Stewart’s Blog: Is this Gerald Ensley’s Final Article?

Stewart’s Blog: Is this Gerald Ensley’s Final Article?

Herb Seckel’s family did not get 30 days to mourn the loss of their patriarch, before Gerald Ensley, employed by the Tallahassee Democrat, delivered his angry hit job on a man that deserved better.

Mr. Seckel, who died on September 4th, less than a year after he lost his wife, was given the full “Gerald Ensley” treatment in an article published on September 26th.

Ensley opens his article by writing, “Herb Seckel died Sept. 4. It closed the chapter of Tallahassee’s most embarrassing city election.”

Really, “closed the chapter”? “The most embarrassing”?

Herb Seckel was born in 1928. He lived a full life before and after the “controversy” that Ensley found to be an open chapter.

The fact is the “chapter” surrounding the controversial election Ensley alludes to was closed in 1982 when Circuit Judge Donald Hartwell ruled Seckel had not violated any local laws.

The Seckel Family

But that is irrelevant to Ensley.

You see, Ensley needs a context to promote an agenda, which appears to be based more and more on anger aimed at people and institutions that do not hold his progressive political values.

Ensley wrote that Seckel rigged a local election involving a black man and white man “in favor of the white candidate…”

How does Ensley say this happened? “[A]pparently because white City Treasurer-Clerk, Seckel, unethically solicited enough absentee ballots” to alter the election.

Apparently! What editor allows a writer to launch a racially implied accusation about a man who has just died with the word “apparently.”

What is Ensley’s source for this observation? A court ruling? A grand jury finding? Oh no, no court or jury found any wrong doing.

You will love this.

With no solid evidence or an official finding to support “apparently”, Ensley reaches out to his old buddy, campaign manager extraordinaire, Gary Yordon.

Ensley quotes Yordon in the story: “If something funny happens at the circus, the first person you ought to look at is the clown.”

I surmise when asked, Yordon told Ensley something “funny happened” in that election.

Well, we all know Yordon knows funny, and that was good enough for Ensley.

There you go Seckel family, Mr. Seckel was a racist and a clown!

I forgot to add, Yordon worked for the loser of the election.

Ensley closes his article with one final dart for the Seckel family by saying that the episode changed the local electoral process, “Thanks, sadly, to Herb Seckel.”

Needless to say, the Seckel family is hurt.

His granddaughter responded online to the article this way:

I am disgusted by this article. Herb Seckel was a wonderful, kind, generous man, and it is incredibly distasteful to write an article suggesting that he was a racist monster. And not even a month after his death…

I know firsthand the pain that this article has caused Herb’s family because I am his Granddaughter. We buried him 2 1/2 weeks ago and buried his wife (my grandmother) 9 months ago. To have his name slandered in the local newspaper of the town he loved and called home for so many years is appalling!

Mr. Ensley does not have any evidence to support his claim that Herb Seckel disho
nestly swayed the election. All charges against him were dropped. You have to know a man to know his heart. Mr. Ensley says my grandfather “had his prejudices”. Mr. Ensley, to my knowledge, never knew Herbert J. Seckel. If he had known my Grandfather or had done any research on the man at all, he would have known that in 1981 Herb’s son, Jack, married a black woman. He would have known that all 3 of Herb’s grandchildren are biracial. Half black/half white. He loved his grandchildren and his African American daughter in law, and he would have given us the whole world if he could.

This article is careless and ridiculous, and I hate that I have given this much attention to it. It has hurt a family in mourning, and I will not standby and watch my Granddaddy’s reputation and legacy be slandered. Mr. Ensley must really enjoy the ridiculous race war that the mass media so vehemently perpetuates. Leave my family out of it.

Ensley and Yordon have done this before. Last year they teamed up to attack Jan Pietrzyk, an elected official in the early 1980’s, less than a week after he died.

Those in charge at the Tallahassee Democrat should be embarrassed.

35 Responses to "Stewart’s Blog: Is this Gerald Ensley’s Final Article?"

  1. With Aintsley’s “retirement” announcement this morning, Steve, you now have the answer to your headline. Well played.

  2. Gerald Ensley is to be pitied: If those young men had not sat down at that lunch counter fifty years, his life would have had no meaning.

  3. This latest episode represents a new low for the Democrat, and it’s no small feat for them to reach even lower than they generally are.

    As an editorial graphic artist of over 25 years who worked at two large city newspapers (Atlanta, Orlando) and a refreshingly excellent small-town paper in Central Florida, I was appalled at the lack of professionalism and obvious poor quality (writing, editing, print quality/design, lacking any editorial balance) of the Democrat when I moved to Tallahassee eight years ago. I happily cancelled my subscription seven years ago. Hopefully the rag will go out of business due to lack of audience or Gannett will give it a mercifully quick ending. Other than Tallahassee Reports, Tallahassee has no newspaper in any professional sense of the term.

