Saturday, November 01, 2008

George Orwell's characters seems to be alive and well as the San Diego Union Tribune redacts its archives

Scott Lewis wrote this story before he learned how very seductive the power of an editor can be: you can cause trouble for people you don't care about, and protect others who are equally or more guilty of wrongdoing. Voice of San Diego has been very careful not to demand public records from San Diego County Office of Education. If Diane Crosier doesn't want to hand them over, VOSD politely accepts her decision.

See more posts regarding Scott Lewis.

U-T Decides to Redact Its Archives
Voice of San Diego
October 30, 2008

Uh oh. Backtrack alert. We've got some historical revision going on.

I pointed out below how the U-T had posted a blog two weeks ago revealing that the paper received SEDC's "unredacted" legal bills, which we've been trying to get for weeks.

We discovered right away when we looked at those same documents that they were, in fact, totally incomplete -- missing, crucially, the number of hours worked -- and Will Carless hounded the agency for the weeks to get the full, unredacted, legal bills.

The agency finally released those today, but the U-T suddenly decided in its post today that the bills it received weeks ago were actually "heavily redacted" and not satisfyingly -- as it had declared only weeks earlier -- "unredacted."

So I did the post today wondering if they were going to decide which was actually true.

Looks like the paper would prefer to pretend it never was confused at all. The U-T has gone into its archives and taken the word "unredacted" out of the sentence explaining what happened.

Here's a screen shot of the Oct. 15 sentence as it has stood for two weeks until just now.

And here's the way it looks now, a couple hours after I put up the below post :

There's no acknowledgement anywhere that the paper changed the substance of its story.

You simply can't do that. Journalists, in order to maintain credibility, have to let readers know if they change anything of substance on their sites. We do it all the time.

But you can't just change reality.

This deserved a correction -- below the post at least.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don Sevrens and the SDUT help Bertha Lopez hide wrongdoing

On August 30, 2008 the San Diego Union Tribune published a sorry excuse for an editorial in its south county edition that includes the following statement:

"We have criticized from time to time Bertha Lopez, a busy individual, for failing to respond to media and public inquiries. We have never criticized her integrity."

This editorial appears to me to be the work of Don Sevrens, who regularly manages to avoid logical consistency in his opinions. In fact, Don Sevrens and the SDUT have been kept well-informed about Bertha Lopez' wrongdoing, but they have kept her secrets for many years. Even when writing about the "Castle Park Five," Sevrens and the SDUT kept quiet about the concurrent court case that involved wrongdoing by Bertha Lopez and the rest of the CVESD board as well as several members of the group of five teachers transferred out of Castle Park Elementary.

Anti-Cheryl Cox demonstration

La Prensa reports demonstration against Cheryl Cox.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The FBI v. Joshua Wolf case

FBI v. Wolf
Citizen Media Law Project

The Federal Bureau of Investigations subpoenaed video blogger and freelance journalist Josh Wolf for information regarding a political demonstration that resulted in harm to a police officer. The FBI sought the identities of protestors who appeared in Wolf's video recording of the protest, which Wolf claimed was an attempt by the government to use a journalist (himself) as an investigative tool.

On July 8, 2005, Wolf filmed a San Francisco demonstration against the G8 summit in Scotland. During the course of the protest, a San Francisco police officer was injured, and protestors allegedly damaged a police car. Wolf published an edited version of the video on independant news site Indybay and also sold footage to local TV station KRON.

As part of an investigation into the officer's injury, the FBI subpoenaed Wolf to appear in front of a federal grand jury. The subpoena asked Wolf to produce the full video and any other documentation regarding the protest. The subpoena also sought information regarding the identities of individuals who appeared in the video.

Wolf filed a motion to quash the subpoena, claiming protection under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and California's journalist shield law. The North District of California denied Wolf's motion to quash. The court focused on federal journalist protections and held that Wolf was required to comply with the subpoena because he had not demonstrated that the grand jury investigation was conducted in bad faith.

After Wolf again refused to comply with the subpoena, the court ordered him to show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt of court. Wolf again asserted his First Amendment rights, as well as his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Wolf's arguments were supported by amicus briefs by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The court rejected Wolf's and the amici's arguments on grounds similar to those in its denial of Wolf's motion to quash. It held Wolf in contempt and ordered that he be confined until he complied with the subpoena. Wolf and his lawyers appealed the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

On appeal, the 9th Circuit granted a motion allowing Wolf to leave prison on bail. However, the court soon after revoked bail persuant to a motion by the FBI. The court then affirmed the district court's contempt ruling and ordered Wolf to testify and reveal the unpubished portions fo the tape. The 9th Circuit's decision agreed with the district court's holding that Wolf could not legitimately refuse to comply with the subpoena without demonstrating that the grand jury was conducted in bad faith.

The FBI and Wolf ultimately settled the case. Wolf published the full version of the video online and filed a DVD copy with the court. In return, he was released from prison and did not have to testify in front of the grand jury. Wolf had served 226 days in prison, the longest term ever served by a journalist for refusing to disclose unpublished source material.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attorney Bradley Marshall tries to intimidate Seattle Blogger

Apparently a lot of lawyers think that bloggers are easy to intimidate. I also have had the honor of having an eminent lawyer (actually, a whole firm of them) try to intimidate me into silence.

Lawyer Tries to Intimidate Seattle Blogger

From Hominid Views: People, politics, science and whatnot
July 31, 2008

What is this world coming to when a high-powered attorney to sports stars (and a now-deceased famous talk-radio host) goes on the attack against a lowly blogger?

You see, Bradley Marshall, attorney extraordinaire (well… if you don’t count the recent 18 month suspension of his license) just sent a letter to Seattle liberal blogger and journalist (and friend of mine) Michael Hood at Blatherwatch requesting that Michael yank some old blog posts and cease writing about him.

Michael is certainly not the first blogger to get such requests, but it must be quite the honor for Michael to get a letter from a lawyer of such stature...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Columbus Dispatch on the story that the San Diego Union Tribune covers up

The San Diego Union Tribune has a habit of killing stories that embarrass school districts--unless the story is too big to cover up, or some editor has a personal ax to grind.

I have experience with the antics of the Chula Vista Elementary School District, where board members Patrick Judd, Pamela Smith, Larry Cunningham, Bertha Lopez and Cheryl Cox/David Bejarano have received reports of possible teacher misconduct, including a possible Columbine-style shooting by a teacher, and then decided that the safest course of action to ensure their re-election would be NOT TO INVESTIGATE.

