I'm moved to do so. And, as the years passed, I continued to submit commentaries - most of them much too long - and each successive editorial team has chosen to publish most of them. I was, and am, very grateful for that. I've always been grateful for the opportunity to present my views to my neighbors, both in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

A SHARED DISGUST
Tom and I shared a mutual disgust for the rantings of one local writer - a man of international infamy as a voice of intolerance. Tom coined the nickname "Mensa Marty" for this fellow - you know who I mean.
AN EXCITING NEW VENTURE
When Tom departed the Daily Pilot in a huff a few years ago after the leadership of the Los Angeles Times and the Tribune Companies - the owners of the Times Community Newspapers, of which the Daily Pilot is a large part - began to have major difficulties, he and Lobdell teamed up to create what they envisioned to be the probable future of local news - a homogenization of news delivery with online first and print in a secondary role. They asked me to be part of their advisory board - a role I happily accepted. I was excited and energized by this new concept and hoped it would succeed.

MOD
EST SUCCESS AND SEPARATION
That publication, The Daily Voice, had modest success. Lobdell departed to go work with the infamous Barry Minkow and Tom eventually folded the operation into what is now the Newport Beach Independent. He left that organization last year after disagreeing with the direction the owners were taking.

A VOID...

Quite frankly, Tom Johnson's departure from the Daily Pilot left a void that was never filled. Oh, yes, there have been some excellent newsmen who have become editors, including John Canalis - but Tom's presence as publisher was very special. He was involved in the community at a level not matched by anyone since his departure. Tom was everywhere, on boards of this and that and was the real face of the Daily Pilot. If someone needed to reach a mover and shaker locally, Tom could find a way to make that happen.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN
I was overjoyed that Tom recent
ly surfaced again as the General Manager of the struggling local supplement to the Orange County Register, The Current. He immediately changed the "look" of the paper and seemed to have some great ideas for it downstream. And, it was great to see him involved in community events again. At the recent Feet To The Fire Forum, at which he was one of the interrogators on the panel, he seemed very engaged in the issues. And, following the program, I saw him doing his "newsman" thing, schmoozing with folks like Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger. That's just what you'd expect him to be doing as the head guy of a local news outlet.

ANOTH
ER OFFER, AGAIN GRATEFULLY DECLINEDAt a recent Costa Mesa City Council meeting which also Johnson attended we had a nice chat and he offered me a column in The Current. Again, I politely declined, citing the same reasons I had declined his previous offers with the Daily Pilot. We departed from that meeting completely satisfied with how it went - or so I thought.


SHORT AND NOT-SO-SWEET
Last Monday, April 16th, out of the blue Tom sent me a short, cryptic note. Here's what he wrote:

"I find it interesting that you haven't referenced Frank Mickadeit's column on the firefighters. Is this just an oversight or something you disagree with?
TJ" You can read Mickadeit's column HERE.

PROVOKED TO ACTION
I wrote back to him that I was just one guy with a lot of territory to cover and that I'd seen Mickadeit's column and hadn't decided whether to write about it or not. However, his little prod forced me to set aside some other stuff I was working on and write about it. You read it HERE. I sent Tom the link to my blog entry the next morning and heard nothing from him since then.

SURPRISED AND DISMAYED
Today he penned (can we actually use that term any more?) this scathing piece about me in The Current, HERE. I was surprised and, quite frankly - after a day of jury duty and running on fumes from 3 hours sleep following the publication of my blog entry after Tuesday night's Council Meeting - left a little dismayed.

WHAT?
Tom is clearly very critical of what I wrote and how I wrote it, but he had just offered me a job to do that very thing for him two weeks earlier. This quantum shift made me more than a little curious and, since I hold him in such high esteem, got my juices flowing.

IT'S OK TO DISAGREE, BUT...
Certainly, it's possible for Tom to disagree with my views of the local situation. After all, I actually live in Costa Mesa and have a perspective one can only achieve by having a dog in the hunt. That being said, Tom Johnson has been so fully-immersed in Newport-Mesa affairs for decades that his voice is one that should be heard. Considering our decade-long relationship, I guess I expected to hear from him directly first.

