Goodbye, Gurza

Plus, the powers out! The Times bites! Let Freedom wring!

Hardly changing a word—including all of Torres' millennium quote—the AP put the press release out over its wires on March 14. The AP story apparently caught the eye of someone at the Times OC, who immediately ran the AP's barely rewritten press release as "breaking news" at the top of the Times OC website. It was also read nearly word for word on that evening's NPR news broadcast.

In the next day's print edition of the Times OC, political reporter Jean O. Pasco had a bylined story on the convention coming to OC for the first time. Torres' quotation from the state party press release survived verbatim in Pasco's story. Neither the AP nor the press release was cited or credited in the article. It was a curious choice, given that Democratic Party officials called us and, we presume, everyone else, offering to make Torres available for interviews.

It might be time for our comrades in The Orange County Register's newsroom to brace themselves for corporate re-education if their Freedom Communications overlords expand a program now under way in Arizona.

According to an item in the March 15 Phoenix New Times, journalists at the East Valley Tribune in suburban Phoenix were ordered to endure a corporate consultant's presentation on the wonders of libertarianism. Lib-lovin' Freedom is the parent company of the Reg and the East Valley Tribune, among other publications.

"The proselytizer acknowledged that it was odd that the purported espousers of independent thought would impose such a requirement," reports the New Times' Flash column. "But he noted that libertarians believe that the folks who run the company are entitled to make such decisions.

"And he invited any of the grunts who didn't like it to go work somewhere else."

With the Reg having just announced the layoff of 14 newsroom staffers, a packed house for a libertarian orientation at the Grand Avenue plant in Santa Ana would seem a sure bet.

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