The SD U-T’s leftward editorial slant accelerates

Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax FightersRichard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters 15 Comments


The switch of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE editorial slant from moderate Republican to moderate-to-liberal Democrat is finally becoming blatant and public. Today the U-T announced their “Community Editorial Board” made up of what they deem to be a cross-section of local leaders that will help guide the paper’s editorial page and indeed opine periodically. Oh my!

Read the U-T write-up on this bunch and then ask yourself this question — how did they vote on San Diego’s Prop D, the benchmark city sales tax increase? Probably 80+% voted for it, compared to 62% of the REAL SD community who voted against it.

The new, underfunded, downtown library? Probably 90% of this board support it, while a strong majority of city residents oppose it — which is why the city council refused to let the citizenry vote on this modern day pyramid (as once promised by then-Mayor Golding).

A look at the selectees details a cabal of government sycophants who have spent their lives directly on the government payroll and/or seeking government money for their “nonprofits,” or for their causes.

I think it’s fair to say that NOT one of these U-T “community board” members thinks the government should be smaller — or should even plateau at its present bloated size. Indeed, essentially ALL of them favor BIGGER government, higher taxes and more nannyism.

Think this board is made up of “moderates”? Not really.

The first editorial “for the children” is by board member Ernie McCray, a lifetime hard left advocate. Indeed, as I recall, at one time McCray was actually the spokesperson for the local Communist Party. No, not the Democrat Party, or the Peace and Freedom (socialist) Party. The actual COMMUNIST PARTY.

His lame response when confronted about this was that he was not a MEMBER of the Communist Party — they just needed an articulate spokesperson for their cause.

Here’s the irony. At one time, many limited government advocates such as myself were appalled at the liberal bias in the U-T reporting, but took some solace in the more taxpayer-friendly viewpoint found on the editorial page.

Now it’s exactly the opposite. The editorial page (and especially the “Dialog” section) has pretty much gone over to the dark side — while the still-liberal reporters are now practicing REAL journalism with their generally excellent “Watchdog” work.

If I had to summarize the evolving U-T editorial policy, it’s “Can’t we all just get along?” Perhaps the current (and temporary) owners figure it’s best not to offend anyone while quietly shifting the editorials to the left, and that will somehow increase readership. Pathetic — and ultimately self-defeating.

No, I will not (yet) unsubscribe. The VOICE OF SAN DIEGO notwithstanding, the U-T is the best source for local news. And I like “paper” papers, even though I live and breathe online. That’s why I subscribe to the WALL ST JOURNAL as a delivered paper.

But as we old farts die off (or move away, or lose our eyesight, or minds), the print U-T will be of less and less interest to the younger set. Perhaps that’s what is meant to be.

BTW, if you want good local San Diego County editorial content, the NORTH COUNTY TIMES offers a more limited government editorial approach. They may also slip beneath the electronic waves, but for now they offer both superior editorials and a more diverse set of op-eds and letters to the editor.


Comments 15

  1. Post

    Compared to THIS 100% rigged board, maybe Fox News IS fair.

    I think the point here is that, agree or disagree with Fox, few believe that Fox hides its conservative bias. The problem with the U-T is that — with this bogus community board — it pretends that it really IS fair and balanced, a deceit.

    I have NO problem giving these folks on the board a forum. I DO have a problem with giving ONLY these folks such a forum. It’s the OMISSION that is the problem, not those selected PER SE.

    CityBeat generally is up front with its blatant left wing bias. The U-T owner and editors should practice the same intellectual honesty.

  2. Well, the UT certainly didn’t hide it’s bias before from you, did it. It’s always been somewhat conservative…and I guess that made you happy.

    So now you are upset because the board appears to be more left? Come now…a “bogus community board”? Why the pronouncement before hearing or learning what their point of views are?

  3. Richard, noticed the same things you did and complained. We’ll see if they publish my letter.

    Gwendolyn, the issue isn’t their point of view, it’s lack of diversity in background; it’s all government, charities, education, activists. No way that will produce calls for reduced size of government. But that perspective is a significant constituency in this city. Further, where are the entrepreneurs and private sector managers or even employees?

  4. Post

    Gwendolyn, if the board had consisted almost entirely of Tea Party folks, GOP activists and libertarians, would you still be suggesting that we should wait to hear or learn what their points of view were?

    Not likely (if you’re honest).

    The bias is quite obvious — no way they could hide it. A review of the reader comments in the story and it’s obvious that many have recognized the amazing one-sided nature of this board.