Fortunately, the Columbus Dispatch has taken the issue of school district cover-ups head-on.

"[The system] puts the rights of teachers before those of students. It hides information from parents and potential employers. It allows secret deals with troubled teachers. A 10-month Dispatch investigation, a first-of-its-kind analysis of the system, found that 1,722 educators have been disciplined since 2000 for everything from shoplifting to murder. Two-thirds were allowed to return to the classroom or start school jobs..."

The newspaper was attacked for reporting these problems.

"Reporters Jennifer Smith Richards and Jill Riepenhoff were accused of "doing this to ruin my life" and "doing this to drag my name through the mud."

Those words are strikingly similar to what public entity attorneys Daniel Shinoff, Lesley Devaney, and Ray Artiano are saying in their defamation lawsuit against me regarding my website.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What went wrong at the San Diego Union Tribune--and lots of other institutions

Letter by Fred Jacobsen, Apollo Beach, Fla.
published by Voice of San Diego
July 28, 2008
"I retired from The San Diego Union-Tribune years ago, and years too early. I left after working there became no longer enjoyable.

"The turning point came when middle managers were deemed to be the cause of all problems there, and were not made part of the solution.

"New faces and high-paid consultants became the new fonts of salvation.

"Continuous planning was substituted for continuous improvement.

Browbeating was substituted for constructive conversation..."

Broadcast news more negative toward Obama

Media Biased Against Obama
By David Knowles
Jul 28th 2008

...The claim comes to us from George Mason University's Center for Media and Public Affairs, which has studied network newscasts for 20 years running. After analyzing the nightly ebb and flow of our current race, the center's researchers see a pattern (Via the Los Angeles Times):

...that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.

...when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.

...with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center...

So, could the pro-McCain bias be having an effect on the race? No doubt. Maybe it's the x-factor that commentators like Robert Novak have been searching for to explain why Obama still has only a 9-point lead over McCain in national polls...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who will follow up on this commenter's suggestion about Lowell Billings?

The media will tell you that Superintendent Lowell Billings gave pink slips to hundreds of teachers in Chula Vista Elementary School District.

But it is your fellow readers who will tell you the story behind the story, which is why I'm willing to wade through the bizarre gibberish in the comments section of news stories.

Today I came across this gem:
"April Jehnssen Chula Vista, CA"
"Lowell Billings just came back from a safari in Africa! Did you shoot us any jobs to bring back home Lowell?"

The comment was based on a Channel 7/39 NBC news story.

I'm guessing that the commenter didn't use his or her real name, but he/she raises an interesting question. Did Lowell Billings just get back from a safari in Africa? How about it, San Diego media? Why don't you ask him?

In court last December during the Danielle Cozaihr case, Billings pretty much admitted that all he does is walk around and smile. I think this man needs a pay cut.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

For me, Lionel Van Deerlin was always Mr. San Diego

Former US Representative Lionel Van Deerlin died yesterday, and it seems his death was a very good one. He spent his last day putting the final touches on a San Diego Union Tribune column, and died peacefully at the age of 93. We were lucky that he was with us for so long.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lola Sherman keeps them honest

Daniel Shinoff and MiraCosta College trustees just don't get it.

Attorney Daniel Shinoff boasts that he's an expert in the Brown Act. (The Brown Act says public entity boards must keep all meetings open except in specific circumstances.)

But Shinoff apparently hasn't been urging his clients at MiraCosta College to obey the Brown Act.

Here's the point, Dan: The issues in the MiraCosta debate are serious public issues, not a private matter between trustees.

You and Richart and the majority trustees have threatened the minority trustees because they discussed Richart with the media. But you and the majority trustees don't seem to want to discuss ANYTHING in public.

Thank goodness that Lola Sherman of the San Diego Union Tribune was present at a recent meeting to represent the public's right to hear the debate. How else will the public know whom to vote for if they don't know what the board members say and think?

Sure, there might be some personality clashes as a result of the $3 million investigation you and Victoria Richart masterminded, but this is not some sort of couples counseling. These are public officials making decisions, and the majority seems to have made some very bad decisions.

< Minority bloc MiraCosta College Trustee Jacqueline Simon

I think the majority board members simply want to threaten the minority in private, out of earshot of the public.

Stay strong, Gloria, Judy and Jacqueline! Elections are coming, and help is on the way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ninth Circuit Denies Full Immunity for Web Service

Ninth Circuit Denies Full Immunity for Web Service in Case
April 10, 2008

On April 3, 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley, et al., v., LLC that merits consideration by online services generally. (Roommates) was sued by the housing council for violating fair housing laws, but the company had successfully argued at the district court level that, as an interactive computer service, it should be immune from liability for the content posted by its users under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The Ninth Circuit, en banc, held that the website was not entitled to this immunity because it "materially contributed" to the "development" of unlawful content. Most notably, as a condition to registering for the site, users were required to create a profile by selecting from pre-populated answers to various unlawful, discriminatory questions about their housing preferences.

Under Section 230(c), "[n]o provider . . . of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The statute makes clear, however, that immunity does not apply if the service provider also participated as an "information content provider," that is, a party "responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development" of the offending content.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Patrick O'Toole goes looking for a friend--and finds one!

Patrick O'Toole, head of the Public Integrity Unit in the San Diego District Attorney's office, has been having a hard week. He's been trying to convince a juror that when Steve Castaneda asked how much a condo would cost, that proved he intended to buy one. And that even though O'Toole didn't uncover wrongdoing during his lengthy investigation, Castaneda should be convicted of perjury FOR SAYING HE DIDN'T INTEND TO BUY A CONDO, WHICH HE, IN FACT, DID NOT BUY.

So you can see how O'Toole would be going around scouting up someone who would make him look professional.

O'Toole found Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, who agrees that O'Toole needs not one, but TWO, grand juries to help him find public officials who might say something he disagrees with during grand jury proceedings.

Martin Garrick is the sponsor of the two-criminal-grand-juries-for-San Diego bill, who apparently thinks that San Diego prosecutors have done such a fine job with the Public Integrity Unit and cases such as the indictment by a grand jury of the innocent 15-year-old brother of murder victim Stephanie Crowe, that we really should skip preliminary hearings more often.

