The Starting Line — UT- San Diego Recycles Two Week Old Story on Front Page

July 5, 2012- The story on the front page of today’s daily newspaper looked familiar. So familiar, in fact, that I initially thought the paper had lifted it—at least in part—from some other local source, possibly the Reader or KPBS. The article told the tale of an ascendant duo of mystery writers, Michele Scott and Andrew E. Kaufman, who recently discovered quite by accident that they lived within a quarter mile of each other in Jamul and have now decided to collaborate on a book. The lede to the story was so memorable (“Fresh from the freaky-but-true files:…) that I went ahead and searched the web, thinking surely there must be some kind of plagiarism going on. But that turned out not to be the case. What I discovered was that the story was originally published in the UT-SD on June 19th.  In other words, the paper was re-cycling the news. That’s one way to save money, I guess. UPDATE The UT has told that the story was only published online June 19th. That still doesn’t explain away recycling a two plus week old story and putting it on the front page of your print edition. It’s called a NEWSpaper, not a recycling bin for online features.

Homer Simpson Not Responsible for San Diego Fireworks Flub… They’re calling it a “premature ignition” and assuring us that an investigation is underway, but whatever you want to call it, last night’s big bay fireworks show was a bust.  Three of the four barges in San Diego harbor simultaneously detonated their whole load of fireworks, sending massive balls of fire into the sky lasting about fifteen seconds that could be seen for miles away. And that was it. The rest of the show was cancelled, mainly because, well, there wasn’t much left to show. I’m sure it will be a perennial (here’s the video for those of you who missed it) YouTube hit. Councilman Todd Gloria tweeted a promise that this sort of thing would never happen once downtown was part of his district.

Meanwhile over in Ocean Beach the Big Bay burst was clearly visible over Point Loma, and the massive crowd on the beach just assumed that it was part of the show.  After all, there were so many “unofficial” fireworks displays going on prior to the annual exhibition off the OB pier, that hardly anybody questioned the fireballs and the booms that followed them.  Despite a plea from OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie to keep the annual marshmallow fight off the streets this year (it does create a rather ‘unique’ mess the following day), thousands of people along the entire length of the beach began pelting each other with white cubes of fluff within seconds after the “official” finale of the pier show.  It must be experienced to be believed. I got away with only minor stickiness.

The Tea Party is coming!  Congressman Brian Bilbray and perennial candidate Nick Popaditch will be leading a rally in front of the San Diego County building Saturday morning, hoping to gin up support for repealing the Affordable Heath Care Act.  Here’s hoping that they have a peaceful demonstration, because, after all, us taxpayers/consumers don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for any emergency room visits that might ensue.

Conspicuously absent from today’s local paper is any mention of the emerging scandal regarding GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts in a Bermuda-based entity called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., which has been described in securities filings as “a Bermuda corporation wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney.” The story, based on reporting in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine, is significant because of it’s implications regarding Romney’s truthfulness in disclosing his real net worth and just how much in taxes he avoided paying.

Also missing from today’s paper is coverage of the recount underway in Mexico’s Presidential elections, triggered by allegations of massive irregularities in the vote count. Of the 143,000 ballot boxes used during last Sunday’s election, 78,012 will be recounted, according to an official with Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute. The UT-SD did run an Associated Press story yesterday on page A-10 about Mexican voters who received gift cards for their support of the winning Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

San Diego City Beat is not amused…. A report by SD Reader’s Don Bauder about changes underway at UT-SD’s sport department has the alternative weekly’s editor  wondering on twitter why they didn’t get mentioned thrilled* about making a reputed list of “enemies” of the local daily fishwrap. (UPDATE: A reliable source now tells me that City Beat was, indeed mentioned)  (*I made that part up, I don’t know if he was thrilled, but I would be) Money quote:

   Following the highly controversial firing of sports columnist Tim Sullivan, Lynch has allegedly been holding so-called “fireside chats” with newsroom departments, warning employees not to talk to “our enemies,” including the Reader, Voice of San Diego, and the 919 Report, a newsletter that goes to more than 500 former and current news employees of the U-T (now called UT). However, my sources say that Lynch’s chat with the sports department, which was supposed to come first, has not yet taken place.

But the best reaction on twitter came from San Diegan Dale Peterson:

 If I subscribe to the U-T, but also read @voiceofsandiego, Reader, & City Beat, am I eligible 4 a “black list” U-T discount? 

