February 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm in INFORUM
Few stories in my 16Â½ years at The Forum prompted as strong a response as one we published on Feb. 4.
Tags: columns, Matthew Von Pinnon, Opinion, Postal Service 48 Comments »
Well, someone said last week that Von Pinnon would come up with some weak justification for the Postal Service article. Well, he did! I think that the only reason people responded in mass to it was because it was so pointless. That is what readers could not understand…why the front page, why show the postal carriers picture and name him. Mr. Von Pinnon…don’t insult your readers intelligence!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 178 17
The Forum and Von Pinnon should be embarassed. This story could be run in wierd news sections but it would still be a joke of a story. The letter carrier should sue for defamation of character and make this woman prove he is unworthy to deliver her mail. We all experience some scheduled mail deliveries but we are all not on the front page. Who does this woman know at the Forum and how did they learn of her problem…that’s a question for Von Pinnon to address.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 168 13
You should be ashamed Forum. There’s no weak excuse you can possibly give for making this story a “news” story. What was the point??? To get a laugh at the expense of a seemingly mentally ill woman? To embarrass her family, friends, and even the mail carrier? To get in on the “local neighborhood gossip” of a story and spread it even further? Terrible. Just terrible. There’s no justification you can give.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 164 12
The “spin” that Von Pinnon came up with to try to justify a bad descision by The Forum and / or it’s staff, is as bad as the story in the first place. The bottom line is this piece of jouralism [?], and / or it’s placement in The Forum did NOT meet the expectations of IT’S readers and no amount of “spin” is going to change it.
Von Pinnon does not seem to understand that it is it’s customers that determine if a piece is newsworthy, not The Forum staff. Having been a subscriber to The Forum for 47 years, without interuption, I have seen The Forum shrink, both in size and content, and I would not be surprized to see it go the same way as the Midweek — nothing more than a memory.
Von Pinnon would have been much better off to “apoligize” to it’s readers for it’s poor choice and judgement rather than trying to explain why he thinks that they were right in the first place. Suggesting that we all will now understand and agree that the Postman Story was a valid piece of journalism, worthy of front page news is an insult to us all.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 163 12
Von Pinnon said,Thatâ€™s why it was news, and thatâ€™s why it was on Page 1. While those reasons stated in his column were not good reasons compared to the many other stories out there that realy are news. Von pinnon, sorry if I do not share your thoughts on this matter. You are wrong unless you work for the National Inquirer.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 141 11
I think the main failure was in not investigating this woman’s long and colorful history of complaints and troublemaking before giving her an audience. Giving a known crackpot front-page ego-stroking only weakens the case of every LEGITIMATE complaint filed by others from now on.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 173 8
If this story had any validity, there had to be others with complaints about this carrier.
Had anyone else on this mail carrier’s route complained about this carrier? If so, where were they in the original story? Where are they now?
Was any investigation done and if so, how thorough was it? If there was no real investigation, then this was just another news media hit piece, published without regard to the truth.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 121 8
Are you kidding, more investigation? That would mean that the FORUM reporters would have to actually do work and investigate and get off their backsides. I say we all write our own story, put our spin on it and tell the FORUM its news and they will run with it.
I do agree that to be fair the FORUM should have looked into this women’s past (and I know this women and she certainly has a colorful and interesting past in regards to complaints) and report that. Heck even one person who wrote on the blog gave a website for people to investigate the complaints by the lady, why didn’t the FORUM include this information in the story?
I for one don’t believe Von Pinnon and am disappointed on some of the choices the FORUM has made in stories lately -another one that comes to mind is the story on the Shack reopening in N Fargo, they just went with what they were told by the news owners and had to print a correction this week after they got the real story.
No Mr. Von Pinnon you can’t please everyone and that shouldn’t be used as an excuse, it should serve as notice that the FORUM readers are continuing to find the recent journalism displayed by the FORUM as not worthy of the great paper the FORUM once was.
Why can’t you admit you made a mistake, why the spin? You are no better than politicians who won’t admit fault. (I’m sure the moderator will remove the vowels on this like they have on other people’s recent posts – not sure why they do that and they won’t answer an email to them on that matter). I guess the FORUM will do what they want, put their spin on it and expect we the public to buy it.