After all, who needs a judge deciding if prosecutors should go to trial?

Garrick and O'Toole seem like petty, malicious versions of Don Quijote, tilting at people who oppose their favorite politicians.

They say a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Maybe Martin Garrick thinks there are too many ham sandwiches walking around free.

Or maybe he needs another grand jury to investigate Cheryl Cox?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mass Media Distribution Newswire investigates press release

This press release has been removed until we further investigate it's accuracy
January 25, 2008
Scott A. Wahrenbrock, attorney for The Copley Press, Inc. Responds to the press release as follows:

Press Release Statement: “Despite subpoena, San Diego Union-Tribune journalist refuses to answer claims she took money to discredit local businessman.”

Response: It is absolutely false that Ms. Crabtree ever took money from anyone to discredit Mr. Brodie, or his companies. Any claim to that effect is false and defamatory.

Press Release Statement: “Penni Crabtree, staff writer at the newspaper, is amongst journalists being investigated for taking money from a rival pet company.”

Response: Penni Crabtree is not being investigated for taking any money from a rival pet company.

Press Release Statement: “Investigators for Simon Brodie, the inventor of a revolutionary pet diagnostic product and developer of new breed of ‘lifestyle pets’, including the hypoallergenic cat, are investigating claims that Penni Crabtree, a reporter for the Union-Tribune newspaper in San Diego, may have taken money from Idexx Laboratories to discredit Brodie in a number of articles written in their newspaper during 2006.”

Response: Ms. Crabtree is not being investigated by any entity and there are no credible allegations or “claims” she ever took money from Idexx in exchange for discrediting Mr. Brodie in articles she has written. Ms. Crabtree has never taken any money from Idexx and claims made by Mr. Brodie she may have done so are false.

Press Release Statement: “Although Crabtree was subpoenaed by Brodie's attorneys, she has so far failed to agree to any questioning."

Response: Ms. Crabtree was subpoenaed Mr. Brodie’s company, Allerca, as part of a civil suit Brodie filed against a former employee, in which he alleged that the former employee sold the newspaper confidential information. As with all journalists in California, Ms. Crabtree asserted her right not to provide unpublished information pursuant to the Reporter’s Shield law set forth under the California Constitution, Article I, section 2. The implication in the press release that the subpoena related to an investigation being conducted into Ms. Crabtree taking money from Idexx is patently false.

Press Release Statement: "The articles written by Crabtree began appearing a few weeks after Brodie's veterinary diagnostic company Cyntegra issued legal proceedings against Idexx Laboratories."

Response: The first article about Allerca was published on June 8, 2006, while Brodie’s company Cyntegra's lawsuit against Idexx was filed three weeks later on June 30, 2006.

Press Release Statement: "In one of the articles, she accused Brodie of illegally taking donations through an animal non-profit (so the headline read), even
though she was aware that the non-profit web site was a pure design concept, had not been launched and no donations were ever taken."

Response: The Allerca Foundation Website was active and accepted
donations when the article was written. The Foundation's Website claimed that every gift was tax-deductible and described itself as a nonprofit corporation of the State of California. The IRS and the California Attorney General's Office confirmed that Allerca had not registered as a nonprofit and had no nonprofit status, even though the
Foundation's Website was actively soliciting donations as a nonprofit. The foundation also claimed on its Website to be working with the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans to clone the rare clouded leopard, and with the Feline Conservation Center in Rosamond to add genetic samples of endangered species to the foundation's DNA bank. Both organizations confirmed that they were not working with Brodie or his foundation.

Press Release Statement: "In the articles written by Crabtree, she failed to mention any of the details for the Idexx case, even though she was made fully aware of Idexx's actions and the serious threat this action would cause too many of the
country's pets."

Response: Novartis Animal Health, the maker of the Sentinel line of pet medicines, sued Brodie, Allerca and another Brodie company, GeneSentinel, alleging infringement of Novartis' trademark and cyberpiracy. A month later, Novartis was granted a permanent injunction against Brodie and his companies. Around the same time, GeneSentinel laid off several employees, to whom it collectively owed unpaid wages, and changed its name to Cyntegra. Brodie also revealed in a prospectus for GeneSentinel (Cyntegra) that the animal diagnostics technology that he claims to have invented were the subject of a threatened lawsuit by Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corp. Fair Isaac's informed Allerca that if it moved forward with the diagnostic technology, Fair Isaac would take legal action if it believed Allerca was using or disclosing Fair Isaac's confidential information.

Press Release Statement: "For Brodie, these revelations have struck like lighting: It makes absolute sense now. The articles appeared just after we sued Iddex.
Crabtree wrote a number of negative articles about me, my lifestyle pets business ALLERCA and our hypoallergenic cats, but never once mentioned Idexx. So let me get this right: Crabtree somehow forgot to write about a large company like Idexx squeezing out life-saving groundbreaking new technology, an action that now threatens people's pets, and as important, has the potential to save thousands of human lives as well?"

Response: As to Brodie's claim to inventing "life-saving groundbreaking new
technology," he and Cyntegra lost the lawsuit in October 2007 that they filed against Idexx. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez granted Idexx's motion for summary judgment and ordered Cyntegra to pay $7,100 in costs. Brodie has appealed this decision. The Judge's order stated, "The evidence shows that Plaintiff's (Cyntegra) sole employee and founder, Brodie, has little background or experience in the market of molecular diagnostic testing. Brodie is unaware of the difference between certain common diagnostic testing techniques, in addition, Brodie testified at deposition that he has never taken a course of a technical or scientific nature, or any courses that focus on management or business. The evidence shows that any steps Plaintiff took to engage in the proposed business were only preliminary or exploratory in nature...In addition, Brodie never developed a formal business plan, Plaintiff had no other employees besides its founder Brodie, Plaintiff never acquired a laboratory or employed a laboratory manager, Plaintiff never contacted an investment bank or venture capital firm to raise capital and Plaintiff never obtained a license to sell the canine influenza test, one of the few products it purported to sell. Furthermore, despite claiming to have a patent pending for its veterinary diagnostic system, aside from Brodie's declaration, Plaintiff has failed to provide the Court with any other evidence regarding the patent."

