Doug Curlee, a San Diego reporter, admits in a Monday editorial that “San Diego news media reporters, editors, producers and writers pretty much knew who and what Bob Filner is and has been.” But except for talking about it over drinks, “we did nothing about it.” Worst of all, Curlee claims that the rumors around Filner were “incessant,” but no one bothered to confirm them, choosing instead to accept denials.
Curlee lists a few reasons for “why we had the chance – many chances over the years – to dig into the Filner story and find much of this out,” and didn’t.
Was it because Filner had established himself as a Democratic power here – for a long time, the only Democratic power here?
Was it because he had built his electoral power base generally south of Interstate 8, among the “minority” communities of African-Americans, Latinos, and Filipinos?
Was it because Filner totally controlled the votes and campaign funds of large and ever-growing organized labor groups, the unions?
Was it because economic pressure was brought to bear on TV station ownerships or newspaper ownerships, all of whom depend on advertising dollars as their prime source of revenue?
Naturally, the real reason is not listed there, which is why this kind of thing will happen again and again.
If Filner were a Republican, does anyone doubt he would not have gotten away with this for as long he did? And not just with the local media, but also with the national media?
Of course not.
If Mr. Curlee is truly interested in doing some soul searching, he should add this to his list:
Was it because those of us in the media can never bring ourselves to cover Democrats with the same energy, skepticism, and zeal that we do Republicans?
But the number of reporters capable of facing that truth are few and far between.