Comments by Bob_Hudson

Pete Wilson maxes out late to Faulconer

Prop 187 was not anti-immgrant - it was aimed at forcing the federal government to pick up the considerable social costs of its failed immigration policies, instead of making Californians pay for them. If the Senators and Congressional representatives from New York, Missouri, Virginia, etc. are going to approve legislation that results in the flow of millions of dirt poor immigrants to the US, then it is the responsibility of the US government - not the states - to pay for the impacts of that policy. Wilson certainly did lose the spin war on 187. His communications guru Otto Bos died not long after Wilson became governor and the Wilson organization's communications efforts were ham-handed at best after that, especially against that well organized anti-187 campaign. I worked for a Mexican radio station company with offices in Chula Vista and I saw first hand the faxes coming from the Mexican Consulate with guidelines and strategies for the anti-187 campaign. Mexico was having big internal problems at the time and 187 gave the government a chance to once again trump up anti-American sentiment to divert attention from the turmoil at home. It was a successful campaign that killed 187 and kept Californians on the hook for the huge social costs of a failed federal immigration policy. I spent many hundreds of hours traveling throughout California with Pete Wilson as a senior aide and never, ever was than any indication that he considered San Diego an unsuitable backwater. But, when he retired from public service, the kind of work available to someone with his background pretty much necessitates being in a large city, which we can all agree San Diego is not. As for Wilson's campaign contribution being the potential source of negative campaign fodder? I can't even begin to fathom what would support such a supposition. Latinos generally did not vote for Republicans long before Pete became mayor, Senator or Governor and a contribution from someone who hasn't held office for 15 years certainly is not going to impact the Latino vote in a local special election.
— February 12, 2014 10:05 a.m.

Neil Morgan dead at 89

This discussion once again calls attention to the myth of journalistic neutrality with the belief that there really were newspapers, editors and reporters with no bias, driven only by the common good. Neil's bias for San Diego was no secret, but it generally manifested itself in his column and on the editorial page, which are places where bias and opinion was expected and allowed in newspapers. Nowadays, though, electronic media (TV, internet), especially, have so blurred the lines that news consumers accept personal opinion as factual news. Neil thrived as a newspaper person in the era when, as a 2000 Harvard study noted, newspapers had a "concentration of readership among the more educated and affluent sections of society." He certainly moved comfortably among that group, and in San Diego, as in large percentage of medium and major markets, it was generally a conservative group. I only met Neil a couple of times while he was editor of the Trib, but based on that and my work in politics and public affairs, my impression was that personally he was more comfortable among the more liberal members of cafe society. Of course, I knew many Union and Tribune reporters of that day who I perceived as much more liberal than Neil. If there was a balance in the news it happened because their personal bias was tempered by their editor's balance which in turn was tempered by the Copley corporate bias. The journalistic stew that was Copley Press in its heyday gets a lot of bashing now, but it did what other newspapers did: reflected the prevailing local mindset. In DC the Post reflected the fact the local industry was government thinking it could solve all problems, the NY Times mirrored Wall Street and the arts. The LA Times might have stayed a bit more neutral than the others because of the vast economic and cultural diversity of what has been called "72 of suburbs in search of a city." Neil served his community as well as those Times and Post editors served theirs, and based on the crap that came out of Wall Street in recent years and the Federal government mess in DC, maybe San Diego fared a little better.
— February 3, 2014 10:29 a.m.