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Monday, Sep 10, 2012 - Last Blog on Earth | News

'New' U-T San Diego PR machine, update

Dems get an invite, but don't get Hedgecock

By Kelly Davis
dougmanchester 'New' U-T owner Doug Manchester
On Friday, I blogged about the invite sent out by the San Diego County Republican Party, inviting local GOP candidates to join party chair Tony Krvaric for a tour of the "new U-T San Diego"—described in the invite as a "one-stop shop for candidates"—followed by a reception in owner Doug Manchester's on-site car museum. (What "one-stop shop for candidates" means, no one knows; U-T CEO John Lynch told me "no comment" when I asked via email on Friday afternoon.)

Jess Durfee, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, told me that a similar invite had been emailed to the local Dem party headquarters, though with no explanation:

"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."

Ends up, the U-T sent an invite to Democratic Party candidates anyhow. Their event is on Thursday evening, while the GOP's is on Tuesday. There were other slight differences between the two invites. GOP candidates, for instance, will be offered tips on "how to craft a press release." Dems won't. And, the portion of the invite touting the newspaper as a "one-stop shop" was a bit more exuberant for the GOP than the Dems:

GOP inviteThe new U-T San Diego: learn about this innovative new media company right in our own back yard – a "one-stop shop" for candidates
Dem inviteMeet the New U-T: A review of the new media company; "one-stop shop" for candidates

And then, this:

GOP invite: Tour of the U-T TV studio and the new newsroom with Roger Hedgecock
DemTour of the U-T TV studios and glance at the new newsroom

Hedgecock, the former mayor of San Diego and a radio talk-show host who's subbed for Rush Limbaugh, currently has his own segment on U-T TV. 

Both groups, though, will still get to enjoy "networking and refreshments" in the (unpermitted) auto museum.

 
 
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