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Was The Alameda Journal Tipped-Off Early to the City Manager Resignation?

We’ve heard of the allegations among the peanut-gallery bloggers in town that we here at Action Alameda News were somehow tipped-off, contrary to the Brown Act, to the Debra Kurita termination/resignation immediately after the special City Council meeting that sealed her fate. We laugh.

The gist of the allegation is that someone present at that special City Council meeting alerted us to Kurita’s forthcoming termination, and that we wrote about it the very next day. There are a couple of problems with that accusation, the first being that it is not true. The second being that the special City Council meeting was on Tuesday evening, February 24th, and we received e-mails about it on Thursday morning, February 26th, two days after the special City Council meeting, and we wrote about it the same day. Somebody buy those bloggers a calendar! We received the first notification before 11am on Thursday morning and we were told that Kurita was “fired” – if it was the questionable “tip-off” that is alleged, wouldn’t we have received the full story – that Kurita was fired, but was talked into announcing her resignation? We think some some local amateur bloggers are just expressing “sour grapes” at not getting the scoop.

Now, what really should be examined is how the Alameda Journal was able to get this story into their Friday, February 27th print edition. The official statement from the City was issued at 4:11pm on Thursday evening, well after what we understand is the typical deadline for getting into print in the Friday edition of the Alameda Journal. Yet, somehow, the Journal must have known early enough to get the story into print, including a statement from the Mayor, the very next day, within 12 to 16 hours of the statement from the City. Hmm.

2 comments to Was The Alameda Journal Tipped-Off Early to the City Manager Resignation?

  • Doug Hayward

    Like you, I also was intrigued by the Journal story. Without a doubt they were leaked information in advance. Clearly it was choreographed. Some call this managed news. Some call it backroom deals. It’s classic smoke-and-mirrors.

    But the Journal obviously is a willing partner in the scenario. They co-opted each other.

    Others had an inside track, too, I won’t say who. But others knew much of the real story and told me snippets.

    What gets me are these syrupy quotes, the pretense: “…we share many goals…we do differ in the manner to achieve (them).” And “…we are going to keep moving forward in the best interests of the city.” Yeah, sure. There are slang names for this sort of flummery, none of them nice. It is a textbook example of how the power structure gets away with ignoring the residents of a city, the stockholders of a municipal corporation. It’s time for an annual meeting.

    Doug Hayward

  • It’s not un-common for organizations to “leak” a story to a news organization in advance of the general “break” of the story on a widescale, either because the organization wants to leak it to a “friendly” news agency, or because they want to match general release of the story with publishing deadlines. In this case, it looks like a combination of the two – had the City not leaked the Kurita resignation to the Journal, the Alameda Sun would have been the first of the two print dailys to publish the story the _following_ week, and the AJ would have published it the following day, 1 week and 1 day after the event. So it would have been stale by then. We don’t really care about that so much. But what we find hilarious is the desperate attempts by the local peanut gallery – we got word of the firing/resignation 2 days after the event, not the next day – to paint us as somehow complicit in a Brown act violation. As the peanut gallery gets more desperate, we expect their attacks to get even more nasty and specious.