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Scathing report on U-T San Diego

U-T a "corporate shill," says respected media publication

"The Fall of the San Diego Union-Tribune" is the headline in a story today (Dec. 6) in the publication Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog. The year since "Papa Doug" Manchester took over the paper has been the worst year in the paper's multi-decade history, says Media Matters. Manchester and his chief executive John Lynch, who spent most of his career in sports radio, have transformed the paper "into a front for Manchester's 'cheerleading' for business interests and right-wing politics," says Media Matters.

This is an observation few could disagree with. Manchester announced as soon as he took over that business coverage henceforth would be cheerleading. (This in one of the scam havens of the U.S.) The paper listed George W. Bush as one of America's greatest presidents, notes Media Matters contemptuously. Front page editorials pumped up Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who went on to lose. His opponent, Democrat Bob Filner, the winner, used the U-T's snug relationship with DeMaio in pro-Filner ads. The paper has shamelessly touted downtown projects that would line Manchester's pockets indirectly.

Dean Nelson, director of journalism at Point Loma Nazarene University, is quoted saying, "The only way the paper will survive is if people trust it to give the news of their community. If people get the sense it is just whoring for the leadership's business enterprises, they are done." Then Media Matters cites many other examples of such self-serving prostitution. Media Matters points out that the U-T not only touts its own projects, but attacks institutions such as the port that express opposition to the Manchester/Lynch ideas. Media Matters stresses that Manchester has no background in the media business. "Doug Manchester Doesn't Know Anything About Running a Newspaper," says a subhead. Amen.

Full disclosure: I am one of several journalists quoted in the piece. I am quoted saying the U-T is an embarrassment to San Diego. In retrospect, I should have expressed that more strongly.

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"The Fall of the San Diego Union-Tribune" is the headline in a story today (Dec. 6) in the publication Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog. The year since "Papa Doug" Manchester took over the paper has been the worst year in the paper's multi-decade history, says Media Matters. Manchester and his chief executive John Lynch, who spent most of his career in sports radio, have transformed the paper "into a front for Manchester's 'cheerleading' for business interests and right-wing politics," says Media Matters.

This is an observation few could disagree with. Manchester announced as soon as he took over that business coverage henceforth would be cheerleading. (This in one of the scam havens of the U.S.) The paper listed George W. Bush as one of America's greatest presidents, notes Media Matters contemptuously. Front page editorials pumped up Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who went on to lose. His opponent, Democrat Bob Filner, the winner, used the U-T's snug relationship with DeMaio in pro-Filner ads. The paper has shamelessly touted downtown projects that would line Manchester's pockets indirectly.

Dean Nelson, director of journalism at Point Loma Nazarene University, is quoted saying, "The only way the paper will survive is if people trust it to give the news of their community. If people get the sense it is just whoring for the leadership's business enterprises, they are done." Then Media Matters cites many other examples of such self-serving prostitution. Media Matters points out that the U-T not only touts its own projects, but attacks institutions such as the port that express opposition to the Manchester/Lynch ideas. Media Matters stresses that Manchester has no background in the media business. "Doug Manchester Doesn't Know Anything About Running a Newspaper," says a subhead. Amen.

Full disclosure: I am one of several journalists quoted in the piece. I am quoted saying the U-T is an embarrassment to San Diego. In retrospect, I should have expressed that more strongly.

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Comments
11

Dig a hole, "Papa Doug?" "Papa" dug a hole? "Papa Doug," a'hole? How stands the Union now, mister?

Dec. 6, 2012

Scott: But they claim they are making money with this new formula. Of course, when you lay off most of the staff at any kind of enterprise, you jack up profits for awhile. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 6, 2012

Doug's motto is:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” which he adopted from a WWII racist newspaper publisher.

Doug proved this by publishing the racist hate aditorial "2016: Obama’s America" over, and over and over again, and far too many people believed it.

Note that the defining words "HATE HIM" were printed in republican red color using his boldest type.

This type of GOP political dogma attacks all our civil rights progress and returns us to the most racist era of hate, and there is no way the republicans can lie their way out of this fact.

Dec. 6, 2012

Anon: Well, not too many people could have believed Papa Doug's propaganda because Obama swept the county. Doug's buddy DeMaio didn't do so well, either. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 6, 2012

I still can't believe that Romney got over 60 MILLION votes. That's truly the scariest fact of all. We cannot relax for one minute with that many people believing the most mendacious candidate in American history. Indeed, Romney is the newest version of False Prophet, politically and morally.

Dec. 6, 2012

I love reading a newspaper daily, but the Union-Tribune (UT is a dumb name for a paper) is crap. Besides being a Fox News outlet, their news coverage is sometimes pathetic. There was no mention of Syrian Killer Assad's approval of using chemical weapons on his own people.

Dec. 6, 2012

Chip: Missing the Assad story is not as bad as ignoring important local stories that might conflict with the editorial bias. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 6, 2012

Actually, Chip, if you haven't read this rumor in the U-T, it is to the paper's credit. We don't KNOW that Assad has approved the use of chemical weapons. This is another one of those sabre-rattling tactics of hawks in D.C. who want to commit more American troops to yet another theater of war -- not unlike the falsehoods about Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction" that led to the American invasion of Iraq. There is absolutely no documentation to support this allegation about Assad and Syria.

Dec. 6, 2012

monaghan: good point, but would the lack of documentation kill this story in a city whose economy is 20% tied to the military? Remember, too, that Manchester and Lynch have promised pro-military coverage. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 6, 2012

I read this article and thought it was as weak as its subject, Doug Manchester's U-T.

The author was way too soft on the Copleys' Union-Tribune -- he called that paper well-respected, which it never was. He relied too much on anonymous negative comments from present U-T employees. He credited little weekly CityBeat's staffers with more insight than they have and he didn't seem to realize that the online Voice of San Diego reporter he cited has quit his job.

The most interesting remarks were from and about U-T editor Jeff Light who came to Manchester from Platinum Equity's brief tenure. Light has a terrible job, but he seems intelligent and thoughtful and committed to turning lemons into lemonade.

Dec. 6, 2012

monaghan: I wouldn't nitpick the story. Yes, the apotheosis of the Copley regime was off base, and there were some questionable sources and statements, but overall the story was a very good one. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 6, 2012

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