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Tim Sullivan fired from the U-T for not being "positive"

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I don't KNOW the reason that he was fired but I will say this .... it would be nice to see media outlets present unbiased opinions instead of the slanted BS that we get from many today. A newspaper, or any worthwhile journalistic endeavor, should be able to present a fair portrait of any newsworthy event. Journalism isn't just any business - it should hold itself to some higher standards. I find it distasteful at best that you would suggest that a journalist exercise his freedom of speech by saying nothing at all & a damn shame that the management of a news outlet would seek to curtail that speech.
     
  2. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Did I see a tweet from Sullivan saying that someone in UT HR called him to say he was now on vacation or is that BS?. Does this mean he is not actually fired as yet?, or he was and they have had a change of heart?.
     
  3. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    And you think that in this day and age he won't be able to get a job writing elsewhere?
     
  4. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I did not say that he should exercise his freedom of speech by not saying anything at all, but rather that he could. As far as "journalists" holding themselves to a higher standard or not being biased, when has that ever been the case? There has never been a case of unbiased journalism written about anything other than possibly the weather. As far as holding them to a higher standard, do you mean like in the 19th century when the papers stuck to reporting the "truth" about things like the sinking of the Maine?

    Information is, and has always been, a business. The only way to view a story without any bias other than your own is to understand that the author is always biased, and to try to understand his biases, and therefore his angle on the reporting.
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I expect journalists to be honest & objective. Whether they meet that criteria or not is a large part of my evaluation to read or not to read their work.
     
  6. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    There's no such thing as an objective journalist, only one who does a good job of disguising his/her bias well.
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I disagree. A better description for that type of person would be a writer, columnist, or editorialist. While they are certainly in short shrift, there are some who take their job to report without bias seriously. Their scarcity is a portion of what makes me seek out many sources of information from a wide array of outlets.
     
  8. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Show me a journalist without bias and I'll show you a person without a soul...
     
  9. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I'm sure he will, that doesn't change the circumstances of his firing though.
     
  10. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Kevin Acee tweeted the same thing........ is being told you're on "vacation" the same as having a "timeout"? ;)
     
  11. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Also, my "who cares?" comment wasn't about his being fired, but why he was fired. Persons who enjoyed, and therefore will miss, reading his column, aren't affected by the reason he was fired, simply by the consequences of his firing.
     
  12. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Thanks for clarifying.
     
  13. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    THE MEDIA EQUATION
    Newspaper as Business Pulpit
    Published: June 10, 2012

    There is a growing worry that the falling value and failing business models of many American newspapers could lead to a situation where moneyed interests buy papers and use them to prosecute a political and commercial agenda.

    That future appears to have arrived in San Diego, where The U-T San Diego, the daily newspaper bought by the local developer and hotelier Douglas F. Manchester, often seems like a brochure for his various interests.

    Mr. Manchester is anti-big government, anti-tax and anti-gay marriage. And he’s in favor of a remade San Diego centered around a new downtown waterfront stadium and arena.

    Public agencies that have not gotten the hint have found themselves investigated in the news pages of The U-T. A sports columnist who was skeptical of the plans found himself out of a job, and the newspaper has published front-page editorials and wraparound sections to promote political allies who share its agenda. According to several employees at the paper, a feature called “Making a Difference” has included flattering profiles of many of Mr. Manchester’s associates.

    The oddest part? Mr. Manchester and the chief executive, John T. Lynch, who also owns part of the paper, are completely open about their motives.

    “We make no apologies,” Mr. Lynch said by telephone on Friday. “We are doing what a newspaper ought to do, which is to take positions. We are very consistent — pro-conservative, pro-business, pro-military — and we are trying to make a newspaper that gets people excited about this city and its future.”

    He added: “We totally respect the journalistic integrity of our paper and there is a clear line of demarcation between our editorials and our news. Our editor, Jeff Light, calls the shots.” (Mr. Manchester was traveling in Europe and unavailable for comment.)

    Others in San Diego are not so sure. Rob Davis is a senior writer at Voice of San Diego, a Web site covering the city, and has watched as The U-T has become a player rather than observer in civic events. He points out that when officials at the Port of San Diego, a public agency that oversees the land in question, did not warm to The U-T’s big development plan (which it unveiled on its front page), the agency was soon the subject of investigative pieces about its finances. “The U-T is an important institution in this city and you want to see it succeed,” Mr. Davis said, “but there is a very real fear here that it will not be advocating for the public’s good, but the owner’s good instead.”

