This will certainly help West Valley City's image..........
Mr. Winder seems to put his own spin on everything he says and does, and he's
still leading the cheers for WVC to continue being a sanctuary city for all the
illegals who come here to serve the cheap-labor lobby. Some people are great at
their own subjective commentary and observation, but have a hard time dealing
with actual facts; therefore, deception of all kinds is just part of the game.
But maybe that's what you have to do to make it in politics these days.
Writers have been using "pen names" for centuries and continue to do
so for various reasons. Having said that, I agree with Mayor Winder in general,
that the media is always looking for the seedy stuff to report. Why can't there
be a section or column for the good? Aren't we supposed to look for the good? I
would venture to say that any reporter/writer would love to have that job - in
every community. As for identity theft - in this situation, there was no
intent to steal or harm in any way. This is not identity theft. My name is very
uncommon, yet if Googled, you would find at least one other person with the same
name. If the Mayor would like to use my name to write these types of stories, I
would be proud to lend it.
PHealey,"I notice I am the only one using my real name
today...hmmm."Really? How would you know that? Is PHealy really
your full name? Can we really tell who you are by that name?No.But you are confident that shamrock is not the name of Sheldon Hamrock
of SLC, UT?And DanO is not Dan Osguthorpe of Draper?You
probably support Mr. Winder because you are Republican, or LDS, or in his
neighborhood. You will defend him regardless what he did.But if a
politician you did not like had done this, guess who would be screaming that it
is a violation of ethics!
I think a lot of obtuse people have very little or no literary or political
history knowledge to attack this action. This has happened a lot and will happen
a lot in the future. As Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) said ... wait I can't use
that.I think the wisest and best response was 1Observer. I also
think there is not much difference between posting with a pseudonym or writing
with one. The only time I use a pseudonym is when I am trying not to let who I
am cause the slanting of people?s perceptions or I am afraid of the retaliations
of readers. I can see both in what he did just from the responses. I see the use
of pseudonyms on the comments the same, as far as I know many of the
commentators today could be Peter Coroon, or other political rivals. I notice I
am the only one using my real name today...hmmm. (Oh hi, Mike)I also see
his handling of it as very noble. He could have said nothing to anyone and just
never written under it again.
Irwin Fletch Fletcher wrote a column under the name Jane Doe and his journalism
brought down the most corrupt police cheif in Los Angeles. Just sayin.
There goes the Deseret News again--printing another story about crime in West
Valley City. Oh, I guess Mayor Winder didn't forsee that he would personally
increase the tally of crime stories.
morather than continue winder's deception of using a false identity,
please identify yourself as you are making such a big deal over something that
you are doing
One of the biggest problems this issue has created is that people won't be able
to trust that the Mayor is telling them the truth. He's on record as creating a
deception to get positive exposure for WVC and folks are naturally going to
wonder every time he does something after this if there's a hidden agenda or he
is being forthright in his views. Years ago I explaind to my
20-something year old son when he was caught lying at age ten that the most
serious part of his behavior wasn't the lie itself (although it could have been)
but that in the instance in which he was enveloped that people wouldn't trust
him again regarding whether he was being truthful and so such a behavior carried
a tremendous cost. I never experienced him lying again. Now that
Mayor Winder has lost his credibility, how does he regain it? He embraced a
poor choice and will suffer because of it.
Based on some of the comments here, it would appear that Mayor Winder is not
alone in his tenuous grasp on the concept of journalistic ethics.
Not good, Mike. People have been writing under pen names for centuries but
creating and fomenting a whole persona is deceitful. The ends of getting good
news stories for your city do not justify the means of lying to do it. We should
get more honest behavior than this from our elected officials.
It's one thing to have true grassroots support for something, but it's quite
another to try to trick people into believing that's the case. When you deceive
the newspaper into letting you promote political candidates and causes,
pretending to be an average citizen in order to conceal your obvious conflicts
of interest, you've gone beyond "ethically questionable"; what you're
doing is just plain wrong. What other measures is Winder taking to
surreptitiously promote his agenda?
I wonder how many of these positive comments are being posted under various
screen names by Mayor Winder?HAHA! Seriously though he has done a
lot for that city, and he's the one who came forward as soon as he realized it
wasn't appropriate. It's kind of funny, but there is no way that this would
keep me from voting for the guy.