  4. Generally recently dead people with immediate family members still living within the community are off limits for dragging thru the mud. It’s kinda like Gerald and Gary went out to the graveyard late at night, dug him up tarred and feathered the remains, and hung them by the neck from a tree for all to see. Unbelievable that Gary seems to have been a gleeful supporter of this travesty. Why did Gary not tell his friend Gerald not to do it? They must have a lot of pent up hate for the dead mans family and very likely a lot more reasons for the hateful piece of journalism than we know about.

    1. Gary is a sociopath relentlessly self promoting himself for personal gain and the Tallahassee Democrat and the Chamber of Commerce jumped on the Yordon bandwagon promoting this farce for over 20 years – at the expense – of public safety, economic development, humanity, self respect and dignity. It is time for the Gary Yordon and Gerald Ensley show to close.

  5. Shame shame shame !! Mr. Ensley needs to be fired. Your words should have consequence, sir!! the Seckel family should sue for defamation of character and emotional trauma. How dare they!

  6. I just want to say thanks to Tallahassee reports and Mr. Stewart for this article. I have known Herb all my life. His daughter in law is my moms sister. Herb loved his family and treated us as his own.

  7. This editorial in the Democrat was in very poor taste. Now I understand Mr. Ensley is dealing with a health crisis. All the best to him in spite of the editorial.

  8. My heart hurts for the Seckel family! I do not understand how, especially in a time of mourning, someone could take it upon themselves to write such mean-spirited, hateful words. It truly shows what is in the heart of the accuser, Mr. Ensley. His article only showed me what kind of character HE has. Mr. Seckel’s life and the words of his family showed me HIS character. There is no comparison between the two. Rest In Peace Mr. Herb, you are missed!

  9. FYI: Ensley wrote an irresponsible piece a few years ago. He protected and wrote glowingly about a candidate. When it was discovered the candidate was a criminal there was not a retraction or report informing the public of such. Gabordi participated in the cover-up and irresponsible reporting that put the public at large in danger. In fact, the Democrat not only failed to report the criminal arrests of the candidate Ensley wrote glowingly about, they gave the candidate a college degree in his bio that the candidate did not really have. Also, the Democrat under two publishers gave Gary Yordon a college degree – TWICE – in his political bios that he had not earned either and two publishers did write corrections. Ensley is not only irresponsible he is dangerous to the public at large with his irresponsible reporting. Hence, the CDA. He said and did nothing, but promoted and endorsed the incompetence of those managing the CDA, but one example of hundreds.

  10. Preston Scott and Steve Stewart,

    I want to take this opportunity to thank the both of you for what you’ve done for the Seckel family regarding the vicious HATE filled article about my deceased father Herb Seckel.

    I really don’t expect an apology from the Democrat or Gerald Ensley. For the Democrat it would be acknowledging that they were wrong and that could go bad if there’s a lawsuit on the horizon, so I think they’ll just print my and my wife’s rebuttal letter and hope this goes away soon. As far as Gerald Ensley’s concerned, I really think he’s so full of hate that to this day he is proud of what he has done. I only have to have traffic with him for a short period of time. He has to live with himself 24/7. The evil that lurks in his soul will eventually eat him alive. I almost feel sorry for him.

    I had been taking care of my father and mother since August of 2014 when both of them started to decline. I was their soul caretaker until my son Stephen and his wife Saleah put their lives on hold to help me. Mom had Pulmonary Fibrosis and was on oxygen 24 hrs a day. She passed away Christmas eve 2015. Dad had developed Alzheimer’s and didn’t even know who I was while I held his hand and watched him take his final breaths. Yea, Gerald really know’s exactly how and where to “twist the knife” in order to hurt people in the most vicious way. His heading says volumes about what kind of man he is ‘1982 election “last GASP of ‘good ol boy’ system”. You’re right Gerald, he did gasp for breath just before he died, but it wasn’t the last gasp of a ‘good ol boy’ but the last breath of a incredibly loving, kind, generous, honest to a fault human being that you will never begin compare to even if you live to be 180 years old.

    Thanks again,
    Preston Scott, Steve Stewart and everyone who has come to the defense of my father Herbert J. Seckel (8/3/28 to 9/04/2015). Rest in Peace Dad!

