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U-T San Diego Editor Doesn’t Want Filner In Mayoral Race

— The editor of U-T San Diego made some news himself last week when a recording was released of him weighing in on the San Diego mayor’s race.

Aired 5/7/12 on KPBS News.

The editor of U-T San Diego made some news himself last week when a recording was released of him weighing in on the San Diego mayor’s race.

Jeff Light

Above: Jeff Light

Jeff Light and the paper’s editorial board met recently with state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. Fletcher is one of four leading candidates for mayor and famously left the Republican Party earlier this year to run as an independent. In a recording of the U-T San Diego meeting, which was made and released by Fletcher’s campaign, Light can be heard telling Fletcher his switch puts the paper in a tough spot.

“I think we, as an editorial board, do not want to see Bob Filner make it through to the general election,” Light said. “Because the environment around the general election is going to be far more favorable to Filner… so, you know, we certainly want to keep that from happening.”

Light goes on to say Fletcher’s move sent the message that the Republican Party is bad and that Light doesn’t see how the paper can back Fletcher when it has a strong Republican tradition.

Dean Nelson directs the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University. He said he was surprised to see the U-T San Diego editor be so clear about whom he does not want see in the general election. Nelson said the recording of Light hurts the paper’s credibility.

“If it was just their editorial page people, that’s one thing,” he said. “But this is the person who oversees all of their news coverage. So that’s why I found this particularly disturbing.”

Nelson said this might make readers question whether Light’s views influence the U-T’s reporting.

Light has since responded to this story in an e-mail the he also posted on his Facebook page. In it he said:

"I think people need to understand that the key votes on our editorial board belong to our owners, and it should come to no surprise to anyone in San Diego that they would not endorse the candidacy of Bob Filner for mayor. I was just trying to ask Nathan to make a clearer case for the endorsement he was asking for by pointing out, hey, this is a Republican group you are pitching to. There's really no more to it than that."

Light goes on to say he personally does not have any feelings on Filner's candidacy, but that he was just expressing the sentiments of the editorial board, of which he is a part. He says the editorial board does not influence the newsroom and "our journalists are solely focused on the unbiased pursuit of the facts."

Comments

Avatar for user 'dialyn'

dialyn | May 7, 2012 at 8:37 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Manchester wants to be San Diego's version of Rupert Murdoch, with control over the media and a king maker. The really repulsive front page ad for DeMaio as Manchester endorsed him confirms that to me. I won't vote for DeMaio knowing his agenda is anti-employee, anti-services, anti-anything that doesn't pad his own pocket, which is exactly the same agenda Manchester has. A vote for DeMaio is a vote for Manchester and his far right agenda. If you like tax breaks and advantages for billionaires, and a reduction of services to the public, that's the vote to give. Jeff Light is just Manchester's puppet. No respect for him either.

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Avatar for user 'debwabd'

debwabd | May 7, 2012 at 8:57 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

I was also offended by the DeMaio endorsement attached to a sectional piece relating to a true SD hero, Junior Seau.

Then today, there is a prominent Hit Piece on Fletcher....

Since Manchester took over the UT has become virtually worthless for anything but fish wrapping and cat litter cleaning.

(note: I don't subscribe, my 86 year old mother does, I see it when I go to care for her. She has an attachment to the idea of holding a newspaper, more than to the UT -- I am working on switching her to LA Times)

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 7, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

@DEBWAB, to call Seau a "hero" speaks volumes of what kind of personal values you have.

Suicide is nothing but egotism--of the worst kind. It says to your loved ones--your feelings don't matter to me, even unto death.

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Avatar for user 'RobertInSanDiego'

RobertInSanDiego | May 7, 2012 at 10:29 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with a newspaper's editorial board endorsing a particular candidate. Most newspapers do. However, I do have a problem with the head of the news dept. making biased comments, whether left wing or right wing. It shows bias in their reporting. Just another example of why EVERY organization needs some oversight, and with a public voice. The police and the courts have a lot of power to take people's freedom away. However, the media had the power to spreads false facts, influence public opinion, and change elections. They need as much, if not more, oversight as government does.

