Three Sonorans responds to KGUN9 claims of no bias in covering Latino issues
Earlier this week I did an interview with KGUN9, the ABC affiliate in Tucson that is owned by the Journal Broadcasting Group which also owns the Jon Justice show.
There have been MANY problems with their coverage of Latino events, and Derechos Humanos refuses to be interviewed by KGUN9 ever again for their slanting of the news.
Earlier this year Professor Rudy Acuña was interviewed by KGUN9 and had to respond to their coverage for “misrepresenting what he said.”
I already knew going into the interview that my attempts to educate the journalist on the depths of this issue would be ignored, and they would still skew the entire story, but I tried, and now I have learned my lesson.
I received an email from web producer Forrest Carr telling me that KGUN9 really isn’t against us, and they are not biased in any way.
I am here to use the example of last week to show that they are very biased and experts at skewing the news, and I will not resort to right or wrong, racist or non-racist, I will just use logic to prove my case.
Let us begin with their coverage of Stegeman’s resolution last Tuesday.
The headline is above of how KGUN9 decided to frame the issue. This is where the whole bias begins.
Let us begin this trip down logic lane.
Who is it that has power in TUSD? It is the 5 elected board members. The “supporters” have no vote, and if we did the vote on January 10th to kill MAS and the vote on April 10th to fire the director Sean Arce would never had taken place.
The RESPONSIBILITY for these actions, these votes, is with the BOARD MEMBERS.
First of all, there was no resolution that was blocked, and that’s a fact. The resolution failed to even receive a motion from the author himself, Mark Stegeman.
The headline could have been Mark Stegeman backs away from his own resolution, failing to even make a motion for it, but it wasn’t, and instead Latinos were blamed.
The video of Michael Hicks during this discussion would have been useful. He backed away completely, and Miguel Cuevas said he will not undo his January 10th vote which led to the banning of the books. Sugiyama neither.
So of the 4 board members that caused this, NOT ONE OF THEM made a motion for this “unban” to proceed. The responsibility for the book ban and failing to unban those books lies with them, especially Mark Stegeman.
Yet the headline blames MAS supporters? Really? The people with no power? That is why the resolution did not pass? Not because of these 4 board members?
There were multiple video stories of this event, and one included using footage from the April 10th meeting when a smoke bomb went off when you were reporting that Stegeman’s resolution was shot down.
Why did you use this footage from months ago? What message were you trying to send? (Seriously, I want an answer to this.) Because you know as much as I do that nothing of the sort took place last Tuesday, but that must have been too boring, so you used footage that led some of your viewers to think it was much more chaotic than it was.
The truth is that Mark Stegeman’s proposal failed because not even Mark Stegeman would vote for it, and that’s something you have NEVER mentioned, and it is very newsworthy because it is the TRUTH.
Now let’s talk about what Mark Stegeman was proposing, but first let’s see why Stegeman and KGUN9 have been disingenuous this whole time. We begin with a quick search of your site for “book ban,” something that has been in the national news this year, but barely covered, if at all, in Tucson.
KGUN9 headlines blame the Latino community for everything; damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
The first headline says it is our fault. We discussed that above and will re-discuss this in a moment. The next headline is that the books remain banned.
The third headline goes all the way back to January, including the fourth and fifth one, and neither one ever reports that books are banned, just that those rascally Chicanos are claiming they are, but you know how they are (wink wink). Two of those headlines tell the public that TUSD denies any book ban.
There is NO book ban according to TUSD. KGUN9 never had an investigation to get to the bottom of this; that was it. End of story. No book ban and all those Latino students and teachers are lying about a “ban.”
So thus what exactly was Stegeman’s proposal all about? There was no book ban, right? So the entire proposal is a contradiction; it is an unneeded proposal that is needed to deal with a situation that does not exist, in particular the banning of books.
But now KGUN9 has all this video of Stegeman talking about the banned books and even saying that it was not supposed to be permanent but only temporary…
WHAT was supposed to be only temporary? The book ban?
Local media loved placing the blame on the state also, that TUSD had no choice but to ban those books or else be fined $15 million…
Never did KGUN9 interview Huppenthal (and I told Craig Smith that he should) and ask Huppenthal what he meant when these books were mentioned and how there is no way TUSD can be in compliance with state law if these books are allowed.
The truth is that the local Tucson media always finds a way to cast Pedicone and Stegeman in a favorable light, while showing the Latino side as those others, those protesters who just want to complain about everything.
Stegeman was right to ban the books in TUSD, and now he is right to unban those books… and Stegeman is right to not even vote for his own proposal and it is the pro-MAS supporters to blame, not Michael Hicks who did not vote for it either?
Why wasn’t the headline “Michael Hicks uses his power to not return books to the classrooms?”
Now regarding Tucson Freedom Summer, once again the framing of the story was already biased to begin with.
TFS has canvassed over a thousand homes. Many candidates are also doing the same this election year, especially with the primary a month away.
Both parties are sending people door-to-door. Politicians are walking door-to-door. They are coming to OUR homes. To get on the ballot for school board, the candidates go door-to-door also, asking for OUR signature in front of OUR front door. Candidates like Stegeman and Cuevas even have the audacity to show up to the Fiesta Grande to collect signatures from OUR neighborhoods.