CRITICIZING MY VIEW
As you read through Tom's column you'll find that he quotes extensively from my blog entry about Frank Mickadeit. He, apparently, is unhappy that I've chosen to criticize another Register writer for only presenting one side of the issue. Then, again, Mickadeit is a columnist, where his opinion is presented prevalently - that's the way it should be.

IT'S WHAT I DO...
Tom criticizes me for presenting MY opinion on MY blog where the objective is clearly stated in the masthead. I present the readers with my views, based on the facts as I understand them, along with my opinions. Those who might be offended by my characterizations or the images I choose to use to emphasize a point can simply not read them - it's pretty simple.

FANNING T
HE FLAMES
Near the end of his piece Tom says: "I don't look at journalism as a way to fan the fire. I'm proud of the fact that my newspapers in the past have been community watchdogs, forums for equal discussion, reservoirs of information and most importantly, community cheerleaders." OK, I agree with his characterization of his former publications and accept that, but "fanning the fire" is EXACTLY what he did during his participation in the Feet To The Fire Forum. Watch the tape, HERE. That's a pretty mixed message, don't you think?

WHO'S BULLYING WHOM?
Early in his piece Tom calls me a bully, and yet he uses his "bully pulpit" - yes, I know the definition of that phrase - to bully me! His distribution reaches tens of thousands of readers each week - a claim I only wish I could make. He refers to what I write as "editorializing at its best" - which I fully accept as an accurate description of what I do here. However, I think he meant it as a criticism, not a compliment.

CURIOUS...
A more cynical guy - yeah, I admit to being cynical - might find it curious that Tom's incendiary criticism of me occurs just about the time that Will Swaim got a real journalism job again and has, apparently, stopped lobbing literary grenades into my backyard from his cozy home in Irvine. I'm sure that's just a coincidence, but...



POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY

With great power comes great responsibility. As the General Manager of a significant local news source, Tom has great power at his fingertips. Back when he used to write the occasional column as the publisher of the Daily Pilot I would tease him when mistakes were made - asking him "who edits the editor?" We would chuckle about that at the time. Well, the question remains today. Does he plan to use the power of his position to pillory folks with opposing viewpoints or those who criticizes his friends? If so, is that REALLY an appropriate use of the power of his position?

NOT THE SAME...
Some readers may throw that back at me, but it's not the same thing at all. This blog is not part of a major regional newspaper organization, nor does it sell advertising and subscriptions. The facts I present represent the best information I have available to me and the views here are mine. Most visitors to this site understand that and also understand they are free to read and comment or simply not click on the link and move on.

OH, WELL...
I'm not sure where we go from here, but I suspect I've had my last job offer from Tom Johnson.


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57 Comments:

Blogger Tina Wilcox Gold said...

well . . . His loss is our gain.

4/19/2012 01:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Don't like, Don't click! said...

And we have a new SHILL. Don't like it Tommy Boy? Do not click on the link. That simple.

Keep blogging West.

4/19/2012 01:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Themistocles said...

It's frankly amazing that Tom Johnson would write a story about a local blogger without including LINKS to the story that he is criticizing.

Is he that out of touch with modern journalistic ethics?

But getting beyond that breach, what you are seeing is fairly typical of "professionals" at third rate newspapers. Their world is dying, and they lash out periodically at the folks like bloggers who are doing the job that they don't do.

Johnson's tenure will be brief, another doomed attempt by the Register to recover what they threw away in a long series of strategic and tactical errors.

By the way, your criticism of Mickadeit is well deserved. He panders slavishly to the powerful in exchange for being included in their club.

4/19/2012 03:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Cub Reporters Only said...

Geoff,
Don't let it bug you. The Daily Pilot hasn't been a real newspaper in years. They are just another school newspaper.
The Daily Pilot no longer has investigative reporters. They are the propaganda arm for the City of Costa Mesa.
I'm not sure what's in it for Johnson. We DID learn what Lobdell had to gain. He got a 150k job with a great pension!
Is Tom next?

4/19/2012 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Yeah, Geoff, I'm thinking the same thing about Lobdell's other pal Johnson. Swaim's lame attacks and shill blog were ineffective, now he's moved on.