  11. Big thank you to Preston Scott and the 100.7 WFLA morning show for offering my family a few minutes to expose the pathetic excuse of a man that is Gerald Ensley. Also thanks to for always showing perspective and reporting on the facts first. My grandfather was a great man, who loved his family and this city. Herb Seckel’s positive influence on the city of tallahassee and it’s infrastructure is undeniable. He was a pioneer in his field and along with Bob Inser is responsible for bringing Tallahassee polotics and financial planning into 21st centry. He was one of the most efficient, and effective city treasures this town has ever known. There aren’t enough walls in his home to to hang all the awards and achievements presented to him by the city of Tallahassee and the State of Florida. Herbert Seckel’s legacy stands on its own and needs no defending. Gerald Ensley is a coward who survives on hurting other people. As a member of the media, he had a moral, and ethical obligation to report the facts when writing an article about my grandfather. He ignored this obligation because it was more important to him to slander the name of a good man for his own personal enjoyment. The saddest part of all of this is Mr. Ensley made outrageous accusations, including calling my grandfather a clown and a racist, all while never actually knowing him personally. Only a coward hides behind his pen for 33 years to attack a man after he’s buried.

    1. 100 % agreement with comments “Big thank you to Preston Scott and the 100.7 WFLA morning show… & for always showing perspective and
      reporting on the facts first.”
      great work gentlemen & your supporting team.
      i subscribe to Tallahassee Reports & left the Democrat YEARS ago.

  12. It’s easy to hide behind pen and paper and throw around nasty accusations.

    What’s not easy is reaping the negativity you sow.

    Karma will find Mr. Ensley.

  13. Is this the same Gary Yordon who was caught using his handy capped son’s wheel chair to pilfer items not paid for out of the May Company store?

  14. Ten years ago 16 Tallahassee Democrats were delivered daily on my street. This morning I counted one and it wasn’t on my lawn. Even mullets have some standards.

  15. I did not know Mr. Seckel but it does not surprise me that these two spineless embarrassments (Ensley and Yordon) to Tallahassee would try to beat someone in death that they got beat by in life. My prayers go to he family…

  16. Gerald Ensley is a hate filled leftist monkey. Always screaming and flinging his s#$%. The sooner he joins Mr. Seckel (though in the lower place, not the upper), the better.

    1. DavidB: Well that didn’t take long to happen. Seckel is now looking down on his atheistic abuser, shaking his head and wings.

  17. This is how the left operates. This is right out of their bible, “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinski. RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Ensley, we know your play book, you tool.

  18. After reading the article on Mr. Seckel, Ensley should have his ass kicked and then fired. I have lost what little respect I had for him and the “Mullet Wrapper” he works for!!

  19. The Democrat becomes more irrelevant by the day because of hacks like Ensley. Where are all of these “journalists” when the city is burning with corruption?. I guess sourcing a story that might lead to factual reporting is just not needed if it doesn’t support your agenda Ensley.

  20. Ensley, Yordon, and Lindley have set this county back 30 years because of their arrogance, lack of knowledge, and ad nauseam self promotions. They never questioned the CDA is just the latest example of their incompetence; however, they promoted and endorsed the incompetence behind it. Ensley has done some despicable reporting in his time and this recent example is just SOP. I guess the new management missed this area when cleaning up all the destruction Gabordi left in his tracks.

    1. Another informed, spot-on post for you, Hope.
      Gabordick’s reign of terror was a cancer on our city. His path of destroying newspapers due to his mismanagement, from Huntington to Asheville to Tallahassee, is well known. Did you know that when he left Asheville in 2005 to infect us, their reporters threw a party at a nearby club?
      To anyone who still subscribes to the local rag: the most significant way you can show you reject their liberal propaganda is to
      1) cancel your subscription, and
      2) don’t shop at their advertisers.
      The day will come when Gannett no longer has the profit margin they want, and will sell off the Democrap to someone who will actually be respectable, and turn it around.
      Someone who doesn’t use it solely as a vehicle to take hard-earned money out of your pocket to put in the pockets of the corporate executives in McLean, Virginia.

  21. The Tallahassee Democrat should spend more time proofreading their spelling & grammatical errors rathet than printing idiotic articles that have not been researched by people who write/edit them. They are constantly typing the same word twice in one sentence or putting the wrong word in front of another word.

  22. I too was appalled at the article Ensley wrote about Mr. Herb Seckel this past week. If he had know the family he would not have tried to embarrass him or his family. There was not a prejudice bone in his or her body. I had known Grace for years and thought the world of her and my husband and I both felt the same about Mr. Herb. It is a shame that the Tallahassee Democrat lets Gerald Ensley write these kinds of articles about someone within weeks of their deaths. Shame on you Gerald. Both will be sorely missed in the community.

  23. Congratulations to the granddaughter for standing up to this incredible misuse of the media’s role in our society. I’m sure her Granddaddy would surely be a proud man seeing her response. I’m one who believes one of our country’s biggest issues is an out-of-control, unaccountable, and clearly grossly biased mainstream media. I miss the days when we could trust that our news outlets were not this way. We need more people like Mr. Sekel’s granddaughter. Shame on you Ensley. There was absolutely no need to write that article. Just because you have a thought and a computer doesn’t mean you should share it.

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