The Jihad Against the Register

This site is often a vocal critic of the Orange County Register.  We pick on Steve Greenhut when he calls Liberals “socialists,” we criticize their commentary on global warming and we often dispise Mike Shelton’s biased cartoons.  But for all the talk of how the blogsphere is changing the game, we must recognize that we bloggers rely on the Orange County Register (and the LA Times, and OCBJ, and OC Metro, and OC Weekly, and the Daily Pilot) for providing a foundation for debate and as a source of news. We need you local MSM, because without you, where would the right wing blogs in town get all their daily news roundups from?

And while a paper as Liberterian (Conservative) as the Register should not be surprised by compliants from us who’d like to see a little more (OK, a lot more) “liberal media bias,” its remarkable about the criticism the paper is getting from the Red County blog.  Regular criticisms of the Register’s web site (valid) to diatribes against a Steve Greenhut column on the GOP cowering to Mike Carona to a new post by Jon Flieschman today which is critical of a news story that accurately reports on GOP chairman Scott Baugh’s role as a businss consultant for CRC Health Group which owns sober living facilities.

The story is accurate, offered Newport Beach residents an opportunity to complain about Baugh’s business role with the group given their loyal support fo rthe Party and offered Baugh a chance to respond.  What’s the term I’m searching for…. Oh yes, “fair and balanced.”

Fleischman thinks the reporter “got played” which, in the Republican-to-English dictionary means “there’s no story here, don’t write this/or, you shouldn’t have written this, or run this by the party leadership for approval next time.”

Register reporters and editors work hard.  They put in well beyond an 8 hour day and often have a warmed up dinner to nosh on while the spouse is putting the kids to bed.  As liberals, we fight to gain the ear of the local press to hear our side of the story and report our point of view.  In the end, we expect fairness, not flowery coverage.  And while we don’t win every argument, we hope we are heard.

People love to complain about the media and newspapers in particular. And the Register is no exception.

Want to make the Register (or any local newspaper) better?  Read it.  Write letters to the editor for publication.  Write emails to reporters NOT for publication to complain about the story or offer a news tip that advances the story.  Complain about stuff you don’t like but praise the stuff you do.  Lend your name to your communications. Be an active consumer of the news. 

I used to be a Republican; so I can understand how tough its been for them to read the Register since Mike Carona’s indictment on federal corruption charges.  And with the indictment came lots of questions: why didn’t Tony Rack go after him? Why won’t Carona resign?  Why did the Supes allow rule changes so Carona could appoint his cronies to top spots in the Deparmtent? The local MSM is doing its very best impression of Scott Moxley and is holding up Republican political leaders to the scrutiny they deserve. Keep at it please.

  38 comments for “The Jihad Against the Register

  1. December 7, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    It’s very simple. If the tainted Sheriff’s old mouthpiece SAYS the reporter got played, some people will believe it.
    Even if they don’t, at least it’s down in the record. Anyone can throw out merit-less criticism, baseless accusations or unjustified praise into the public record.
    Just because they don’t think it’s a story doesn’t mean it is.

    Some people don’t have time to go very far in depth into the news, and some people take advantage of this to use so-called news-gathering or reporting as a tool to mold and shape public opinion.
    These people are cancerous to journalism.

    Not that the Register has any reason to worry about anything that effects journalism.

    Waxing politic is much more fun than studying for 1st semester law school finals.

  2. RHackett
    December 7, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Two words. Jon Fleischman.

    After the way he has completely ignored Carona, and defended other GOP’s as his “good friends” who ended up in the slam he is only credible to the incredibly lazy or those with a tag on their toe.

    I’ve already pointed out his blatant hypocrisy on criticizing anything to do with government while he collected a very nice paycheck paid by the OC taxpayers for a position that had nothing to do with the mission of the organization.

  3. December 8, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I’ve already pointed out his blatant hypocrisy on criticizing anything to do with government while he collected a very nice paycheck paid by the OC taxpayers for a position that had nothing to do with the mission of the organization.

    Are you still flogging the fallacy that it is hypocritical for a government employee to criticize government?

  4. December 8, 2007 at 11:51 am

    or only if the critique is from a conservative perspective?

  5. RHackett
    December 8, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    It is when an individual continues to flog the fallacy of taxes taken by force while collecting a paycheck paid by the taxpayers for a position in a law enforcement organization that has nothing to do with law enforcement.