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Avatar for user 'Roberto Rolando Salinas'

Roberto Rolando Salinas | May 7, 2012 at 10:52 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Jeff Light for admitting to what we all ready knew, your news coverage is as biased as Manchester is anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-union, anti-worker, and anti-immigrant. Although the UT's journalistic credibility has always been in question, it has now been confirmed and their motives are now, "crystal clear". How fitting, the paper endorses DeMaio on Sunday, and today we hear the "rest of the story". As a long time reader of the paper, 36 yrs, along with many of my neighbors and friends are canceling our subscription and boycotting the papers advertisers. The revelations aired today, thanks to Fletcher and KPBS, clearly reveals the true intentions of Light's superiors, such as Manchester and John Lynch. They are attempting to advance fatally flawed Republican economic policies that have historically proven to be antithetical to the public good. Privatizing city and county government and destroying unions and workers rights for the corporate Oligarchy, is UN-American. The UT Watch Dog should concentrate their investigative reporting on the blatant and corrupting, political manipulation and yellow journalism imposed by the owners and managers of the UT. Shameful and disgusting.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 7, 2012 at 10:56 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

For years I have argued with defenders of the *Pravda UT* on blogs about their blatant bias for the Republican party just to be told that I was "wearing a tinfoil hat" and that the paper was actually "fair and unbiased".

Well here we have it straight from the horse's mouth (more like the horses arse if you aske me!).

**I encourage anyone who has any respect whatsoever for the profession of journalism to immediately call the UT and cancel your subscription. If you don't have a subscription, call and complain to them. They are the "newspaper of record" for our community and any San Diego County resident has the right to be troubled by this.**

**Also, boycott any business that advertises with the UT.**

Dialyn's post above is right on the money.

A few months ago we saw Papa Shameful **use** his newly acquired propaganda piece to blatantly and unapologetically shove his development agenda in everyone's face right on the front page.

It should come as no surprise that he is doing the same thing to pimp for Dirty Carl.

Dirty Carl is a puppet, and Papa's favors don't come for free.

Papa's expected and certainly guaranteed reward if his boy Dirty Carl gets elected mayor:

**Papa will have a say in everything his fingered puppet Carl does at city hall.**

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 7, 2012 at 11:01 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

**Jeff Light, you miserable, shameful example of a truly disgusting piece of journalistically jaundiced bottom-feeder:**

**Money is fairly tight around my household and I was planning on supporting Filner with my vote only.**

**But your HIDEOUS and UNPROFESSIONAL actions have made me decide to contribut monetarily to Filner.**

**I am going to give as much as I can, this race just moved to a new level.**

**Thanks, Jeff, you vile swine, you just excited and motivated Filner's based, idiot.**

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 7, 2012 at 12:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

*Dean Nelson directs the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University. He said he was surprised to see the U-T San Diego editor be so clear about whom he does not want see in the general election. Nelson said the recording of Light hurts the paper’s credibility.*

The little credibility they had. It was just last year that the UT was working for Daryl Issa, running fluff pieces to try and discredit a NYT article exposing his corruption. The UT's attempts were childish and ridiculous, focusing on golf course views instead of Issa's profiting off of his own legislation.

It's time this paper went out of business, andi am going to do everything I possibly can as a nobody citizen to help this happen.

Right now I am forwarding this article to CNN and MSNBC in hopes they will expose this disgrace on a national level.

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Avatar for user 'debwabd'

debwabd | May 7, 2012 at 12:24 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey Mission... I was talking about the man's life spent helping countless San Diegans through charity and hard work and by example.

It is tragic Seau took his own life -- maybe you should look up traumatic brain injury and understand that taking his own life may end up saving a lot of other lives.

You must have been affected by a suicide. I can imagine no other reason for your vitriol, and I hope you find peace within yourself.