If it was good enough for Benjamin Franklin, then it's good enough for me.
As a citizen of West Valley city, I think this is quite amusing. I feel at no
way deceived by Mayor Winder, nor do I feel like he took undue measures to
promote the city he oversees. No one reading this has any idea who I am, yet no
one is calling "impostor" or "scandal." Leave the mayor
alone and let him do his work. He brought the manner to light as soon as he
realized it violated policy, an action which promotes, not harms, his calls for
openness in government.
That is what everyone here is doing. Hiding behind an anonymous post. Enders Game had some smart little kids running the world behind their
hidden identity.I can like my own comments I post. That's funny.
Johnfranks,Well, you got one thing right. Mike Winder is certainly a
good guy.As for the rest, maybe all these people sharing their
criticism should cast a few less stones on here. But that's just a crazy idea to
most people anyway.
This is a bit of a moral dilemma: Use a false name to write articles about how
great and wonderful West Valley City happens to be, as opposed to the continual
reports of serious crime......what a dilemma.Here's a news story:
WVC has had a criminal element since the days they became a city. In fact, that
was one of the argumrents for incorporating "because the SL County
Sheriff's Office didn't give the area enough attention surely a new city police
force would change the area into a safe and desired place in which to
live." That was in 1979 and they're still fighting that image because the
problem still exists.....NO improvement to speak of regardless of the City's
expenditures for the E Center, Amphitheater, Golf Course, etc.Note
to Mayor Winder and all such politicians: The END does NOT justify the MEANS.
Hence, the eternal moral dilemma does indeed have an answer: BE HONEST.
Don't a lot of people contribute to newspapers under pseudonyms? After he
realized this was against the paper's policy he came forward on his own to
rectify the situation. That's all I needed to hear- this is not a big deal.
Deseret Connect's "contributors" include some real former Deseret News
reporters who have had to go freelance; however, most of the contributors are
amateur bloggers who have been convnced that they should work for free or for
little pay for the great glory of getting their byline in the paper. This is
demeaning to everyone, the real reporters and the bloggers, and it makes the
paper look bad.
Mike Winder is a good guy who is completely blinded by ambition. He needs to
take a step back and review his actions. From Energy Solutions to this recent
episode, he is a train wreck waiting to happen.
Anyone not having a problem with this needs to do a bit of research on our
constitution and why freedom of the press was put in the 1st amendment. Do any
of you know what is referred to as the "fourth estate"? Do those
currently running the DNews know? Newspapers are to be a check and balance for
govt. just as essential as the other 3 branches of govt. Mr. Winder wrote,
under another name, articles that cast a positive light on his city and would in
turn reflect positively on him as its mayor. How many people may vote for him
due to the positive publicity these articles gave? He even quoted himself, for
heaven's sake!! The Des News is equally at fault for not valuing what it
means to be a trained journalist with a commitment to professional ethics. The
whole Deseret Connect model is a disaster. Does anyone know how many other
contributing writers are PR folks using pen names to promote whatever cause or
product they see fit? If you don't want to be in the business of providing real
journalism, don't. Publish a collection of blogs but don't keep calling it a
Mr Winder has been clearly deceiving at many turns in this matter. He says its
"his city" and "his community." Does that mean that it is
now ok to be deceiving to West Valley City if you feel that it is in the best
interest of the person and/or the City? He used articles that were clearly not
his and also facts including quotes and statements from himself. Is that not
self-serving? He was dishonest with many people including personal phone calls
from editors where he promised that he was someone else. He even made up a name
on Facebook and used a photo of a famous tennis player. Is that not dishonest?
He and his sister says, well I probably should not have done it but I was so
passionate about our City. He was even passionate about getting one of his
friends elected to the city council so he used a fake name. Is that not
bordering on a criminal act? Don't run for Mayor, I won't vote for you. I
heavily doubt you will get the nod from the Demos in the County either. You lied
Mr. Winder. You deceived. Do I smell a recall?
Winder did nothing wrong. Transparency is not the same as honesty. One can not
reveal everything about themselves and still be honest. Winder used a different
name. But did he publish any claims that were dishonest and deceitful?Oh no, a pen name! What are we in for next? Seriously, the Winders have the
best milk in the state, and the guy is fending for my city. The two are
completely unrelated, but they bring Winder and their cows a good name. lolI'm proud to call him my representative. That's more than I can say for
most people! I've known some of the Winders all my life. They are good people.
