The penchant The Chariot has for inaccurate journalism is like the News International phone hacking scandal. Just kidding, those two things are not related at all; however, terrible analogies like this seem to be a habit at the Chariot. Worse still, are the gross inaccuracies that pass the editor’s pen and get published. The most egregious, and latest violation, is “Blame Voter Apathy on ASG.” The piece contains a very serious implication of cronyism which is not well-founded and is instead a series of vague insinuations and accusations unsupported by factual evidence.
Mr. Bradford writes how ASG members getting their positions are not “much different than California [voters] throwing careers to Senators like Dianne Feinstein.” Dianne Feinstein started her career over 40 years ago when she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She then became Mayor of San Francisco after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. She was the first female mayor of San Francisco and she has been shattering glass ceilings ever since. She was also the first female senator from California along with Barbara Boxer and she was the first female chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. This is a very prestigious chairmanship as it presides over all 16 intelligence-gathering services. One may disagree with her ideologies, but her achievements were not “thrown” to her.
There were many reasons for Senator Feinstein’s reelection, and it seems that the author is confusing political opinion with political fact. Mr. Bradford said Senator Feinstein was only elected because people recognized her name and filled in the bubble. Well, this is a completely legitimate way to get elected. If people do not recognize your name, how are they going to vote for you? A candidate’s name recognition is strengthened by having a long and respected career in public service like Senator Feinstein. It also helps to have a war chest the size of the Senator’s. According to opensecrets.org, an independent non-profit that tracks money in politics, she raised 9.7 million dollars between 2009 and 2014. The fact that she is an incumbent multiple times over attests to her ability to get re-elected and her appeal to California voters. Also, according to Politico, Senate incumbents had a 90% reelection rate in 2012.
Another inaccuracy, and one specific to ASG, is when the author writes that “a significant bloc of those voters surely are ASG and friends of ASG members…” Voting is confidential, and since there probably isn’t any exit polling done for ASG elections, who voted for whom is impossible to know. The author is conjuring up facts to support his argument. This may be on Op-Ed, but it should still have some semblance of factual integrity, especially because the Op-Eds are usually the longest and most prominent pieces in the Chariot.
The reason for pointing out the inaccurate journalism of the Chariot is to highlight that the Chariot benefits from the same apathy the author claims benefits ASG. We are a community college and many students choose not to be involved in campus activities for a myriad of reasons. The ones who do should be commended and not unfairly accused of cronyism. The Op-Ed page was not a total waste of time though. In a letter to the editor, buried at the very bottom of the page, and in 1,200 less words, Bo Bockman addresses the issue of voter apathy and offers a thoughtful solution to make a computer program to better reach busy students. Maybe the Chariot can learn from Mr. Bockman and start writing coherent, concise and factual pieces that can benefit the campus as a whole.