Thursday, December 2, 2010

San Diego Union-Tribune Blasts "Pro-Labor" Forces - McCarthyists Applaud

So, yeah, the San Diego Union-Tribune is at it again. On Wednesday, December 1, the U-T editorial board dumped their latest pro-Chopra screed onto their Sign on San Diego boards.

This comes as no surprise. The U-T’s violently anti-union shtick has helped turn them into a So Cal newspaper punch line again and again. But a quick glance over this newest bit – found here – demonstrates a truly petty, almost lurid sort of pathetic-ness.

Painting the non-related elections at Palomar and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Colleges with the same brush as the one used on Southwestern College is insulting to SWC – and to Palomar and Grossmont-Cuyamaca. Each of these schools did what they did and ran who they ran for the sake of their school, not some fictional pro-labor attack on San Diego County.

Now-former Superintendent Raj Chopra has long been a U-T paragon of all that is good and wonderful in education – a man who “brought hardheaded financial management and no-nonsense leadership at a time when the district needed it,” and like a combination Chuck Norris and John Wayne, fought the teachers’ unions that “enjoyed unfettered freedoms”.

Of course, that’s all crap.

Chopra took his budget machete to classes, adjunct professors, and classified staff in a time when the school had a surplus approaching $15 million – more than it had in years, and more than almost any other school in the state. Yet the U-T continued to defend Chopra, based on his (and the Governing Board’s) claim of ‘coming financial disaster.’ That was an outright lie, and the U-T helped perpetrate it.

Why does the Union-Tribune bother to take these continuing shots at the school? Why do they shriek and point and howl “Pro-Labor Forces are Coming! Pro-Labor Forces are Coming!” like a deranged 50’s era Commie-spotter who doesn’t like the look of his next door neighbor?

(I mean, besides the fact that they’re violently anti-union, and their buddy-chums at the Lincoln Club* might start yanking their advertising if they didn’t?)

Online page views. They don’t care what they have to say to get those views; it matters not one bit to them. You know what does matter? How many times you hit that link and make that comment.

Send that link out to your friends, encourage them to get over there and make another comment; what does that do? It justifies what the U-T has to say. It’s getting readers, you see, and they’ve got proof of it.

Go back and look at it now. More than a day after it was posted, and not a single pro-Chopra comment has been made. All the ones who have spoken up are anti-Chopra, anti-U-T types. That is basically playing into their hands.

They don’t care what you’ve got to say. And not to put too fine a point on it, no one cares what the U-T has to say about Raj Chopra. They’ve done it for so long, so loudly, and so vitriolically that no one actually has to read what they have to say. This piece – and any others that follow it will sway no one. And given how their pet (read: endorsed) candidates performed last month, they didn’t sway a whole lot of folks then, either.

Let it go. It’s time to let the U-T spew their own crap to whoever wants to read it. There are some good reporters there, and a few excellent writers, but they’re overshadowed by an editorial board that can’t see past their own preferences. And though this board doesn’t care what you say, but they’re delighted that you’re taking the time to say it.

*To those who don't know, the Lincoln Club is SD County's hardcore right-wing batch of movers and shakers.