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PW further restricting community dialogue?

Original post made by tax revolt 2 on Apr 5, 2009

More restrictive policies implemented by the PW?

For the last two weeks, the letters to the editor have not been posted as articles on This prevents the letters from having town square threads started on them. I wonder why the change? If PW gets to select which letters it prints, and then prevents town square forums on them, then it defeats the publisher's goal of having open dialogue. as Gina said: "The purpose of Town Square is to have a community forum where people are not afraid to ask tough questions and bring things to community members and leaders without fear of reprisal."

I respect PW's right to do what it wants. But not practicing what you preach is a sure fire way to lose credibility.

But that's OK, one only needs to copy the letter into a new Town Square Forum posting.

Comments (27)

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm

The slanted reporting of the Pleasanton Weekly is just now coming to light? Please...

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm

It getting more and more like Argentina before the Bloody War!

Posted by Emily West, Pleasanton Weekly reporter
on Apr 5, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Emily West is a registered user.

This was not intentional, there is something wrong with the backend coding. I'll ask our IT people about it tomorrow morning. Thanks for letting us know.

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

"This was not intentional."

Emily -- do you really think us all stupid?

Posted by tax revolt 2, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 6, 2009 at 5:01 am

tax revolt 2 is a registered user.

Emily -
Thank you for the quick reply and for looking into the matter.

Posted by Ann Martin, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

Tax Revolt 2, Cholo, Another Gatetree resident and others,
If you will read today's editor's blog, you will see that Jeb Bing chose to publicize my name along with my blog name. I did not give him permission to do so and nowhere in any of the information provided by the Pleasanton Weekly is there any indication that the PW will publish real names.

He didn't like the fact that I contacted the owners of the Pleasanton Weekly about the way he was reporting on the parcel tax, and most particularly, that he did not disclose the fact that his wife is employeed by PUSD (at Foothill).

I'm not really concerned that he published my name. I had planned to do so once I got my hands on all the records I've asked PUSD to provide.

But all of you might want to consider that Jeb Bing could do the same to you.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:26 am

I for one, have all the faith in the world in Jeb and his staff. They are being as fair as they possibly can on this tax issue. I'm sure Jeb and Gina are being transparent and we should just trust them to do their JOBS.

(Thanks for the "heads-up" Ann. I didn't know they could find out who I was. I will probably play it safe now.)

Posted by Mary, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:53 am

WOW. Just Wow.

Dare I say more now that we have an answer to the questions that were asked long ago of the PW if postings are truly anonymous?

I have enjoyed these blogs since discovering them a year or so ago for the dialogue they allowed. But I will be thinking twice before posting in the future you can be sure of that!

Posted by Rae, a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

It's too bad it took something like a frequent poster's outing to make at least one person think twice before posting here. Maybe if more people thought twice there wouldn't be as many nasty, personal comments, as much name-calling, or even just the thoughtless disregard and lack of respect for someone else's opinion shown more and more frequently on this blog.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Just so we are clear here---I seldom post, I have NEVER called anyone a name or used insulting adjectives and do not condone such behavior.
But I do have my own opinions and sometimes choose to share my thoughts on these forums. However, with this new disclosure that there is no real anonymity, I will think twice before posting any thought I have, no matter how civil my presentation.
And that is a shame that we can no longer have a level of comfort in anonymous dialogue.

Posted by Angela, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I think it is terrible that the Pleasanton Weekly did that. Purposefully doing that is very vindictive of this "publication" or should we call it what it is, which is a tabloid.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm

So many of my posts have been deleted so when it happens to others it doesn't seem to be such a big deal. Now that it's happening to everybody, it's starting to look and feel more and more like Argentina prior to the Bloody War. Plutonians may be outed but you haven't disappeard...yet!

I could care less who you are Ann but I do understand your upset at being outed. nasty nasty nasty players... When the media can control your speech, does it matter if you're registerd?

Posted by Tom, a resident of Avila
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm

The editor, by disclosing the actual name of a poster who wished to be anonymous, violated Embarcadero Publishing's own TERMS OF USE policy!!!

"You agree not to disclose personal information about another person, nor post anything that misleads others as to the source of the posting."

Posted by Tom, a resident of Avila
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Oh yes, and let's not forget that disclosing the actual name of the poster violated the publisher's so called privacy policy -- "All personal information you provide is kept confidential and not shared with any third parties."

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Ann Martin;

I was shocked when I read the Editor's Blog! I would venture to say this is inappropriate if not bordering in illegal.

As Tom pointed out, this action directly violates Embarcadero Publishing's own TERMS OF USE policy. Know a good lawyer?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Call the ACLU for a Free Opinion!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Call the ACLU for a Free Opinion!

Posted by David, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Was the original message changed? When I read Jeb's entry, there was no mention of a name. The message used a registered name, something like "save our schools," a name I see often in relation to the parcel tax blogs.

