“Because the pension question is now being litigated, I have chosen not to run your letters or your advertisements.”
“Marge Jameson, Editor
Cedar Street Times
306 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove, CA
(Dated: Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM)
This was in response to a request by Pacific Grove Taxpayer’s Association President John Moore to place a large advertisement and a letter explaining the side of the citizens fighting to protect the City of Pacific Grove from a 50+ million dollar financial suicide. (1)
Mr. Moore’s letter was also trying to respond to a personal attack on him by the Mayor (Kampe) in a commentary the newspaper had just published.
Cedar Street Times’ Publisher Jameson is clearly not a supporter of freedom of ideas. She earlier declared a Blacklist on letters from a middle of the road Pacific Grove resident. (See “Pacific Grove Newspaper Publisher Admits Deliberate Censorship.”)
While outrageous, it is not unusual for a newspaper to refuse a political advertisement. The Monterey Herald refused to run a full-page ad exposing President Clinton’s forest destruction policies when Clinton came to ordain CSUMB. (That was to repay Congressman Sam Farr for changing his key vote to support NAFTA at the last minute – but that’s another story.)
While also outrageous, it is not unusual for a newspaper to refuse a political letter to the editor. Many newspapers get away with this by taking extreme measures to avoid explicitly saying No. However, Blacklisting is a bigger matter. In fact this Blog was partially inspired because the Herald has officially Blacklisted this writer since 2004. (See: “Part I: Was the Herald’s Letter-Editor Royal Calkins Caught Censoring & BlackListing, then Lying to Cover it up?” and “Part II: Herald’s Livernois – Censoring, Slander and Bullying?“)
In my opinion the most outrageous part is her refusal to let Mr. Moore defend himself when he was attacked by the Mayor in the same paper. Fair play demands that Moore has a chance to defend himself – which he can easily do.
For that Jameson should be fired. But whoops – she owns the paper. (Or does she? A substantial part of the newspaper is directly from the client base and good will of The Hometown Bulletin which she purchased and merged into the Cedar Street Times. However, the Hometown Bulletin’s former owners have filed suit claiming Mrs Jameson has not paid a dime since the first installment was due years ago. See Pine Cone article. WARNING this is a huge PDF file; 12 megabytes.)
What makes this unusual is Mrs Jameson’s admitting it. I can easily imagine other letter censors pompously poking each other “How silly. Never ADMIT you censor letters or ads. Just use the 10 step process – starting with “I never got it.” (aka ‘The dog ate my homework’).”
If Mrs. Jameson intends to recover any semblance of fair play and credibility she needs to publish Mr Moore’s letter defending himself from the Mayor’s attack.
1. Pacific Grove has a roughly $15 million dollar budget.
2. Cedar Street Times’ co-owner (Mrs. Jameson’s husband) apparently gets a Pension from the City of Pacific Grove which it is faintly possible might be affected by the outcome of this political battle.