Voice of OC’s Anaheim Coverage Is Opinion Journalism

It should be clear to any fair-minded person that the Voice of OC‘s coverage of Anaheim city goverment has passed into the realm of opinion journalism.

Take, for example, this morning’s Spencer Custodio article on the council’s action to amend the rules for placing items on the agenda.

Anaheim Council Majority Silences Minority” screams the tabloid-style headline. The problem is it isn’t true. It’s definitely an opinion, but not a factual one.

Under the new rule, if the city council takes any action on a councilmember-initiated item, a councilmember must wait six months before re-agendizing it. If a councilmember believes a matter too urgent to wait six months, he or she can ask colleagues to suspend the rules and agendize it sooner.

It also states that if a councilmember fails to garner the support of two colleagues to agendize an item, he/she must wait six months before trying again.

That is hardly silencing anyone. It is rare that any Anaheim councilmember fails to secure the necessary two votes to place items on the agenda.

What’s more, the rule change doesn’t single out Councilmembers Jose F. Moreno and Denise Barnes but applies to all councilmembers.

Furthermore, it is ridiculous to assume anyone of anything can silence Moreno, who is far and away the leading yakker on the council dais. Give the District 3 councilman two minutes to talk and he’ll turn it into 10.

Custodio’s lede paragraph is pure opinion, not reporting:

“Anaheim’s City Council majority members have decided they don’t need to consider policy proposals from the minority more than once in a six-month period.”

That sentence belongs in an editorial, not a news article.  As noted, the rule change applies to all six members of the city council. Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring is a member of the current governing majority. If she fails to get two votes to agendize something – which has happened – she’ll have to wait six months before trying again, just like any other councilmember.

In addition to being his subjective opinion, Custodio also factually misrepresents what the rule change entails. His desire to editorialize results in a statement that doesn’t make sense, by literally claiming Moreno and Barnes can only agendize policy items once every six months.

As noted, the rule change – which applies to all six councilmembers – simply states that after the council has taken action on a councilmember-initiated item, councilmembers must wait 6 months before re-agendizing. If Custodio had chosen to report rather than editorialize in his lede paragraph, he might have reported the rule change accurately.

Custodio fails to note the inconvenient reality that the newly-adopted rule change would have little real impact on the ability of Barnes and Moreno – or any coiuncilmember – to bring matters before the council for consideration.  Only Moreno’s constant re-agendizing of rent control – an abuse of the priocess for politicial purposes – would have been affected.

Custodio’s November 5 preview article on the proposed rule changed was also opinion journalism.

Anaheim Seeks to Gag Council Members

Anaheim’s City Council majority is looking to institute a gag order of sorts on minority-faction council members by limiting how many times an elected official can agendize an issue for public discussion. 

Again, this is editorializing, not reporting. Calling the rule change a “gag order” is inflammatory and inaccurate. It is Custodio camouflaging his opinion as news reporting.

Here’s another example in the lede paragraph from an October 29 Custodio article on the Angel Stadium appraisal:

Anaheim’s City Council is not interested in publicizing the value of their public stadium and also doesn’t want the public to have much time to look over potential stadium deals before they are approved.

Again, this is pure editorializing – Custodio representing his opinion as fact.  And his opinion isn’t even factual.

The fact is when it authorized the appraisal in November 2018, the city council stated it would be ultimately be made available to the public. However, it gave no direction and took no action regarding the timing of its publication – and has taken no action to the contrary since that time.

There is disagreement on the council as to when the appraisal should be made public – and there is a strong case for keeping it under wraps until the appropriate moment during negotiations with the Angels. But that is fundamentally different than Custodio’s claim the council doesn’t want the public to know the stadium’s value.

The same goes for Custodio’s claim the council opposes giving the public siufficient time to evaluate any agreement the parties hammer out.

Can he point to any example where a councilmember has announced, “I don’t want the public to have much time to look over potential stadium deals before we approve them.”  No – because there are none. Custodio’s claim is unsubstantiated speculation.

