Letter in response to “Tension grows over council policy changes” published March 25
I am former editor and reporter for a weekly newspaper (the now defunct Del Mar/Solana Beach/Rancho Santa Fe News Press). When I was practicing journalism I wrote for publications from The Washington Post to The Village Voice to Surfer Magazine, and I’m also a two-time Emmy-winning documentary producer and have produced fact-based feature films (eg. “The Vow”).
Your article about the past week’s city council meeting is, well, at best a disappointment and at worst a politically-motivated hatchet job. From the headline to the inaccuracies to the clear bias of the reporting, one thing it is not is good journalism.
In your first paragraph you write about the almost unanimous outrage the community expressed over the heinous effort by “the establishment,” yet instead of following that thread and the underlying issues leading us to this point, you end up pointing a finger at the reformer, and leading vote getter in last election, Bruce Silverstein, rather than the perpetrators of the attempted “coup d’etat” by the council and staff. And you avoid the horrific document, presented in last-minute fashion during working hours to try and avoid scrutiny and public discussion, which was literally the opposite of the good governance/transparency/accountability that the ad hoc committee was supposed to be presenting, and ignore the fact that the previous logical and common-sense proposals by council members Uhring and Silverstein to achieve openness were ignored and replaced by a blatant attempt to hijack the process and do the exact opposite under the same title—a pure “Orwhellian” effort.
You ignore the underlying issues of incompetence by the city manager during the Woolsey Fire as outlined in not one, but three independent reports, including one that was done by a group hired by the city that was conflicted and designed to exonerate her but still ended up highlighting her significant shortcomings.
I can tell from the cleanness of your prose that you can do better. Now, perhaps you’re stifled as the paper is well known to have bias, not to mention the publisher enjoying an interest-free loan from the city which he has never paid back, along with receiving large amounts of money from city business and from ads purchased by certain candidates and their supporters. But ultimately, this will be your reputation and your integrity which will be judged and you can do better—and should.