Suddenly Johnson comes out of nowhere and starts attacking. It's "Braveheart" all over again, where the helmet visor comes up and we see a Scottish traitor standing next to the English king.

You brought this on yourself. You should have insisted on the 150K webpage/Facebook job Lobdell got. Then he'd be off writing more giant bestsellers like "Losing My..." and your friends like me could maybe be making a few bucks attacking good guys...

4/19/2012 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Kim Marie said...

You know you have our support Geoff. I'm just wondering why, at this time when so much is happening in our city, he would write about your blog. Not that your blog isn't worth writing about ;)

It's a shame because it sounds so petty. Although, I've noticed your name mentioned a lot these days...that's a good thing. Big hugs to you ;)

4/19/2012 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

So your opinion was fine in his eyes back when he was offering you jobs on a regular basis, but this particular piece responding to Mickadeit's column set him off completely? Very interesting...

Regardless, it's hilarious that he would call you a bully - at least you listen to others opinions, unlike Team Riggy.

This is going to be some election. Now we just have to see who steps up to run against these clowns. My hope is they are waiting so they don't start getting attacked until the last possible minute.

4/19/2012 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Oh, and one more thing - I'm saddened by my fellow SDSU Aztec alums (Johnson, Mickadeit). The Dark Side is strong.

4/19/2012 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Your Biggest Fan said...

Geoff, you should be equally proud of your success as a community watchdog and blogger who provides Costa Mesa residents with a forum for equal discussion. You are a voice of reason, a hero that should be commended and admired. It has been my greatest joy to watch how you’ve united this community and personally, I love the pictures. As for the term “bully”, it is abundantly clear that the City Council and Jim Fitzpatrick (along with their media friends) are free to launch verbal assaults whenever they want, yet, they have the audacity to call you the bully. We’ll see who prevails in November!

4/19/2012 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thank, all. Your words of support are much appreciated. And Kim Marie, I ALWAYS love the hugs! ;-)

I suspect we'll hear from a few folks who are not as supportive as the day moves on... such is life.

By the way, you'll notice that I've disabled that pain-in-the-fanny word identification feature - at least for awhile. We'll see how it goes. Should make it easier for some of you to post comments.

4/19/2012 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Running scared said...

Geoff you are somewhat of a celebrity. In recent weeks so many people have made mention about you and your blog.

I would like to think the tide is turning but we will see in November.

Keep up the good work Geoff! You are doing a great job.

4/19/2012 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

I'm a huge Council supporter and fan of this blog. Voices on both sides is a good thing. This blog and CM Press show both sides. Tom Johnson is actually correct in his article. Blogs are not news. West is not a journalist. It's simply opinion. West thinks Fitzpatrick is Shrek, Millard doesn't care for minorities. Just opinion. The problem comes when people accept blogs as news. They are not. It's a huge responsibility to discern the difference. A responsibility that Millard and West could both do better at.

4/19/2012 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Rigged City said...

Geoff, Thank you for all that you do for us residents. Imagine what the Coun-sell would get away with if you were not blogging about them. Heck, there might not be much to blog about if they were honest and had the best interest of the city.

It's pretty sad when we have to refer to your blog (no offense intended) in order to get up to date info on city meetings and issues, because even if the city claims this great Transparency theory, we all know it is hardly transparent at all; only if it suits the fab four.

Thanks again!

4/19/2012 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Blog poster Columbo, consider this a courtesy notice, regarding your either ignorant or malicious attempts to smear Sandy Genis in previous threads.

Columbo, dear, there is no such thing as a 486. Please, do find out what form she filed, and please, do read it before you comment. So far you're way off, 2 for 3, either woefulli ignorant of the things you are commenting on or lying in an deliberate attempt to smear a respected community advocates reputation. If you are not there yet, you're getting very close to slander.

4/19/2012 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor said...

Hi Geoff - Please try not to let it get you down when an attack comes out of the blue from an unexpected source. It's painful, I know all too well, but when you raise your head above the crowd, you become a target. Please just keep up your fine work! We need you to keep us informed.