Press Release Statement: "Crabtree also reported Brodie to the California business authorities when she claimed that his company was taking deposits for a
proposed franchise program; however, after investigation, the authorities proved that Crabtree's claims where in fact false as the company had never taken any franchise based funds. Much of this information used in these articles came from a laptop computer that Crabtree was aware had been stolen from the company."

Response: Ms. Crabtree did not "report" Brodie to California business authorities. As it turns out, the Department of Corporations confirmed Brodie and Allerca had never registered the cat franchise it was marketing, even though it was promoting them on its Website. The Department of Corporations investigated and ordered Allerca and Brodie to" desist and refrain" from the further offer or sale of Allerca franchises "for the protection of investors" until the cat franchise business was
registered, or declared exempt.

Press Release Statement: "She did provide a brief written response in which she refused to answer questions but at the same time Crabtree may have committed perjury when she stated she had not had any communication with a former disgruntled employee.”

Response: After receiving the subpoena, Ms. Crabtree’s counsel informed Allerca that Ms.Crabtree was asserting her rights under the California Constitution not to reveal unpublished information. Ms. Crabtree submitted a declaration to Allerca’s counsel stating if called to testify should would invoke her rights under the California Constitution and California Evidence Code not to provide unpublished information. Ms. Crabtree never perjured herself and has never provided “a brief written response” to any of Allerca’s questions.

Press Release Statement: "Brodie had received a number of serious threats from animal rights activists and that his personal security was always a concern. Says Brodie: Crabtree's response? Publish my address in her next article, which caused me to move and put my partner and child in danger. I guess she was really trying to provide the best service possible to Idexx.”

Response: A July 16, 2006, story correctly stated Brodie had been evicted in February 2006 from the downtown 777 Sixth Avenue Lofts complex for nonpayment of rent. On October 8, 2006 we reported that according to a recently filed U.S trademark application for the Ashera cat filed by Brodie, Brodie and Allerca resided at The Grande condo complex in downtown San Diego. The information was public record and readily available to anyone who wanted to go to the U.S. Patent office Website and look up the Ashera cat. No specific address was ever provided and Mr. Brodie's “guess” Ms. Crabtree reported certain facts to “provide the best service possible to Idexx” is defamatory.

Press Release Statement: “A few weeks after the Union-Tribune articles appeared, one of Allerca's hypoallergenic cats was successfully tested on a number of national, live television shows. Brodie's company has since delivered dozens of these special cats to very happy customers, many of whom are willing to extol the cat's virtues on the Allerca website. The cat was subsequently voted one of TIME magazine's best inventions of 2006. Says Brodie: Conveniently, Crabtree, Grens and others failed to mention our success.”

Response: On November 15, 2006, Allerca announced it was relocating the company to Los Angeles, citing its strategic growth plans, which we reported in an article that ran November 16, 2006. Within that story, we also noted that Time magazine had placed the sneeze-free cat on its Best Inventions of 2006 list.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cayman Islands Bank Gets Wikileaks Taken Offline in U.S.

Cayman Islands Bank Gets Wikileaks Taken Offline in U.S.
By Kim Zetter
February 18, 2008

Categories: Censorship

Wikileaks, the whistleblower site that recently leaked documents related to prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, was taken offline last week by its U.S. host after posting documents that implicate a Cayman Islands bank in money laundering and tax evasion activities.

In a pretty extraordinary ex-parte move, the Julius Baer Bank and Trust got Dynadot, the U.S. hosting company and domain registrar for Wikileaks, to agree not only to take down the Wikileaks site but also to "lock the domain name to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar." Judge Jeffrey White in the U.S. District Court for Northern California signed off on the stipulation between the two parties last week without giving Wikileaks a chance to address the issue in court.

The Julius Baer Bank, a Swiss bank with a division in the Cayman Islands, took issue with documents that were published on Wikileaks by an unidentified whistleblower, whom the bank claims is the former vice president of its Cayman Islands operation, Rudolf Elmer. The documents purport to provide evidence that the Cayman Islands bank helps customers hide assets and wash funds...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Court Shuts Down Whistleblower Site published the following article:

Court Shuts Down Whistleblower Site
Feb 20th 2008
by Tim Stevens

Nobody likes a snitch, but the whistleblower, someone who exposes corruption, is often held in quite high regard. There's a fine line between the two types of tattletales, but most everyone is almost always happy to see shady and illegal back room dealings exposed.

Everyone, it seems, except the American courts. The U.S. Supreme Court made exposing misdeeds a little more dangerous last year when it ruled that whistleblowing employees had no protection against retaliation from employers. Now, a California District Court judge has ordered the online anonymous whistleblowing site,, to shut down.

Wikileaks, which is currently available at the address, launched in December of 2006 as a place for the anonymous posting of information by whistleblowers. It was responsible for the revealing of the controversial "Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta" at Guantanamo Bay, which exposed some potential civil rights violations. The site hosts thousands of other posted documents, which range from supposed e-mails from U.S. Ambassadors to videos showing a nuclear accident in Japan.

Last week's ruling from the California judge is in response to a lawsuit by the Julius Baer Group, a Swiss bank that was alleged to be involved in money laundering. The allegations were backed up by documents posted -- illegally, according to the bank -- to Wikileaks. The judge ruled that the domain name could no longer be renewed or resolved.

Given that the site is mirrored in many countries around the world with suffixes besides ".org," however, it's likely that Wikileaks won't be affected too much by this immediate ruling. All that said, we expect a more concerted effort against this site in the not too distant future, given that the site's main purpose of exposing secrets more less always creates enemies.

From Computerworld and Wikipedia

Scott says:
Speaking of "concerted efforts", the injunction was preceded several hours earlier by both a 500Mbps distributed denial of service attack and a fire at the website's ISP.

02/20/08 11:37 AM

Keith J. Mohrhoff says:
This is ridiculous!! What ever happened to freedom of speech? That aside, by not protecting whistleblowers, we are forcing ordinary working people to become part of the crime by continuing to protect their employers interests regardless of their legality!!

02/20/08 11:57 AM

Kate says:
"Freedom of speech" sometimes actually means "libel". There's no proof of anything these people have written or put up (plus it doesn't sound as though this is a solely US site, and our constitutional freedoms do not protect us against a foreign government) - if they want to be real whistleblowers and not just disgruntled employees they should contact the appropriate authorities, not post anonymously on a website.

