Monday, April 15, 2013

SF Chronicle 'Commends' Me on City Attorney Junket

(Herrera interviewed at SCOTUS by KTVU reporter David Stephenson. This photo ran on my blog last Tuesday, courtesy of the taxpayers and Herrera's office. I was reporting on what the City Attorney and his staffers were doing in DC.)

(Screen grab used today by the Chronicle, reporting on what Herrera and his staff were doing in DC in March.)

In response to my voice mail for lazy San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross, over their story this morning about City Attorney Dennis Herrera spending $17,000 for his trip last month to the Supreme Court, Ross sent this reply. Let's unpack it:

Per your complaint, we would have been happy to credit your blog had you actually reported any of the signficant facts — including the actual number of staffers who went to D.C., how many days they spent there, what they were doing there, how much it cost and who paid the tab. While we commend you for raising questions about the trip, we relied solely on our reporting for what we used in the column. 

My headline, Tab for 7 City Attorney Staffers' Junket to SCOTUS?, included the actual number of staffers and the figure was based on photos the City Attorney's office posted here and which were shared in my original report a week ago.

No, I didn't report how many days they were there, but I did report they were in DC for photo-ops and that there was no question the city funded the trip, but that the amount was forthcoming from the City Attorney's office. So, yes, I noted several things Andy Ross says were omitted from my post.

Nice of Ross to offer his commendation, and yes, I'm glad the matter of Herrera and staff wasting city funds for this junket is reaching a wide audience, there is the underlying problem of Matier and Ross regularly cribbing or outright stealing stories and ideas from independent online news sites, the Bay Area Reporter and bloggers.

It would cost these columnists and the Chronicle nothing to mention in one short sentence that their curiosity was piqued by the work and questions of a blogger or the BAR or other source.

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