4/19/2012 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

TJ is off base to think that the Pot Stirrer characterizations he noted are editorializing. The truth is, if you look at dictionary definitions of the words “shill,” “screed,” “lies,” “deceit,” and “brown-nosing,” you’ll find that they accurately describe what Team Riggy/Bever/Monahan promotes. This kind of writing is called reporting, not editorializing.

There is editorializing, of course, but it simply reflects the many stories PS has written about these actors. I’ve been an active observer and public commenter since a year ago March 17, and I find PS’s characterizations fit the reality of Team RBM’s actions to a T.

In fact, if you go back to the colonial days and look at the broadsides printed in the newspapers in revolutionary times, you’ll think that PS is tame.

Finally, TJ writes, “My greatest joys have been uniting a community, not dividing it. That's what we all need to work toward.”

What Tom overlooks, I think, is that Team RBM has been slicing and dicing the community ever since Bever and Monahan gave the keys to Righeimer. (Have you ever seen them disagree with Rig?) Righeimer is a teenager with the keys to both the liquor cabinet and the car.

There’s no dividing left to do, Tom; they’ve unglued and dismantled what used to be a fine city. They’ve turned it into the “ground zero” that OCGOP leader Scott Baugh is so pleased with.

They are unashamed; they even treat our city like a business with a bottom line and not a public service. They call the city manager a CEO! Such arrant nonsense from people (Righeimer, Mensinger) with gallon-size egos and thimble-sized public experience.

Telling the truth to power, as Pot Stirrer does, is how a community awakens and cures itself of an affliction. We need more hard-hitting reporting and editorializing, not less.

Perhaps The Current can pitch in?

4/19/2012 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Nobody has any respect for the Daily Plot or the shills that try and pass for "journalists" I only go on their site for the story comments, but they edit those so who knows what we don't get to read.

4/19/2012 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tina Wilcox Gold said...

I'd like to respond to Barry's comment. We live in an age when the "news" has become a corporate mouthpiece, and in doing so must be checked by citizens if we are to claim to be a democracy. Given the that the "Fourth Estate" should be free and independent of the government. The OC Register and The Daily Pilot are not independent. I sight their choices of who is allowed space to voice their opinions (such as mine) as evidence. I do see plenty of screed from the right though.

4/19/2012 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Name of the game said...

Everyone who disagrees with Geoff, Sandy, Robin, Greg, Billy, Tom, Eleanor, Tamar and Perry is a shill, right?

What a sad little world you all live in. Wake up - the insane bias has become way too obvious, and the conspiracy theories way too ridiculous.

Try some independent thought, you may find it refreshing.

That said, a newspaper criticizing a blog for OPINION writing is a new low.

Swaim's was also a blog, and he made a lot of factually supported claims about Geoff that were never rebutted. Pretty weak, Geoff.

Regardless, this is Geoff's blog, and personal bias is the name of the game. He should be commended for providing this forum, as well as his dedication to Costa Mesa.

4/19/2012 02:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Independent thought - that would be refreshing. No more talking points - that would be refreshing. But I think it's pretty clear the Fab Four's supporters are lacking in that regard as well (see: haters, charter good, everyone else bad, etc., ad nauseum).

4/19/2012 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tina Wilcox Gold said...

One positive that has come from this council's power grab has been the meeting of the minds from different perspectives and political alignments. The one common goal held by those who oppose the way the Council does it's "business" is the objection to crony capitalism espoused by many of the cut and paste charters around the state. I personally don't want my taxes going to line the pockets of business associates of these members of the council who will not accept the idea of a Citizen's Charter. Why do they reject that outright? It is grave cause for concern and a call to keep an eye what they're actually doing.

4/19/2012 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Shill Index said...

Name of the Game:
"Everyone who disagrees with Geoff, Sandy, Robin, Greg, Billy, Tom, Eleanor, Tamar and Perry is a shill, right?"

Nah, just Colon, Fitzy, Baby Ethan, Monahan, Bever, Swaim, Lobdell, Tom Johnson.

4/19/2012 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Lumpmeister said...

Geoff, keep your perspective and doing what you are doing. So TJ doesn't like your characterization of Fitzy? as the old saying goes, the truth sometimes hurts.

