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General News    H3'ed 2/9/12

Right wing media control in San Diego

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Message Al Rodbell
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San Diego is having a major event this weekend, that's February 11 and 12, 2012, as described here, Successful Aging Expo. It's sponsored by the San Diego Union Tribune, a paper that's just been purchased by a real estate developer, Doug Manchester. I describe my initial concern over this takeover in this OpEd that appeared on an online journal, as the UT is the only print media in town.

These senior extravaganzas are designed to provide direct marketing to the largest growing demographic, those of us of Medicare age or getting close. This is the sales pitch for renting space at this event. It also shows the reach, the political clout of this organization, now controlled by a single man.

If you want to reach active adults over 40, you need to be here.

Reach up to 70% of San Diego's affluent 40+ market by participating in the Union-Tribune's Successful Aging Expo. This all-inclusive expo combines the power of the region's most widely read newspaper and the region's most-visited local Web site with face-to-face interaction. ............

In person. In print. Online.

In addition to booth opportunities at the event, a special preview section allows you reach more than 670,000 readers leading up to the expo. The section will also be available on, which receives an estimated 29 million page views a month.

The draw to get seniors to attend this free event is information, preferably from people with some credentials who can assist us in navigating a complex world. They prefer legitimate experts, even if they have an agenda, a product, a service, or something else to market to this older crowd. One important speaker (Sunday at 11) is a highly regarded neuroscientist whom I happened to have had extensive correspondence with over the last few months. Jame Brewer heads a group at UCSD that needs a steady stream of volunteers for his program to refine his personal interest in diagnostic MRIs for dementia.

As I was reading one of the full page promotions of this event something struck me. Among the many speakers, Gerontologists, Psychologists, Pharmacy researchers, and Estate planners was this one. I'll include his bio, which was only inserted in the web site today, which could be because of my letter to the management pointing out its absence:

Mike Slater

Mike Slater is the host of the morning show on 760KFMB. His show is dedicated to preserving freedom, liberty and the principles that made America the greatest country in the world. Slater graduated from Yale University and studied history.

Topic: Liberty, ObamaCare and the Future of Healthcare

Overview: "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," commonly known as ObamaCare, was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed in recent memory. Now that some of the fog of politics has lifted, what does ObamaCare mean for you? Should the government have a greater role in healthcare? What would a free market in healthcare look like? We'll separate truth from fiction to make sure that you, as well as your kids and grandkids, age successfully.

"Separating truth from fiction" is based on the premise that those such as Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, mentioned prominently on his website provide such unbiased information to their audiences. You can watch a SlaterCrusader Video of his speech to his usual audience, Tea Party meetings, to form your own conclusion. (see my comments at the end of this essay after listening to his program and talking to him)

I wrote to my contact at the paper, asking him to forward an email to the owner, excerpted here:

The immediate reaction to the new owners statements caused concern throughout the community that this would become a right wing partisan vehicle, and lose the balance that had existed previously. I'm writing this about the Successful Aging Expo this weekend, where with little notice you have included one speaker, Mike Slater, who will reinforce the worst concerns about bias of your organization.

Slater is an avowed "Extremist for Liberty" who's blog and radio show echoes other extremists such as Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Far from having any known expertise on issues of aging or of health care, the title of his presentation, "Liberty, Obamacare and the future of Healthcare" promises to be a one sided vilification of his partisan enemies.

This would be appropriate for the Tea Party gathering where he often speaks, but not for this setting.

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Retired Commercial Printing Executive, developer of I.T. systems for the industry. Advanced degrees in Social Psychology, now living in Southern California
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