October 10, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut
La Mesa Residents Complain?
Earlier today, I came across a website that is produced by and for residents of my current hometown of La Mesa, CA, called La Mesa Patch. It’s a pretty thorough website that has a lot of info about La Mesa but I found many of the news articles to really be nothing more than complaints about unpopular things rather that actual news. One of their articles gave a one sided opinion of a cell phone tower located at 7840 El Cajon Blvd. that has been in place since 1994 and since this cell phone tower is a 5 minute walk from my house, I decided to check it out for myself. The article, which can be read here, states a few things that I think are untrue and weird, so this post is a response to the aforementioned article.
Something I’ve learned during my journalistic career is that online and paper publications will flat-out lie to make their point. I don’t blame them because there is no accountability or regulation when it comes to printing or publishing a lie. The government won’t do shit unless the lie is directed towards them, so that leaves it to us citizens to regulate and monitor every form of media ourselves, without the blessing of, or a lick of help from the government. Any news outlet, media, blog, or paper can throw words like racist, stereotype and offensive around without defining or explaining them and, right now in 2010, all of these terms are being misused to suit to purpose of the person or organization that uses them.
What Exactly Is A Blight?
The article that started me off on this Sunday afternoon mission states that La Mesa residents think the cell phone tower featured in this post is a “blight” on the skyline of La Mesa. I have two problems with this. The first is that the term “La Mesa residents” seems to encompass only two people interviewed for the article, and the second is that the word “blight” is not defined. So, two people that might have no idea what the definition of blight is think a cell phone tower is a blight. Really? Unless I’m hanging out with a gardener, I hardly never hear the word “blight” used but two different people in La Mesa used that word to describe a cell phone tower? That leads me to believe that the author of the article didn’t ask for the resident’s opinion by asking a neutral question like, “What do you think about that cell phone tower?” but instead asked something like, “I think that cell phone tower is an ugly blight, don’t you think so too?” If the article were to be accurate and honest, the SECOND question these two citizens (that apparently represent all 58,000 residents of La Mesa) should have been asked is, “How do you define the word, blight?” If they can’t define it, then they shouldn’t be quoted as saying it. My point (I think) is that having an interviewee answer a yes or no question does not count as soliciting an opinion, and I find it annoying when reporters lead their subjects like that.
Mickey Mouse Church FINALLY Has Mickey Mouse Ears
The La Mesa Patch article that seemed to me to be trying to rally support for the removal of the cell phone tower states, “From one angle, the stately bell tower of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church seems to have grown Mickey Mouse ears.” I checked that out for myself, and that is actually true… From ONE location, which happens to be the driveway of La Mesa Deluxe Trailer Court at 7624 El Cajon Blvd., the church does have Mickey Mouse ears. From the vantage point of ONE SINGLE place in the universe, the lines of a Catholic church’s bell tower are sullied. So what? What I don’t understand is why La Mesa residents don’t call for the removal of the church tower in question, considering there are 4,392 angles that depict the Catholic church as a refuge and protector of pedophiles.
My cell phone reception and service in La Mesa is perfect, so if taking down that tower would make it less than perfect, then it should stay, because we need to be able to rely on our cell phones everywhere, everyday and I would also question just how many La Mesa residents actually want it torn down just because of what it looks like. If it turns out there are a lot of residents that decide they want it gone and actually begin to organize, will they be using their cell phones to do it?