Not everybody is sad about Andy Griffith’s death…  Sometimes the ever cheeky Wonkette blog gets stories handed to them on a platter, like this weekend when they decided to take a cruise through several far right webs sites’ comments about Andy Griffith’s passing at age 86. You see, Mr. Griffith was, horror of horrors, a “Democrat” who’d actively supported the Obama campaign AND the Affordable Health Care Act.  Those transgressions earned him special honors from the mighty righties. We’ll share just a few, just to give you the flavor:

 So long Andy [smiley emoticon] You are a total sell out to this great nation. You are a communist piece of garbage and you will not be missed. — Truthbeliever2

 Sadly, my first thought when I saw the headline was “if he’d passed away at age 82 I would have missed him so much more” … Now, I only feel angry the old shill didn‘t live another year or two so he’d have to face a “death panel” before kicking it. The old bastrd died too soon to reap what he helped sow. I feel cheated that we’ll never get to hear him lament his decision to be a wh0re for the socialist DNC. — Wool-Free Vision

 So how did that Maobamacare you were pimping a couple of years ago work out for ya? Gee did the death panels keep you waiting too long? — Sweetrae

 Griffith was a total communist and hated this country. He was a bitter resentful person as Libs usually are. He was wasting air that someone else deserved. I won’t miss him in the least. — el_texicano

On This Day: In 1935 President Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act into law. The act authorized labor to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining. In 1968 Bill Graham opened The Fillmore West in San Francisco. In 1975 Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win a Wimbledon singles title when he defeated Jimmy Connors.

 Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista  (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center  (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org  


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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    • avatar says

      Jason, I figured out why they did it – the new format. It’s so they are able to run banner ads, specials, and other junk in the masthead.

  1. avatarDorothy Lee says

    Wow, great rundown. This synopsis of new-news stories of interest is much better than the “this just in” morning report in VoSD. I don’t really get how VoSD is on the UT enemies list: much of the “this just in” consists of links to UT stories. And VoSD staff tweet back and forth with UT staff all the time. Or maybe they no longer do…haven’t checked lately.

    We were on Harbor Drive, in front of the County Admin building, and witnessed (unknowingly) the big boom burst mishap. While faithfully expecting the show to begin for another 20 minutes, we and others watched two distant synchronized fireworks displays , one to the north and one to the south of us.

    Can anyone explain where those two displays were being fired off?

    • avatarDoug Porter says

      The one to the south was Coronado or National City. To the North & West there were 9 pm displays in La Jolla, Mira Mesa, OB & Sea World (9:30). FRom OB we could see La Jolla, OB (both unofficial & official), and SeaWorld.

      • avatarDorothy Lee says

        Thanks. Probably we saw Coronado’s and OB’s…we were stuck in the traffic on Harbor Dr when SeaWorld’s started.

  2. avatar says

    That was not a mistake, though two weeks is a long time for a story to hold.
    We routinely run stories on the web before they appear in print. Reporters and editors cover their beats, publish to their sections/blogs, and then we put the strongest stories in the paper. If this was a breaking news story, then yes, it would have been in error. But this is a non-timely feature that we have get on the front page.
    Also we never took the story offline, you can find it here, in its original home,
    Incidentally, no reader has ever complained about this practice. And we don’t feel a story that has run online is in any way damaged good for running in print.
    Thanks for your interest,
    Tom Mallory
    Homepage editor
    U-T San Diego

    • avatarDoug Porter says

      1) Say what you want; two plus weeks is a long time. Of course the story was a timeless feature. My take on it is that a) another story was pulled at the last minute off the front page {insert feature] or that you all think your web and print markets are exclusive of each other. Either way it doesn’t show much respect for your readers IMO.
      2)The June 19th link was functional at 8 am when I wrote than bit; daily editor warned me right after we hit “publish” that the link was no longer working (I also tried and got a 503 error message) and then shortly after we saw the UT visit our site (via our stat counter) it was live again. And we updated the blog to reflect that fact at about 4pm.

  3. avatar says

    I was walking down to the foot of Newport a few minutes before the OB display started when we saw the sky light up on the other side of Point Loma…one of the guys I was with was chuckling to himself today – the only reason he was able to come hang out with us was that his uncle’s locally based pyrotechnics company that he’s worked for on about every Fourth in memory lost their contract to some outfit out of New Jersey. He’s thinking that he might have his usual job back next year.

    And I feel some weird sense of pride in the UT labeling my employer an enemy combatant…

  4. avatarDan says

    July 5, 2012- The story on the front page of today’s daily newspaper looked familiar.

    Don’t feel bad. The local talk radio station in Nashville, WTN — home to scraming wombats like Michael DelGiorno — replayed the entire 7 pm newscast from July 4th — including street closings for the fireworks display — at 7 pm on July 5th.


  1. […] Here’s another trend: reprinting articles several times. […]