As Tom said at the beginning of these posts – FORUM don’t insult your readers intelligence.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 111 7
Sorry Von Pinnon but your lame excuses for airing this ‘dirty laundry’ story on the front page of the Foolum, oops I mean Forum is despicable at best. You are insulting the intelligence of your readership. Maybe next time you will make sure BOTH sides of the story are given and maybe some real investigative journalism is done before publishing such ‘dirt’!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 126 9
Objective approach? The only objective approach here was for the crazy lady’s objective. I mean, for not taking sides, the newspaper seemed to really write down upon the USPS carrier. I don’t care what excuses he uses, not one explained the incredibly crappy investigation. So they tried to interview what… 4 people (the lady, the mail carrier, his boss, and the USPS spokesman)? Why not interview neighbors and see if they had problems? It really seems the Forum likes to take a stand on things, and a lot of times it leads to innocent people looking terrible.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 104 5
Anyone else think that The Forum is like that Tabloid in the check out line? So trashy and poorly written yet it’s almost impossible not to look?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 93 5
Did it occur to anyone at The Forum that perhaps the reason the mail carrier involved did not want to participate in the story was because he was hoping to avoid further attention and didn’t want to have his name publicly attached to this fruitcake and her antics? Thanks, Forum, for splashing his name and face on the front page and causing him further stress in having to deal with this woman.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 105 4
Just like Barb said, a story about this lady would be more interesting than just one of her long list of rambling complaints. She is more colorful than her garden which blew past ocd whithin days of her moving into the neighborhood, and I’m sure anyone that knows here would agree. One could write a tv series about her and not run out of material for years. I didn’t get a chance to comment on the previous article, hope I made up for it in this one.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 79 4
At first, I wasn’t sure which irratated me more…the whiney lady or the Forum for printing the story about the whiney lady. Now I’m sure…the whiney lady can’t help herself. The Forum is supposed to be a group of professionals. Ha…I haven’t seen an apoligy from the Forum. I’d be willing to chip in for a lawyer if the Letter Carrier decided to sue.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 92 6
“Few stories in my 16Â½ years at The Forum prompted as strong a response as one we published on Feb. 4…”
Few stories in the past 16 1/2 years have been this unworthy of being headlines. I’ve been a faithful Forum subscriber for over 20 years, and never remember there ever being the lack of editorial leadership shown recently. The mission has gone from unbiased news to whatever will spur reaction from the readers.
The Forum (as a news source) is losing credibility with every story like this one.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 96 6
I agree with Barb and D. This lady is not only mentally ill but in my opinion dangerous. She is no longer allowed in our medical clinic and I know of a few other doctors and clinics who no longer allow her in. She is dangerous and I hope the next story we don’t see is her harming the postal carrier. He ought to be carrying some protection.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 98 2
So if I complain enough and “go to great lengths” to point out how shameful the Forum is as “news” will I get an article?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 87 6
Stop and think about this folks: the letter carrier is a member of a UNION! That is, most likely, his reason for ‘no comment.’ I would bet he has PLENTY to say about this situation. And I would also bet this is NOT the last we have heard about this drug-through-the-mud defamation article. As far as the laughable explanation of WHY it was a printable story, whatever happened to the good old days when men stood up and said, “I’m sorry…I was wrong.”
Shame on you, Forum. Perhaps you should rename yourselves the Fargo Enquirer?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 75 8
It has nothing to do with being in a Union. The large majority of companies and government agencies have policies about speaking to the press when representing yourself as part of the company. In most violating it could cost you your job. I do not doubt for one second that the USPS has designated spokespersons in dealing with the media. I Doubt a letter carrier would have permission to speak to the press as a USPS representative.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 49 7
I asked a 30 year veteran of the USPS and he said the Union would love it if the carrier would talk and tell his side of the story BUT the USPS won’t let him.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 1
“We also thought people would find the issue interesting, and it appears they did, given the intense community debate over the matter beyond our role in publicizing it.”
Forum, please do not mistake incredulity for interest!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 70 5
1. You stated, “What made this story newsworthy were the great lengths taken by this woman to try to get her carrier removed.” I respectfully disagree. Giving voice to a person making arguably petty complaints does not constitute news.
2. You claimed, “We also thought people would find the issue interesting.” Finding an issue “interesting,” and finding it maddeningly pointless are two entirely different things.
