"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." George Orwell, 1984
(June 18, 2006, with links added subsequently) -- In the world described by George Orwell, journalists are state janitors. They sweep up. They sanitize. They portray failures as successes. They omit troublesome facts, spray perfume on others, attack critics and deify a small ruling class immune to accountability and impervious to reality as it protects its interests.
In our opinion, some of Long Beach's print news outlets have recently engaged in an orgy of nearly Orwellian, cult of personality style coverage in their recaps of what occurred in Long Beach under twelve years of Mayor Beverly O'Neill.
In some retrospectives we couldn't find even one quote from those who disagreed with what O'Neill did.
Almost as if there were no dissenting views. As if those LB residents and businesspeople were "non-persons."
If this doesn't ape former Soviet style "news" coverage, what would?
We find this particularly unfair since in major cases we believe history has proven the critics right and the soon-to-be-former Mayor wrong.
In our series that follows, LBReport.com will say what others didn't. We will proudly provide balance now lacking -- accessible to anyone searching on the internet -- to prevent the misrecording of what really took place.
In that respect, it's not about her. It's about them.
As LBReport.com has previously editorialized, we believe LB Mayor-elect Bob Foster gained office by positioning himself as an anti-incumbent while simultaneously backed by many of the same people who helped bring LB twelve years of Beverly O'Neill.
In that respect, it's not about her. It's about the future of LB under him. [During the campaign and thereafter, Mayor-elect Foster has taken thoughtful, refreshing positions on the merits on some major issues...including the city's seaport and airport.]
And finally, Mayor O'Neill's recent remarks to the National Press Club, to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and to LB interviewer Art Levine of Straight Talk convince us (without her explicitly saying so) that she foresees appointive office for herself in the administration of a current or future CA Governor or U.S. President.
In that respect, Mayoral mythology of the past would steer the future...and it will be about all of us.
July 2006: Perspective: Who Celebrated Mayor O'Neill's Tenure
July 2006: Perspective: Mayor O'Neill...In Her Own Words
June 2006: Editorial: Reverse the "Golden Handshake"
June 2006: Editorial: Fairness Flouted