By Doug Porter
Today’s Union-Tribune interview with mayoral candidate Lori Saldaña read like a debate between the former Assemblywoman with Mayor Faulconer’s campaign manager Jason Roe. This was coverage reminiscent of the Copley era.
Rather than give Saldaña a clear shot at explaining her views and critiques (and she has plenty) of the present regime, the Union-Tribune tapped the mayoral pit bull to refute her point by point.
This reminds me very much of the old days around the paper, wherein any viewpoints counter to “everybody knows” were quickly smothered with officially blessed counterpoints.
If a contrary view was acknowledged when defenders of the local powers-that-be were involved as the subject, it was buried towards the end of the article, where the extended pinkie types could simply ignore it.
From the UT story:
In a wide ranging interview this past week, the former state assemblywoman also contended that Faulconer has spent too much time trying to keep the Chargers and cares more about running for higher office than the future of the city.
“San Diego voters deserve to have this mayor stand up and defend his track record, which I believe is minimal, and his vision — if he has one — for San Diego,” she said. “He needs to tell us what he’s going to do for four years, not for two years if he runs for another office.”
Faulconer’s campaign manager, Jason Roe, said the Republican mayor has a long list of accomplishments during his two years in office, including a bold climate action plan, new labor pacts with employee unions and a greater city focus on infrastructure and street repair.
“I would say he’s been remarkably successful,” Roe said.
The “interview” goes on, following the same pattern. A question to the candidate followed by a rebuttal from campaign manager. Roe is referenced in the article a dozen times. His role as campaign manager is in no small part a reward for his stewardship of the Chamber of Misery’s effort to deny a a local increase in the minimum wage.
I really don’t like the guy, in case you haven’t figured it out. Here’s a snip of my view on Roe, drawn from an article I wrote in September 2014:
Jason Roe, frontman for the Chamber’s “Small Business” effort took to the airwaves last weekend to announce in so many words that non-teenaged minimum wage workers were losers. He left out the less-than-human, probably brown and likely female part of that assertion because he knows he and his kind are inherently better.
I guess having his campaign manager run interference should be expected from Mayor Shuck and Jive, who seemingly wants and gets coverage at an endless list of politically beneficial events, like ribbon cuttings and improbable proclamations.
The homeless will be housed, a gaggle of parks will bloom and Alzheimer’s will be cured, thanks to the beneficence of the present regime.
New Ideas? We Can Hope…
Things are changing at the Union-Tribune these days. Social media savant Matthew Hall has taken over the editorial page, promising to turn the opinion section into “a place to exchange ideas about San Diego.”
In Sunday’s sermon we learned they still kinda/maybe support a new stadium on the basis of a “world class city” needing such a space but, at least, they’re not trying to put lipstick on that pig with made up facts about the trickle down effects of a SuperBowl. I can only hope this new attitude will spill over into the coverage of political candidates. I get it that Kevin Faulconer’s good for business as usual. I get it that there’s a multitude of former reporters working hard to puff up the people in office they used to cover.
A big part of the Union-Tribune’s diminution locally (in addition to the general decline of print) has also been its lack of relevance. And it isn’t going to get any more relevant by doing the same old things.
A highly contested race or office could be good for business.
Abortion As a Political Football
A big part of this year’s political effort by social conservatives has been the demonization of Planned Parenthood.
Highly edited videos were released to much fanfare, suggesting that the women’s health provider was profiting from selling aborted fetal tissue on the side. Condemning Planned Parenthood and promising to cut funding for clinics has become a political litmus test for Republican candidates.
Investigations in a slew of states have cleared the group, and a Texas grand jury turned the inquiry on its head, indicting two of the activists responsible for the manufactured stories.
Now along comes the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne malady thought to be linked to birth defects. The World Health Organization declared the spread of the Zika virus a “global health emergency,” last week.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, primary carrier of Zika virus infections is already present in the southeast portion of the country, including Florida, though in winter the mosquito populations are low. Scientists are legitimately concerned about what the summer months may bring.
From the Washington Post:
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, has fears. He recalls spending much of 2014 insisting that the Ebola outbreak would not become a significant problem in the United States. But he gives no such assurance now.
“I think we’re in for real trouble in the United States,” he said, considering how swiftly Zika can spread. He focuses on conditions throughout the Gulf Coast, where stagnant water sources — in uncollected garbage, discarded tires, untended bird baths — can be ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes much of the year.
As happened with the spread of the Rubella virus in the mid-twentieth century, pregnant women infected with the virus may seek out abortions.