  6. December 8, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Anytime the OC GOP coalition starts fighting with itself is merely an occasion to break out the popcorn. And it proves the old adage about honor among thieves.

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    December 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    A commenter at OC Blog said Fleischman has CRC as a client; if true, his post criticizing the story while flexing his right wing is ethically questionable.

  8. RHackett
    December 9, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Dan,

    I think it’s safe to say that no one cares about what Jon says except for his hard core followers. And there aren’t many of those.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    December 9, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Well, if you look at the who’s who of OC Republicans who wished Jon well on his 40th birthday, he does have lots of friends. Either that, or the witness list for the Carona trial just got published. ;)

  10. December 9, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    It is when an individual continues to flog the fallacy of taxes taken by force while collecting a paycheck paid by the taxpayers for a position in a law enforcement organization that has nothing to do with law enforcement.

    First off, what “fallacy of taxes taken by force”?

    What, pray tell, does the government do if one refuses or fails to pay taxes?

    Secondly, conservatives don’t, per se, advocate the abolition of taxation. Taxes are necessary to fund government.

    What law enforcement organization that has nothing to do with law enforcement are you talking about?

    Now, can you tell us what categories of government employees are permitted to criticize government?

  11. RHackett
    December 10, 2007 at 8:28 am

    First off, what “fallacy of taxes taken by force”?

    What, pray tell, does the government do if one refuses or fails to pay taxes?

    Jubal. Are you for real? We (that is Americans) have agreed to live under the terms of citizenship as set forth by the Constitution. As such we (the People) have given the government to levy and collect taxes as set forth in Article I, sec. 8. If you believe the government is exercising force to collect taxes it is only because you have sought to live in our nation and have tacitly agreed to the conditions set forth in that document.

    What law enforcement organization that has nothing to do with law enforcement are you talking about?

    Once again you have a clear problem with understanding the meaning of my statement. I’ll spell it out for you since you are the only one that doesn’t understand. Your buddy Jon likes to rant and rave about taxes being taken by force and the waste in government. But those core beliefs didn’t prevent him from accepting a paycheck funded by the OC taxpayer for a position (media relations) in a law enforcement agency (OCSD) that has absolutely nothing to do with suppressing, investigating, solving, or punishing criminal behavior. This is especially crucial since the OCSD already has a PIO’s office for those matters. Maybe you can detail just how that position did any of the above. Sorry, but to me that is hypocritical. Maybe in your little world of spin politics you can explain to all us the fallacy of my thought process.

    Now, can you tell us what categories of government employees are permitted to criticize government?

    All of them. However, if they are wanting to have something resembling a shred of credibility it would behoove them to not be taking a government paycheck (paid for by the aforementioned forcibly taken tax dollars) for a position that is completely unrelated to the purpose of the organization.

  12. RHackett
    December 10, 2007 at 8:42 am

    But those core beliefs didn’t prevent him from accepting a paycheck funded by the OC taxpayer for a position (media relations)that has absolutely nothing to do with suppressing, investigating, solving, or punishing criminal behavior within a law enforcement agency (OCSD) .

    Realizing you’ll spin my statement, I corrected it to have the intended meaning that both you and your friend Jon will be able to understand.

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    December 10, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Matt —
    Here’s a direct quote from Jon’s commentary in today’s Flash Report which pretty much proves RHackett’s point:

    “I wish Steyer would give all of his money to charitable causes, instead of working to elect left wingers like Hillary, would would forcably take money from one American so that goverment can “give” it to another. ”

    Jon is misrepresenting Left wingers and Hillary Clinton in this little screed. Jon had no problem accepting a government paycheck and the most liberal of “vacation” policies on the Sheriff”s payroll to do politicking. Statements like these are made by him all the time. You’d think that all Dems do is raise taxes.

  14. December 10, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    If you believe the government is exercising force to collect taxes it is only because you have sought to live in our nation and have tacitly agreed to the conditions set forth in that document.

    RHackett, you mistake our implicit consent to live by duly-passed laws as meaning that taxes are voluntary.

    They aren’t.

    If you don’t pay them, you go to jail. If they were voluntary, nothing would happen to us if we decided we didn’t want to fork over a portion of our wealth. Why is that so difficult to understand?

