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SOUND OFF: Where were the Democrats?

Reader: As Bakersfieldians, we must be proud of our local media's nonpartisan coverage of President Biden’s tenure. I say nonpartisan facetiously, of course.

These nonpartisan media tripped all over each other to get the reaction to Biden’s State of the Union speech ("Kern County's reps sound off on President Biden's State of the Union address," March 3) from Kevin McCarthy, Vince Fong, Shannon Grove and David Valadao when they actually needed to interview one of these usual suspects to get their reaction. The reaction was, as always, a true carbon copy or as the late, great conservative Republican Christian’s radio mouthpiece (Rush Limbaugh) used to say, “ditto.”

Well, it's probably better Democrats were not asked for their reaction to Biden’s speech. The resulting stories’ accuracy would have been suspect in our biased local media.

Our local media don’t print or video what their bosses don’t like, but make great presentations of their boss’s idols' stories. The rest of the news they just make up randomly.

— Panfilo Fuentes, Bakersfield

Peterson: You're wrong, Panfilo. The Californian asked Bakersfield's state senators, assemblymen and U.S. representatives — all of them — for their response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address. Those who provided a response by our print deadline were included. Because not everyone provided a response, at the end of the presentation of the statements we received, we noted: "The above statements were issued as of The Californian's press time." I'm not sure how you would suggest we handle that differently, Panfilo.

I'm more concerned — actually shocked, Panfilo — that you claim "the rest of the news they just make up randomly." Our reporters and editors put in incredible time, talent and effort into reporting important news and information for our readers and community. It's not "made up." In fact, just this week I can think of a particular example where a reporter and editor spent hours working to verify important information. We didn't report it until we had it confirmed.

•••

Reader: Why do you always make a big deal about the plea at an arraignment? You know the charged party is going to plead “not guilty” especially if they were just arrested. The court doesn’t allow them to make any other plea. You portray it like it was totally unexpected.

— Thank you, Michael Burke

Peterson: You included a photo of Friday's front page, which had this headline: "Adoptive parents of California City boys arraigned on second-degree murder charges: The plea: Not guilty." This is a case that has attracted significant public interest. You're right; the plea was to be expected at this stage of the process. It's still newsworthy.

•••

Reader: What is happening with the e-edition?

— Several readers via email and phone

Peterson: Our e-edition provider, PressReader, suffered a global outage. The company tweeted: "We know this is deeply frustrating for many of our readers and partners around the world. Please know that our entire team is working extremely hard to resolve this situation." It later reported its site and apps were back working, and work was underway to get the content up to date. We of course hope that's soon, for our readers, and the thousands of publications that use this service.

In the meantime, The Bakersfield Californian's news and information is available in print and at Bakersfield.com.

Executive Editor Christine Peterson answers your questions and takes your complaints about The Californian’s news coverage in this weekly feedback forum. Questions may be edited for space and clarity. To offer your input by phone, call 661-395-7649 and leave your comments in a voicemail message or email us at soundoff@bakersfield.com. Please include your name and phone number; your phone number won’t be published.