    Bottom line — as a progressive, you like your rigged community board. I don’t — and I want others to understand the bias of this outfit from the get-go, so its output is not taken seriously as objective analysis.

    Not much more to discuss.

  5. Richard, you beat me to the punch.

    I read the bios of those the U-T myopiocally selected and came to the same conclusion: This is liberal-left media bias in action. The omission of conservative, Libertarian and Tea Party perspectives is glaring. In the U-T’s world of community leaders, such apparently people don’t exist.

    The diversity mantra is repeated in those bios in the standard liberal-left way — everything is diverse except ideology. One bio stated: “San Diego is rich with diversity. This includes diverse individuals in the broadest sense with regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, education, socio-economic status, etc.”

    When it comes to the San Diego Union-Tribune, we conservative/Libertarian/Tea Party types will have to be satisfied with being an “etc.”

    And thanks for the plug for the North County Times, which does indeed believe in diversity of ideology.

  6. James Copley died years ago and the UT has been dying a slow miserable death ever since. The sooner the dinosaur finally bites the electronic cloud of death the better. I am sure some other provider can cover the local news.

  7. BDaddy,

    I see your point. “it’s all government, charities, education, activists”.

    Aren’t these the types of folks that haven’t been on their boards before?

    According to Jeff Light, editor, “they are a diverse group- a mix of democrats, Republicans and independents from many neighborhoods and different walks of life.”…..committed to San Diego, to community service and to advancing a constructive conversation about the issues off the day”.

    Perhaps the owners of the paper are beginning to learn something. Subscriptions to the paper have dropped precipitously over the past couple of years. Many more progressive readers have now moved onto news via the Internet, etc. So, why not try something new and appeal to a broader base of readers….not just conservative readers?

  8. Post

    One of the criteria for this board is people who are active in “community service.”  But most of these people MAKE/MADE THEIR LIVING IN THE “COMMUNITY SERVICE” BUSINESS — working for governments or nonprofits.  And most were handsomely paid for their efforts.  

    By most people’s standards, that is NOT community service — that is a vested interest keen on growing the government transfer of wealth to those causes and their employees.

    TRUE “community service” is volunteer work.  Doubtless most on this list perform some of that as well.  

    Me too — far more so than ANYONE on that board, I’ll wager.  My decades of community service has been volunteering to work for taxpayers — so they get to keep more of what they earn — to get government to leave people alone who are not harming anyone — and to try to make government more efficient in the delivery of necessary services.  But I bet that such “community service” does not count in the criteria the U-T established.

    No, I’m not angling for a position on the board.  I’m pointing out that most of what the the U-T considers “community service” ain’t.

    Just to be clear, I have ZERO interest in being a token limited government member of this rigged board.  I refuse to give such an outfit legitimacy by serving — unless it is more balanced with proper numbers of center-right representatives to more accurately reflect the voters of San Diego.

  9. Question to Rostra readers…who still subscribes to the U-T? I stopped about 3 years ago (after 15+ years as a subscriber).

  10. Post
  11. Post

    D7, as I mentioned, I still subscribe to the print U-T — for now. I value the local news, and especially the very good Watchdog reports.

    But with this latest slide into U-T editorial PC mushiness (and worse), I may just settle for reading only the WALL ST JOURNAL hard copy with my morning coffee. That decision is almost day-to-day at this point.

    I might also mention that the WSJ — delivered six days a week to my doorstep — is about 40% less costly than the U-T — for a more substantial paper in both pages and gravitas.

  12. Ah come on Richard. You really want to be on that board. You want to give them a fair and balanced approach to the interpretation of the news. Actually, you could be quite good if not interesting.

    Personally, I like reading a variety of opinions. Over the past few months I have begun to notice that indeed the U-T has begun to show a wider range of opinions in the Editorial section…a refreshing change.

    Re: Subscribers to the U-T
    Although the readership has precipitously fallen over the past years, my guess is that the conservative readership has not fallen as fast as the more liberal readership. The LA Times has it over the U-T in quality of writing and content. And you can (like the U-T) get the LA Times News on line. Perhaps, this explains why the U-T has taken a more left turn.

  13. U-T didn’t publish my letter. There was one objection about “ordinary folks” not being represented, but that didn’t capture the essence of my objection.
    Gwendolyn, I am not objecting to the inclusion of some of these folks, they certainly represent a particular community, just to the exclusion of the small government view point.

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