Talk:Jeff Bergosh

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Conflict of interest[edit]

I must assume that the recent contributor to this Jeff Bergosh article is either Mr. Bergosh or a close friend/relation. We appreciate your participation on Pensapedia, but please understand that you have a conflict of interest on this issue. If you feel the article is inaccurate or has misrepresented the facts, please make a note of your concerns on this talk page. Some of your revisions promote a biased viewpoint and contradict statements cited in the News Journal sources. I understand the frustration of making verifiable claims when you have a conflict with the newspaper-of-record, but I'm sure we can come to a compromise. Thanks for your cooperation. --Admin 12:15, 23 November 2007 (CST)

I believe your second revision was better than the original. I still believe the piece is inaccurate, however, with the latest changes I believe it more accurately portrays both sides than the original. I do not agree with the use of the term "Scandal"--this would give the appearance of something illegal or innappropriate. look to the unbiased sources to clear that up ( UWD Voyager article and/or NWFl daily news article ) Additionally, it is very widely known that Bergosh was critical of the PNJ's editorials slamming Educational Quality in Escambia County. I would suggest that you find and link Richard Schneider's editorial (as well as associated forum posts) from August 12, 2007. Also Mark O'brien's piece from September 30, 2007, (and associated forum posts). Both of these editorials and responses were prior to the erruption of the "controversy", and many feel these editorial responses were the impetus for the PNJ's expose on Bergosh. I would caution, particularly on this piece, against using too much of the PNJ's material to create an accurate page, as there has been extreme tension between the subject of this piece and the PNJ editor/editorial staff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) November 25, 2007
I will agree on the word "scandal". It is not appropriate for the situation. I certainly feel that the situation was/is a "controversy", though, and have restored the "Godzilla controversy" heading. I would even go as far as to support an omission of the "Godzilla" phrase in the header (despite the fact that I feel it is a good identifier for the controversy)... something like "PNJ forum pseudonym controversy" perhaps...? As for your other edits, I don't care for the way you have phrased them, and am going to rewrite them, but I am going to try to work out something you will accept. dcosson ··· talk 14:19, 25 November 2007 (CST)
  • The contention that the Godzilla admission was made "off the record" but published anyway is a serious allegation which I don't believe is accurate. The phrase "off the record" has a very specific meaning in journalism; such testimony has to be negotiated with a publication in advance and can't be applied retroactively. Bergosh may have asked Rabb not to publish the story, but she had no obligation to obey.
  • To make a connection between Bergosh's responses to specific PNJ editorials and the subsequent "outing" is speculative at best, and in any event it was already addressed in the article: "Bergosh asserted ... that the left-leaning newspaper had engaged in 'yellow journalism' as retribution for his conservative opinions..."
  • The verbose contextual qualifiers after each one of the Godzilla quotes are unnecessary, in my opinion, even in the format of "Bergosh contends that..." (which itself raises new issues of how to cite quotes by an anonymous contributor to this project whom we assume is Mr. Bergosh).
  • Finally, I must repeat my request that the anonymous contributor (Mr. Bergosh or his friend/relation), due to conflict of interest concerns, broach any concerns about the article's content or wording on this discussion page before making any edits. Otherwise we will be forced to protect this article from anonymous edits. Thank you. --Admin 17:19, 25 November 2007 (CST)
    I agree with basically everything you said... I appreciate it if you'd take a stab at some changes. I'm trying to build consensus, even if it is just among three people. dcosson ··· talk 17:37, 25 November 2007 (CST)

Joe, good job condensing my verbose lead. About the Godzilla admission/off the record status... I would say that if the anonymous contributor still takes issue with that section, and we can figure out some way to source/cite it, we could clarify that section with something like "Bergosh maintains that the admission was "off the record"." or something like that. I don't know. Trying to be as neutral as possible. Sigh. dcosson ··· talk 19:03, 25 November 2007 (CST)

Why change Godzilla?[edit]

I don't understand why "Godzilla controversy" is not an acceptable section header. The same editor has repeatedly tried to remove Godzilla from the intro paragraphs as well. It's a much more concise and accurate descriptor, since the controversy wasn't just about the fact that Bergosh used a pseudonym, but rather extended into the subsequent actions by both Bergosh and the News Journal. To the anonymous contributor (who should consider creating a username), please detail your reasoning on this talk page or I will revert to the previous section header. --Admin 09:39, 28 November 2007 (CST)

To Admin--I put a lot of good information on here this morning--answered this question and more-- and it has been deleted, Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) November 29, 2007 00:28
It must have been a hiccup with your browser or Internet connection. The only changes made yesterday are still intact. --Admin 04:40, 29 November 2007 (CST)

Get The Story Right[edit]

Administrator—I am interested in getting this story right. I have followed this story very carefully, and Much of this information was added to the discussion section last week but it has subsequently been deleted. I’ll try again. I do believe Bergosh's initial confession was made off the record, and I have changed the phrasing in the piece. I have supporting information for this change below.

You contend that you do not believe that Bergosh’s admission was given off the record, but Bergosh himself claims that the admission was. See this article

“The Gannett-owned daily says Bergosh admitted posting as Godzilla and then called back denying it. It also quoted Escambia County School District Associate Superintendent Ronnie Arnold asserting that Bergosh told him he was Godzilla. Bergosh denies both accounts, claiming he told a PNJ reporter off the record that he was Godzilla. “

Even if you don’t believe the Bergosh version, in the interest of objectivity and impartiality, you ought to work this quote into the piece. That would be appropriate.

