The Coast News has been a feature of my weekend routine for years. I pick it up every Friday morning and look forward to catching up on Encinitas news and commentary. It’s been a local comfort food.
But there’s been a change in recent months. Something’s missing: unbiased local news.
A slant seems to have developed. There’s now almost a Fox News flavor to the reporting, a persistent right-wing muckraking approach that’s giving the paper a yellowish tint.
It feels as if you’re taking your news cues from online gossip sites like Encinitas Watchdog, Encinitas Votes and Nextdoor.
If that’s the case, I can understand how you might have the impression that right-leaning views would be appreciated, as those voices seem loudest on those outlets.
Please remember, however, that Encinitas is a majority liberal/Democratic city. So, I suspect I’m writing on behalf of the silent liberal majority, who are wondering what’s happened to The Coast News.
Take your story on the two affordable homes the city sold to developers, who must rent them out for 55 years to low-income renters, instead of selling each to a single low-income buyer.
The story suggested potential impropriety on the part of the city, which sensationalized the narrative.
The city’s perspective was presented, but it was buried towards the end of the article, long after the salacious thesis had been presented and probed.
You did run a follow-up piece which quietly clarified that the city’s actions had been dictated by state law. But the muck had already been raked.
A sadder example were the two Roberta Walker stories. You took a tragic and complex local event and again suggested impropriety on the part of the city council, neglecting the bigger-picture discussion of the (un)safety of Coast Highway for cyclists and how the accident galvanized much-needed change.
And that bigger-picture discussion is the crucial context required to understand the nuances of the situation.
In the process, you impugned the character of Mayor Blakespear and Council Member Hinze, two officials with unimpeachable ethics.
Worst of all, you suggested, based on the word of a single witness whose trustworthiness can’t be verified, that Roberta herself was at fault due to potentially insufficient bike lights.
Sorry, but this all reminded me of the way rape victims have historically been doubted based on their attire at the time of the rape.
Most recently, you continued your veiled attack on the city’s Safe Parking Lot program.
In the process, you suggested the threats and anti-Semitic comments received by the Leichtag Foundation had perhaps been manufactured or overblown.
Did you really mean to suggest that the victims, not the perpetrators, of hate speech were the ones at fault?
Again, a reputable local figure, Charlene Seidle, not to mention the Leichtag Foundation itself, was dragged through the mud.
Perhaps you’d argue it’s all just “tough” reporting. Unfortunately, there’s a clear slant to that “toughness,” as it invariably slants against liberal political figures.
And a suggestion: If you’re going to feature Jim Desmond’s right-wing commentaries, why don’t you at least provide a counterpoint? (BTW, Mr. Desmond: supporting Trump means you’ve forever lost the moral authority to plead for “civil discourse.”)
True, The Coast News isn’t only for Encinitas news, but Encinitas is the home of the paper and much of its reporting.
Please, for the sake of good journalism for the majority of Encinitans, bring back the old Coast News. We miss it.
In their letter in your paper, Concerned Del Mar Citizens stated, “The Del Mar bluff is the last remaining natural bluff in San Diego’s North County.”
Have they never visited their neighbors to the north (Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad)?
Re: “Questions linger over Walker settlement,” Thank you so much for your article on this questionable LARGE settlement!! We had a friend that was paralyzed when struck by a car while riding his bike and got nowhere near this settlement just a year ago in the Bay Area.
I suggest we keep an eye out for an anonymous donation to our mayor’s Senate campaign.
So done with this stacked council!!
A loyal CNG reader.