Jul 102013

watimesheadlinesLast year, City Manager Chris Zapata abrogated his responsibilities for running much of the city by giving carte blanche to the Police Chief to set public policy both for her department, and the City. Now, he has decided to become the Chief’s propaganda minister.

In today’s City Manager Bulletin, Zapata direct readers to an article praising the use of surveillance cameras that appeared in the Washington Times.  As I’m sure he knows, the Washington Times is a Moonie (as in Rev. Moon’s church) owned newspaper, founded with the expressed goal of disseminating Moonie and far-right propaganda.  In comparison to the Washington Times, Fox News can actually make a case for being “fair and balanced”.

That said, it perhaps should not surprise us that Spagnoli and Zapata would look at the arch-conservative Washington Times for support with their own arch-conservative public policy.  The Times position on gay-rights (against them) seem consistent with the anti-gay policies that have gotten the SLPD sued; but they are not positions that reflect a majority of San Leandrans.

Meanwhile, in the last couple of weeks there has been a plethora of newspaper articles, by trustworthy publications, on how police surveillance of individuals violates basic civil liberties.  Several of those articles, including one by the San Francisco Chronicle and one by the Oakland Tribune, referenced San Leandro.  As you would expect, neither was mentioned in Zapata’s weekly bulletin.

I don’t expect much of our current City Council.  Neither Mayor Cassidy nor City Council members Michael Gregory, Ursula Reed, Benny Lee, Diana Souza and Pauline Cutter have much of a backbone, but 2014 is around the corner.

  3 Responses to “Chris Zapata Looks at Moonies for Policy Hints”

  1. For one thing, since my favorite columnist, David Brooks, once worked for the Washington Times, I am inclined to disagree with your prejudices here. But I suggest that you direct your criticism to the substance of the article, written by one Andrea Noble, without descending into ‘guilt by association’. By the way a google of Ms. Noble shows no ‘Moonie progaganda’ excepting a report about a “Middle East Peace Initiative” which she apparently made as a staff writer for the Post-Newsweek Media group: http://ww2.gazette.net/stories/01082009/bowinew114509_32470.shtml

  2. I’m not sure that mentioning that your favorite Republican columnist used to write for the WT does little to make your point that the paper is anything but a right-wing propaganda sheet 🙂

    And, indeed, I think this article proves it. The article has the heading “D.C. surveillance cameras become top crime-fighting tools for police” which suggests that the surveillance cameras actually help the police to fight crime, either by reducing it or leading to more convictions of criminals. However, the article itself states that crime in DC has not gone down as the result of using cameras, and it does not indicate there has been an increase on legitimate arrests and convictions. The article tries to excuse the lack of success of the cameras on the fact that they are not live surveillance cameras as those in Chicago and Baltimore – but it does not state that in those cities the results of live surveillance cameras has been very mixed. Crime has gone down in some neighborhoods that have them, and not in others – suggesting that the cameras are not a major factor at play.

    The problem with this article, ultimately, is that it doesn’t provide useful information. It’s just a propaganda piece, published in a propaganda rag. The fact that the City Manager quotes it as a legitimate news source, however, does tell you where his politics are.

  3. Don’t know that David Brooks would agree that his primary identifier is “Republican”. You can read his wikipedia entry for more illumination. But OK, I realize that most people just see others as stereotypes, I try to avoid that. I come from a partly conservative jewish backround and read ‘The Commentary’ often. I suppose that would be a right-wing zionist jewish propaganda rag to many liberals but go ahead and correct me. By the way, here’s some propaganda from the Washington Times which I ‘liked’ on Facebook. It touches peripherally on our discussion here. Excerpt and link as follows:
    (Obama) said Americans should do “soul-searching,” but expressed skepticism that a “national conversation” on race would do much good if led by politicians.
    “On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s the possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can?” Mr. Obama said.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/19/president-obama-trayvon-martin-could-have-been-me-/#ixzz2ZbzBAAiV

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