    Many of us grew up in towns where the daily paper was in bed with civic leaders, but the shared interest was generally expressed on the editorial page. Occasionally, appropriate lines of inquiry would be suspiciously ignored in coverage, but the news pages were just that, news.

    At The U-T, which was known as The San Diego Union-Tribune when it was owned by the Copley family, that pretense was obliterated from the start. Mr. Manchester was no stranger to politics, having contributed $125,000 in support of Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in California, and suffering some boycotts at his hotels as a result.

    After Mr. Manchester bought the newspaper last November, he brought in Mr. Lynch, a radio executive who, like Mr. Manchester, believed that a new stadium for the Chargers was crucial to the city’s future. In an interview soon after the purchase, Mr. Lynch told Mr. Davis the sports pages should advocate for a new stadium and “call out those who don’t as obstructionists.”

    A longtime sports columnist, Tim Sullivan, was skeptical. He noted that the previous stadium deal had not worked out well for the city and wrote that if a new stadium was to be erected, due caution was required.

    A week ago Friday, he was brought in to the editor’s office and fired. A huge uproar ensued, with posts on Facebook and Twitter and many calls of protest to the newspaper. Mr. Sullivan has since entered negotiations over his departure and would not discuss the specifics of his firing. But in the days after he was let go, he did comment to a local blog on what he believed was behind his dismissal.

    “Mr. Lynch appears to be of a mind to make the stadium happen and bulldoze the opposition or even those who raise questions,” Mr. Sullivan told the Sherman Report, a sports media blog.

    Mr. Lynch said his real problem with Mr. Sullivan was that he was not on board with the newspaper’s plan to emphasize multimedia. He said the parties had begun discussions that may lead to a truce. “That door is not closed yet,” Mr. Lynch said. (Mr. Sullivan said on his Facebook page on Thursday night that his employment status had been changed to “on vacation.”)

    Mr. Lynch says the newspaper needs to stop acting like one in order to be a viable business. The U-T has begun a television initiative and one of its first moves was to start a talk show that is co-anchored by Scott Kaplan. A former radio personality who once worked for Mr. Lynch, Mr. Kaplan was fired from his sports talk show, according to The U-T, for describing a female television host as a “beast,” an “animal,” a “monster” and a “sasquatch of a woman.”

    “That show is embarrassing,” a staff member said of the new U-T talk show, “but then a lot of embarrassing things have gone on around here since they took over.” He declined to be identified, in part because Mr. Sullivan had been openly critical of multimedia initiatives and that did not turn out well for him.

    The reporters and others have pointed to the frantic level of promotion for various political candidates as over-the-top and damaging to the paper’s credibility. For instance, The U-T presented a wraparound of a sample ballot for the conservative, pro-development candidates it endorsed on the Sunday before the election and again last Tuesday, the day of the election. On Monday, there was a front-page editorial in support of Carl DeMaio, the candidate for mayor that Mr. Manchester supports.

    Mr. Lynch says the only agenda he and Mr. Manchester have is making San Diego a better place, one with a newspaper that has a business path to survival. He’s confident that having a newspaper with skin in the game is part of the solution. (Confident enough to suggest that they may be in the market for other properties, including The Orange County Register, which has been put up for sale.)

    In a sense, it’s back to the future for newspapers, to a time when they didn’t make much money but could enrich their owners by advancing their agendas in other areas. But papers were legion then; even midsize American cities supported many varieties — liberal and conservative, morning and afternoon, pro-business and pro-socialist.

    In San Diego, there’s a strong weekly, The San Diego Reader, and a great news Web site, Voice of San Diego. But The U-T has the brawn and ubiquity of a daily newspaper. As the only game in town, it seems determined to not just influence the conversation, but control it.

    E-mail: carr@nytimes.com;
    Twitter: @carr2n
     
  14. airbolt

    airbolt BoltTalker

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    Actually, you're wrong. He was fired by a snake oil salesman who has run a number of radio stations nearly into financial ruin, both times he was asked to leave. He wants to dictate the content to a widely respected and liked sports columnist, that tells me everything I need to know about the new UT.
     
