Local lesson in media literacy

Last month, we received a package from Tripp Frank, campaign manager for District 4 congressional candidate Regina Bateson. It contained a one-sheet headlined: “Fact Checking Jessica Morse…”

In this game, we get opposition (“oppo”) research like this on occasion. It can make our jobs easier. Of course, we’re skeptical when reviewing stuff from a political campaign that has gone negative.

Our correspondent John Flynn has been reporting a bit about this year’s District 4 race. On Flynn’s request, Frank provided contact info for two sources. Flynn emailed both and heard nothing. He and I also viewed YouTube videos that allegedly contained whoppers. We decided the worst that could be said was that in some cases, Morse exaggerated to paint herself in the best possible light.

And cats eat birds.

Last week, as delegates were headed to San Diego for the Democratic Convention, we picked up the Bee to find an article on page one headlined “Résumé of McClintock rival stretches the truth.” My first thought was “Uh-oh. What’d we miss?” I needn’t have worried. The article contained nothing to justify it’s page-one placement.

Touting a “deep dive by The Sacramento Bee into Morse’s background and America’s foreign relations bureaucracy,” the article concludes that some of Morse’s claims “leave the impression that she was a senior official making sweeping U.S. foreign policy decisions.”

They “leave the impression”? In other words: Bupkus.

This is one of the most important congressional races in California, and in the nation. I’m glad the California Dems ignored this nothing-burger and endorsed Morse. Find Flynn’s piece on page 8.