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CityBeat runs mea culpa — but buried

Aguirre, who sued publication, still unhappy

On December 5, as noted in the Reader, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre sued the publication CityBeat for libel. It had stated in a November 12 column that Aguirre claimed that Representative Scott Peters, while he was a councilmember, was the most culpable local official in the pension debacle "because he attended Duke University." This was a case of ridiculous telescoping. While he was city attorney, Aguirre had said Peters and then-Mayor Dick Murphy were most culpable in the pension mess because of their prestigious degrees and legal experience. And Murphy was considered most culpable — not Peters.

An official of CityBeat's parent company admitted to Aguirre that the statement was inaccurate, and promised to correct it. Today (December 16) CityBeat ran a "clarification" stating that the publication's columnist "was not implying that Aguirre believes that Peters was culpable in the scandal merely because he went to Duke." The statement was buried at the bottom of the November 12 column, now in the archives. This afternoon, Aguirre emailed the company official that under state law, any such correction has to run in "substantially as conspicuous a manner" as the offensive assertion.

So the lawsuit is still hanging fire.

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On December 5, as noted in the Reader, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre sued the publication CityBeat for libel. It had stated in a November 12 column that Aguirre claimed that Representative Scott Peters, while he was a councilmember, was the most culpable local official in the pension debacle "because he attended Duke University." This was a case of ridiculous telescoping. While he was city attorney, Aguirre had said Peters and then-Mayor Dick Murphy were most culpable in the pension mess because of their prestigious degrees and legal experience. And Murphy was considered most culpable — not Peters.

An official of CityBeat's parent company admitted to Aguirre that the statement was inaccurate, and promised to correct it. Today (December 16) CityBeat ran a "clarification" stating that the publication's columnist "was not implying that Aguirre believes that Peters was culpable in the scandal merely because he went to Duke." The statement was buried at the bottom of the November 12 column, now in the archives. This afternoon, Aguirre emailed the company official that under state law, any such correction has to run in "substantially as conspicuous a manner" as the offensive assertion.

So the lawsuit is still hanging fire.

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Comments
11

Ed Decker is a straight-jacket ideologue.

Dec. 16, 2014

Missionaccomplished: I am not sure I understand what Ed Decker, a Christian evangelist, has to do with this controversy. (Unless you are alluding to a different Ed Decker.) Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 16, 2014

He is speaking, I believe, of Ed Decker, a columnist at CityBeat.

Jan. 13, 2015

Paul Regis: I didn't go far enough in my search. Ed Decker writes for CityBeat. I know nothing about Decker, but I like your invective: it has style. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 16, 2014

The biggest issue underneath all this (e.g., the Decker comments) is the herd of elephants hiding in the closet: Self-righteousness is all the same, in a pettin' party or a poker game--everything's gotta stop while they have their silly fit. Equally true "right" and "left."

Dec. 17, 2014

Twister: I still don't know what Decker has said that is pertinent to this matter. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 17, 2014

David Rolland: CityBeat ran a "clarification" saying "We want to clarify that Lamb [the writer] was not implying that Peters was culpable in the scandal merely because he went to Duke." CityBeat has admitted Lamb's statement was in error by running the so-called "clarification."

Aguirre filed a dismissal of the suit today. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 17, 2014

CITYBEAT RUNS THE "CLARIFICATION" IN PRINT EDITION. CityBeat has now run the so-called "clarification," admitting it erred in its slap at Aguirre, in its print edition. It is in a prominent enough location to please Aguirre, who has already filed papers to dismiss the suit. Aguirre got what he wanted and CityBeat realized its mistake. Case closed. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 18, 2014

Good. Mike has bigger fish to fry.

Dec. 18, 2014

Visduh: Yes, I was worried that the suit would pull his attention away from more pressing matters. I hope he will continue exposing the corruption at the CPUC, even though it won't give him intervenor fees. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 19, 2014

Kelly Davis: CityBeat admitted an error then called the mea culpa a "clarification." Sorry. To use your word, that is "shoddy" procedure, and basically dishonest. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 19, 2014

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