    As for Jon’s former job: how many information officers do you think the OCSD is allowed to have (since you’ve made yourself the arbiter of that subject)? One? So anything over that is verboten? What if Jon had been that one PIO? Would he still be a hypocrite in your book? If he’d been a liberal extolling the virtues of government and taxation, would you be lambasting him?

    Face it: you’ve advanced this cockamamie standard that a government employee can’t criticize government if that critique is informed by a small government, low taxes philosophy. You’ve created it to give an intellectual veneer to your jabs at Jon.

  15. December 10, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Dan:

    I think Jon is talking about transfer payments so beloved of liberals.

    Conservatives are critical of overly-generous pay, pension and benefits for public employees, but we don’t argue that government employees shouldn’t get paid, have benefits or receive a pension.

    But most Americans aren’t government employees (thank God), so it’s an entirely different matter when one is talking about talking money that I earned and giving to someone who didn’t earn it, just because some people in government have decided the other guy needs it more than I do.

  16. RHackett
    December 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    As for Jon’s former job: how many information officers do you think the OCSD is allowed to have (since you’ve made yourself the arbiter of that subject)? One? So anything over that is verboten? What if Jon had been that one PIO? Would he still be a hypocrite in your book?

    Jubal. This is known as a canard in HS debatespeak. The OCSD has a PIO. It is (I believe) Jim Ammormino.

    Since you are challenging my authority on the subject, perhaps you can tell us how Jon’s position contributed to the law enforcement mission of the department.

    If Jon had been that one PIO I wouldn’t view him as a hypocrite. But I have yet to see him replaced.

    Justify it all you want. Jon’s a hypocrite for any number of reasons. I only pointed out one of the better examples.

  17. Dan Chmielewski
    December 10, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    “I think Jon is talking about transfer payments so beloved of liberals.”
    He offered no such qualifier. And I believe Hillary is more interested in leveling the playing field for all Americans, but its easy to see why Jon might view that as a threat to conservatives.

    The fact is Matt, Jon continue to misrepresent liberals on a number of fronts or criticize liberals only when noted Republicans exhibit the same behavior. Case in point – today’s LA Times story on the Governor’s liberal and luxurious private travel detail. Will Jon be referring to Arnold as “Governor Louis Viutton?”

    Back to Jon’s job with the Sheriff’s office; I think there’s one PIO and several staffers and I’m OK with that as long as they job gets done. And I think vacation time should be doiled out by half days and days, not 15 minute increments to do politics. And don’t you think its just a little bit of a conflict of interest that only positive posts on Mike Carona appeared on the Flash Report while Jon was a County Employee?

  18. RHackett
    December 10, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Jubal. Since you asked how many PIO’s the OCSD should have, it is now reasonable to assume government spending is not wasteful in other departments. After all. Doesn’t it stand to reason the department heads of any agency knows their requirements and are staffed or trying to staff accordingly?

    If I follow your argument I can make the point that government is not bloated. Please explain this to Jon the next time he talks about a bloated (fill in locale) government body.

  19. December 10, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Jubal. Since you asked how many PIO’s the OCSD should have, it is now reasonable to assume government spending is not wasteful in other departments.

    RHackett, you need to enroll in a logic class, or else change you handle to Straw Man.

  20. December 10, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    And don’t you think its just a little bit of a conflict of interest that only positive posts on Mike Carona appeared on the Flash Report while Jon was a County Employee?

    No, I don’t it’s Jon’s blog. He can post whatever he does or doesn’t like. You might have a point if he prevented members of his blogpen from posting criticisms of Carona, but he doesn’t do that.

  21. December 10, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    “Carnard,” RHackett?

    You invent this “principle” by which you claim Jon is a hypocrite, and then you invent supporting standards that “prove” your point, and then hope to win the argument by implying I’m stupid.

    I think an honest response from you would be to say you disagree with Jon’s political philosophy and then engage him on that level. But for all that you, Dan, Chris and others act as if Jon shouldn’t be taken seriously, you guys spend an awful lot of time focused on him.

  22. RHackett
    December 10, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    RHackett, you need to enroll in a logic class, or else change you handle to Straw Man.

    Whoaa there little fella.

    Jubal, earlier you stated:

    As for Jon’s former job: how many information officers do you think the OCSD is allowed to have (since you’ve made yourself the arbiter of that subject)? One?