One has to wonder where the Voice of OC‘s sense of outrage was last year when Mayor Tom Tait spent months negotiating in secret with the Anaheim Ducks to sell them city property surrounding the Honda Center? The negotiations were an open secret. And the deal – and appraisal of the land – weren’t released to the public until four days before the council vote.  There wasn’t a peep from the Voice of OC, nor for that matter from any of the partisans who now posture as champions of public transparency.

There is nothing wrong with opinion journalism. Anaheim Blog engages in opinion journalism. The problem is when a publication engages in opinion journalism but holds itself out to be engaged in news reporting.

3 comments

  1. Anaheim’s City Council majority members have decided they don’t need to consider repeat nonsense policy proposals from time wasting obstinate Council members.

  2. ORANGE COAST COLLEGE HONOR STUDENT
    Hold down 4.0 GPA
    WHILE DEALING WHIT UNLAWFUL PRACTICE
    AND DESCRIMINATION
    FROM THE SALVATION ARMY COED

    EMERGENCEY SHELTER

    I am currently a Orange Coast Collage Honors student.I have a 4.0 GPA and I live at the Salvation Army Coed shelter in Anaheim on 1455 S. Salvation PL I recently was exited for coming home before my curfew is ending my curfew is 12:30 and I got home roughly around 12 ish and I was told I have been exited from the Salvation Army coed shelter I asked why they said for abanding my bed and I then said I’ve been at school all day and had 3 classes today am I being written up or whatever you want they told me you can speak with Patrick in the morning and I said where am I supposed to go now and they said they don’t care where just get off the property I then went and got a hotel room with my grant money from school I then stayed three days in the hotel room realizing I can’t keep doing that or I won’t have money for school and school comes first so in those three days I was calling. Patrick from the Salvation Army shelter asking him can I come back like what what I meant what’s going to happen you know and he basically said he’d call me back or I can come back the next day. So that night I went in to file an appeal I think it was the next day I filled the first day at the hotel and I filed the appeal and it said on the appeal three days you will be notified or you can contact for the decision if it’s been overturned or not so I contacted the Salvation Army on the third day and I called the first two days saying is my stuff okay like I can’t lose my stuff it’s all I have it’s all my stuff all my documents for SSDI all my documents for housing all my birth certificate ID card everything okay and they’ve then told me it was safe as long as my appeals going I’m considered a resident.

    So I then pursued the apeal thing and I kept calling and calling and he kept telling me call back the next day call back the next day. well after the third day I was like okay the contract says 3 days why am I not getting told so then I called and Patrick said I’ll know by Tuesday so Tuesday came around and I then told him it’s Tuesday like what’s going on he’s all I submitted the paperwork to the higher-ups which is probably the court system but they didn’t want to tell me and basically that it came back the next day saying I won now Patrick told me to call the front desk and tell them I’m able to come back Patrick said so so I called the front desk and I said hi this is I was wondering if I might be able to come back today because Patrick said I can.So can I come in right now and they said were un aware or that he did not tell us where you’re going to have to call back tomorrow. I’m like why and he said because Patrick’s not here and I told him he was in the next room and they told me to call back the next day so I call back the next day and I told I was told to come in by Benjamin and Benjamin told me to come in around 12 so I said I’m on my way it will take me a minute because I’m on a skateboard and I think got there and they started doing my intake and then the intake they were just kind of rushing me the sign the contract and why I was reading the contract .

    I see if you win an appeal you are now a permanent resident that cannot be kicked out just out out in the cold out in the rain like they do and I can stay until they have to get a judge court order to get me out of there they never told me that they never said that.

