Telling it to the ER

In another move that appears to support our theory that the Chico Enterprise-Record is guzzling Nakamura’s kool-aid, the editor seems to have begun selectively queuing up those pesky little Letters to the Editor according to whether or not they fit his agenda. We thought any letter submitted that conformed to the ER’s 250-word limit and included all of the writer’s personal identification for authentication would be included in the queue and published in the order received. Apparently that is not the case.

Now, I know the death of the “Tell it to the ER” column probably resulted in an increased number of letters; however, if their publishing queue operates in a manner such that all submitted letters are treated fairly, it would operate as a ‘first in, first out” queue.

Just what am I blathering about, you ask? While I was thrilled to see Mary’s recent letter to the editor published yesterday, that served as my notification that a letter I had submitted 10 days prior to Mary’s would not be published.

I wonder why the ER would not want to publish my response to the recent editorial entitled “An unfortunate sign of the times.” Could it be I hit a nerve by calling out what I suspect is a lack of interest in investigative reporting?

Here is the letter I submitted for publication:

In response to the recent editorial, “An unfortunate sign of the times,” while I would like to respond to your statement that “former employees…don’t like this sudden rush of fiscal oversight [and] have stirred some hostile feelings,” I feel like I have become a broken record; telling you over and over again to stop making assumptions.

So, what I will discuss instead is the statement that “Nakamura…has been accosted in public and his car has been vandalized.”

As a City of Chico employee, my first introduction to Nakamura was when he and his wife attended a second floor staff meeting. Having him introduce himself and then commence a banter with his wife was uncomfortable, as though a skit was being performed for staff, but it was a learning opportunity as well. What did I learn, you ask? Why, I learned that in Hemet, both Nakamura’s and his wife’s car were broken into and vandalized. He also mentioned his son’s car being keyed. His wife told of drivers running him off the road while he was riding his bike, and about the overall general threats he apparently received on a regular basis. None of this seemed to bother the Nakamuras, as the tales were told with a hefty dose of laughter.

So, do these problems follow him from city to city? Has anything even occurred in Chico or is he just retelling old stories to rile people up? This just does not sound like the Chico I know and love.

We are interested in your thoughts about whether or not the Chico Enterprise-Record has been dealing fairly with both sides of the story about the goings-on at the City over the past year. It seems to us they have planted themselves firmly in Nakamura’s corner, cheering him on with no concern for the issues we have raised.

We thank you for your continued readership.

Remember: Truth Matters, Chico!

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Posted on October 14, 2013, in Free Speech, Letters to the Editor and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It is no wonder he has to pay his good friends very well to be part of his inner circle…for the most part the guy is a jerk….being associated with him should be expensive…I know it reeks of cronyism but it is all very much out of necessity…I am sure the Lando crew is really happy to be his friend..(is there any doubt who will get all the new engineering contracts.) pretty soon all engineering, planning and permitting will be run out of one private office…I am sure it will go to a competetive bid though (cough cough bulls##t) I mean really…a bunch of well paid good ole boys fleecing the city and slicing the legs off the underlings. Then he can move on to the next city and worry about his car there too.

  2. Good item, Quene!! I agree with you 100%. The Chico ER, and the concept of professional journalism, have always been total strangers to each other. This “news” publication appears to have wholeheartedly accepted the role as being the official PR provider for the new administration. That’s why their reporters feel no need to challenge, or even question, the statements and assertions that have been made by the current city leaders.

  3. I have also had trouble, believe it or not, getting my letters into the ER. I’ve learned to cc Little (dlittle@chicoer.com) each time, as well as one or two friends. That says, “people are watching” If my letter doesn’t run within five days, I resend. I always include a cheerful note, blah, blah, blah.

    Lately he’s been EDITING my letters. When I complained, he said, “everybody needs editing now and then,” but would offer no explanation for changing the wording of my letter. He just edited my latest letter about the minutes, took out two words even when the letter was under 250. I don’t complain because he’s acting really weird these days. He’s changed from the guy I thought I knew and trusted, he’s become secretive and snotty. A guy who was always chatty in his responses to my letters, talked about his kids, exchanged musical tastes ( did you know, Dave Little claims to be a big fan of “quintessential punk band” X?)

    As for reporting, yeah, the ER has gone off the deep end. I think they’ve been in trouble for some time – subscriptions falling, advertising falling – and they’re doing whatever they can to stay in print. Maybe they think pandering to the council and staff is the way to keep their subscribers happy? I can’t figure it out – in the news business, negative sells better than this Pollyanna crap they’re shoveling. I don’t know why they’re not going after Nakamura, unless, they’ve got a hidden agenda.

    You know me, always suspicious. Thanks for questioning the claims of harassment, I think Nakamura is making it all up. Maybe he believes it – a guilty man is paranoid.

    • Hi Juanita! My original title to this post mentioned ‘Selective Journalism at its Best’ (or maybe worst?), but I revised it for some humor and in light of the death of the “Tell it to the ER” column. Editing your letters to editor? . . . selective journalism indeed!

      Silly me, thinking one email submission was sufficient. How convenient for them – waiting until the response to the editorial loses its impact by being so far removed from the published editorial…

      • Sometimes it takes them so long to get my letter in I forgot I wrote it, it’s not newsworthy anymore, and people aren’t paying attention anymore. It is frustrating. I’m glad you guys have made this forum.

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