02/20/08 12:05 PM

warren garrison says:
Naturally they don't want anyone blowing the whistle, they might be targeted themselves. It's like the sorry ass Pima County Attorneys office in Tucson Arizona. A disgruntled mother who worked at a convenienct store falsely accused me of things I did not do because I had called the cops on her two boys vandalizing first the local laundry, and then the car wash so this was a chance to get even with me rather than thanking me. As I began to gather up my disclosures to defend myself I made the mistake of saying to a prosecutor, "when you see the tape you'll see I did nothing and was falsely arrested", my first arrest in 54 years, and then I added that I was going to sue the county because of how they treated me. Guess what? Before one of the receptionist realized what was going on she told me she had the tape and if I would bring $10 and a blank she would make me a copy, but by the time I got down to the county attorneys office, it had disappeared. BUT, you have to understand that Barbara LaWall's office has pulled some pret-ty shady and underhanded things in this town and yet they continue to get away with it. And if you want to take a shot at me bitch, this is Warren Garrison writing this, come on!!!!!!

02/20/08 12:11 PM

Ann says:
IT'S OBAMA 2008!!!!!!!!!
GO OBAMA, GO,GO,GO!!!!!!!!!

02/20/08 12:21 PM

Carol Levy says:
Whistleblowing is necessary and so is protection.
In my medical malpractice against Dr, Peter J. Jannetta nurses told me they would not testify against him because they were afraid for their jobs. Doctors said they would not testify because he is so big in the neurosurgery world.
The Pa. Superior Court called Dr. Jannetta's testmony re: the risks of the surgery, an MVD or 'Jannetta Procedure', perjurioous * yet no one cared that he committed a felony by lying under oath. The Court did not sanction him nor did the state or medical societies. (In fact my lawyer forced me, literally, to settle out of court for a pittance that does not even cover my lifetime medical expenses. The lawyer, Michael Fishbein, as an offcer of the court, should have made a criminal complaint for perjury.)
Maybe if people felt safe coming forward when they see illegal or unethical prosecutable acts the court systems would not be so clogged up - the proof would be out there. The guilty would be pleading guilty.
* "We have little difficulty in concluding that Dr. Jannetta's testimony at deposition was different than, or inconsistent with, the testimony at trial." Levy v Jannetta, CCP Allegheny County, GD 81-7689; appeal -J. A370017/92 Levy v Jannetta et al, No. 00150 Pittsburgh, 1992. settled, 1995

02/20/08 12:23 PM

nationalsecuritymatters says:
If this site is posting material that would directly impact United States national security, it should be shut down in a heartbeat.

02/20/08 12:28 PM

Keith J. Mohrhoff says:
Kate: the problem is that since the Supreme Court denies any protection to whistleblowers, "Going to the authorities" is impossible! It is now to the point where the only people who can afford to do the right thing are those with enough financial resources to whether the fallout.

Hence, anonymity is necessary and may serve a useful purpose. If an employee can go on-line and post anonymously about the illegal actions of their employer, then maybe, someone from the authorities can investigate and discover the proof.

02/20/08 12:42 PM

PG says:
Another example of the Bush Adminstration and the GOP ruining this country. This Supreme Court is a disgrace. Thomas is an embarrasment, and Scalia, Alito, and Roberts should be nowhere near the Court. Bush goes in less than a year, but we'll be stuck with these losers for years.

02/20/08 12:48 PM

Joe Alt says:
I can't believe that there are so many people out there who THINK that there is still free speech in The United States.

02/20/08 1:00 PM

Jim from Michigan says:
We need to discuus issues like this (and many others) and have a mechanism nationally to use our collective ideas to "reinvent and actually implement" some forward thinking. Thsis and antithesis on many issues like this.

What if a standing committee of congressmen/women (and their humongous staff) reviewed anonymous whistleblowing cases without publication to see if a basis of truth exists?

02/20/08 1:02 PM

Bob says:
While this ruling makes me a bit uncomfortable as well, people have brought this upon themselves. People have abused the whistleblowing system as a tool of retaliation and political smear. To make it legal to leak sensitive information about our country just for selfish political motivations is wrong and I've seen too much of this. Furthermore in our country we have a right to see who our accuser is, and for someone to be able to just throw something out there to destroy somebody without having to respond to is wrong. Think about this, if you are an employer and you have a disgrutled employee who decides to go on a site like this and falsely name you as a child molester, there is nothing you can do. Even though there is no proof, the very suggestion has ruined your repution and your life and there's nothing you can do because this person would be hiding behind some whistleblower law.

02/20/08 1:02 PM

Joe Alt says:
"Free Speech" vanished along with our Right to Vote way back in 2000.

02/20/08 1:04 PM

Joe Alt says:
"Free Speech" vanished along with our Right to Vote way back in 2000.

02/20/08 1:05 PM

TIM says:

Do you shake in your pants when someone on TV speaks the word Terroist or maybe believe in the fairy tale (The sky is falling ) that is what the Repubican party is trying to do to americans is take away there rights and say everything is nationalsecurity so they bring out the BOGGYMAN talk every other week to scare your simple minded people.

02/20/08 1:06 PM

Jim says:
So let's see...Supreme Court allows domestic spying to go on unabated but shuts down a snitch site that PROTECTS PEOPLE. We the people are keeping score of the parasitic LEETCH known as "our" so-called government. Like every other government before it that played the same game, it too shall someday fall.

02/20/08 1:12 PM

Kate says:
First off, you don't need a website aimed at whistleblowers to go online and post whatever you want about whomever you want. So the judge's decision is really moot.

Secondly, if you don't protect whistleblower's from retaliation, either from their company or coworkers, we will no longer find out about tainted beef like the story in the news now.

How much protection do you want to give companies that routinely lie and cheat?

02/20/08 1:34 PM

Carol Levy says:
To Bob, a few bad apples does not mean you throw out the baby with the bathwater. If whistleblowers had not, and continue to be retaliated against for telling the truth, for exposing $100.00 toilet seats paid for by our tac dollars there would be no need for sites where they can go. My name has been sullied by some people without any proof. I on;t like it but I am not going to shut them up. It's their right to be liars but there must nbe recourse to prove accusations to be false. If no one listens then a website may well be the only answer.