    I’m able to have a judge quarter and be able to have to get me out of there so they’re basically saying like here’s the rules and they never even gave me the contract and I wanted a contract they said you can get it from your caseworker but they told me they would have my caseworker by the end of the day at the orientation at 7 I walked into the office for the and in the there was no orientation and they told me it’s okay you don’t have to do it you know the get down home boy said no I need another contract because you guys changed and altered the contract it used to say 3 days for the appeal but now it says 7 days for the pill obviously they change it for the seven days because they made me wait 8 days for my appeal so I asked him where my stuff was and they said it was at the IRC and I told them you guys need to go get it cuz that’s all I have it’s everything I have for school my housing everything I own and they then told me it was be given away to where it later on that day Benjamin said that I got rolled up in a bunch of other people stuff that got it also exited today actually like 20 people that day he said not my words then I vwas just upset man like they took all my stuff I didn’t flip out I take medication and they throw away my medication now I’m starting to get like depressed I’m starting to get bipolar I’m starting to want to flip out on him but I didn’t because I learned some stuff in counseling in my college class and I was able to like refrain myself from yelling at them so they can kick me out for some stupid nonsense like they do and in the end all my stuff was stolen basically I think and it’s not getting replaced they offered me a voucher for $15 $15 come on man I had at least r $600 laptop I had like three pairs are like $65 pair of shoes brand new I have you put my foot in I got for Christmas for my mom I had what else close up the unlimited amount of clothes you on my mom’s my mom’s a nice lady she’s bought me a lot of stuff but they end up telling me my stuff is not retrievable nor obtainable to just go to my rack and and and wait for dinner it’ll be in an hour but it was like 12 in the afternoon to wear like how the hell is dinner ready an hour one dinners like at 4:30 and no but anyways they then told me o to go to my rack so I go to my rack and it’s in a filthy bed that still had some homeless guys dirty clothes and dirty sheets on it to where

    They put me in a dirty bed then they didn’t even give me a hygiene kit I had to go ask for one they didn’t give me a towel I still don’t have a towel to dry myself off when I shower God forbid someone wants to shower around there no one ever showers dude is a filthy Place actually it’s pretty clean showers I’m always by myself in the shower room area tour the best spot to do homework okay