3. You state, “The U.S. press has a long tradition of giving voice to the voiceless.” Does this mean that if someone wants to tell the world that JFK was killed by aliens from Mercury, dentists plant CIA surveillance devices in our fillings, and that Elvis is working as a tour guide in Las Vegas, you will give them a voice?
4. You claim, “We also know the daunting and often-thankless job that comes with delivering a daily product through rain, snow and sleet.” And publishing these trifling complaints against one of them is the thanks you offer? Perhaps we need to change the old adage to read “Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night nor whiny residents with far too much time on their hands shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 68 5
So absolutely nothing within our local community, State, National or International would have made a better headline is what you are saying.. Is that what I am getting from this weak justification that you are trying to pass off for your lack of ability?
Here are just a couple that I think would have made better headlines..
Cairo: They were demonstrating
Texas: Massive Blizzard happening, there and other places down south
At Christmas I labeled you guys the Fargo Enquirer – Because Fargo has to know.. And well by gosh you are living up to the expectations.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 69 2
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
What insight is The Forum going to offer into national news? This isn’t CNN or the NYT. Basically, you’d rather your LOCAL newspaper just copy and paste some canned Associated Press stories? You do realize there are about a MILLION different places to get better, national, content than The Forum, right?
As for the story. Granted… this lady is clearly crazy and should have been vetted, but the story (and the comments that followed) was definitely an interesting read and much better than some generic AP story about Egypt.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 25 35
I do realize that.. But if it was THAT slow of a news day I personally would have preferred something along those lines than what was printed. And if not that, how about a story about the local people who are from Egypt and their opinions of what was occuring in their country…
This story if it needed to be printed (which I don’t feel it did) didn’t deserve anything closer than the back page of the Life or Metro/State sections.
The over all point of my original post was, that there were many other things that could have been printed vs what was printed. And no amount of justification from Von will make it any more palatable.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 4
I believe The Forum already ran a piece on local people with ties to Egypt days before this story.
I agree that it probably shouldn’t have been on the front page, definitely a Metro story.
I guess I can’t get too worked up about one story in a newspaper. Newspapers have operated on the “buffet style” for quite some time… some things are of interest, others are not. I just move on if something doesn’t interest me, there will be another paper in the morning filled with more things to read. Frankly, I thought this was an interesting piece and it earned my 5 minutes of reading time. I’m guessing it earned every single one of your 5 minutes too (and more with your reactions).
Its just surprising to see how emotionally invested some of these backseat publishers are. I guess that means The Forum has been doing something right for 100+ years.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 29
The thing is that it’s not just this story. Over the past few years they have been trying to make controversy out of every issue they can think of. They do this by not telling the whole story. They constantly attack people and companies in a sensationalistic manner without providing or even bothering to gather all the facts.
This story is just a perfect example of what I have been claiming for a while now: The Forum is better at being a tabloid than they are at being a newspaper.
Was this even newsworthy? Perhaps, I’ll give you that, but not written in this manner. And the front page placement, failure to check this lady’s credibility, and now the failure to acknowledge they made a mistake is what has people upset.
Just because you can get people to read something today doesn’t mean you are doing what’s in your best long-term interests. Credibility, once lost, is very hard to earn back.
Hot debate. What do you think? 42 35
Someone had to say it, and Pete said it spot on.
Hot debate. What do you think? 32 31
Lets hope Mr. Von Pinnon is reading these comments and taking these to heart. If he is and he is sincere he will know that an apology is in order for the mailman and to the readers for publishing gossip. As is obvious from some of the comments an apology is in order for the FORUM to retain some sense of relevance and credibility in the area. Lets see Mr. Von Pinnon man up and admit they were wrong, they expect others to do it so FORUM practice what you preach. But I’m not holding my breath.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 81 6
Exactly, Tim. Given the tone of the comments for this story, it looks as if the Forum’s readership is not buying this “explanation.”
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 66 5
I dont think that this deserved front page news but I dont have a problem with it being reported. I see people comment all the time on here that it must be a slow news day because of certain stories but a lot of people forget that the Forum is local news and not nation wide news. Yes some nation wide stories are reported but they can be found else where as this is a local paper.