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.


In order, the "Full Disclosure" editorial with comments was:

1. Edited after about five comments to remove an "anonymous" poster's real name
2. Parsed (per my suggestion) to just have the disclosure and no additional incriminating statements and scapegoating
3. Deleted entirely

All this was done in the span of about three hours earlier today. It was all very exciting and breathtaking in a rubbernecking kind of way.

Posted by Violated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I was "outted" because I contacted Embarcadero Publishing about the fact that Jeb Bing had not disclosed his personal/financial ties to PUSD. In his blog entry, which has since been removed, Mr. Bing noted that I felt that he should distance himself from the parcel tax discussion because of his ties. While this is somewhat true (I actually suggested that the editorial page is the appropriate place for an editor's personal opinion, not in the news articles), my primary concern was that Mr. Bing had not disclosed pertinent information that would allow readers to balance Mr. Bing's personal connections against the tone and selection of his articles. Had he done so from the onset, I would have felt he'd fulfilled his journalistic responsibilities. No where in his post did Mr. Bing address/counter any of the statements I had posted.

There was no need for Mr. Bing to identify me or for him to identify anyone who posts on the blogs. I think all those who post have an expectation that the privacy policy published by the Pleasanton Weekly will be followed. With the exception of Mr. Bing, I believe bolggers can rely on this expectation, and I expect the Pleasanton Weekly President and Embarcadero Publishing will have a conversation with Mr. Bing about his actions. I can only surmise that Mr. Bing chose to publish my real name in an effort to intimidate me or any others who post opinions with which he disagrees.
While the purpose of his blog was to do what he had been asked to do - disclose his ties to PUSD - he did that in his two opening sentences. The remaining 1000 or so words was a resume of sorts and another editorial.

When I registered, I did not provide my real name, nor my real address. Mr Bing had to do some work to connect my blogger name with my real name.

Once the Pleasanton Weekly President was made aware (not by me, someone else saw Mr. Bing's blog first) that Mr. Bing had violated the Pleasanto Weekly's privacy policy, she removed identifying names and later removed the entire blog. She did this after talking with me and has my support.

Cholo, I have the ACLU's number and I'm not afraid to use it! But first I will allow the Pleasanton Weekly President the opportunity to handle this incident appropriately.

Posted by Seeing Things, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm


I come to the PW forum frequently, but very rarely post. I read Mr. Bing's Disclosure Editorial this morning and couldn't help but post my shock and surprise at his lack of judgement by Outting you. Moments later the entire thread was removed, I hope you saved/printed it. In the past, I have really enjoyed reading articles by Mr. Bing, his choice to behave with spite towards you was a total shock, you responded and continue to respond with grace and style. Keep your head up and keep bringing us the facts.

Posted by violated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Dear Seeing Things,
Thank you for your kind words. I have received dozens of emails and phone calls today from many people I know in the community who regardless of how they feel about the parcel tax, all agree that Mr. Bing crossed an ethical line in a big way.
They are appalled at his behavior. Many are now concerned about the integrity of the Pleasanton Weekly, but I assured them, and hope to continue to assure all bloggers that Mr. Bing's actions are not condoned by the PW President, and they can and should feel confident that other PW Staff members will not do as Mr. Bing did.
Mr. Bing's "outing" of me will have no effect on what I post or how often I post.
The only effect Mr. Bing's behavior has had on me is to reinforce my concerns about his objectivity.
Again thank you for your response!

Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
T. Roosevelt 23 April 1910

Posted by doglover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 10:03 pm

doglover is a registered user.

Is your post equating Jeb Bing to a strong man who stumbles?

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:32 pm

For Violated,
Your posts have always been informative and respectful. You are absolutely correct that Jeb had an obligation to disclose his connection before making any statements at all about the parcel tax. He is entitled to an opinion, without regard for his wife's job, but as the editor he is ethically required to disclose his connections.
When I read his statement this morning and saw your name in print I literally came up out of my chair in anger, astounded that he could be so vindictive and such a fool. I have subsequently written to the publisher and asked for her response. His resignation is, frankly, what I think should be the result of his willfull and deliberate actions.
None of this has any further connection to the parcel tax issue. This is an issue of misconduct that was clearly premeditated if it took effort for him to track you down. I admire your strength and dignity after what he did. I am certain that my anger would have reduced me to equally vindictive -- and also inappropriate -- actions. Thanks for informing all of us of the facts that some of us were not able to uncover on our own.
Now we can wait to see if Embarcadero Publishing values ethics and honesty as much as they proclaim.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm

This violation of the rules demands action. Mr. Bing should either resign or be fired to reduce the possibility that readers of the weekly will become former readers of the weekly.

Posted by tax revolt 2, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 8, 2009 at 4:55 am

tax revolt 2 is a registered user.

Emily & PW - It appears to be fixed. Thanks for taking care of it and for the quick response.

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