    so I want to know what I could do to get my property back okay I know you can’t get it back like if you’re saying like get my actual property and belongings but I was put on the street for a week and a half while going to school and trying to hold my grades down a 4.0 and that’s really hard to even get a 4.0 much less doing it on the street so I want compensation for my belongings my school stuff my school books my school computer my clothes my everything I had a lot of stuff and it wasn’t just old stuff that came out of a bum’s cardboard box on the street and it’s filthy it was brand new stuff I bought with my grant money and loan money I can’t just make again to where I want that and I also want to be compensated for being on the street for a week and a half without my medication making me liable to get pulled over and for acting out irate when I’m not on my meds I can easily violated my parole which I am currently a free citizen with no no holds downs I’m I have all my rights I got back I got off parole cuz guess when my my discharge day was it was no no it was February 15th and guess when I got kicked out February 11th I think it was an vindictively discriminating act agianst but there that’s hearsay I just feel discriminated and then the next day when I try to come home from school in an Uber I asked him if it were can bring me up to the front desk or you know people that people with cars drive up to and they tell me I know you have to walk and I said I’m handicap and the security guard said okay come through and the guy on the Wally talkie said no make him walk or he can’t come in you’re telling a handicapped person make him walk okay okay but I showed my ADA card stating I’m handicapped and they made me walk to the front be able to get back in and I don’t want to lose my bed just like me not wanting to publish this or or or or tell anybody but I need help with a lawyer or something whatever you guys may do I’m going to donate to your little cause but I just I know I need help getting you know what I really wanted the house in a promise is a promise you this housing and it’s they give you this like a dream of a house and you coming to the shelter so they can make money on donations for you and you know then the end they kick you out a week or two weeks before your name pops up on the housing list or they kick you out for some stupid reason so you your your time starts over because in my appeal it was supposed to be within 7 days before I come back as a normal residence will when I came back he was the 8th day so they threw my stuff away even though Benjamin and Patrick said there should be a permanent indefinite hold on my things so why do they get thrown away I’m thinking because someone wanted them know maybe more than I even do for like the fact is there’s room all my stuff that’s my property that’s it’s who I am okay so they’re taking that from me and they promised me a home and now I have to start over the whole process I’ve been doing this whole process while going to school it’s hard I transfer from an hour and has a bus ride all the way to Costa Mesa to school to where I want that housing for compensation hands down it’ll be a squash issue or I’m going to come after them for discrimination against a handicapped and exiting me for a wrong purposes I’ve already read all these clauses on their contracts what they did was wrong they made me wait a whole 8 days to even like hear back from them I was on the street the X me with not telling me any any other places to go any options where I might have they just kick me out to the street to the racially like get picked up by a cop to her they arrest you for being homeless to where I was on Parole if if I know there were this is not happening you know tour I got off parole that same week but like the fact that like I could have been like extra screwed if they kicked me out like me no singing or I could you you have to have a steady residence while on parole to wear for them to kick me out was ridonculous and heinous act towards me please help and sorry for making so much riding on this butI just wanted to get my point across and the point is I want that housing they promised every homeless person there is they always try to get us any shelters so they can get paid for the donations are getting for us and in the end I haven’t got housing my name is knocked down on the bottom now and they have even done my intake of fully because I still haven’t had a caseworker which you’re having seven days and I think I’m on my fifth day now without a caseworker and they’re just like not doing things like you know they put me in a dirty bed stuff like that dude swear I want this taken care of Twitter please tell me who do I have to go to or what authority I have to go to and my bank accounts are just they’re just getting Friday right now because people are trying to put checks in my my account trying to verify it so they can do other stuff with my account to where I don’t even use checks people my stuff was inside my locker and when I got home the first day when I am I checked in there was still stuff in my cubicle my old one there was still food of locker food my food locker my bike was still there so how was I exited and all my stuff thrown away when half my stuff is still there okay it just seemed like someone went through my things and took what they wanted and left just just nothing’s to where I want my something’s in my something is the housing they promised okay this is not me trying to get over on people now you trying to get some you’re not owed I’ve been on homeless for my sweat 15 years and in that 15 years I’ve been promised housing by every other city in their mother okay to wear I want what they promised me on this one because they stole for me I feel like cuz my stuff is not showing up they can’t find it it’s gone and I was told there was to be an indefinite hold you would think you would put that in a safe place and not just give it to the IRC or or throw it away with other people stuff like they told me and being on the street was tough after going to school for the last 6 months being good and clean and and and and happy and taking my medication and next you know I’m on the street with no medications and and and my schooling I’m going to school my grades are starting to drop because I have this in the back of my head are they going to kick me out today are they mad or how mad are they for the pissed I got back in with that appeal but they haven’t even told me I’m a permanent resident to where I have to have a judge court order to get me out cuz I’m thinking you have to do an appeal through the county clerk’s office because it said in the contracts in about a county clerk’s office they have you do that peels right there in the office okay so I’m going to be filing a grievance tomorrow with the Salvation Army in the little office area but if there’s a way I have to file a grievance with the city or something just please get ahold of me at so we can prop properly talk this out and figure something out because I’m willing to go on the news and blast these people up and make them look just like the people they are swear I’ll let everything explained for herself you know my whole story of being a straight A honor student Orange Coast College my college I’ve already let them know about this there they were upset that I’m coming to school and you know just not happy and and I’ll just not in a good mood you know it’s where it’s starting to affect my grades but I still am carrying the 4.0 but I have missed that for quizzes this week because I was on the street due to the Salvation Army I thought they were on my side and helping me and I’m not going to lie they were at first but when I beat that appeal for that guy exiting me for an abandoned bed which was a nonsense because I was showed up have an Uber receipt showing I was in the front of the gate they wouldn’t let me in and they actually me without even writing me up which is in the contract you have to have paperwork saying you’re being exited you have to have paperwork showing what you’re being exit 4 and you have to have in the store you can go to like another shelter or they just can’t just X you and just say goodbye you know

    PS When Benjerman the owner said he is look at me look at me come one look at me as my head was down in a depressed manner He says I’m truly sorry. I really am I didn’t mean for this to happen I put and told everyone that ur property is on a indefinite hold not to get rid of my things you have to believe me now if this Man was truely sorry he would of fired everyone on the spot for conducting obviously unlawfully practice and discrimination torwads me and my well being and put me in harm’s way with being in the street with nothing and only offering me a voucher for 15 bucks I would of liked to here We are sorry we will put you in a perminet appartment and recovery of money lost emotional destress, pain and suffering, houseing bennifits ,

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