This is reflected in his decision to make this situation right when he found
out.Wait a sec... Freedom... in... Danger? Ah! Another pen name!
What do we do now? lol, this isn't even news.
THANK YOU mo!You are exactly correct.Winder used a pseudonym
to post as a "citizen contributor" - NOT as a commenter on the news
forum (as we are). The SOURCE of the "journalism" should be trusted,
but now we find that the D-News never investigates just who is writing their
"news".In the past, I've seen articles written to promote
miracle juices and quack health practices -- and it only took a bit of googling
to find out that the contributor was selling that very item. That's not
journalism, and it shouldn't be mixed in with true news.Tobeornottobe -- did you read this part? "Winder stopped writing
under the alias and told editors that Burwash had moved to London and even
provided the phone number of a library there as his new number." Come on, folks -- that's not only writing under a pseudonym, that's
perpetuating the dishonesty and hiding. Mr Winder, whatever career you hoped
to have in the future, should by with Herman Cain and Rick "I Forgot"
If one more person posts about George Eliot or Mark Twain, I'll go nuts. They wrote fiction. FICTION. They used what is called a nom de plume.
They didn't go out, steal a real person's name, a real person's photo, and
create an alternative identity complete and separate from their real one. They
weren't elected officials held to a higher standard of openness and
transparency. They weren't trying to promote a bias on political issues that
they had a personal stake in.Goodness people, apples and oranges.
You are comparing things on the surface when in reality this violation of public
trust is a lot deeper than that.And if you don't believe that, I
have the card of a Mr. Burwash who would LOVE to sell you a happy bridge in a
The problem as I see it is that Mike was not just publishing feel good PR pieces
about his city, but was trying to influence voting (Prop 3) and justification
for his boondoggle (Utopia) tax increases as a "concerned citizen"
not as a representative of his office. I guess he is afraid of truly open and
transparent government. I for one am tired of the lack of ethics in government.
Bad form to use anothers picture, but if your going to at least us George
Cloony's or Steve McQueen's
Mayor Winder deceived his readers about the source of his articles, and he
prevented them from accurately assessing the credibility or bias in his reports.
That's a serious ethical lapse, one that's troubling in an elected official.That said, I think the Deseret News has been more than a little naive in
its expectations about the unpaid contributors to its Connect articles. It's
completely foreseeable that many--even most--of these unpaid writers have their
own agendas, and those agendas may have nothing to do with traditional
journalistic standards or ethics. In some cases, they may have a good agenda
(to promote a charity's fundraiser, for example) but that's not invariably the
case. They may have a more problematical agenda--such as ginning up good PR for
an unpopular corporation, a questionable city policy or a poor service or
product.If the Deseret News wants to publish these puff pieces and
PR releases, I guess that's their privilege, but those articles should at least
be clearly labeled as such, so that readers can draw their own conclusions about
whether the DNews is a reliable source of news.
really how many bloggers or authors really use their own name? So he wanted to
promot his hometown. So what. I say good job.
I'd rather have the truth from some unknown person than have lies and distorted
news from some known person. Newspapers are essential to a free democracy and
open government and it is the ideas and collision of facts that are paramount,
not the source.
Used to be folks read news stories penned by journalists with the talents and
ethic of jounalists. Now the stories in the Deseret News are written by
politicians with false names. Why is that a good thing? Doesn't the credibility
of the Deseret news decline?
To assert that any media outlet, including the D-News, is unbiased is patently
false. They all have an agenda whether it be social, political, financial or
whatever (or any combination of such). That said, I understand the D-News' wish
for transparency and has crafted a policy to drive that.Mayor
Winder's use of the media to further his agenda under a pen name is not a new
idea as noted by other posters. To attempt to vilify him for this is
disingenuous. If the issue is transparency, then the point is well taken.Hats off to Mayor Winder for stepping forward once he had a clear
understanding of the policy.
