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Friday, Sep 07, 2012 - Last Blog on Earth | News

'New' U-T San Diego PR machine

Invite from GOP leader describes newspaper as a 'one-stop shop' for political candidates

By Kelly Davis
dougmanchester 'New' U-T owner Doug Manchester
As we put it in this week's editorial, the U-T San Diego's editorial board "has become an embarrassing media arm of the Republican Party." Highlight that, underline it and add a bunch of stars, because the invite below appears to trump it all—even the new "U-T Seeing Red" website (headlined as "A Conservative View of Politics," it's basically an aggregator for anything and everything that might prove Obama's a total disaster).

I've sent an email to Jess Durfee, chair of the local Democratic Party, to see if they've been extended a similar invite. I'll update this post when I get a response.

Update: I just got off the phone with Jess Durfee. He said the San Diego County Democratic Party did receive an invitation—not for the same date as the GOP's—that looked similar to the one below. Though, he said, to call it an invitation "would be misleading." 

"What we got was a draft [of an invitation] that would imply that the Democratic Party"—and not the U-T San Diego—"was inviting candidates" to this event. Durfee said the invitation arrived with "no explanation, no discussion. They made no outreach whatsoever."

Durfee said he has no plans to attend or to encourage Democratic candidates to attend. He pointed to recent U-T editorials that described Barack Obama as the worst president in U.S. history. Those and other editorials, he said, "are written in a way that suggests there's not the possibility of [the editorial board] being objective to Democratic candidates. We know that at the end of the day, in any competitive race, they will endorse a Republican.... It's not an open and fair process."

Even U-T editor Jeff Light's made it clear that protecting the Republican brand is of utmost importance. As Voice of San Diego reported in May, Light told mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher that by leaving the GOP, Fletcher made the party look bad. "How can we get behind you given that we've got a lot of Republican backing and Republican tradition?" Light asked.

I emailed U-T CEO John Lynch to find out what "one-stop shop for candidates" meant. He declined to comment.

You are cordially invited to join Chairman Tony Krvaric 
and the Republican Party of San Diego County for an exciting evening at

the new U-T San Diego: A One-Stop Shop for Candidates


  • Welcome and introductory remarks by John Lynch, Vice Chairman & CEO
  • Media Savvy: How to get noticed by the press, how to craft a press release
  • Editorial Board Q& A: Who are they, how do they decide what to write about, how does one get endorsed?
  • Meet the Editor
  • The new U-T San Diego: learn about this innovative new media company right in our own back yard – a "one-stop shop" for candidates
  • Tour of the U-T TV studio and the new newsroom with Roger Hedgecock
  • Networking and refreshments in the Auto Museum

Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 6-8 PM

Manchester Boardroom
U-T San Diego
350 Camino De La Reina
San Diego, California 92108

Business Attire – Invitation is Non-Transferable

Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, September 7 to Ms. Mary Hart
at (619) 293-1104 or