This past Wednesday, the stage was set for an ultimate face-off: Our own R. Scott Moxley, the finest reporter in these here parts, and Register reporter Tony Saavedra, both staring down Mike Schroeder, local GOP king-maker (former Sheriff-maker, soon-to-be felon-maker), in front of the assembled members of the Orange County Press Club. Some of you may have seen signs advertising the event – “There Will Be Blood.”
Sadly, 'twas a far, far better thing Moxley had to do, but of course a gentleman Weekling never leaves a potential source stranded at the altar; his editors past and present, Will Swaim and Ted Kissell respectively, did what they could to fill Moxley's shoes. One shoe each.
In what amounts to something between a joking admission and a brushing-off of the Register's shoulder, Frank Mickadeit reviewed the event, focusing on the discussion of whether the media was too slow to report on former OC Sheriff Mike Carona's more obvious criminal activity.
We did not publish some of the stuff the Weekly did about his ties, real or imagined, with mobsters, or rumors of his affairs. In some cases we simply didn't have the goods the Weekly did. In some cases editors felt the stuff didn't meet our sourcing standards or simply wasn't relevant. As Saavedra said in response to a question by former Times and Register reporter Jean Pasco, “I don't let George (Jaramillo) run the coverage.”
Frankie Mick's conclusion? “[A]ll the papers could have done more and better, but in their messy, unscientific, unscripted way, all contributed.” That's right, Frank. The Weekly contributed by publicizing every last detail we could verify about a clearly corrupt yet enormously powerful public official. The Register contributed by pretty much ignoring the situation until it became professionally embarrassing to do so.
Sounds like 'messy, unscientific and unscripted' wins the day! But all the stories are online, with wonderful little date-stamps on them, so y'all can judge for yourselves.