Saturday, July 30, 2011

It looks like Voice of San Diego might be taking some cards out of the deck before it begins to play

Has Voice of San Diego given up on journalistic ethics? They're starting to make the SDUT look good! I'm beginning to think VOSD is just a mouthpiece for a few people with money and/or influence who wanted some control over which voices are heard in San Diego. But apparently they didn't just want to give some new people a voice. They also want to keep some new voices silent.

Last night I sent two comments to VOSD about the Jackson story in Voice of San Diego:

You guys are doing something wrong. I don't think your decisions are motivated by race, but the unbalanced racial makeup of the people you choose to attack exposes a problem. I'm not talking about the top elected officials. I am talking about how VOSD chooses which of the other 3 million people in San Diego to attack, protect, or discuss. There's something wrong with your methodology when so many of the people attacked are black women. There is something arbitrary and inequitable about your methods. The law of probability indicates that you are somehow pulling some of the cards out of the deck before the game begins.

You are exposing your methods unintentionally. The same thing happens with people who cheat on their taxes. The IRS spots them by looking for certain numbers that tend to pop up more frequently in the tax filings of people who are cheating. They use statistics to spot the fraud, without even looking at the reasons given for deductions.

VOSD has stepped gingerly around some stories, and stepped heavily into other stories.

The people that get the gentler treatment from VOSD tend to be white, not because VOSD is racist, but because, I suspect, the people whom Buzz Woolley and the rest of the top dogs at VOSD want to protect happen to be white. People high up on the food chain in San Diego schools are treated gently (and the superintendent there is a black man), while people who rank lower take the heat. Also, people down at SEDC get harsh handling.

Obviously, commenter "bigfan" doesn't like Shelia Jackson, and doesn't want to question VOSD's motives for choosing to attack Jackson while staying silent on more important issues in schools.

My point is that I think VOSD chooses stories for the wrong reasons, but not necessarily for racial reasons. But one must suspect that something is wrong when there is such a surfeit of black women being attacked. The laws of probability are being violated. The choices seem arbitrary. It appears that people are attacked if they are not on the protected list.

Let's look at the facts. When Regina Petty at SEDC wouldn't turn over public records, VOSD went after her with a vengeance. We were treated to 13 "Petty Watch" posts. It took two months of "almost constant hounding" to get SEDC to release public records.

But VOSD reported that when it asked for records from the County Office of Education "that would show if the trips were given to the agency rather than the employee, it didn't provide any." VOSD didn't begin an aggressive "Crosier Watch." No constant hounding. The difference in treatment was not due to the fact that the SEDC lawyer was black and Diane Crosier, the lawyer in charge of keeping public records out of public view at the County Office of Education, was white. It's because Petty had no friends at VOSD, and Crosier apparently does. I call it friendship when you meekly accept a "no" answer to a public records request instead of doing all you can to shame Diane Crosier into turning over the records.

I'm not saying VOSD shouldn't cover the Jackson story. I'm saying that we can clearly see that there is a problem when racial patterns emerge so clearly in VOSD stories. I'm saying VOSD needs to start telling the whole truth about schools in San Diego. And it should start with a "Crosier Watch."

At almost 5 p.m. today (July 30, 2011), my comments are not posted. Here's what I just wrote to Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue.

Scott Lewis, Andrew Donohue:

You allowed a commenter to call me "pathetic" and say she was LMAO (laughing her ass off). Not coincidentally, I believe, she was defending VOSD's choice of subject for investigation.

Then you failed to publish my two comments explaining myself.

You're not even pretending any more, are you?

I'm beginning to think that although VOSD does cover some stories that the SDUT doesn't, it isn't because VOSD is more fair in who it attacks. It's simply that VOSD is politically motivated to attack different people. The main problem I see with both VOSD and SDUT is that they like to go after little stories of small corruption in which the taxpayers lose a small amount of cash to someone with sticky fingers, while at the same time both these newspapers leave unmolested the big guys who undermines society itself by corrupting the system to make the entire operation of government subservient to their wishes.

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