Tom is falling under this "if you don't agree with me you are obviously wrong, or a liberal" mentatlity that is coming from the other side. Too bad.

4/19/2012 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Interesting jump start by Johnson, more telling is that there is not one mention of this or any other web trail provided by the Register to that story. The ONLY way to find it is by the link provided in this than blog.
Sadly, if this is Toms' first foray into his new gig, the only thing he found newsworthy was commenting on some one others opinion.
How pathetic....If that is the "new" Current, I for one, will keep tossing it in the trash with the rubber band still around it.
Pretty sad.

4/19/2012 10:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Carnac you're magnificent said...

somebody figured it out 2 weeks ago

Get out of the writing BIZ Tom said...
Regarding Tom Johnson's article...
How insulting to the views of the Costa Mesa residents with opposing views to suggest their way would result in the city to go BK and disappear forever.
Why is it that the people who write about what is happening in Costa Mesa are the most clueless? Or is there something else at play? Way to go Tom Johnson. You left out so much. How about a suicide, employees leaving left and right, one most likely getting canned because of rushing things, claiming it's all about pensions then turning around and bringing in just weeks before the new pension reforms go into effect 2 of their friends at the highest pension formula at a salary of $150K? They could have waited just a couple of weeks and brought them in under the reformed less pension formula if this really was about pensions and of course don't forget the dancing mayor in a leprechaun outfit. Sadly is that the best you can do with your endings. But I get it. An ending with negotiations and employees once again stepping up, as they have everytime in the past when asked to help solve the problem, with no suicide, no mass exodus and no dancing mayor wouldn't be good TV. SADLY it isn't even good in reality.

4/06/2012 08:57:00 PM

4/19/2012 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous columbo said...

Heart for CM: finger hit wrong digit when I talked of Genis error on form 486. It should have read form 496 of course.

4/20/2012 06:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Judas's CPA said...

Now we know why the city website lists "30 pieces of silver" going to Tom Johnson.

4/20/2012 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous level the playing field said...

To Columbo:
Now I know why you support the councilMEN. 486/496 - what is a digit between friends? (Pun intended by the way). Why the let the rules get in the way either? You play fast and loose with your accusations and don't bother to investigate the facts, sounds just like the councilMEN.
Go out for RFP's before your allowed, violate council policy on outsourcing, issue layoff notices before you know what the potential cost savings are, line up lawyers and hand them unlimited contract values so they can contribute to your future campaign war chest, hire your buddies at city hall and give them the higher pension plan then complain about the pension costs, etc. But goodness gracious an error on a form -- stop the presses, lay someone off, start an investigation, hire another lawyer, hold a special election, sue someone! By golly let's get to the bottom of this, probably all an evil plot by the UNION THUGS!

4/20/2012 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Chef said...

Riggy was all excited this morning, writing up his next rant supporting the "Buffett Rule," and saying how it's even more important than a charter.

Then Mensy told him it concerned a proposal by the investor Warren Buffett, not a local BUFFET..

4/20/2012 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Arnie said...

I'm surprised that the council and their shills weren't out protesting the recent Civil War reenactment. After all, one of the armies was the Union Army. That alone has to make them wince.

4/20/2012 02:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Bring it on Geoff said...

The word “bully” in Tom’s article is unsuitable for you Geoff. I think a better term for a watchdog is “sentry.” Sentries keep an eye on powerful forces – governments, agencies, corporations, organizations, institutions – to make sure their operations and actions don’t cause harm or conflict with the public interest. If and when they find that conflict, they may act as whistle-blowers, exposing illegal or other negative actions or practices to public view. The hope is that exposure and public outcry will bring about appropriate measures, perhaps even stop actions or reverse conditions that could endanger or otherwise harm the community or its members. I am very proud of the work you do for Costa Mesa Geoff. It is a tremendous benefit to all of us.

4/20/2012 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron & Anna Winship/www.cuttingedge-atalkshow.com said...

Dr. West, Undoubtedly, it was slow news day for Tommy Boy. You have to get a kick out of it when he mentions your Blog. Press: Good Press - wonderful. Bad Press - Just fine thank you.

