Greenhut’s Sunday Column Had to Hurt

Register columnist Steven Greenhut wrote a column Sunday that amounted to a sort of compliment to the progressive city council majority in regards to the council’s handling of the contract dispute with the Irvine Police Association.  It was sort of like a husband at a marriage counseling session being asked by the counselor to give his wife a compliment and the response is, “You know, for a fat pig, you don’t sweat very much.”

From Steve’s column:

“I’m actually writing something nice about Irvine Councilman Larry Agran and his two council allies, Councilwoman Beth Krom and Mayor Sukhee Kang. There have been few politicians that I have taken more pleasure in ridiculing over the years than Agran because of a variety of issues involving openness, political fund-raising, development and spending. Nevertheless, I’ve got to hand it to this prominent left-leaning councilman and his Democratic majority for teaching local Republicans a thing or two about standing up to greedy union leaders. (Note to editor: No, I can’t believe I actually wrote the above paragraph!) (LibOC note – so nice of Steve to admit open bias here insteasd of pretending it didn’t exist).

The two council Republicans – Christina Shea and Steven Choi – voted with the council majority in closed session to approve the deal, but then voted against it in open session, which suggests to me that they simply are pandering to the law enforcement unions. I never would have guessed that the Agran-controlled majority would be the ones to hold the line. But so far, so good. And, yes, it can be difficult to give credit where credit is due.”

So let me return the compliment a bit here; Steve  and other Register columnists ripped the Great Park board for the way it conducted ther CEO search while largely ignoring the OCTA CEO’s search which was handled in much the same way — through a search committee.; but alas, no charges of OCTA doing anything sneaky or underhanded because Republicans and Conservatives typically get a free pass.  Steve’s criticism of Shea and Choi in this column is one sentence long.  A virtually free pass.

So as columnists go, Steve gets it right once in a while; opposition to the Iraq War and No on Prop 8, but as he says himself, it can be difficult to give credit where credit is due. 

Newt Gingrich had a column in the Sunday LA Times on August 16; would it kill the Register to run a center-left columnist just once on a Sunday?  Until then, I will use the many letter pitches to renew my cancelled subscription as kindling for my backyard fire pit.

  5 comments for “Greenhut’s Sunday Column Had to Hurt

  1. Steven Greenhut
    August 25, 2009 at 8:49 am

    When have I ever denied that I am biased? I am an editorial writer and columnist and am paid to be biased. You might have pointed out the many favorable things I wrote about Agran in that piece. It would have been silly to have done so without mentioning my long-time opposition to his policies. And to suggest that I give Republicans and conservatives a pass is absurd. I can send you the links to my many blasts against Spitzer, Silva, Moorlach/Mainero, Rackauckas, Hutchens, Carona, Palin, Bush, McCain. If you would for a moment take off your partisan blinders and look at issues rather than parties … Oh, never mind!

  2. Adrian
    August 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

    You are both spitting in the wind. one biased blogger ont he left calling a biased blogger on the right a biased blogger is an execise in hillarity.

  3. August 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Tell you what Steve, give us a lefty columnist at the Register to speak for the half-million plus liberals in OC, and we’ll call it square. The LA Times ran a Newt Gingricj op-ed two weeks ago. I’ve resigned myself it will be a cold day in hell when a Democrat or Liberal gets positive press in the Register without any digs.

  4. Steven Greenhut
    August 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Dan … you are sooo tiresome. First, please distinguish between the editorial page and the news pages. You can’t really claim that Democrats don’t get a fair shake in the news pages. I think our news reporters do a great job being fair — but you know as well as I do that most reporters at the Reg and elsewhere tilt left of center in their personal politics. Your beef is with the editorial pages, where we proclaim our libertarianism. We don’t pretend to be unbiased, just as you don’t pretend to be unbiased. We run letters and reader rebuttals from all over the political spectrum, but we save the precious few column spots for people who generally espouse our views. Now when are you going to feature a conservative columnist on the LiberalOC?

    • August 25, 2009 at 10:47 pm

      Steve — the word is “columnists” not news reporters on the news pages. Yes, you run letters and reader rebuttals which is all a leftie or liberal could ever hope for in your editorial pages. Mark Steyn is a libertarian? Really? David Brooks, John Stosell? Robert Novak (when he was alive and you ran is column) mightbe offended to be called Libertarian.

      This is a left leaning blog because of the dearth of attention given to a half-million registered Democrats in this county while your editorial pages cater to 80,000 statewide who are libetarian and you have red-meat rights like Steyn for the conservatives here. David Brooks? Please. I know there’s precious room to add a single lefty columnist when you have 8 or so righties to run regularly, but there’s no excuse for not having a left-center columnist on, is there?

      Interesting that Chris Matthews will rip John Campbell a new one over the birther legislation he sponsors but its crickets on your editorial pages about the same issue.

      As far as a conservative columnist here goes, there’s an open invitation for people interested in writing for us. We’ve never had a single conservative apply. Because there’s Red County, Powder Blue and Flash Report for them to write for. But yes, I’d consider it.

      But you work for the paper of record in OC; and you ignore a market of 500,000. When other newspapers clearly offer a clearinghouse of disparate ideas to the far right and the far left. A reader rebuttal or a letter to the editor is second class citizen status for liberals. Because rightnow, it’s al we could hope for. Run a Krugman column once; bet your Letters to the Editor section gets a ton of new mail.

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