George Eliot changed "her" name so that she would be taken more
seriously by readers. Long history of this.
southmtnman,I was stating that I have no problems with this paper,
the idea of an LDS-run paper, and so on. The BYU reference was simply to enforce
the same idea. That along with this devotion to the idea of an LDS-operated
newspaper. I think many others have the same welcoming attitude towards this
concept. With that in mind, sometimes people tend to expect perfection from this
paper. I only meant to say that this paper isn't perfect, nor is the staff. So
I'm not trying to attack the D.N., nor it's CEO. I'm sure they do good quality
work, and with good intentions. I simply feel that this reaction to Mayor Winder
wasn't in the best form as 1) I and others have noticed the same pattern and 2)
Because Mayor Winder corrected his actions in the appropriate manner. That
despite what people may think of this paper, and I agree with what many see in
the D.N., that I feel that this was slightly in poor judgement.Pending the approval of my first comment, I may not be able to post another
response. So please understand that if you reply to this one.
So will this act get a new name? Who Burwashed this article?
Tobeornottobe - haha. I don't even know how to respond to your comparing using a
screen name to using a false identity. Wow, any justification you can get for
dishonesty right?Cats - I am very surprised that you don't think it
is a big deal to lie by creating a false identity. A little lie here, a little
cheating there.... and it goes on and on.Government at its best.
To Voice of Reason,You wrote:"3) Quite frankly, I
love this paper. I love BYU. I love the idea of 'church run' in every way.
However, the work is true- but not all workers are perfect and do the right
thing."Excuse me? I thought we were talking about West Valley
City, not the LDS Church and BYU. Why bring them into this?
Anyone ever hear of "Poor Richard's Almanac?" Benjamin Franklin wrote
under a lot of pen names all the time. This has been common practice for many
years. I don't really have that much of a problem with it. He came clean when
he found out it was against the rules. Big Deal!
I'll post this now, in case anyone reads my comment. I posted a first half of my
comment and it is still unposted. I wish the D.N. would prevent this kind of
thing, but as it stands... just know that this is not my complete statement and
there are key elements to the first half that I feel are necessary to
understanding my full view regarding this.
"This practice is not uncommon. Most Americans should be familiar with
Publius (pseudonym forAlexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay),...."
Yes, but Publius is obviously a pseudonym. But the name used by Winder was not
so. Not too bright.
Politicians already occupy the "bully pulpit." And, they should be
held to a high standard. And to those who claim that it's O.K. to lie because
"other people have done it" does not convince me at all. Other people
steal too which is not an excuse for the rest of us.
Tobeornottobe wrote: "I find it ironic that most of you that have replied
have done so (with Deseret New's) approval under a hidden identity (including
me)....??? To all have done so but fault Mayor Winder for expressing in writ
just have you have just done...irony- hypocritical?"No, this is
not hypocritical at all. No one posting here is at all perpetrating identity
fraud like the mayor did. The internet's system of expressing opinions
anonymously through the use of "handles" is open to anyone, and
everyone knows you don't know who could be posting what opinion. Tobeornottobe
could be Mike Winder's brother for all we know. But when a paper
publishes a news (note opinion) article from a contributor, it should be clear
who that contributor actually is. Imagine if Pres. Obama or Pres. Bush were
running around under false names, personally feeding the press stories to the
media that reflect positively upon their administrations. Can we say major
conflict of interest?When WVC looks good, it makes Mike Winder look
good. This is just re-election politics taken to a whole new low. I
can't imagine a single person here who would knowingly do business with an
individual who is purposely misrepresenting himself. Would you buy a car from
Mr. Burwash and feel okay about it? It says a lot about our society
today when we are willing to rationalize dishonest behavior as extreme as the
mayors by saying "everyone does it" when they don't.
Continued...But we are in no place to cast stones when we aren't
perfect ourselves.2) Mayor Winder also stopped when aware of the
policy and notified them of his own accord. Is this not an admirable decision? I
dare say that most politicians this state has seen are no where near as
honest.3) Quite frankly, I love this paper. I love BYU. I love the
idea of 'church run' in every way. However, the work is true- but not all
workers are perfect and do the right thing. I believe that this response was
inappropriate. I do not believe Mayor Winder was without fault, but I do agree
with him. This paper, as much as I love it, most certainly is not perfect.I came from a family with serious problems. Most church videos I see
show picture perfect families, or pretty close to it. This bothers me as I feel
it is a neglectful approach. I do not believe the church does wrong, I simply
believe that the work can improve.Well, I'm not anti-Deseret News
over this, not at all. I simply wish this was a better response. And Mayor
Winder's concerns are valid.