02/20/08 1:35 PM

Earl Bailey says:
Before retirement I worked in manufacturing. A defect in the product was detected but, having been unsure of it's effect on performance, I needed access to testing equipment that was locked up on the off shifts. The shift supervisor would only allow me access if I agreed not to devulge the test results until the following day. I refused, and, as a result, the factory manufactured defective product for 24 hrs. "Boy was he holding his breath to find out if I'd told the truth the next day. (All involved were called in )

02/20/08 1:35 PM

djknugget says:
Has anyone ever considered:

A. The fact that the constitution clearly states that if we are not happy with the government we can dismantle it. Right now it seems like people are so fed up with the government that we should just go ahead and scrap it, and make a new one.

B. Sueing the supreme court for failing to obey the constitution.

C. That Ron Paul is a republican who voted against illegal wiretapping, the patriot act, raising taxes, against the war in Iraq, and has never voted for anything that is protected by the constitution.

Sorry to put in my little political add, but for all of the republican bashers, keep him in mind! He actually stands for what the republicans are supposed to stand for: small government and the freedoms gaurenteed by our constitution. There is always the write-in.

02/20/08 1:40 PM

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The SDUT connection with KPBS: how embarrassing for KPBS

February 18, 2008
Aguirre takes issue with The U-T

What started with a question about a State Bar investigation turned into a heated encounter between City Attorney Michael Aguirre and San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Alex Roth today.

The exchange was videotaped for about 10 minutes by Channel 7/39 and posted on its Web site.

Aguirre called a noon news conference in Old Town to talk about his re-election bid. Roth was there to cover the news conference, but also asked Aguirre about the Bar investigation for a separate story he was writing.

"Why do you think the State Bar is investigating you?" Roth asked in front of other reporters.

Aguirre responded that the investigation was based on Roth's incomplete and faulty reporting, including a reliance on sources "that have grievances or axes to grind." "There's no substance to anything that you write," Aguirre said.
Roth said he wanted to limit his questioning to the investigation.
Aguirre said Roth asked about the investigation to embarrass him. Roth asked Aguirre to step aside to privately talk about the investigation. The two walked away and continued talking for about eight minutes while the 7/39 camera rolled.
Aguirre can be heard suggesting Roth see a counselor, and accusing the reporter of ethical lapses in previous stories. Aguirre said Roth's 2007 coverage of Aguirre's investigation into KPBS programming, for example, did not mention that Roth's wife worked for KPBS.

Roth's wife left her job as a KPBS education reporter in 2006. Roth and Union-Tribune editors said they stand by his coverage of the city attorney.

Posted by Alexa Capeloto February 18, 2008 07:34 PM

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Karin Winner and Chris Jennewein agree on one thing

Voice of San Diego describes a rift between Karin Winner and Chris Jennewein at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

From personal experience I am able to report that these two think very much alike when it comes to keeping the secrets of San Diego county schools. They both love to write about schools, but they stick to the theatrics, not the real stories.

Rob Davis of Voice of San Diego reports:

"The company essentially has two separate enterprises: The Union-Tribune and Each has a different leader.

"Six current and former employees said a well-known rift exists between those two leaders: Winner, and the newspaper's vice president of Internet operations, Chris Jennewein, who oversees

"Winner and Jennewein "don't like each other, they undermine each other -- and it's one company for God's sakes," said a former employee. "I don’t understand the philosophy of allowing them to do this."

"Said another current staffer: "If you can't solve that most basic problem, how are you going to solve the Herculean problems that are facing this industry?"

"A reporter who attended a 2007 newsroom strategy meeting in which Winner laid out ideas for the company's future said the editor closed the session with this request: Don't tell the workers at about what was discussed.

"Winner said she did not recall making the comment. If she did say it, Winner said she was probably joking. Her relationship with Jennewein "is not a personal relationship that matters," she said..."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Libel--single publication rule

Libel ·
Jan. 18, 2008 court applies 'single publication rule' to Internet

Newspaper Web sites should be treated like the print version for publication date purposes, according to the judges.

Jan. 18, 2008 · The "single publication rule," which holds that the statute of limitations for libel begins when a defamatory statement is first published, applies to publications on the Internet, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Dallas (5th Cir.) ruled last month.

The appeals court upheld the district court's decision to grant the defendants' motion.

The appeal was the result of a defamation charge against Belo Corp. for an article published in both the print and Internet editions of its publication, The Dallas Morning News, concerning the questionable business procedures of Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc.

The article, criticizing one of Nationwide's mortgage programs, initially appeared in The Dallas Morning News' financial column on July 29, 2003, and was later made available on the newspaper's Web site. Nationwide filed suit on July 28, 2004, alleging defamation.

Belo successfully brought a motion to dismiss based on Nationwide's violation of Texas' one-year statute of limitations for libel claims. The one-year limitation starts on the last day of publication, commonly known as the "single publication rule." This rule serves to prevent the same recurring claims against publishers. Although Nationwide successfully filed suit on July 28, 2004, just within the allotted time period, it did not serve the defendant until over 10 months after filing the complaint

Nationwide appealed the decision, arguing that the Internet edition of The Dallas Morning News constituted "continuous publication" of the article.

Noting that "Texas courts have not yet considered whether the single publication rule should apply to Internet publications," the court of appeals examined earlier cases to help determine how the state high court would likely come down on the matter.

"[T]he continued availability of an article on a website should not result in republication, despite the website's ability to remove it. Perhaps more important than the similarities between print media and the Internet, strong policy considerations support application of the single publication rule to information publicly available on the Internet," Judge Harold R. DeMoss wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. "We agree that these policy considerations favor application of the single publication rule here and we note that application of the rule in this context appears consistent with the policies cited by Texas courts in adopting and applying the single publication rule to print media: to support the statute of limitations and to prevent the filing of stale claims."

Paul C. Watler, an attorney for Jackson Walker in Dallas and the lead counsel for the defendants, hailed the decision.

"I think it's an important case because it's only the second published opinion by the federal circuit of appeals applying the single-publication rule to Internet context," he said. "This circuit had addressed the issue that no Texas state court has."

(Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc., v. Belo Corp., Media counsel: Paul C. Watler, Dallas) -- Alanna Malone


© 2008 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Tom Cruise and Church of Scientology are as mad as Daniel Shinoff and Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz

Gawker Defies Demand from Church of Scientology to Remove Creepy Tom Cruise Video

Posted January 18th, 2008 by Sam Bayard

Earlier this week, a promotional/inspirational video for the Church of Scientology featuring Tom Cruise began circulating online. The video is bizarre -- against the background of what sounds like the Mission Impossible theme, Cruise extols the virtues of Scientology and urges viewers to embrace its ethics and worldview. Among many, many other things, he drops gems like "We are the authorities on getting people off drugs. We are the authorities on the mind. We are the authorities on improving conditions" and "We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures."

