…. EDITORIAL INTERFERENCE?
As today’s Californian initiates their campaign coverage series on Wildomar City Council candidates, the Editors of the Californian have, for some as yet unknown reason, chosen to mis-state factual information provided to them by City Council member Sheryl Ade. In doing so, it appears that the Californian is “tampering” with the election process in Wildomar.
In response to the Californian’s partially inappropriate campaign questionnaire (why are political party affiliations reported in a nonpartisan, municipal election anyway?), Councilmember Ade accurately described her occupation as “City Council member.”
Along with caring for her ailing 93-year-old mother, Sheryl’s work on behalf of the citizens of Wildomar consumes most of a 24-hour day, 7 days a week cycle.
However, despite her submitted response, the Californian instead publishes “this,” as her occupation.
While there is nothing wrong with being a “Community Volunteer,” and in Sheryl’s case, she is obviously that, and much more. However, to be factual and accurate, she is, after all, a sitting Wildomar City Council member.
And, since she complied with the Californian’s information request by listing “City Councilmember” as her “occupation,” the Editors owed Sheryl a telephone call if, for some unknown reason, they wanted to amend her submission.
Now, the Californian’s Editor owes Sheryl an apology for their mis-statement of fact and a reprint of the article. Accurately, this time, reporting her occupation, if only for journalistic pride.
Zak has made call to Californian Editor Laurie Lockwood, for a response to Wildomar Magazine’s inquiry into their “factual distortion.”
As you can see, blogging is a sword that cuts both ways. Most of the time, it is a foollish, unthinking politico that gets sliced; Sometimes, however, it’s the working press that covers them, that “earns” them their entry onto the front page of Wildomar Magazine.
Nothing, and no one, is sacred, when it comes to the truth. Especially during an important election campaign.
Comments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since posting this morning, I have received a responsive telephone call from Laurie Lockwood, Editor of the Californian. Ms. Lockwood denies any intentional mis-statement of City Council member, and current candidate for re-election, Sheryl Ade’s occupation.
Lockwood commented further that most of the incumbent candidates they have interviewed portray themselves as something other than “councilmember” and the only other option was to leave the entry “blank.” Sheryl may have chosen that option, had anyone from the Californian called her to inquire as to her preference, with blank being a viable option.
Unfortunately, not every political round peg fits the same political square hole.
If we accept the Californian’s denial on it’s face, and we have no reason not to accept it, it highlights the dilemma caused by a local newspaper, such as the Californian, seeking to reduce every candidate into its own “cookie-cutter,” restrictive, campaign coverage format.
Sheryl Ade is unique and different from any other “politician” that I know.
As reported above, Sheryl Ade, quite literally “works,” as an occupation, for the citizens of the City of Wildomar. The depth and intensity of her labors as a “public servant” is significantly unlike that of most “politicians,” who often initiate their political careers as an adjunct to some profession, business or form of employment that might benefit from the status derived from an elective office.
Again, unlike most politicians, Sheryl has repeatedly stated that she has no ambitions or designs on higher political office, and is content to actively represent the Citizens of Wildomar for one more term, should they choose to vote to re-elect her in November 2010.
That kind of political clarity and restraint of ambition is unique amongst the political class. And it is a healthy antidote, by comparison, to the more blatant manifestations of political ambition.
Ms. Lockwood has asked that Sheryl contact her for further discussion, which Sheryl has indicated that she will do.