Somebody is listening!

4/20/2012 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

"Your Neighbor" needs your help.
In his most recent slam at me he mentions that The Current in not available on line. Will one of you cross-dressers - folks who read this blog and his - please tell him the link is right here in this entry Geez! For a Mensa guy sometimes he's just not very smart Dumb AND a racist! Bad combination. Anyhow, please help him out. Thanks.

4/20/2012 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Testing Curve said...

I think the racist guy is a member of "Neanderthal Mensa"-
they let you in if you know how to use at least one eating utensil and can start a cooking fire in less than one hour.

4/20/2012 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Geoff, I read TJ's article this morning and got sick to my stomach! I knew you two were friends and I could only imagine how this betrayal hit you. It comes out of the blue like a tsunami wave that had no warning signs with the same result- destruction.
You write what you know and you do so better than any other journalist or blogger in Newport-Mesa. You state from the beginning that your blog contains a lot of opinion, but you also include facts, something hard to find in many papers today. That's why you have such a loyal following of grateful readers. We know where to go to find the truth.
Keep up the good work, Geoff!
We need you. (((hugs)))

4/20/2012 08:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Just sayin... said...

Geoff, did you ever think maybe Tom was offering you the job opportunity to keep you quiet? Just sayin....

4/20/2012 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Didn't at the time. Interesting question.

4/20/2012 11:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Puzzle solved and hopes dashed.

I’d been wanting to ask newspapers to give Geoff a column in order to provide a larger audience with accurate information as well as insight into the actions of our councilmen. Now Geoff has let us know that he has been invited and has refused. What a disappointment!

Those of us who have found our way to Bubbling Cauldron are fortunate, and I share this fantastic resource whenever I can: “Do you live in Costa Mesa? Do you know what’s going on in the city? Terrible things! Read ‘A Bubbling Cauldron.’” (Hint, hint to everyone.)

4/20/2012 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Geoff--
Surely an unjustified attack. A bully leaves no room in his ambit for other points of view, nor for reasoned discussion. Were the term applicable here, we would never see Martin Millard's (or perhaps his toadys') posts on your site.

Johnson, by blindsiding you thusly, has transferred much of his journalistic mana to you: if a man's worth is measured by the quality of his enemies, yours has increased vastly, to Johnson's detriment.

Your forbearance and mild answer do you credit.

Fer God's sake, keep up the good work. Not that I want to nail your foot to the floor, but you do heroic service to our fair city.

Thanks.

4/21/2012 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

There is also this online version.

http://epaper.ocregister.com/Olive/ODE/OCWTheCurrentWest/
Hard to find, had to dig down to get the link to it.
It's kind of creepy, it's like a real paper....you use your mouse to turn the pages. Notice it's called The Current West. Maybe they were planning on partnering with you? They didn't like you jilting them.
My "The Current" paper is still on the driveway with the rubber band around it.

4/21/2012 07:44:00 AM  
Anonymous pravdafan said...

My copy of the current will remain unopened also. I do not have to subjected to a different opinion than mine, thanks for the warning about a different take on an issue. That is dangerous stuff and totally uncalled for. He apparently does not listen to the people who speak at council, they represent the truth and no differing opinion will go unpunished. This is how we defeat the trolls, puppets, and bootlickers-with OUR facts, not theirs. You will know they have no valid argument when they start stooping to name calling, just a matter of time.

4/21/2012 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Door mats wanted said...

Ha Ha, Minkow, Lobdell, Johnson, Swaim, sounds like a Has-been Convention. Or maybe they should call themselves PORFS... Pattern of Recent Failures.. Why is the OCGOP trying to revitalize a bunch of has-beens as their propaganda team? Are there not any quality young gun reporters around to support them? Never mind!

4/21/2012 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Glad Swaim's not my boss said...

Will Swaim joining Greenhunt to expose gov't waste and fraud is so laughable. Swaim's own recent company didn't want to pay his employees their salaries for work they did.
Well wait a minute... If you think about it I guess who better to expose a fraud than another cheat? This might also explain Swaim's recent hatred of city employees. It looks like he doesn't like any type of employee and he now harbors some ill feelings towards all working people because they exposed him trying to rip-off his own hard working employees.

