June 4, 2012—For the second time in this election cycle “Papa Doug” Manchester’s Union-Tribune has splashed it’s editorial endorsement of a mayoral candidate on the front page. Monday morning readers of the local daily newspaper were treated to “Editorial: The Case for Carl DeMaio” even before they could turn the page today. Blogger George J. Janczyn (@GrokSurf) pretty much summed it up when he tweeted: “Once again the U-T headlines DeMaio for mayor–and this time on the REAL front page, not on a wrap-around. U-T’s the Fox News of newspapers.”
U-T San Diego launches on-line TV station to terrible reviews… Hoping to extend his reach beyond print with “original local news, talk and lifestyle programming on cable and the Web,” publisher Doug Manchester launched UT San Diego TV this week to terrible reader reviews.
The company has reportedly invested more than $3 million to construct a state-of-the-art studio that takes up a large part of the news room on the third floor of U-T San Diego’s Mission Valley headquarters. The operation features back drops of Balboa Park, the Del Mar races, downtown and the beach. While the programming is available only on the web at present, negotiations are underway to gain access to the Cox, Time-Warner and AT&T cable systems. The Morning Report (VOSD) has UT reporter Tanya Mannes tweeting that they were “really close to a deal with one of the cable stations.”
A quick glance at the reader comments following a front page Sunday feature about the new operation indicates that Manchester’s latest effort—one that his minions are boasting will compete with local non-affiliated outlets like KUSI, San Diego 6 and KPBS, and affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX and even but also with 24-hour news channels like CNN– has a long way to go before winning over local viewers.
One reader summed up the online discontent, saying “I think the Bay of Pigs was more successful than this stunt by the UT.” Another said“So far, you embarrass me.” Yet another commenter was more charitable, saying: “At least they haven’t edited the comments? Seriously guys, give ’em a month to work the kinks out. Early ESPN was not pretty.”
UT Owner: You have backbone? You’re fired… Sports columnist Tim Sullivan was busy putting together his column on Friday when he received a phone call informing him that his services were no longer required. There’s been plenty of speculation about exactly which column got him canned, but one thing is clear: Strong voices that don’t echo the Papa Doug party line are no longer welcome at the paper. Scott Miller of CBSSports.com is quoted at shermanreport.com, saying the sacking [takes] ‘dumbing down product for readers’ to embarrassing low. Owner dumber than readers.
Keeping the postal service busy…. Political consultant Larry Remer reports that, as of yesterday, he’d received ninety nine campaign mailers at his residence. The breakdown: 29 pieces on the 52nd congressional race, 28 pieces on the mayoral contest, 15 pieces on the council district race, 10 pieces on Proposition A, 6 mailers on Proposition 29, 3 for Toni Atkins and 2 for Proposition B.
Birtherism is alive and well in California… The San Francisco Chronicle leads today with a story suggesting that Senator Dianne Feinstein may end up facing birther queen Orly Taitz in the fall elections. The Orange County Dentist/Lawyer/Real Estate agent has gained national prominence with her claims and lawsuits claiming that President Obama faked his birth certificate. Whoever finishes second Tuesday, from any party, wins the chance to take on Feinstein in November. A second-place finish by Taitz would be seen in both parties as a national embarrassment for the Republican Party.
Be very afraid… The Washington Post is highlighting a three part series on computer security that starts off with the story of how one white hat hacker broke into the iPhone, long vaunted as a secure medium. The LA Times business section touts the dangers of cyber warfare. And ProPublica jumps in on to tell us just why the United State is vulnerable to computer attacks. It’s enough to make you paranoid…
Happy Birthday to the minimum wage… Fast food workers and Walmart employees are unlikely to notice Monday when Massachusetts passes the anniversary of a milestone of U.S. labor law. A century ago, on June 4, 1912, the state enacted the nation’s first minimum-wage law.
Do Old People Really Stink?… No, but they do smell different. And this very dry study says that people can reliably distinguish the body odor of elderly people from a whiff of the young or middle-aged. Contrary to the stereotype, the characteristic odor of the elderly is actually pretty neutral. And it’s a lot more pleasant than the body odor coming from younger folks — especially the guys. FYI_Lots of people think that Parmesan cheese smells like vomit in blind tests…
On this day… In 1919 The U.S. Senate passed the Women’s Suffrage bill. In 1989 People’s Army of China opened fire on crowds of prodemocracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, killing thousands. And in 1984 Bruce Springsteen released his “Born in the U.S.A.” album.
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.
As my mother says: I enjoy reading the UT so I know who not to vote for.
doug porter says
UPDATE: UT Sports Columnist Time Sullivan Tells His Side Very insightful
I’ve noticed a faint stench wafting from Mission Valley lately. It smells like rightard influence reaching out.
Remember when the UT was pushing for that downtown waterfront scheme? Why did they keep referring to “the new owner” rather than Doug Manchester,, former owner of the Hilton Hotel boycotted by gays after his huge donation to support Prop 8 was exposed. Yeah, THAT Doug Manchester. Never forget who this man is. The paper may want us to, but don’t. He’s given that sad Rush wanna-be, Roger Hedgecock, a bigger voice in his paper. I believe that the U-T will uphold the fine journalistic skills of Fox News. That isn’t a compliment. It is clear that Manchester wishes to exert greater control over information availability with his tv station and newspaper. I say no. Resist the Bafflegab!
Dixon Guizot says
Earlier this year, UT ran a glad-handing piece on the guy who runs Jerome’s furniture stores (“Ja-Ja-Ja-Ja-Ja-Ja…Jerome’s!”).
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Jerome’s stores have hosted Carl DeMaio fundraisers, and that Jerome himself is a partner of Doug Manchester in the big bayfront project. Or maybe not.
Frank Gormlie says
Thanks for those tasty tidbits. Berries anyone?
Andy Cohen says
Why am I not surprised that they canned Sullivan? At least he’s a halfway decent human being, unlike Canepa who’s about as grumpy and cynical as they come. We didn’t call him “Negative Nick” for nothing. But alas, I guess Sullivan’s right, and that Canepa is considered a local icon.
No worries, though. Tim will land on his feet in short order.
Jim Grant says
Tim Sullivan ALWAYS answered my e mail questions , comments , rebuttals and cynical points of view ….After all I was a Season Ticket Holder BEFORE 1969 You become slightly twisted in your viewpoints ….I enjoyed his writing and point of view .
Sullivan will mark this day on his calender as the day he was set free , trust me on that . The UT is sliding downhill fast .
Brittany Bailey says
Where does UT’s new approach come from? I’m admittedly naive, but I thought that the whole point of newspapers was to report the facts and disseminate reliable information to the populace- isn’t shoving political beliefs down someone’s throat what talk radio is for?
Andy Cohen says
Doug Manchester and John Lynch. Clear enough?
Dixon Guizot says
Seems like Manchester is a modern-day William Randolph Hearst. Search for Hearsat info on the net to get an idea of how newspapers can be corrupted by owners with selfish agendas.