Some might say that the clip has only gossip value, but others assert that it reveals something about Cruise's position within the controversial organization (which to some may still have only gossip value). Nevetheless, it has caused some complicated legal maneuvering this week. From Gawker:

Several indoctrination videos were available on Google Video, on Sunday, and showcased on Gawker, before being removed by the person who had originally posted them. Yesterday, for a few hours, the clip of Tom Cruise discussing his beliefs as a Scientologist appeared on Youtube, and was republished by Radar and Defamer. That video is no longer available, most likely after the Church of Scientology sent in a copyright infringement notice. Gawker is now hosting a copy of the video; it's newsworthy; and we will not be removing it.
Sure enough, lawyers for the Church of Scientology sent a takedown notice to Gawker Media, alleging that the video was stolen and that Gawker and Defamer's distribution of the video violated its copyright. It also asserted that, because the video was stolen, California criminal laws relating to receipt of stolen property and theft were implicated.

Not intimidated, Gawker fired back:

We are using this video in the context of news reporting and critical commentary, which are uses that may not be authorized by your client, but which serve the public interest. For this, and other reasons, we believe our use is fair. We further do not accept that we have broken any criminal laws in publishing it, and in any event, several of the statutes you cite are inapplicable in this case.
Gawker's fair use argument looks like a strong one, although the video's previously unpublished status might give a court some pause (assuming that the Church's previous use of the video would not qualify it as "published"). Even if it were unpublished, the fair use provision states expressly that "[t]he fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of [the four fair use factors]." Moreover, the First Amendment would likely block any criminal prosecution of Gawker for publishing material that it lawfully obtained, even if it knew that the clip was initially stolen (which itself would be hard to prove). See Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001).

Eriq Gardner at THR Entertainment & Media Law Blog has some detailed analysis of the fair use argument, but I disagree with his conclusions.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Cruise gives journalists an automatic "F"

SP: "Suppressive Person." An SP is someone who commits suppressive acts, like murder, criticizing Scientology or altering LRH's teachings, according to former and current members. Journalists are automatically considered SPs because they traffic in bad news and so are barred from entering Scientology. Psychiatrists would also be SPs, so Cruise says, "Crush these guys! I've had it! No mercy! None! Go to guns!" as a call to arms. Since all's fair in war, LRH once issued a policy called "Fair Game" that decreed that anyone who opposed Scientology could be "tricked, sued or lied to and destroyed."

Jan 18 2008
Tom Cruise Scientology-- What Is He Talking About?

The actor talks for nine minutes in his instantly famous Scientology video. Can you figure out what he's actually saying? Here's a guide.

By Jennifer Vineyard

Tom Cruise talks for nine minutes in his instantly famous Scientology video — now, can anyone figure out what he's actually saying?

Apparently, non-Scientologists are just "spectators." It's a far nicer thing to call us — kind of like "Muggles in "Harry Potter" — than the term they usually use, "wog," which is more equivalent to the derogatory "Mudbloods" in the "Potter" books. Here's a breakdown of some of the other Scientologese words, acronyms and turns of phrase — culled from a variety of sources, including books, Web sites, and current and former church members — that might get lost in translation:

LRH: L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology and author of sci-fi books such as "Battlefield Earth" and "Mission Earth."

...KSW: Keeping Scientology Working. Refers to a policy LRH published in 1965 that requires all Scientologists to follow his words and rules exactly.

"It is something that you have to earn": Cruise is referring to taking Scientology courses. According to the church, to get to the higher levels of Scientology — he's an OT VII, the highest level is OT VIII — you must complete a number of courses and auditing sessions, a sort of Scientological take on the Catholic confession. And it all costs; depending on your level, the tab for wisdom can be hundreds if not thousands of dollars. To finally learn what the basis of Scientology's precepts are (about how we got remnants of space aliens known as thetans trapped in our system), you must attain the level of OT III. The secrets of Xenu aren't free!

"Am I going to look at that guy or am I too afraid?": Cruise's relentless stare is actually a technique from "Success Through Communication" training routine (TR) drills. According to former and current members, pre-clears have to learn to look someone straight in the eye for hours. It's supposed to generate self-confidence and intimidate the other party. No blinking!

SP: "Suppressive Person." An SP is someone who commits suppressive acts, like murder, criticizing Scientology or altering LRH's teachings, according to former and current members. Journalists are automatically considered SPs because they traffic in bad news and so are barred from entering Scientology. Psychiatrists would also be SPs, so Cruise says, "Crush these guys! I've had it! No mercy! None! Go to guns!" as a call to arms. Since all's fair in war, LRH once issued a policy called "Fair Game" that decreed that anyone who opposed Scientology could be "tricked, sued or lied to and destroyed." The church says it no longer officially practices this, however, it is still a fairly contentious organization.

PTS: "Potential Trouble Sources," as in Scientologists who are losing the faith or are being influenced by an SP.

PTS/SP: A course in how to "handle" and/or "disconnect" PTS and SPs, which usually costs about $1,600, according to estimates from church members.

"Ways to Happiness": Actually, "A Way to Happiness," a booklet of the Scientology version of the 10 Commandments, except theirs has 21 Commandments. The number-one precept is "Take Care of Yourself." Also on the list: "Don't Be Promiscuous," "Set a Good Example," "Do Not Murder," "Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will" and "Flourish and Prosper."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Everybody but Daniel Shinoff: The North County Times stops naming MiraCosta College's lawyer

Suddenly you can't find Daniel Shinoff's name in the North County Times. Why? Because Shinoff is trying to prove that he's not a public figure so he can stop me from writing about him?

My suspicion is that Shinoff, one of the favorite sources of information for NCT, suddenly doesn't want to be mentioned by name, and the newspaper wants to stay on friendly terms with him.

Shinoff's new moniker is "the district's lawyers." He comes alone to settlement conferences and board meetings. This morning he is listed as MiraCosta College's lawyer on the San Diego Superior Court calendar (no judge listed):
North County
08:30AM Dept N-27
Ex Parte
Case number GIN058018

But like the Queen of England, Daniel Shinoff apparently prefers to refer to himself in the plural.