FORMER DISTRICT WEEKLY EMPLOYEES WIN $70,000 JUDGEMENT AGAINST SWAIMS’ PUBLISHING COMPANY
By Greater Long Beach
November 23, 2010|Business


Six former employees of Long Beach’s former alternative newspaper, The District Weekly, have won their case before the California Labor Commission—and some $70,000 in unpaid wages, vacation interest and penalties—against  the publication’s parent company, Seven Days Publishing, LLC, which was founded by Will Swaim and was ultimately [begin edit] put out of business [end edit] by his wife, Heather Swaim.

4/21/2012 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Re several comments about “He who must not (apparently) be named:”

In the interests of fairness and accuracy, “He who …” is no dummy, if he is who I think he is. He’s not only a Mensan (“a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test”), but, I believe, an MM. This would put him in “Mensa's Mensa.”

MM's qualifying scores were/are (I’m not sure if the group still exists) at about the one-in-1000 level, compared with one-in-50 for Mensa.

He is not alone here. It seems to me that many of the commenters on the Bubbling Cauldron are Mensa material, with some even at the MM level.

So, insofar as intelligence is concerned, you might consider addressing yourselves as, for example, Sir He Who Must Not Be Named. ;-)

4/21/2012 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Diane McLucas said...

Gosh, Geoff, you're just such a wonderful guy who NEVER makes mistakes and wants everyone to get along all the time. You never call anyone names or get personal and you're doing all of this out of the kindness of your huge heart. It's therefore easy to understand why you would be so upset at anyone crticizing you, let alone someone you thought was your friend. Well, Geoff, welcome to the real world - the world where we see that you can dish it out but can't take it. Finally, someone with some clout has declared that the emperor has no clothes. When the going gets tough, you whine about how tough the going is.

4/21/2012 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Diane,
Hmmm, wasn't whining, just surprised that Tom would offer me a column one day, then pillory me a few daya later for the way I wrote. And you write as though this is the first criticism published about me. Heck, I've posted comments on this blog that were MUCH worse. Nah, I'm a big boy and can take it. Thanks for playing here.

4/21/2012 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Johnson said...

You guys are all missing the point. 1) Geoff is a good guy, I'd still find a place in my paper for his "column" 2) nobody is admitting that the firefighters deal to keep them as city employees is a GOOD thing. Somebody just say it. 3) Don't ever align me with the OC GOP, I find that group about as bad as it gets in politics. Call me anything, just don't call me them.

4/21/2012 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Easy as pie self promotion said...

Is anybody commenting over to Johnson's column? Don't bother. It’s a game. May be true he really loves the city counci, may be true he honestly thinks Geoff is not a writer. Or he may practice the “Left-my-integrity-at-the-door-when-I-took-this-job” school of journalism and just try his best to poke needles where he knows they will get a reaction in order to get comments and raise the profile of his pathetic little rag. He would love to get the number of comments Geoff does.

I don't want to be too hard on the boy though, he needed a job.

4/22/2012 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Tom Johnson,
Thanks for the comment. I do appreciate you stepping in here, especially after you've been flogged so thoroughly.

We Costa Mesans are dealing with some VERY tough times, with a council majority that has become so arrogant that they no longer even make a pretense of listening to speakers. Since the recent seat-juggling on the dais we now see Mensinger and Monahan swapping chuckles every time Wendy Leece speaks. It's disrespectful, to say the very least.

You may not like the language and images I use here when addressing their behavior, but I encourage you to watch them in action a little while longer before committing yourself one way or the other.

4/22/2012 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Geoff,
Your note to Johnson indicates you're probably more mature than me. After his unwarranted, twisted attack on you, it's hard for me to see him doing the right thing from here on out. If he was promised something, it might already have been received.

Maybe we'll get a tell if Bever publicly touts the Current like he promoted Swaim's attack blog.

4/22/2012 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

OK. By popular apathy, I’ll shut up about Mensa … after I mention two more items related thereto.

A wag sent me something funny about Mensinger that I won’t repeat, because I think he is actually rather smart.

