If you listen to Republicans long enough, the subject of Liberal Media Bias will come up. They won’t have any problem with the Conservative Media Bias by outlets like Fox News or on political blogs like this one. In Orange County, where Liberals and Democrats can’t even get a columnist or an editorial with a left-of-center point of view in the OC Register, the San Diego Union Tribune has one-upped the Register — the paper is openly consulting with GOP candidates for office on messaging and how to get their news in print in a favorable light.
From the LA Times:
Now, the paper’s top brass is hosting a media training for Republican candidates, giving them pointers on “how to get noticed by the press, how to craft a press release” and tips on how to pick up the paper’s endorsement.
The Republican Party of San Diego County sent out the invite to the event, which will be held on Tuesday night at the paper’s headquarters (business attire requested). County GOP chairman Tony Krvaric will also be on hand for the festivities.
The invite promises a tour of the paper’s newsroom and television studio, a chance to meet the company’s chief executive and the paper’s editor and a chance to learn more about the paper, which is referred to as “a one-stop shop for candidates.”
In June, U-T’s chief executive John Lynch told the New York Times the paper made “no apologies” for its partisanship. “We are doing what a newspaper ought to do, which is to take positions,” he said. But, he added, “We totally respect the journalistic integrity of our paper and there is a clear line of demarcation between our editorials and our news.”
In fairness to U-T, the offer on media training and messaging was offered to both parties, but only the Republicans took the paper up on their offer. In a story n San Diego CityBeat Magazine, “Jess Durfee, chairperson of the San Diego County Democratic Party, told CityBeat his office did receive an overture from U-T San Diego, but declined to take part, citing the newspaper’s increasingly strident defense of Republican politics since being bought by developer Doug Manchester last year, such as an editorial naming President Barack Obama the “worst president of all time”
“We know that at the end of the day, in any competitive race, they will endorse a Republican,” Durfee said. “It’s not an open and fair process.”
The paper flirted with the possibility of endorsing Nathan Fletcher for Mayor of San Diego but couldn’t bring themselves to back an independent.
In today’s hyper-competitive political world, a newspaper offering media training for candidates who usually have paid media consultants is a bit of a stretch. Most candidates have a media consultants pitching stories so a primer on how to do it is ..dumb. Imagine the Orange County Register setting up a media training for Libertarian and Conservative candidates, and Democratic or Liberal candidates showed up? Imagine how union officials might be treated by seeking a meeting with the publisher, editor or editorial writers? How can readers trust the paper with such a partisan point of view? Liberal papers like the NY Times and the LA Times do have conservative columnists; conservative papers like the Wall Street Journal have Liberal columnists. In Orange County, our choice ranges from conservatives to Libertarians.
When the Register finally figures out that there are more than a half-million registered Democrats in Orange County, many of whom have stopped reading the paper but have money to spend to entice advertisers, perhaps they can add a liberal columnist to their editorial pages. But “Freedom of the Press” is usually reserved to those who own the press and no other opinions need apply. This is evident from the Register’s columns on President Obama’s address to the DNC; it’s almost like the writer, we assume Brian Calle base don tweets, saw a different convention then the one we did. And Irvine’s Ezra Klein of the Washington Post provides more context to the numbers than the Register did. This column does it all.