    Soooo. Since my credibility is being questioned on a proper number of individuals needed to perform this function, I have to ask the same of you and Jon. When Jon writes about the bloated state budget, what makes him the arbiter of that subject? What great experience does he (or you) bring to the table that makes this claim valid? And credible. Has he ever managed an entity of this size? When? How long? You challenge my credibility on this subject. Why don’t you ever question Jon’s. Are we just supposed to take his word for it?

    Please detail for us your standard that I and Jon and others have to achieve in order for you to take us seriously.

    But for all that you, Dan, Chris and others act as if Jon shouldn’t be taken seriously, you guys spend an awful lot of time focused on him.

    I won’t speak for Dan or Chris. But the FR is the best laugh I get all day. It’s better than Greenhut or Landsbaum over at the OC Reg. It’s even funnier than the Red County blog. And I’ve had some great laughs reading some of that moonbat material.

  23. December 10, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    RHackett:

    When you’re able to ditch the sophomoric one-upmanship style of arguing, stop hiding behind straw man arguments, are able to stick to the subject and discuss something logically — then I will take you seriously.

    I’d even settle for making sense.

    Until then, your just another cyber-sophist who confuses invective with argument.

  24. d'Anconia
    December 10, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    “When you’re able to ditch the sophomoric one-upmanship style of arguing, stop hiding behind straw man arguments, are able to stick to the subject and discuss something logically — then I will take you seriously.

    I’d even settle for making sense.”

    Hence the reason I’m sad that Mike Lawson is leaving. He was one of the only few in this blog who ever care to follow logic or common sense when constructing their arguments.

    I have a hard time arguing against someone who doesn’t believe in reason.

  25. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Jubal.

    You opened the door on the direction of positions being necessary in a governmental body. I asked for clarification and you’re acting like a little school boy who just realizes everyone forgot his birthday.

    If I’m not allowed to consider a position in a governmental entity as wasteful or unnecessary due to experience or direct involvement, what allows yourself or Jon that ability when it comes to the OC or CA?

  26. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 7:16 am

    I have a hard time arguing against someone who doesn’t believe in reason.

    Same here. When I point out the inconsistencies in Jubal’s arguments his resson is that I am using strawmen or red herrings. Can’t argue with someone who only knows two words.

  27. Dan Chmielewski
    December 11, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Matt –
    we pick on Powder Blue and your Blog too.

    And you’re right; it’s Jon’s blog and he can write whatever he wants; just like we can write whatever we want here.

    But Hackett does make a point; our arguments are always a straw man and the Goose/Gander standard should be applied more liberally. It seems like Liberals are not allowed to define Conservatives, but its perfectly ok to do it the other way around.

    “…it’s an entirely different matter when one is talking about talking money that I earned and giving to someone who didn’t earn it, just because some people in government have decided the other guy needs it more than I do.”
    – Kinda like that $9 billion in cash that’s unaccounted for in Iraq, right?

  28. d'Anconia
    December 11, 2007 at 11:19 am

    “But Hackett does make a point; our arguments are always a straw man and the Goose/Gander standard should be applied more liberally. It seems like Liberals are not allowed to define Conservatives, but its perfectly ok to do it the other way around.”

    The fact that your arguments are always a straw man is not Jubal’s fault. He’s simply pointing out the inconsistency in your logic. You attack him by saying he uses “straw man” and “red herring” too much. Well he wouldn’t have to if you guys could resort to a logical argument.

    “– Kinda like that $9 billion in cash that’s unaccounted for in Iraq, right? ”

    Perfect example. Jubal points out the fact that taxes are not voluntary and that income re-distribution takes $ from someone and gives it to someone else who the government believes deserves/needs it more than the former. Your reply is to point to the war in Iraq. What does income re-distribution have to do with military spending? The government isn’t taking your money and giving it to someone else. The government is spending your money in the military, a FAR cry from income re-distribution.

  29. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 11:40 am

    The government isn’t taking your money and giving it to someone else. The government is spending your money in the military, a FAR cry from income re-distribution.

    THEY’RE NOT TAKING MY MONEY??? You mean I have a choice? Not according to Jubal. Those dollars are also taken by force.

  30. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 11:50 am

    The fact that your arguments are always a straw man is not Jubal’s fault. He’s simply pointing out the inconsistency in your logic. You attack him by saying he uses “straw man” and “red herring” too much. Well he wouldn’t have to if you guys could resort to a logical argument.