Oh, alright, I’ll whisper it. (have you heard of the mensinger society? it’s a club for people whose IQ is under 80.) There, I hope you’re happy.

All seriousness aside, here’s something from the Sunday NY Times that helps put IQ scores in perspective. (For reference, per Wikipedia: “When modern IQ tests are constructed, the mean (average) score within an age group is set to 100 …”)

What Your I.Q. Means

116+
17 percent of the world population; superior I.Q.; appropriate average for individuals in professional occupations.

121+
10 percent; potentially gifted; average for college graduates

132+
2 percent; borderline genius; average I.Q. of most Ph.D. recipients

143+
1 percent; genius level; about average for Ph.D.'s in physics

158+
1 in 10,000; Nobel Prize winners

164+
1 in 30,000; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the chess champion Bobby Fischer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/can-you-make-yourself-smarter.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

4/22/2012 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

And, of course, Tom you failed to mention that you can be a Mensa member and still be wrong... ;-) Enough about this issue. The subject of your interest apparently has decided to begin publishing his racially-charged essays on his local blog. I guess the folks at the New Nation News have finally had enough of him - I know I certainly have. And, as an aside, is it possible that he could have found a worse photo of himself to use on his masthead for those essays? It looks like a bad mug shot, for goodness sake. OK, that's enough about him.

4/22/2012 02:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Jokeman said...

Pinocchio and Superman die on the same day and are on their way to Heaven together. Superman says, "I want to be remembered as the strongest man in the world!" Pinocchio says, "I want to be remembered as the biggest liar in the world!"

When they get to the Pearly Gates, St. Peter immediately takes Pinocchio aside while Superman waits. As St. Peter whispers in Pinocchio's ear, Superman can see the puppet is getting madder and madder by the minute. Finally Pinocchio runs up to Superman and says,"Just who is this RIGHEIMER guy anyway??"

4/22/2012 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Get out of the writing BIZ Tom said...

Tom Johnson I can't stop laughing. Nobody missed your point except maybe you. Truthfully I feel you are just lying now to cover yourself. You called out Geoff as a Bully, your entire piece had one theme and it was Geoff West calling out the coucnil and their supporters. Now you deceptively try to say the point of the piece was about keeping the fire department. Yes, you made some comment about it to try and prove your point but anyone with any mental capacity knows the entire piece was a hit on Geoff. I called this in your earlier post right here on this blog. I clearly saw your transformation to shill for the council and reposted that comment. I expect we will see more of this Stepford Wives Journalism by you, Frank and many others. There is an attempt by the OCGOP to control the local media and you have now become one of the Stepford Wives. And Tom just so you don't miss my point as a journalist and sell-out you disgust me.

4/22/2012 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Get out of the writing BIZ Tom said...

And the sad thing is. Does anyone remember in March Geoff giving kudos and praises to Tom and his well wishes for taking over The Current. Tom Johnson is turning out to be a pathetic little man. But maybe it's part of the job offer. Pimp for the City Council. But let's see if Tom surprises us and the next time Colon, Macafreak or other shill puts out a hit piece on employees or residents who support them and anyone else who believes negotiation is the best way to go, let's see if uncle Tom steps up and calls CMTAX on that. By the way anyone want to make a wager on that probability?

4/22/2012 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Get out of the writing BIZ Tom said...

And your subtle lame rear-end attempt to smear people here as followers looking for a leader also didn't go unnoticed. Nobody is looking for leadership in Geoff other than in reporting the happenings. Geoff has scooped the so-called real reporters over and over. Fact is the Daily Pilot had a breaking news story and when you clicked it it took you to The Cauldron. The only leadership people are looking for will be 2 council candidates that can unseat either Monahan or Mensinger and take over Bever's seat. It will probably be tough but there is enough anger and disgust out there people might just be willing to reverse this horrible trend recently which saw the voters of Costa Mesa elect a council member like Chris Steel.

4/22/2012 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous getout said...

have sandy genis run for council again. she is a former mayor i think i heard. i heard she lost her last two election attempts and third time is the charm.

4/23/2012 07:00:00 AM  

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