Thursday, March 08, 2007

Gore Chooses Red-Eyed, Unknown Freak from Glendora as Running Mate!

Now why won't the SGV Trib print THAT?

And, by the way, everyone in LA knows that only Republicans live in Glendora. In fact, once you get on the 210, I heard that all that exists up there in those foothill cities are pasty white, racist, right-wing, red county types!?! Like in Claremont, for instance, which is even farther out...oh, wait...

OK, so now that I got a second, back to the Glendora story. Allison Hewitt's SGV Trib piece on the election mentions the arrest of two teenage girls after they were caught by the city councilman whose very signs they were vandalizing at the end of the article—short shrift. Although the headline says the race was "nasty," the story gives us little evidence of how and why. (What is nasty, actually, is the not-so-veiled threat that Mayor Tessitor makes about his Planning Commissioner, Jeff Johnson, saying he "might want to seriously consider resigning." Is this justified? Well, we'd have to know what the city manager did during the election to know, wouldn't we? And why is only one side of this entire debate quoted in the article?)

Meanwhile, City Editor Edward Barrera writes his monthly column explaining why the Trib decided to wait until after the election to cover the arrests in more detail (comment on the article at his blog here).

Here's the situation: two girls, likely being paid by their mom, whose father was recalled from the city council, were putting stickers on the likely illegally posted campaign signs of their dad's old political opponents. One of these same opponents, a sitting city councilman and a retired police officer, saw them, called the police, and they got arrested for vandalism. Regardless of anything else, that is a damn interesting set of facts. There is plenty there to draw out of an obviously nasty political situation—besides the obvious draw (I think, at any rate) that usually city elections don't involve such arrests, justified or not.

1) Why couldn't the paper have simply covered the event in a balanced way? By not covering controversial campaign events such as this one, I think the paper assumes such stories aren't real stories, thus, by default, favoring whichever politician doesn't want the story published. In this case, the story was obviously being worked up by "the opposition," but why couldn't the paper just say that instead of burying it?

2) On a more practical level, even if the coverage had been biased, was Clifford's win ever in doubt? I didn't think so, and if covered with even a modicum of balance I don't think it could have affected the election one iota. Former Mayor John Harrold, his public access TV star-power notwithstanding, has been reduced to official gadfly status for some time now.

[Updated: I will say that the Trib's city editor deserves kudos for publicly explaining the paper's reasoning on this issue; and, further, if it weren't for Allison Hewitt's reporting I would have much less to talk about on this blog. I'm trying to throw out some constructive criticism, not throw mud.]


Anonymous said...

This Tuesday, the Claremont City Council plans on making a wacky kind of move. They will not be making any ruling on Medical Marijuana. Instead, they will be introducing an ordinance regarding the prohibition of businesses that contravene state and/or federal law. Way to go Mayor Yao!

Miss Havisham said...

Wasn't Mr. Clifford the initial vandal by placing illegal signs on the property? Shouldn't all be charged? Clifford for vandalism and the girls for vandalizing the vandalism?

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