  15. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I can't comment on the bolded, because it isn't a complete thought. As far as the red, what does that have to do with the impact on the persons who enjoyed reading his column? If he was fired for being a white supremacist instead of not towing the company line, does that impact the quality of his writing?

    Sullivan being fired from the UT is relevant, because it means that until he lands on another circular, people who enjoy his writing won't be able to do so. The reason he was fired is the newspaper's prerogative, and has no impact on his followers' ability to enjoy his columns. Whatever else a newspaper may be, it is a business. If the business interests of the newspaper are perceived to be best advanced by its ownership through support of the construction of a new Stadium, then, again, it's the prerogative of the newspaper to decide how to handle writers, popular or otherwise, who don't tow the company line.
     
  16. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I think something that is missed here is that we no longer live in a world where mass-distributed opinion is solely the purview of the newspapers. Anyone who wishes to share their views on any subject can readily access literally millions of persons simply by stating their argument convincingly and accompanying their argument with a call to action which is easily followed. A clear example of this is the Kony 2012 campaign, which reached some 90 million persons.

    If a newspaper wishes to pursue the business interests of its owners, why shouldn't it? If I had billion dollar interests in San Diego, and a 10 million dollar newspaper to vocalize them, I'd absolutely use it, and I certainly wouldn't tolerate a columnist on my newspaper who wrote opinions counter to my business interests, especially if his articles were widely circulated.

    Simply put, understanding the source of your news allows people to better understand the news they receive. I certainly know what kind of news I expect to see when I read articles on foxnews.com, and what I expect to read on msnbc.com.
     
  17. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Agree, and that was the point our founding fathers provided ensured there was a freedom of the press. Unfortunately, our press and spit on the point of that freedom and simply become an extension of what ever political party the owner of the outlet supports
     
  18. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    You obviously don't understand the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of the press through prohibition of the abridging of such freedom by acts of the government. The 1st Amendment does not guarantee an entitlement to an unbiased news media, simply one which is not constrained by law.
     
  19. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    And if you read any constitutional scholar's take on this, you would have known that it was all about maintaining an independent media that could hold the government, all sides, accountable, something that they don't do when they are biased. Try reading about the intent of it rather than just the words themselves
     
  20. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    The media in 1787 wasn't anymore unbiased than it is today, so drawing mythical connections between then and now is wholly unnecesary. Our founding fathers were (mostly slave-owning) tax evaders who believed that liberty, the social contract, and governance were the purview of the white, landholding male whose intent for freedom of the press was to ensure that the state, or church for that matter, couldn't hold sway through coercion over the availability of information and the spread of opinions. Do you seriously think that a local newspaper impacts the availability of information and the spread of opinions in the United States, or for that matter the world, in the 21st century?

    Does the decline of the newspaper as a delivery vehicle for media indicate a decay in our democracy? Certainly not if the cause of the decline comes in the form of alternative vehicles for information and idea sharing. It's because of the success of alternative media that Newspapers are becoming decreasingly profitable as news platforms, which is what prompts redirection such as what we've seen at the U-T.

    The fact that you are sitting in Denver, CO, while I'm in Flensburg, Germany having this discussion proves how thoroughly newspapers have been replaced by not only online media, but also by instantaneous online discussion. The writing was on the wall for Newspapers as news delivery vehicles the second CNN broadcast live from Baghdad during the bombing of the 1st Gulf War, and the letters were engraved on the tombstone as soon as dial-up started being widely replaced with broadband connections in homes.
     
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  21. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I have one last thing on this topic and then I'm letting it go. If cities (or towns) wish to ensure that they have a local newspaper with independent editors, independent columnists, and an absence of obvious personal interest driven "journalism", then they should vote to tax themselves for the purpose of supporting such a newspaper, and offering subscriptions to the tax payers for "free" (i.e. no additional costs) and ensuring that the budget for the paper is held seperate from the rest of the city budget.

    However, since most Americans are more concerned with who Snooki is banging this week than with the preservation or enrichment of democratic institutions, that will never happen.
     
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  22. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Sad but true.
     
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  23. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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