Also, to bolster this Bergosh version, a public record email exists that casts doubt on the Rabb/Arnold version of the story. It was sent out by Ronnie Arnold on October 3rd—mind the date, because it was after the Rabb/Bergosh interview but before the front page expose. According to Rabb/Arnold version of story, they both knew Bergosh was Godzilla on/by this 10/3 date ( Rabb from an interview on 10/2, Arnold from a luncheon in September) Bergosh answered Arnold’s email, maintaining his official on the record position that he was not Godzilla. Arnold’s initiating email is on the bottom, Bergosh’s response is on the top. This is a valid, public record email that can be easily verified, and I would encourage the administrator to look into it to verify it's veracity.

From: Jeff Bergosh Wednesday - October 3, 2007 4:56 PM

To: Arnold, Ronnie; School Board Members
CC: Dwelle, Jackie; English, Linda; Ross, Norm; Waters, Donna; West, Linda
Subject: Jeff Bergosh
To My Fellow Board Members,

I regret the fact that our Associate Superintendent for Public & Interagency Affairs felt he somehow had the duty to send you the below email regarding alleged posters on the Pensacola News Journal" Blog". Mr. Arnold and I met two weeks ago on this very subject and at that time he confronted me with his suspicion about posters on a blog. I denied these baseless allegations then, and put the issue to rest. I guess Mr. Arnold wanted or felt compelled to keep this non-story going by sending you what amounts to a continuation of a hunch or suspicion (below email). With a plethora of much more important issues to attend to, I find it quite amazing that Mr. Arnold would feel that this issue had reached the level that it warranted an "explanation" email. Let me assure you it does not.

I have asked some tough questions at meetings lately, and taken some positions opposite of what some in the district wanted--and therefore it seems as though I have made someone angry. I make no apologies for taking the positions I take on issues I feel passionate about, so I can handle it when folks want to take shots at me. I do not march lock-step with anyone, period. Anyone who knows me knows that. In this particular case, people want to perpetrate accusations and innuendos about me based upon entries someone has made on a blog. WOW--Must be a slow news day! I think the whole thing is quite childish and I certainly hope that the Associate Superintendent for Public & Interagency Affairs can find issues more important to the district to investigate beyond these trivial matters.

This issue comes to you now because yesterday I was approached by the PNJ Educational reporter, Sara Rabb. Mrs. Rabb and I had a frank discussion on many issues surrounding education in Escambia County. During the conversation, she asked if I was a certain poster on the PNJ blog. I denied it and I laughed because Mr. Ronnie Arnold had also recently accused me of being this blogger. Mrs. Rabb, not knowing that our Associate Superintendent for Public & Interagency Affairs had made the same accusation, may have misinterpreted my reaction. I thought the issue was ironic and humorous, due To Mr. Arnold and others suspecting I was some blog poster--- but my amusement was NOT an affirmation. I unequivocally denied this accusation to Mrs. Rabb, and I have spoken with her again to reiterate my position. I would most certainly hope that you, my fellow board members, would take this non-story for what it is, a big nothing.

Jeff Bergosh
Escambia County School Board District 1


>>> Ronnie Arnold 10/3/2007 12:55 PM >>>
Board Members:

I am currently in Tallahasse on legislative business. I received a troubling call today from Sara Rabb of the Pensacola News Journal. Sara indicated to me that the PNJ had suspicions about Mr. Bergosh being the blogger named "Godzilla." She further stated that a search of the IP address used by the blogger belonged to Mr. Bergosh.

She further stated that in her interview with Mr. Bergosh about this matter, he had indicated that I had questioned him about this a couple of weeks ago. I confirmed that fact.

While I have been typing this, I have received a call of a similar nature from Rick Outzen of the Indepengret thedent Weekly.

I would suspect that board members may be receiving calls on this issue as well and wanted to give you a "heads up."


Ronnie Arnold, Associate Superintendent
Public & Interagency Affairs
The School District of Escambia County
215 W. Garden St.
Pensacola, FL 32502
(850) 469-6135
(850) 469-6172 (fax)

Administrator—this email opens many questions.

  1. If Rabb had an in the can on the record admission from Bergosh on 10/2, why would she be contacting Arnold a day after the confession with a “suspicion”
  2. Why would Arnold not just confirm that he “knew” Bergosh was Godzilla, from the luncheon in September? Why this email?
  3. When the story broke a day after this email, the suspicion turned into “Bergosh Confessed”? This email, when the date within the timeline is considered, really throws the PNJ angle into a different light.

The fact of the matter is that the PNJ was going to run The Godzilla story with or without Bergosh’s consent, and he never admitted being Godzilla to anyone, officially, until the October 8th radio interview.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I will do some more research into the matter and see how we can come to a consensus. The Ronnie Arnold angle of this story had not yet been addressed in the article. In the meantime, please do not make any more edits to the article. For one thing, it undermines our reference system; the sentence you most recently changed was followed by a citation to a PNJ article, but the revised sentence was not supported by that source. This system of citing verifiable sources is extremely important to Pensapedia, and the biggest conundrum of this particular issue is that your claims are not verifiable; the only thing we have to go on is Mr. Bergosh's word against the News Journal's. Are you suggesting that, since Mr. Bergosh never admitted to being Godzilla in the Rabb interview, that her quotes attributed to Mr. Bergosh ("You got me," "Everything that I write, I believe," etc.) were completely fabricated? --Admin 07:36, 3 December 2007 (CST)

Admin, I feel your latest edit to the article addresses anon's concerns about the on/off the record status. It presents that as Bergosh's POV without establishing it as fact, and is properly sourced. dcosson ··· talk 09:31, 3 December 2007 (CST)