PS -- the article is about Jeff Light, any thoughts on him?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 7, 2012 at 2:34 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Dewabd, I don't subscribe to the *Pravda UT* but what you describe - placing an endorsement piece for filthy DeMaio in the same sectional piece as a tribute to Jr. Seau - sounds very troubling, and I agree with your point.

I'm sure it was no accident too.

Mission, regardless of whether *you* think Seau is a hero or not is not the point. I don't know enough about him one way or another myself to judge that, but the fact is that to many San Diegans he is a hero. Dewabd's point is that the disgusting UT is exploiting a tragedy and the loss of a very beloved figure by purposefully trying to link DeMaio to this strongly admired figure by strategically placing his endorsement where they did.

Just another in a long line of journalistically questionable goings on over at the lion's den of GOP Papaganda that is the UT.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 8, 2012 at 8:46 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

@SALINAS, boy you sure lump everything together! Manjester is "anti-gay" yet endorsed De Mayonaisse?

Did "gay" Napolitano not favor the National Guard along the AZ border with Mexico when she was governor?

Se, Salinas, that's Error # 1 for the Left, trying to lump ever issue together--phony solidarity cr@p. Nope. It doesn't work that way in real life.

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Avatar for user 'paul_e_girard'

paul_e_girard | May 8, 2012 at 9:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

The other disturbing statement was when Light expressed concern that the U-T was being put in a bad position because they have so much Republican backing. They're more concerned with that than reporting the news and doing the right thing. But we already knew that.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 8, 2012 at 9:20 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Dewabbed, no I haven't. But I see many, many senseless deaths around me in society today. Some completely avoidable. I guess those are the ones that hurt the most. If it was was possible, I would trade the life of a murdered child for Seau's if he really wanted to die so badly. I guess the drop from the top was very long.

As far as charity, people have distinct motivations. One would have to get into the person's head.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 8, 2012 at 11:37 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

*Mission wrote:
@SALINAS, boy you sure lump everything together! Manjester is "anti-gay" yet endorsed De Mayonaisse?*

Mission, DeMaio is a homophobe's dream.

He's a gay man who is content having anti-gay leaders and ignoring gay rights.

Manchester and his ilk **love** people like DeMaio because they can use him to confuse clueless voters like you are suggesting and have them think, "see he's not anti-gay, he's endorsing a gay person."

It's funny how politics works, but most people are intelligent enough to realize that when someone spends their career being anti-gay and then throws support behind a gay man who largely ignores the gay community, he is doing it for political purposes and **not** because he has had a sudden change of heart.

Kind of like Willard going through the primary being very anti-immigrant and now suddenly palling around with his prop Marco Rubio by his side hoping people will be dumb enough to say, "see he's not anti-immigrant a prominent Latino is part of his campaign.

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | May 8, 2012 at 11:47 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't want Filner to run either, or DeMaio, or Bonnie for that matter, but that's what makes an election. I don't understand why people are surprised that the UT is biased. The basic news is available everywhere, the pay-for news we get now is filtered for us (and that's not even a new idea). Buyer beware.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 9, 2012 at 8:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

"the fact is that to many San Diegans he is a hero"

so Duck, if wily Manjester became a "hero" overnight to San Diegans that would be okay with you--to follow your logic. Sounds like another of your fallacies.

Stick to what you know.

Oh, and let people answer for themselves, don't try to to interpret.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 9, 2012 at 11:58 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Mission, you are not grasping the point.

The point is not about who is or isn't a hero, it's about an unprofessional, petty, journalistically void "news"paper.

Yes, if papa putrid were a hero on the level of Seau and had just died, putting an endorsement for mayor in the same section would be just as tasteless and an obvious propaganda ploy.

Stick to the scope of the article because I believe most if not all of us who have posted, while we may disagree about various things, we all agree the UT is a biased embrrassment to our community!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 10, 2012 at 9:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Then maybe you need to rephrase the orignal comment. And no Seau is not a "hero" I will argue to the end on that. Suicide is egotism of the worst kind and quite frankly, it is sickening to read some of the comments. But like you say, that is a side issue, HOWEVER, I was not the one to bring it up.

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