    How are my arguments strawmen? I pointed out that Jon’s position with the OCSD was an unnecessary position and would save the taxpayer dollar. Something Jon claims is his goal in life. Jubal asked what qualified me as the final arbiter to determine the proper number of PIO’s in that organization. If I am being asked to present my credentials on staffing levels of a organization. If I am going to be asked for my credentials on stating why a position is wasteful, why isn’t that same standard being applied to others who make the same claims (i.e. Jon) about any number of governmental bodies?

    This is not a strawman.

  31. d'Anconia
    December 11, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    “THEY’RE NOT TAKING MY MONEY??? You mean I have a choice? Not according to Jubal. Those dollars are also taken by force. ”

    Either you’re playing stupid or you’re in dire need of a reading comprehension class. I said they’re not taking your money to give it to someone else. Yes, those dollars are also taken by force but they’re not distributed to other taxpayers who make less money than you do, which was Jubal’s main point.

    Using your tax dollars for military spending vs. using your tax dollars to give money to someone else who the government considers more deserving are two VERY different things.

  32. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Using your tax dollars for military spending vs. using your tax dollars to give money to someone else who the government considers more deserving are two VERY different things.

    So when an aerospace flies around on a private jet for his company that derives all of its income from government contracts. That person is more deserving. I get it.

  33. d'Anconia
    December 11, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    “So when an aerospace flies around on a private jet for his company that derives all of its income from government contracts. That person is more deserving. I get it. ”

    Wow. I suspect you meant to say “an aerospace engineer”. Regardless, your logic fails here, once again. This engineer you speak of isn’t getting his money for free; he is providing a service for that money.

    On the other hand the premise behind income re-distribution is to give someone else’s money to someone simply because the government finds it necessary. NO SERVICE OR PRODUCT has been provided for this. If you can’t tell the difference between the two then there is no point in continuing this discussion.

  34. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    You’re sort of correct. I meant to say aerospace executive.

    Regardless, that person is enjoying compensation affording them a very lavish lifestyle courtesy of the taxpayer. Monies I might add that are (according to Jubal and Jon) forcibly taken from me. I don’t get a choice in how those monies are spent. Nor am I allowed input to determine if that project is the best use of my tax dollars for protecting the US.

  35. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    The same as any other public servant. Police officer, firefighter, health care worker, etc. The very people those two claim are part of a bloated government despite their having no qualifications to state what is or isn’t a proper size.

  36. December 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    You opened the door on the direction of positions being necessary in a governmental body.

    I didn’t open any doors. You did by zeroing in on the PIO position in the OCSD as the basis of Jon’s supposed hypocrisy. Since you made that the standard, I asked you to elaborate.

  37. RHackett
    December 11, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    I didn’t open any doors. You did by zeroing in on the PIO position in the OCSD as the basis of Jon’s supposed hypocrisy. Since you made that the standard, I asked you to elaborate.

    Which I did by stating the position had nothing to do with the enforcement of the law or public safety.

    You countered by asking what made me the arbiter in such matters. So I’ll ask you and Jon the same question. When the two of you make statements that government is bloated or the wasteful, what makes the two of you the arbiters as to what is necessary and what isn’t?

  38. Dan Chmielewski
    December 12, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Matt — you are the master at deflection, taking one small piece of this comment section and using it to muddy the initial concept of the post.

    Fleischman complained about the Register’s coverage of Scott Baugh’s representation of CRC Health’s sober living facilities. That is a fact.

    Baugh is the voluntary OC GOP Chair. That is a fact.

    Newport Beach residents, who vote Republican and give to GOP causes, are upset with Baugh’s role in promoting/representing these sober living facilities in NPB. That is a fact.

    Residents were quoted in the story. That is a fact.

    Baugh was given an opportunity to comment and respond and he did. That is a fact.

    This is a legitimate news story. The reporter did not get “played” as Jon suggested. And to suggest Marty Wiskol “should know better” is damn patronizing to someone who’s been pretty fair to both of our parties.

    What is not confirmed, but perhaps you know, is the question of whether or not Jon represents CRC Health in a professional capacity. He doesn’t list clients on his website, but he does share an office with Baugh, does she not? If Jon does in fact represent CRC Health, than his post on Red County is ethically questionable if he did not disclose it. If he doesn’t represent CRC Health, then its simply a matter of a conservative Republican not liking less than favorable coverage of his party’s county leader. It’s your blog, as you are so fond of saying, but wouldn’t you require disclosure prior to a post such as this?

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