Another Tacky Newspaper Blunder

Katy Grimes: Political campaigns get nasty. That’s not news. We expect the gloves to come off and a good fight between candidates to ensue. However, when the attacks turn intensely personal, some operatives just don’t know when to shut up.

Combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient Nick Popaditch, candidate for the 51st Congressional seat in San Diego, wears an eye patch after receiving combat wounds in Fallujah. Popaditch is actually filmed, crawling out of his tank after being hit in the head by a RPG (rocket propelled grenade).

The recent political cartoon in the Imperial Valley Press mocked the war veteran, which depicted a couple of kids looking at a poster of the congressional candidate, trying to decide what he looked like because of his eye patch.

Is this tacky? Absolutely. But not just tacky – it’s low, it’s base, and in the absolute poorest taste imaginable. Whether you agree or disagree with this war, no war veteran deserves such despicable treatment.

Nasty comments from readers about Carly Fiorina’s short, post-cancer hair have been all over online news stories.

Is anything off limits? Sarah Palin was and is still attacked for many personal issues, including her developmentally disabled baby, during the 2008 presidential campaign. The most recent rumor questions whether she had breast augmentation.

What about the candidate with an autistic child? Or the Congressman who has a lisp? Is a candidate who is really ugly or fat going to be mocked? If the candidate is a conservative, the answer is yes. Democrats are allowed to be as ugly, fat gay, weird or criminal as they want, and still get elected.

Most of the really vicious attacks I observe come from the left. But the right doesn’t get a pass – Conservatives have done plenty of tasteless pandering as well.

Probably the most obnoxious contradiction, is skeletons in the closet. Nasty secrets are allowed for Democrats — some even consider them a kind of hinky badge of honor. But pull even a mild skeleton out of a Republican’s closet, and the media and attack machines of the left go crazy.

Recently elected U.S. Senator Scott Brown’s old nearly naked Cosmo photo spreads were fodder for a frothing liberal media.

Give liberals a Republican divorce, and there’s sure to be allegations of abuse or sexual deviancy.

Real examples of personal life mixed with public life come from many politicians. One not need to go looking for juicy campaign fodder.

U.S. Congressman Barney Frank once had a boyfriend who used Frank’s Capitol Hill house for his prostitution. Franks’ current boyfriend was not only busted for growing pot in their home, he is a top executive at Fannie Mae. Franks’ conflict of interest, as well as criminal issues should be news, particularly since he’s making laws. And even though his stories been reported, he’s still in office.

California politicians have plenty of their own skeletons: Leland Yee was not only arrested for shoplifting in Hawaii back in 1992, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “an official at the Kona District Court tells us that authorities didn’t prosecute the case because Yee — who was serving on the San Francisco School Board at the time — subsequently disappeared, apparently having returned to San Francisco without notifying law enforcement in Hawaii. A few weeks later, in January 1993, the case was ‘”closed without prejudice,”’ meaning the charges could have been reinstated had Yee returned to the island. But he didn’t, and the case eventually slipped into the bowels of the Hawaiian judicial system.

How did that story make it under the radar without the usual smears? Yee just left the island without dealing with his shoplifting charge. Yee was also stopped twice in 1999 in San Francisco’s Mission District for cruising in a known prostitution neighborhood, also reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. (“Mug Shot Doesn’t Flatter Supervisor” “Best to Stay on the Straight, Narrow Streets All the Way Home”), but Yee was still elected to the state Assembly and Senate. Word has it that Yee is interested in becoming Mayor of San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom carried on an affair with his best friend’s wife.  His best friend just happened to be his campaign manager. That’s news.

State Senator Roy Ashburn was arrested for drunk driving after visiting a notorious gay bar in Sacramento… and he was a pro-family, anti-gay proponent.

Tacky personal stories are not needed when politicians usually provide real life news. Picking on an injured war veteran is despicable. Fortunately, the Imperial Valley Press editors wrote an apology Just Warming Up: Cartoon not meant to offend – Imperial Valley but the cartoon shouldn’t have run in the first place, particularly when politicians provide so much real news.

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