Hot debate. What do you think? 41 49
It definitely didn’t deserve front page, and maybe it should of been reported if it had been reported properly…as in they take all sides into consideration. Instead, they make someone look absolutely crazy and the other look like a criminal. The Forum has a big problem with being biased and lack of investigation into some matters.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 3
I have been a reader of the Forum for 50+years.
The leadership in the past has brought this newspaper to a tabloid status. It no longer is a NEWSpaper.
It is time to change leadership. Mr. Von Pinnon it is time for you to make the news and put yor resignation on the front page.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 7
Once again the voices here are almost completely united, which is rare. I have trouble believing anybody could be as dense as Mr. Von Pinnon is in this editorial. He may be just trying to generate more comments again. Remember web hits = advertising dollars, and that appears to be the driving force behind The Forum over the past few years, with little to no regard for journalistic integrity.
If The Forum is going to continue to promote and defend this tabloidism and lack of professionalism, they will soon be replaced by blogs.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 48 28
I love how Von Pinnon says most comments were against this woman and some were for her. I read through them and you can count the ones for her on one hand so out of the 200 comments she has less than five supporters this should really open the forum’s eyes but nope they are still blind. And anyone who thinks Von Pinnon is reading these comments is nuts. He has golf to play and more lives to ruin he can’t waste his time reading what his readers have to say!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 4
Also McDonalds screwed up my order last night and put pickles on my burger. I am currently writing a letter to Senator Franken and President Obama (just thought you would like to run another story, maybe i need to put a not wanted poster up first though)
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 50 5
That’s about the same thing I was thinking!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 3
Totally ridiculous to publish this article – totally ridiculous attempt at defending the fact that it was. There is an old adage which proves helpful when the choices and decisions of “management” become way to DIFFICULT for the average person to grasp….something on the order of people getting promoted only up to their level of incompetence…….
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 3
The final sentence of the article ends, “itâ€™s hard to please everybody all of the time.”
Sorry Forum, but you pleased NOBODY by publishing this article. Well, except the crazy lady perhaps…
The Forum staff knows it messed up. This is just an attempt at damage control. But, it’s not enough.
Give your readers a little respect by issuing a formal apology. Maybe then we can give you back a little of the respect you’ve lost.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 4
Or maybe a refund to people who expected news to come from newspaper…
Like or Dislike: 19 8
Why? The rest of the paper was filled with news, sports and everything else you would expect, right? You think you actually deserve a refund because .01% of the content wasn’t to your liking?
“Over dramatic” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 28
Quote from Von Pinnon: “Most of our customers are very understanding, but, as the old saying goes, itâ€™s hard to please everybody all of the time.” So the new Forum saying is: “well atleast we pleased one batty old lady”
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 3
Von Pinnon – give your readers something to really sink their teeth into and print your resignation letter…… Now that should be front page news…….
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 7
This must be news! It get more comments that the local college basketball game. Funny, who would care about what a crazy old lady think. She like Bachman.
Like or Dislike: 9 17
this kind of story is about the best the forum and the lazy reporters can do. i’ve worked in the electric utlity business for 30 yrs., and every so often i see a story by a cub reporter that just makes me yell “holy crap, you’ve got to be kidding me!” they know nothing about the topic and just make it up as they go along instead of actually investigating, tha forum rag has really gone down hill and i only get it on sundays now for years.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 2
I still don’t understand why the guy didn’t just ring the darn doorbell after he dropped off her mail. She’s an elderly woman with medical problems and didn’t want to keep checking the mail all day. This shouldn’t have been an issue and wouldn’t have if the mail guy would have just been more courteous. Drop off mail, ring the bell, leave. Is that so hard? I think he’s a jerk. And most of you posting are jerks for attacking this woman and totally missing her point. It’s a valid one. The Forum printed it’s reason for running the story. I think that was a valid one too. Now everyone move on and get a life.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 22 36
The mailmen aren’t allowed to carry bags of crap and matches in their mailbags and can’t ring doorbells.
Like or Dislike: 15 2
You’re off base and obviously don’t know this woman. She is not old, doesn’t have medical issues such as physical problems but is mental. She is a control freak with a dangerous personality. Anyone who knows her knows to stay the heck away from her. The mailman was wise to not ring her doorbell. If only he can someone get the “ok” to stay away and not fan this ladies fire. I feel for him. I’m sure this is not the last we are going to hear about these two.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 1
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