Has KGUN9 on your side ever asked the board members themselves why they show up to people’s PERSONAL HOMES?
Are they asking about how both political parties are trespassing all over Tucson?
Let’s add religion to the mix; will KGUN9 on your side investigate the ethics of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons coming to our front doors when some of us are not there, but at work?
Should they be banned?
But it is only when LATINO canvassers do it that it raises flags and is newsworthy? How is this not biased?
To sign a board candidate’s petition also makes all those personal home addresses public record, available for all to see… is this an invasion of privacy?
Heck, the question is never even asked!
In fact, the use of the word “trespass” when dealing with canvassers has already skewed the discussion.
The whole discussion is already skewed against us. We are the ones who are to blame for the book ban, not the majority of the board that actually did it, and we are the ones who are now “trespassing” when Hicks has failed to file one police report for any Watchtower magazine left on his front door. Call the cops on those young men in ties with bike helmets from the Latter-Day Saints!
Oh wait, they are mostly white, so it’s okay?
The third point I would like to address is KGUN9’s extreme lack of depth and exploration into the civil-rights movement that is going on in Tucson today. Now, you might say who says there is racism, that is a subjective term.
But the Ninth Circuit Court has legally declared TUSD to be a segregated district, so it’s official. Does KGUN9 ever discuss the desegregation case?
Does it ever ask the board why they are choosing state law over a federal court order? Do they ever let the public know that MAS was created under a federal court order, and how it is protected under the Post Unitary Plan?
Does KGUN9 even know what the Post Unitary Plan is? Do they even know about the Special Master who will bring back MAS classes later this fall?
Their viewers certainly don’t. They don’t realize that the courts are on our side, and MAS will come back. All the focus is on the state of Arizona and its attack on Latinos, from SB1070 to HB2281. Heck TUSD is under 3 Office of Civil Rights investigations right now, and more are coming!
Yet these racial problems are just an illusion? Just complaints from Latinos who just want to complain?
NO. These are official AMERICAN investigations into racism and segregation! The great country of AMERICA is fighting back against Arizona and TUSD’s actions. Who is the true “anti-American” in this scenario?
The list can go on. I mentioned to Craig Smith how Stegeman’s resolution is meaningless because the classes the books were banned in are still banned, and thus which classrooms exactly are these books coming back into?
There is another thing that KGUN9 and local media will never do. Now we have Mark Stegeman admitting what Adelita Grijalva has all along, that these books are banned and they are receiving “special treatment,” a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the US Constitution.
TUSD is in the ultimate contradiction. John Pedicone and Cara Rene claim the books are not banned, and then Menconi goes and contradicts her own boss (starts at the 3:15 mark of this video) Pedicone, seconds later to say they are, and now Stegeman is even admitting it.
Will KGUN9 start admitting that the books are banned?
I mean, if it was the pro-MAS protesters that stopped them from being “unbanned” then they must be banned right?
KGUN9 is missing out on what is going on here in Tucson. The feds are involved, from Arpaio to Pedicone, for mistreatment of Latinos. This is the epicenter of the new Civil Rights movement.
We have the nation’s top scholars defending our side, from Dr. Cornel West to Noam Chomsky. The other side has idiots like Tom Horne and John Huppenthal and Loretta Hunnicutt’s influence over Jon Justice and Garrett Lewis pushing their anti-Latino propaganda.
I would much rather be on the side of justice, but unfortunately KGUN9 must appeal to the lowest common denominator in Tucson news viewers. Craig Smith admitted as much to me in our interview.
He said that there are those who think… there are those who view this in this way… that we don’t want compromise, that this is personal, that…
And I explained to him the complexities of the issue… and it doesn’t matter. KGUN9 doesn’t have the in-depth investigations. They don’t have time between the dozen weather updates and sports and Jim Click commercials competing with Sam Levitz’s Arbor Day extravaganza… everything must go!
KGUN9 viewers do not even know about the deseg order, about the creation of MAS, about how it is protected, about how it will come back, about how what TUSD is doing is against the federal court order, and how we will win in the end. It is American Justice that will win this for us, and it is this use of American Democracy and American Courts and American Free Speech that is enabling us.
But when Latinos use their American rights, we are vilified. When Young Republicans host debates at their high school, that is patriotic, but when Latinos get active in politics they are now “political activists” who are out to overthrow the government, who are trespassing on the land that used to be Mexico and that is Tohono O’odham land.
KGUN9 is on the side of quick sound-bytes, no in-depth analysis, and appealing to the lowest common denominator of viewers who even have the time to watch the 10 o’clock news.
Oh yeah, and where is the KGUN9 on your side investigation into allegations of tire theft by Hicks and current possible violations of the law at the City of Tucson?
Perhaps KGUN9 is too busy blaming Latinos and recycling old footage of protests to make us all look like what we are not today, feeding into what the older viewership already thinks of young Latinos.
Not scholars, but thugs.
Not students, but future inmates.
Not Americans, but illegals.
Not the future of America, but our youth will still be here when Pedicone and Arpaio are gone.