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Forgetful Frank

Frank Mickadeit’s column in the Register is a good read this morning. And like Steve Greenhut, he misses the larger point and focuses instead on a much smaller one but blowing it out of proportion.

You can read Frank’s column here.

Frank attended a portion of Irvine’s marathon city council meeting last Tuesday (17 hours plus). And the sister city debate popped up again, prompting Beth Krom to make the following statement (quoting Mickadeit’s work now):

“We can sit here and see how many wedges we can create in the community. I don’t think that’s in anybody’s best interest….
I see Mr. Mickadeit is here this evening. Welcome. I will say that for those of you who have been reading Mr. Mickadeit’s column about this, you should know that Mr. Mickadeit has never had the courtesy, not once, to contact me, not once to speak to me personally, so if my name has appeared in his column and if he has referenced my motivations, my intentions, my ideas and my thoughts, that has been purely a fabrication of his mind. So let me just say for those people who are invested in making sure that this remains a contentious issue, I don’t share your interests.”

The focus on Frank’s column was “when did I reference her motivations?”

Well, Frank did refer to Krom’s “pettiness” and “inconsistency” in an earlier column where he certainly seems to call her motivations into question on a number of occasions.

What Frank seems to have missed is what I bolded earlier in Krom’s statement as quoted by Frank himself. And emails I have from Frank confirm he has never bothered to call the Mayor for comment. Not once on anything related to anything going on at Irvine City Hall has Frank picked up the phone to interview the Mayor. Shouldn’t that basic fairness be something that is an element of every story?

The minute you get a quote from one side, you are obligated to offer an opposing viewpoint the same chance to talk. It’s been 25 years since I took News Reporting and Writing 101, but at least I wasn’t sick that day.

Frank writes he expected Krom to blame the media. Let’s review here for a moment. Frank called a sister city in Australia that happens to have the same sister city relationships as Irvine and wrote a column about it but he can’t be bothered to make a call in his own area code. I’m not blaming the media for writing about a controversy but I can blame them for covering one side with any amount of basic fairness. My contention is always in OC, liberal media bias is bad but conservative media bias is OK.

The second point, lost on Frank, is that Krom has no interest in continuing to drag this “controversy” out. Frank certainly does. As do Council members Stephen Choi and Christina Shea. If you really want to point a finger, point to Washington, DC where true control of the One China Policy exists. But being good Republicans, neither Shea or Choi will do that.

I went to the Protest at Irvine City Hall. The largest guestimate of the crowd came from the LA Times stating about 200 people came. According to the US Census for the Year 2000, there were only 192,973 Taiwanese in the entire US. Irvine had the 11th highest concentration at 2.4 percent – that’s 463 people. Irvine’s demographic is 30 percent of the population is Asian or a total of about 54,000 of the city’s residents which means that Taiwanese make up less than one percent of the Asian population of Irvine. I can only wonder just what else does Frank expect Krom to do to resolve the situation because nothing she does ever seems to be good enough.

My favorite part of Frank’s column was when Suhkee Kang sided with Shea and Choi on a second letter with conditions to the sister city agreement. But no such mention when Choi voted with Agran, Krom and Kang on directing city staff to respond to the OC Grand Jury report on the Great Park. It’s called a double-standard.