Other than that, North County Times is doing a terrific job reporting on education. Until now, the NCT frequently quoted Shinoff in its top-notch articles about north county schools.

The following opinion piece from NCT is typical of good reporting and opinion writing, with the omission of that once-ubiquitous name. By the way, I didn't write any of the comments, although I heartily agree with most of them.

North County Times
January 15, 2008
Click HERE to see the original article.

Slapped by karma?

By: SUNANA BATRA - For the North County Times

The new year has already ushered in some positive developments in the ongoing sordid saga at MiraCosta College.

When former MiraCosta President Victoria Munoz Richart was sued by faculty member Eileen Kraskouskas, who alleged that Richart had besmirched her reputation and forced Eileen to retire, Richart's attorney, Randy Winet, contended that Richart was well within her rights, and argued that people working in public education have to bear the "cross" of intemperate comments about their work performance.

The judge agreed, dismissing the case on the basis that she believed it to be a SLAPP, or Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation, suit, which aims to silence a group or an individual raising issues of public concern.

Fast forward a few months and, lo and behold, luck being the friend of the righteous, the judge presiding over the case brought by Leon Page against Richart and the district just happens to be the same judge, Judge Jacqueline Stern.

Imagine the dread Richart must have felt knowing the frailty of their argument, since it's the exact same argument the district successfully crushed just a few months ago. What a delicious tidbit of irony. Kraskouskas' grandstanding was no different from Richart's, Kraskouskas just didn't have free lawyers to duke it out for her.

So, what to do? Richart must get Judge Stern removed (or "papered" in fancy lawyer speak), and did, as was her right. While this sort of practice isn't illegal, it's certainly questionable. Did her lawyer "paper" Judge Stern because Stern knew that Dr. Richart, as president of the college, had previously rebutted a claim similar to the one she made when negotiating her buyout package, clearly working against her credibility? Is Mr. Winet now hoping that the new judge, Judge Thomas Nugent, never finds out about what happened in the Kraskouskas case?

You gotta love comeuppance for trying to silence people.

Wrapped only in her ambition, Richart had to know Judge Stern would point out that the queen had no clothes.

In the Kraskouskas case, she framed the suit against her as an attempt to squelch her free speech. But in striking the "do as I say, not as I do" posture, she does not believe her employers should be granted the same free speech that she enjoyed.

So, a question comes to mind: Why didn't the district's lawyers force Richart to file a lawsuit and then challenge her flimsy claims with an anti-SLAPP motion, since they beat a similar lawsuit just four months prior?

Of course, such questions are not likely to go unanswered for too long, as I'd wager that Judge Nugent is likely to compel Richart to testify soon.

But, hands down, the cherry on top has to be a comment, steeped in foreshadowing, made by Richart, in a letter addressed to her ally Charles Adams. She complains that the minority board members made a public evaluation of her by stating in public that they did not agree with the majority. She states: "This action causes me to believe that it may be in my best interest to publicly reveal all of the misconduct that has occurred at MiraCosta College prior to my arrival."

Unbelievable. Funny? Pathetic? Both? We shall see.

-- Encinitas resident Sunana Batra is a freelance columnist for the North County Times. Contact her at

Comments On This Story

Note: Comments reflect the views of readers and not necessarily those of the North County Times or its staff.

We want to know more wrote on Jan 16, 2008 7:48 AM:
When Ms Richart is questioned under oath, the public deserves to learn if the school's lawyer was representing his client, MiraCosta College, or her. If the lawyer was representing her, did he inform his client, MiraCosta College, of the conflict. To do so would have been his ethical duty.

thank you wrote on Jan 16, 2008 8:24 AM:
I appreciate the NCT for printing this commentary.

Ethical? wrote on Jan 16, 2008 9:04 AM:
One uses the word "ethical" in relationship to the lawyers for MiraCosta and/or Richart? This relationship is almost incestuous and the trustees (majority) just seem to bless everything the taxpayers' money pays for! Now the bill for defending the district against the D.A. will be added to the toll. Ethical? A joke!

angry taxpayer wrote on Jan 16, 2008 10:52 AM:
Is the faculty happy with Leon Page's lawsuit which the taxpayers must defend? This gadfly simply wants to run for office and is playing a game to advance his political ambitions. And at the taxpayers' expense.

To Angry wrote on Jan 16, 2008 11:08 AM:
You need to check your facts before you open your mouth and let the loose thoughts fly out. Mr. Page is working to save the taxpayers' money - a job the trustees (get the word trustee?) are elected to do, but at which they failed. Mr. Page will get his expenses paid - that's all. This has nothing to do with faculty as the spinners are trying to imply. This is what the public is supposed to do when the politicians try to pull the wool over the public's eyes. Put your anger toward the trustees who got us into this mess by colluding with Richart to hide the truth.

What a mess wrote on Jan 16, 2008 11:16 AM:
This whole mess has come about because of Richart's inability to fulfill her duties as a leader. She can hand out the criticism but can't take it? Oh boo hoo. Let's get the majority off the board and get some new people in there who care more about finances and education than politics!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

San Diego needs a new newspaper to hire SDUT reporters

Voice of San Diego reports the loss of 29 reporters at the San Diego Union Tribune.

Shrinking Union-Tribune: 'Doing Less With Less'
By ROB DAVIS Voice Staff Writer
Jan. 7, 2008

I found this section of the article interesting:

"...If you're going to downsize your reporting staff you don’t take a (federal law enforcement reporter) Kelly Thornton or Mark Sauer out of the mix," said one newsroom employee who accepted the offer. The staffer had signed a non-disclosure agreement and agreed to speak anonymously. "Those are the people you want to keep. To keep people interested in the paper, they take things away? It's all business driven at this point."

Nelson also pointed to Thornton as a key loss, saying he was "stunned" she wasn't begged to stay. Early in 2007, she helped break news that U.S. Attorney Carol Lam was being forced by the Bush Administration to resign -- before Lam had even announced the news. Her reporting in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks deeply detailed the lives of three hijackers who had trained and lived in San Diego.

"She's probably the most respected, reviled and feared reporter in San Diego," Nelson said. "And they're letting her go? That would be like The Washington Post letting Bob Woodward go..."