Recently, some of your editorials have been printed on the first page under the title, a “reporters opinion.” In my experience, this is generally where actual news appears in other papers. Clearly, you are not just a “reporter,” but an editor-owner with a financial investment. Your “opinion” is sometimes incorrect at the basic factual level.
For instance, in both of your “news” stories and your “opinions,” you refer to “the action against Gil Segel by the state Fair Political Practices Committee (May 27) and the “FPPC v. Gil Segel and a group known as the ‘Malibu Citizens for Less Traffic on PCH’.” This statement was misrepresented in several editions of your paper. Arnold, there is no such action. To the contrary, it is Gil Segel and the Malibu Citizens who are the plaintiffs suing the F.P.P.C., not the other way around. The correct title of this suit is of course, “Malibu Citizens for Less Traffic on Pacific Coast Highway and Gilbert Segel v. Fair Political Practices Commission of the State of California.”
I would prefer to believe, Arnold, that these are just examples of repeated, honest mistakes. However, given that you are an attorney, a member of the Malibu Bar Association, and in addition, have copies of all of the court papers, your erroneous representations are not just simple mistakes. I leave it to you and to your readers to evaluate the degree of fairness or bias in The Malibu Times, its editor-owner and the “reporter” who writes his “opinion.”
I request that you print retractions of the misleading references and that you correctly refer to this lawsuit in the future.
Gilbert N. Segel
Editor’s note: The state Fair Political Practices Commission brought an action against Segel and the “Citizens Committee” for violation of state law relating to election campaigns. Then, Segel and the Citizens Committee brought an action in Superior Court to attempt to block the discovery requested by the FPPC, which Segel and the committee lost and which is now on appeal.