From US News & World Report:
Doctors say the rampant spread of Zika virus in the Americas evokes parallels to the rubella epidemic in the 1960s that disabled thousands of children in the U.S. and worldwide, prompting many women to seek illegal abortions…
“The fear that people have in these countries is similar to the fear we experienced in the early 1960s when rubella was king,” says Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Mothers were scared to death about contracting rubella in the first trimester of pregnancy, because their child would have an 85 percent chance of developing severe permanent defects of the ears, eyes and heart.”:
Women who test positive for the Zika virus and want to roll the dice as to whether their fetus has defects will have to wait until the second trimester of pregnancy.
From the Huffington Post:
Abortion at this point in a pregnancy is rare and hard to come by. It’s expensive — often well over $1,000 — and that’s before you factor in the cost of traveling and accommodation to see the few providers who perform the procedure, skipping days of work for travel and recovery (and waiting periods in between appointments, which some states require), securing childcare for any kids you might already have, and so on. “Once you detect [a fetal abnormality], it’s not like you have an ultrasound and right that second they say ‘OK, if it’s the right choice for you, you can have your abortion,’” Davis says. The longer a woman waits — to make her choice, or to raise the money to exercise it — the more expensive the procedure becomes.
This situation could cast an entirely new light on the abortion debate. Making it even more complicated are the views of disability rights activists, cited in the Huffington Post article referenced above.
GOP New Hampshire Debate Redux
Republicans got on stage for one last go around on Saturday night. Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s reliance on scripted lines was the big story. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got to play the Big Meanie and point out Rubio’s shallowness:
Beyonce, Black Panthers & Mayor 911 at Fox News
Those of you who missed the finale of the football season didn’t miss much when it came to the actual sport being played. Defense prevailed and that’s just not as entertaining as watching points getting scored.
The ads were, as usual, a mixed bag. Kudos should go to Audi for the David Bowie reference and farts should be sent in the general direction of Mountain Dew for their PuppyMonketyBaby ad.
The half-time show was supposed to be headlined by Coldplay. Special guest Beyonce stole the show and generated some political controversy to boot. I, needless to say, was impressed.
The day before the SuperBowl she released the video of a new song to be performed in Santa Clara. Cosmo posted the lyrics, calling it “the most perfect song since the Paleozoic Era.”
It was a Black history lesson set to music, with references to Malcom X, Black Panthers, Hurricane Katrina, police brutality and Afro-American culture, past and present.
Spencer Kornhaber at The Atlantic:
In the short time since it arrived online without warning the day before the Super Bowl, “Formation” has already generated a monograph’s worth of writings about Beyoncé’s choice to tie her famous swagger explicitly (and hilariously, and cleverly) to her race, gender, and cultural heritage—to her “Jackson Five nostrils” and her dates to Red Lobster. The video features her on stoops and in parking lots and in old-money New Orleans drawing rooms, looking fly. Everyone has the potential to appreciate her infectious attitude, the song’s strange squeaky beat, and the video’s instantly iconic visuals. But among the group of people she is directly addressing, many say “Formation” feels like something more than just a great pop song—it feels life-giving and maybe even revolutionary.
But forgoing the universal also involves risk, as Beyoncé surely knew. The aggregating of social-media users who find her totally humane imagery “anti-police,” or who hear a song about a person’s lived experience and reply with the inanity of “all lives matter,” has begun. So too has concern trolling about her acclaim from people who’ve never connected to her music. If you find “Formation” tuneless or offensive, fine. Just don’t go impugning the motives of all the people in the weeks to come walking down the street in a very specific rhythm, internally chanting “I slay.” Beyoncé no longer asks that everyone get in formation, and that’s why so many people probably will.
Mr Beyonce, also known as Jay Z, announced a donation of $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement this week.
Heads exploded all over the wasteland of the Right and Righteous.
From the Washington Examiner:
Members of the National Sheriffs’ Association meeting in Washington turned their backs on Beyonce during a Super Bowl halftime party, angered the NFL allowed her to sing a song they consider anti-police.
And Fox and Friends brought out Mayor 911, aka Rudy Gulliani, to lead the charge for wholesomeness and decency:
“I think it was outrageous,” Giuliani opined. “The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway, I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people like bouncing around and doing strange things. I actually don’t even know why we have this.”
“I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers, who are the people who protect her,” he continued. “What we should be doing in the African-American community and all communities is build up respect for police officers.”
After recalling Janet Jackson’s so-called “wardrobe malfunction” at a prior Super Bowl, Kilmeade argued that the NFL had a responsibility to censor Beyonce’s performance.
On This Day: 1912 – Vigilantes beat IWW organizers for exercising free-speech rights in downtown San Diego. 1973 – Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal. 2002 – The exhibit “Places of Their Own” opened at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The works displayed were by Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo and Emily Carr.
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