What a waste of space

28 Apr

I think at this point I’m one of the few Oakland bloggers who hasn’t complained about J. Douglas Allen-Taylor’s coverage of Oakland in the Berkeley Daily Planet. Well, I guess I’m joining the crowd.

In the past, I’ve often disagreed with Allen-Taylor’s point of view, especially his profuse and uncritical praise of Mayor Dellums. But then again, I disagree with most of the local commentary in the Planet so it’s never bothered me much. His column printed in Friday’s paper is in a whole different category though. It’s not that I don’t agree with his point of view in the column, it’s just that the column really is a waste of space.

In fact, I agree with the premise of his argument, which is that though people may have differences with Oakland City Council candidates, we should respectfully disagree. We should debate and put the facts out there and let Oakland residents decide. But then he spends the vast majority of his column going on and on and on about a website that bashes Mario Juarez, who’s running for De La Fuente’s seat. He somehow manages to spend nearly 2000 words ragging on this site, when V Smoothe covered the same topic in six words.

The truth is that I don’t really care if Allen-Taylor wants to ramble. He should get a blog and do just that. But for one of the few print newspapers in the East Bay to devote an entire page to his ramblings week after week is a disservice to our community.

If Allen-Taylor wants to write about the Oakland City Council races, there’s plenty of substance to cover. I’ve managed to do it, and V Smoothe has done it again and again. Maybe it’s time for Allen-Taylor to go or to pick up a new beat. Or maybe it’s time for me to stop bothering to pick up the Planet.

2 Responses to “What a waste of space”

  1. Mike Hardy April 29, 2008 at 6:18 am #

    I’m rapidly heading towards the stance (defensible, I think) that picking up the onion in the real world, and just reading the collection of Oakland blogs (taking care to actually follow links and get background, ya’ll) makes you much better informed than anything I’ve seen out of the Tribune, the Chron, The Berkeley Daily Planet etc except *maybe* Chip Johnson. But even Chip Johnson typically writes an informed piece but seems to follow a pattern of bringing up a problem, ranting about it for a bit in general terms and leaving it open-ended.

    At least on the blogs some specifics and some possible solutions – you guys seem to be better than him even. Maybe it’s the ability to easily toss aside the two-position / compare and contrast format that otherwise legitimizes completely ridiculous positions. You can just pin something to the wall and laugh at it when it is deserved.

    Either way, keep it up! 🙂

  2. James Ryan May 15, 2008 at 8:39 pm #


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