Mainstream media lights the match to politically lynch

Lee Heidhues 4.12.2023

The vicious media attacks on the first black woman District Attorney in Alameda County have begun.

Kudos to SF Gate for calling out the mainstream media which is trying to light the match to yet another political lynching of a progressive district attorney.

It worked in San Francisco. Backed by much of the spineless MSM and with billionaire MAGA funders waiting in the wings they’ve set their sites on another progressive.

Excerpted from SF Gate 4.12.2023

Barely three months into Price’s term, a handful of media members have fixated on new Alameda DA Pamela Price, posturing as if they’re doing objective, community-oriented journalism — and even worse, adopting the holier-than-thou stance that their beliefs and biases aren’t shaping whom they choose to interview and how they choose to report stories.

Price might turn out to be an abject disaster for any number of reasons, but there’s nothing tangible to base that on yet. You don’t have to be a supporter of criminal justice reform to acknowledge the scary implications of already knowing, after barely three months, that a politician who won their race fair and square, who hasn’t even fully instituted their suggested policies yet, seems to be on a collision course for a media-backed recall.

Alameda DA with Chief Assistant DA Otis Bruce

They’re using loaded, pro-punishment rhetoric about “public safety,” boldly assuming the very constituency that just elected Price would of course immediately find her policies to be out of step; they’re acting like it’s newsworthy that a selection of Alameda County prosecutors — some of whom donated to both Nancy O’Malley and Terry Wiley — would choose to resign from office when a DA with radically different politics became their new boss; and they’re also highlighting gruesome anecdotes, thrusting vulnerable families of brutal crimes into the limelight to cynically dissuade the public from thinking critically about the larger impacts of criminal justice reform.

ABC7 reporter Dan Noyes, who, as far as I can tell, would bristle at the idea of publicly admitting to his political ideologies, including on issues like criminal justice. But his editorial choices, and his sources list, speak for themselves.

Reporter Emilie Raguso, who’s guilty of many of the same one-sided reporting techniques as Noyes, took a similar stance at her publication, the Berkeley Scanner, which is dedicated to writing up the grisly details of neighborhood crimes. 

Both Noyes’ and Raguso’s reporting on the triple-homicide case has relied on the disgust of Alameda County Judge Mark McCannon, who denied Price’s 15-year plea deal. Since McCannon’s move, Price has announced that she’s moving to disqualify him from overseeing her cases. Noyes called Price’s decision an “extraordinary action,” but Price’s predecessor, O’Malley, took the same action with a judge less than a year ago.

Alameda DA on steps of Alameda County courthouse

What neither Noyes nor Raguso bothered mentioning in their coverage is that O’Malley’s office left this triple-homicide case floundering for years, dating back to 2015, because there are questions about whether the evidence would sustain a conviction. And McCannon is not some apolitical figure. In fact, he was an Alameda County deputy district attorney for 16 years under Tom Orloff and then, yes, O’Malley. He even donated to O’Malley’s campaign in 2009. He’s an elected official and someone who was once deeply involved in the office Price is attempting to reform.

Noyes has the ideal mentor for these self-absorbed shenanigans in his colleague, Dion Lim, who perfected the routine of chasing around a progressive DA (in her case, Chesa Boudin).

Lim has waded into Price’s tenure as well, recently interviewing the family of Jasper Wu, a 23-month-old who was killed by gunfire on Interstate 880 in Oakland. Lim explained in her report that Wu’s alleged killers might — keyword might — receive a lesser sentence because Price is against sentencing enhancements; one of Wu’s parents responded by telling Lim that they do not “believe in second chances” and they disagreed with the idea of eliminating those enhancements.

Top photo: Then-Alameda County DA candidate Pamela Price speaks during a rally hosted by the Peoples Park Council in Berkeley, Calif., on July 27, 2022. MediaNews Group/East Bay Times v/MediaNews Group via Getty Images