Saturday, March 16, 2013

Veering Right

San Diego, a long time conservative bastion, now has a plurality of registered democrats and has elected a dem for mayor, for the first time in recent memory. Meanwhile, our media outlets are trending more and more conservative. You would think that the local paper would try to serve the whole electorate? Think again.

The San Diego Union Tribune is pretty much unreadable at this point. The editorial page is to the right of Atilla. The society section is peppered with weekly pics of the Lynch and Manchester families carousing out on the town. Lots of feel good stories about their cronies. And now their very own television network. "Hey, this newspaper stuff is easy, lets start a television station, too. We'll fill the airwaves with conservatives and hot chicks."

The paper is constantly shilling for Manchester's conservative pals and pet projects, any semblance of journalistic integrity and balance is long since out of the barn. Anybody who dared question the stewardship of the fishwrap was quickly cast over the side. Just ask Tim Sullivan. Not that the paper was ever good but who thought that it could ever get any worse? To make matters worse, they swallowed up the North County Times and killed it, so it is pretty much the only game in town.

Manchester's major domo, CEO John Lynch, used to be the President of the Catholic Broadcasting Network and was founder of the Broadcasting Company of the Americas, the company that owns radio stations XX1090 and 105.7 The Walrus amongst others. He was fired from the company by partner Viejas a couple of years ago and entered a period of protracted litigation. Lynch has been accused of some nasty dealings and bullying, as well as welshing on his mortgage in the past but that is neither here nor there.

Today the U.T. puts a front page story up about one of their boys, Robert Herring, starting a new conservative news channel, One America News Network. As if Fox News wasn't enough.
The new channel will air news and political talk shows that offer "substantive contrarian viewpoints to a plethora of left-leaning shouting-style political news programs," HBC said in its press release Thursday.
"The network's studio talk programs will debate the role of government, protection of civil liberties, fiscal responsibility, along with highlighting political corruption and government waste," it said.
One America News Network's "political talk shows will tackle a number of subjects that are being ignored by media today," says HBC CEO Robert Herring, who flashed his conservative credentials in 2005 when he offered $1 million to Florida man Michael Schiavo to give up his right to decide the medical treatment of his brain-damaged wife, Terri Schiavo.
Herring Media currently highlights the lifestyles of the rich on its Wealth TV network with shows such as "Cheese Chasers" and "Beyond the Gates." They landed an interview with Rep. Michelle Bachmann at CPAC yesterday.

Herring says that the new network will fill the void left by other conservative news networks, such as Fox News, "known for a lot of opinions, screaming, but no substance or facts."

"We want to change that. We want to have people who have views from the center and the right, give them a platform, an outlet, where they can express their views and their views stand on their merit or fall on the lack thereof," says Charles Herring.

Uh, great Chuck. What about the rest of us? What are we, chopped liver?


Back to XX1090. When I heard that they hired arch conservative  J.D. Hayworth to try to resuscitate the Lee Hacksaw Hamilton's fading morning sports talk show, I had to double take. Didn't Viejas just sell its stake in the station to JMI, a company ostensibly owned by Democrat John Moores? Why would Moores put a man like Hayworth on a sports show, a Republican ex congressman from Arizona with extreme views on everything from the guest worker program, doma, anti senior, pro war, civil rights (7% rating from the aclu) reproductive choice, partial birth abortions, pro electronic surveillance without a warrant, drilling, etc,. etc. He advocates an "Americanization" program to teach people the "right" way to live. Identifies as an evangelical christian, fine. Here is his voting record. There's also the little problem he had with the shady informercial.

Mr. Hayworth certainly has the right to his views, just as I have the right not to listen to him. But one has to wonder why you put a polarizing figure like him on a sagging sports show with a dinosaur like Hamilton. The one time I did listen in, he was calling San Francisco pitcher Lincecum a "freak," assuming it is because of his long hair, or was it the past marijuana use? Are we back to that?

I rarely listen to terrestrial radio any more anyway. Satellite radio has channels for every taste, without the commercials and they don't shove right wing politicians down your throat. Occasionally I like to check out local sports. I haven't been able to listen to XX1090 in the morning since the demise of the Scott and Billy Ray show. Kaplan may have been a sexist pig but he was at least funny.

Lee Hamilton is pretty awful. Very knowledgable but his approach is dated and canned. A palpable lack of sincerity. He has an obligatory 15 minute recitation of cliche's that is guaranteed to put you to sleep in every segment and you get the feeling that he never listens to a word anybody else is saying. He likes to start these little populist fan pitches that never go anywhere. My favorite part of the show is when he starts coughing. I can understand why the station had to do something.

But why on earth would John Moores hire this Hayworth guy? Maybe he resonates in a red state like Arizona, he won't here. Will be interesting to see if he sticks to sports. From what I've heard, I kind of doubt it. This guy will be the nail in the coffin for me in regards to ever listening to XX1090 again.


Sanoguy said...

Here, here!! Well said!! The UT, under the Copley's, has always been on the right side. Under their new leadership, they have tacked to the far right. Thanks for pointing this out.

Ken Seals said...

Just why do you think that a newspaper would want to serve the whole electorate? This is a serious question. In the "news" articles certain journalistic ethics apply. (see Society of Professional Journalists Code) You can and should call them out on any violation of that code. In the case of editorials and op-ed pieces the owners of the paper can and should present their positions. Why own and publish a newspaper otherwise?