I'm curious as to why the DNEWS didn't investigate to know who was writing
stories they deemed worthy to publish?
The media is concerned that someone would misrepresent themselves to the
media?What a land of double standards we live in.
The level of deception Mike Winder stooped to to pull off this farce bothers me
hugely. I am a WVC citizen and I'm not pleased with the fraud perpetrated by the
mayor. Using a pen name is one thing if you are a private citizen,
but it is neither "open" nor "transparent" for an elected
official to go running around with aliases with the intent of whitewashing his
city's profile and so make himself look good. It's a very self-serving and
dishonest tactic.There was so little coverage of the opposing
viewpoint on Proposition 3 in WVC that I wondered where all the journalists
were. Well, now I know. The "journalist" covering the topic was the
mayor who was more than happy to propagandize his pet taxation issue. No, this is not good. It undermines his trustworthiness completely.
As a citizen of West Valley City, I do NOT think Mike Winder's credibility has
been undermined. I also had noticed too many articles about crime in West Valley
City and am glad Mayor Winder wrote positive articles but feel it was wrong to
use a pseudo-name.
I find it ironic that most of you that have replied have done so (with Deseret
New's) approval under a hidden identity (including me)....??? To all have done
so but fault Mayor Winder for expressing in writ just have you have just
done...irony- hypocritical?After reveiwing Mr. Winders actions,
although probably not politically advisable, his articles were acurate to a
fault, there was no maliciousness or mischievienous in his motives. Such a high
profile person would have a difficult time expressing his opinions without
biasing people from the start. It would seem with his curent profession and
proclivity to write he did need a pen name to advocate positions he may have not
been able to do from such a high profile position. As to his character and
integirty, I believe Mayor Winder was forthcoming on his own regarding the
matter. He has been a very good mayor for us in West Valley, given the
aforementioned I don't fault Mr. winder or Mr. Burwash.
As we know, a practice may be common, but still be unethical and dishonest.This deception undermines Mr. Winder's credibility. It raises the
question of what other lines will he cross (or blur) to advance his political
career? What other questionable practices might he justify "for the good of
the image of the City and its representatives"? What other people (family
members) might he draw into his conspiring efforts to deceive?Comparing (and implying justification for) what Winder did to the Publius pen
name of early Founding Fathers is a huge stretch, at least in part because
fixing the tarnished (but deserved) reputation of a City in Utah is not on the
same level as trying to establish the Constitution of a Nation. The deception in
the latter case was to preserve the lives of the writers, whereas Winder's
deception was to preserve what? The public acceptance of his opinion? If so,
that deception has backfired.This "identity theft" was not
and is not justified, and I, for one, will not trust a man who stoops to
surreptitious methods to achieve his goals and then tries to justify it by
declaring the nobility of his cause.
That's what happens when you fire real reporters and migrate to a bunch of
"citizen contributors." You don't really know who is writing your
articles and what their affiliations may be.
While I agree with your comments (mostly) I have to say, "It is also
important to note that back in that day newspapers were openly partisan and
there was no illusion of neutrality..." is pretty much the same today.
Journalistic integrity and neutrality are all but dead today. News sources today
rarely report a story with complete objectivity. 'Just the facts' doesn't sell
papers (or get views).
This practice is not uncommon. Most Americans should be familiar with Publius
(pseudonym forAlexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay), who opined in
post-Revoultion papers about the need to pass the Federalist version
Constitution. The difference is that while their identities were a closely
guarded secret, the publishers of the papers typically knew who they were and
protected their identities. It is also important to note that back in that day
newspapers were openly partisan and there was no illusion of neutrality so the
Federalists went to like-minded publishers who supported their cause and would
support their anonymity. Throughout history there have been countless
individuals pen articles using pseudonyms so that their actual identity wouldn't
color the reception of the story. I am not a West Valley resident but I will
say that Mayor Winder has done a great job of improving the image of his city.
And it needed improving. Sadly, his positive stories probably wouldn't have
been published if the DNews knew they came from him, viewing it as some type of
self-promotion. Nor would the reading public received them in the same way if
they knew he was the author.