OC Register Screws Up Again

NOT Ed Royce, dammit!

“Royce pushes to overhaul Fannie, Freddie” screams the headline on Page 7 of the first section of the June 24 Orange County Register. The story by reporter Brian Rosenthal describes how Orange County’s own Congressman Ed Royce is involved in Congressional effort to fix the government sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It is a fairly complimentary story for Ed Royce, except for one thing. The accompanying photo captioned as depicting Ed Royce at a Congressional Conference Committee on Tuesday is where they blew it. The photo is definitely not Ed Royce, and unless my eyes deceive me it looks much more like liberal Congressman Barney Frank!

I can hear it now. Reporter Rosenthal will say that he was not the one who chose the photo, it was someone else on staff that has that job, and that person messed up. Then the Editor and/or proof reader missed it. And, oh by the way, yet another person is responsible for writing the headlines.  In other words, multiple people are responsible for parts of this story, making no one person accountable.   Journalistic bureaucracy at its best is my prediction.

Undoubtedly there will be a mea culpa on the part of the Register to acknowledge their mistake. The rush to make a press deadline you know. Or perhaps a Register staffer who needs a civics lesson so he or she can identify Orange County politicians by sight. I have a better idea.

The Register expends gallons of ink on a column it titles the watchdog. The various reporters that write for this column spend time investigating and reporting on alleged misdeeds of other organizations, usually government. They delight in finding mistakes and other perceived misdeeds there and reporting on it with a certain degree of I gotcha arrogance. Maybe the zeal and skill of the watchdog should be directed internally to Register operations from time to time. An internal I gotcha seems to be in order.   This paper used to have an Ombudsman that served as its chief apologist, with daily admissions of mistakes.  Maybe it is time to bring him back.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.