Objective and Concerned Takes?

The Washington Post came out with an article this weekend entitled ‘How a laid-back beach town became California’s MAGA stronghold.

Frankly, it is an interesting article, newsworthy.  Read it.

While Huntington Beach’s majority Republican council has successfully balanced the budget and renegotiated a new police contract, the article focuses on what is perceived as their shift towards national issues, such as establishing an advisory board to review books in public libraries.

Please note that just because a city starts reviewing public library books and others follow suit, it doesn’t necessarily make it a national issue. It means it is now on the radar for the 9,057 public libraries across the country. However, if our definition of ‘national’ now includes other cities and legislatures adopting policies and legislation from other elected bodies, I guess we can call grassroots movements ‘national.’ That is a conversation for another day, and we will also discuss how many city councils have passed resolutions calling for a Gaza ceasefire. This seems to indicate a shift towards a national and international agenda, but let’s return to the article.

In his Huntington Beach analysis, Washington Post reporter Reis Thebault writes,  “Huntington Beach, one of Orange County’s largest cities, has long been associated with conservative beliefs, but its evolution in recent years shows how the bitter polarization of national politics has crept into even the most mundane municipal matters.”

I actually have a family friend who moved there from Utah a few years ago, and when I sent her the article on Sunday, she replied, “I love HB. We are definitely MAGA country. Hopefully, it stays that way after the elections!” It is what it is: a city not aligning with the progressive agenda of the majority of California city councils. Yes, that would stand out.

Mr. Thebault immediately follows up that statement with a quote, leading the reader to believe it comes from Jim Newton, a perceived, objective, non-partisan professor and editor:

“It’s the tipping on its head of the old notion that all politics is local. Now, all politics are national, and I think the overall effect of that is really destructive,” said Jim Newton, a public policy lecturer at UCLA and editor of Blueprint magazine. “It takes a sharply divided country at the national level and drags that down into local disputes.”

The problem is that while the apparent premise for quoting Professor Newton is to make the reader believe there is an expert above all the partisan wrangling, X has once again shown there is no objectiveness to Mr. Newton. Quite the contrary, he edits Blueprint magazine and his X comments give no indication that he is a non-partisan commentator.

Here are some of his tweets:

Mr Newton Tweets

America’s journalists need to stop pretending they are quoting objective sources. Why not pair Mr. Newton’s comment with the editor from CalMatters.org? State the expert’s political leanings, and then the reader can determine if their insight is worth considering.

Note: the opinions expressed herein are those of Chuck Warren only and not his co-host Sam Stone or Breaking Battlegrounds’ staff.

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