It was started by the Voice of OC putting itself in the position of being publicist for a temper tantrum thrown by a noisome gadfly named Jason Young, a blogger and long-time Anaheim resident who recently moved to Fullerton.
Young, a wedding videographer with a checkered past, delights in buying ads in the Anaheim Bulletin to make personal attacks on Councilmembers Gail Eastman and Kris Murray. The problem is he lets his penchant for personal attacks get in the way of being truthful.
The OC Register modifies its policy for political ads and now Jason can’t buy ads personally trashing Eastman and Murray and making false accusations. So he has a temper tantrum, and the Voice of OC acts as his bullhorn and alleging the OC Register is knuckling under to pressure from two councilmembers and Disney.
There’s no actual evidence to substantiate that allegation, but absence of evidence no longer seems to be an obstacle.
Let’s review what actually is true:
The Orange County Register has every right to set whatever advertising guidelines it likes. If an advertiser doesn’t like it, he or she can lump it.
There is nothing in the modified guidelines preventing Jason Young from buying ads in the OCR attacking council policies and action he dislikes. He’s just mad because the Register owners will no longer allow him or anyone else to use their newspaper as a platform for character assassination.
Jason Young is an inhabitant of fantasyland. He is claims Disney exerts some form of control over the OC Register, and that is why the ad policy was changed. Which begs the question: if that is true, then how was the OC Register editorial page able to loudly and repeatedly endorse the council candidacy of John Leos in part because he would “stand up” to Disney — and against those candidates supported by Disney?
OC Register reporter Martin Wisckol pointed as much out to Young, who dismissed it:
Young acknowledged that the editorial page has shared his criticism of the hotel subsidies, of Murray and Eastman, and that it endorsed the opponents of Murray’s and Eastman’s allies in November’s City Council races. But he maintained that the ad policy change was designed to benefit Murray and Eastman, two pro-Disneyland members on the council.
“Disney spends a lot of money on advertising in the Register,” Young said. “The Register clearly has an interest in keeping Disney happy.”
Kushner said Disney advertises very little with the Register.
Pffft! Don’t Jason Young with pesky facts! The beauty of being a conspiracy theorist is that the absence of proof is proof the conspiracy is real!
At some point, if the Voice of OC is interested in a follow-up, Young could be asked why he failed to file the campaign report for his Save Anaheim PAC — which paid for the ads in question — until a week after the filing deadline? After all, he only entered single expenditure — completing the report should have taken about 30 minutes. And Young signed it and attested under penalty of perjury that he executed the campaign report on the January 31 deadline — even though it wasn’t received by the Anaheim City Clerk until Friday, February 8 at 4:10 p.m. How to explain that gap?
Oh well. Jason needn’t worry about a news outlet writing about that, since it involves verifiable facts and all.