Posted on | August 13, 2010 | 40 Comments
A reporter for the Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze sent an e-mail to a political consultant saying the newspaper is “not interested” in covering Republican candidate Mattie Fein, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Jane Harman in California’s 36th District.
In the e-mail sent Wednesday (see text below), Daily Breeze reporter Nick Green told consultant John S. Thomas of Thomas Partners Strategies, “Don’t call or e-mail us – we’ll call you if we’re interested. And if you haven’t got it yet, we’re not interested.”
Green also told Thomas not to send Fein campaign communications to his Daily Breeze colleague, Art Marroquin.
According to sources with the Fein campaign, Thomas had contacted the Daily Breeze staffers seeking coverage of the Republican challenger’s response to a recently passed bill that the newspaper reported would “save 215 jobs in Rep. Jane Harman’s district.” A subsequent Daily Breeze story Thursday featured Harman’s statement that a jobs program was the “best thing out there to keep and create jobs in Los Angeles County,” included no reponse from Fein or any other Republican.
Since winning the GOP nomination in June, Fein has been strongly critical of Harman’s record on defense and intelligence issues, calling for the incumbent to “divest in shares of Harman International that have business ties to Iran.”
TEXT OF NICK GREEN E-MAIL
TO JOHN S. THOMAS
Sent: Aug 11, 2010 12:58 PM
Don’t call or e-mail us – we’ll call you if we’re interested. And if you haven’t got it yet, we’re not interested. And stop sending the same messages to my co-worker Art as well
The popular L.A. politics blog Mayor Sam wrote:
South Bay Daily Breeze writer Nick Green has decided to check out of covering the Congressional race where controversial incumbent Jane Harman is being challenged by Mattie Fein. At least as much that he has refused requests from Fein’s consultant John Thomas (yes that John Thomas) to discuss remarks Harman has made about the local economy.
UPDATE: Just got off the phone with John Thomas who said he was shocked by the “outrageous” refusal of the Daily Breeze to cover Harman’s GOP challenger. Here are screencaps of the e-mail exchange between Thomas and Nick Green:
UPDATE II: Da Tech Guy: “And people wonder why the newspaper industry is having trouble staying afloat?”
UPDATE III: Stix Blog on the “Jedi mind tricks” at the Daily Breeze. These aren’t the biased droids you’re looking for . . .
UPDATE IV: Steve Bartin at NewsAlert:
No word yet on whether the Daily Breeze is looking to join Jane Harman’s husband’s emerging media empire. Nick Green would made a fine addition to the Harman controlled Newsweek!
UPDATE V: Joe Fein of Valley of the Shadow got on the phone with the Daily Breeze city editor: “What do you want me to say?”
UPDATE VI: Ed Driscoll: “If I was Fein’s campaign manager, I’d call up Newsweek and say, ‘Have I got a story for you!’ Oh, wait . . .”
Heh. And here’s a new Web site: BoycottNewsweek.net