LettersEditorial Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Hypocrisy: Just what do they mean by ‘not covering’ the mayor’s race?
Most of your readers are familiar with that other publication’s stated policy of objective, non-coverage of the mayor’s race.
I received this following statement from the SDGLN editor a few weeks ago:
“We have published the following formal statement: ‘SDGLN is not reporting on the 2012 San Diego mayoral race because SDGLN publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, who is running for mayor. SDGLN will also not be making an endorsement in the race.’ This is because journalism ethics prevents the staff of SDGLN from creating even the remotest appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Two weeks ago, SDGLN reprinted in full a Turning Point profile article about Carl DeMaio from the San Diego Union Tribune. The article was both flattering and heart-warming. It was the first of four; each profiling those running for mayor. At the time, SDGLN took the position that reprinting the article of another publication was not “reporting” on the mayor’s race.
The U-T has now published Turning Point profiles of Dumanis, Filner and Fletcher. None of these other profiles have been reprinted in SDGLN.
I wrote to the editor of SDGLN, questioning whether this selective reprinting of articles favorable to DeMaio, while not reprinting any articles about Dumanis, Filner or Fletcher was consistent with “journalism ethics” and avoidance of “even the remotest appearance of a conflict of interest.” To my great surprise, I received no reply from the staff of SDGLN.
To any objective observer, it is obvious that SDGLN actively covers Mr. DeMaio favorably. Equally obvious is the SDGLN policy of reprinting any third-party article about DeMaio while failing to do so for Dumanis, Filner or Fletcher.
The ownership of SDGLN has the absolute right to be as partisan as they wish in this political race. But they should not be permitted to claim to be concerned for “journalism ethics” or the avoidance of “even the remotest appearance of a conflict of interest.” That is self-serving crap, at best. The hypocrisy leaves a bad taste in any reader’s mouth.
The fair market value of the one-sided reprinting of the many articles favorable to DeMaio should be reported as political contributions to DeMaio. And SDGLN should be honest with its readers and cease this sham claim to ethics and objectivity.
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