The San Diego Union-Tribune’s “Community” Of Tax-Takers

Bradley J. Fikes Bradley J. Fikes 5 Comments


Judging from the San Diego Union-Tribune’s narrow selection for its “community editorial board,” the newspaper’s management appears to think the San Diego  community consists entirely of social activists, government bureaucrats and other tax-takers. The people who pay their wages aren’t represented.

Richard Rider has documented the narrow range of opinions in this supposedly “diverse” crowd — diverse in everything except ideology.

Of course any group that represents the local community is going to include the left. It will include those active in labor, education and the environment. What’s wrong is what it doesn’t include. This group has no openly identified conservative Christians, Tea Party activists, libertarians or defenders of the Second Amendment. And there’s no one who actually produces jobs and profits in the private sector without government largesse.

But the board does include openly identified defenders of “those we perceive as undocumented immigrants,” the “socially sustainable,” carbon offsets to defend against the supposed threat of catastrophic manmade global warming, and so on. The list is full of political insiders, including former aides to former mayors Susan Golding and Roger Hedgecock.

Statements from those chosen are what you’d expect from such a group — full of gaseous platitudes. For instance, consider this from board member Rishi Ghosh: “We need a renewed focus on faster, greener and cheaper public transit and a devotion to public education that is affordable and accessible to all. We need to commit to grow our clean-tech and other industries without compromising principles for a free, fair and just society. Finally, we need to learn to trust and demand more from our government and create diverse communities in our own neighborhoods.”

Ghosh, tellingly, heads the carbon-offset company Carbon Guard. Carbon offsets is an industry wholly created by politics, not by market demand. This is typical of most of those on the U-T with experience in business — they live off of political connections.

These are not your average business owners, in the economy the rest of us live in. As more than a few commenters noted on the U-T stories, those chosen seem to have little experience in doing anything of practical value in the private sector. Most rely on tax money for their livelihood in one way or another.

As commenter DZ5059 said to board member Ernie McCray:

“Please enlighten us.  Where is the small business owner? (and no, a CONSULTING business doesn’t cut it.)

“There are a dozen “educators” and retired “educators. A few “consultants “and a lawyer or two.

“No plumbers….hell no “service” people at all. No small business people. No grocery clerks. No hair stylists. No regular people at all.

“That group is the epitome of TAKERS……Nearly every one of them have been taking salaries from taxpayers and not supplying SQUAT in the way of jobs.”

Ben said in the U-T story comments:

“There are no doctors, no small businessmen, no farmers or merchants, no bankers or brokers or agents or accountants, no tech entrepreneurs, no one in transportation, no one in industry, no one with a real customer, no one with a production facility or a retail store.

“If the UT thinks anyone on this list represents the private sector, then that National Geographic expedition to meet the productive people is long overdue.  And if this is the UT’s idea of the “community”, then it’s a community with no producers, only spenders.

U-T editor Jeff Light seems dimly aware of the group’s biased perspective. He wrote:

“And although the initial membership is diverse, it does not really represent the breadth of San Diego. It will need to grow and change as we work toward that goal.

No, Mr. Light, the group is not remotely diverse. If you really want to “represent the breadth of San Diego,” try including the great majority of the community you overlooked.


(DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion, and not necessarily that of my employer, the North County Times).


Comments 5

  1. well, you can always just hang out in the UT’s comments sections if you want “diversity”. your under-represented types seem to dominate there.

  2. Doug, the comments section of the U-T shows the strength of the people who kicked your side’s ass on Prop D. This ratio of comments is what we saw before that election. But as a liberal, you don’t think these folks should have a voice in the “community board.” No surprise there.

    I might not be quite as displeased with the U-T if they had practiced a little Truth in Labeling. Something like the “Liberal/Progressive Community Editorial Board.”

    CityBeat is at least up-front with its liberal bias. The U-T owner and editors should practice the same degree of honesty.

  3. Richard, quite right. I do give the U-T credit for allowing themselves to be attacked so vigorously in the comments. At least that’s a step toward candor. Now if Ed Moss and Jeff Light would actually address the criticisms in the comments, we’d have real progress in correcting this disaster.

  4. Jeff Light should appoint me to the Community Editorial Board. He’d get a Libertarian, fiscal conservative and business advocate, and Second Amendment supporter. Female to boot. I wouldn’t say I’m a tea party gal but I’m certainly for lower taxes. Conservative Christian… I believe in God but since I support gay marriage that ruins the superfecta.

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