Reader: The bar that TBC sets for those reporters that contribute to its op-ed, national and world news pages is not set very high. As a matter of fact anyone who is a Trump hater is always welcomed with open arms. Case in point was "Trump struggles with border issues," published April 7, about how President Trump has failed to solve the immigration problems at the border. It was written by two Washington Post reporters masquerading as journalists, David Nakamura and Seung Min Kim.

They claim that he is the sole problem and make no mention that the obstructionist Democrats won't approve sufficient funds to complete the wall. They also state that it is Trump's hard-line tactics that have made bipartisan immigration reform impossible. This of course is a total lie and typical of how The Washington Post covers a president they relish to hate and would like to see impeached.

I doubt, Robert, that you have ever read the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. I highly recommend that you do. The Preamble and the four principles that the Society claim are the foundation of ethical journalism encourages their use in its practice by all people in all the media. That means you, Robert, and all those you constantly publish who totally ignore these principles: (1) Seek Truth and Report It; (2) Minimize Harm; (3) Act Independently; and (4) Be Accountable and Transparent. These are all usually missing from your op-ed pages and national and world news stories.

— Jack Balfanz

Price: Welcome back, Jack Balfanz. Once again, your reading comprehension skills have proven suspect. You say the article in question makes "no mention" of "the obstructionist Democrats," but right there, about a third of the way into the story, The Post's reporters write: 

"Trump aides have expressed bewilderment that a president who was vilified by his political rivals for warning of a border crisis since his 2016 campaign is now being blamed for, in their view, being right. They argue that the unwillingness of Democrats and the mainstream media to acknowledge the extent of the problem until recently has contributed to the administration’s struggles to curb the flow. They also point to opposition from Democrats to embracing any of the legislative remedies the administration has proposed, or to countering with a plan of their own, as evidence that the opposition party is more interested in making Trump look bad than in addressing the migrant surge."

You claim that The Post's reporters "state that it is Trump's hard-line tactics that have made bipartisan immigration reform impossible." No, they didn't; they quoted a former Homeland Security official making that observation, and it's an observation that we have heard elsewhere: "In some cases, human smugglers have used Trump’s hard-line threats as 'a sales tactic' to drum up business, warning would-be migrants that they must enter the United States before the president cracks down, said Theresa C. Brown, a career policy official at the Department of Homeland Security who left in 2011.

“He ran on, ‘No one else can fix it and I can.’ I get that. It’s very attractive to a public that has seen a complicated issue linger for a long time,” Brown said. “Except it’s not something that is easily fixable. His instincts to take hard stances and do tough talk have not had the impact he had hoped ... .”

Whether Brown is right or wrong is not the issue. She is an informed observer whose opinion, published alongside relevant, indisputable facts (such as the near-doubling of arrests at the southern border between January and March) and the views of those who support Trump's approach collectively present reasonably balanced reporting. If it doesn't seem balanced to you, perhaps it's because things simply aren't going well for the president on this front right now. It's not that the reporting is bad; it's simply that the situation is bad.

I trimmed your letter a bit, Jack. You went off on Nancy Pelosi and abortion, neither of which are mentioned in or relevant to this particular story.

As for your comments about the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics: Thank you for listing the four section headings. Now, which principles laid out in the actual text were violated? Just referencing the code means nothing. You might as well accuse me of violating Robert's Rules of Order, or the federal tax code, or Target's refunds and exchanges policy.

Reader: Really, are you kidding me? ("Are the homeless bused in from other cities? Experts say no," April 9). It couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course they're bused in and the majority are from ... other communities. Who in the hell do you think is responsible for the increase of homelessness in our community? It’s because the other cities don’t have the resources to deal with this issue.

Don’t be fooled by made-up words and figures. The San Joaquin Valley has been a dumping ground for homelessness for at least the 29 years I’ve lived here.

— Donald Hughes

Price: The people in the best position to know what percentage of our homeless problem is homegrown vs. imported are the people who conducted the recent homeless count — and those are the same people reporter Sam Morgen spoke to for his story. But, as Sam reported, it hasn't always been that way. When I took on this same topic a decade ago, the answer was quite different: Lancaster, to name one city, was busing its homeless to Bakersfield on a steady basis. It's hard to believe that's no longer the case because so many more homeless people are visible these days. But that's precisely what those working the front lines have found.

Reader: Robert, I was disappointed to open the paper Wednesday morning and find no mention of our new state Dia de Dolores Day, named after the very worthy citizen and resident of our community, Dolores Huerta. Don’t you think she deserves some coverage in her own community?

— Phil Rudnick

Price: I do. It's not often a local resident is honored with a state "day," and in Huerta's case, three states observed her 89th birthday — California, Washington and Nevada. We posted a story about it Wednesday morning and noted the celebrations in our Thursday print edition. But we dropped the ball by not mentioning her in our Wednesday edition.

Reader: Trevor Horn's article about the Frontier High School baseball team and pitcher Carson Timmons, whose mother was in hospice as the game was being played, was well done ("Amid tragedy, Frontier rallies around senior pitcher," April 6). He captured the poignancy of that last inning.

Austin Puskaric pitched a great game for Frontier until he was removed in the seventh inning after reaching the 110-pitch limit. In fact, my 94-year-old husband thought he was Carson.

We as a family were happy Carson did get a chance to play against Liberty, throwing that one final pitch to end the top of the seventh. We were elated the game turned out as it did, with Frontier scoring in the bottom of the seventh for the 4-3 victory.

The Frontier coaches, the team and the team parents have been most gracious to Carson, his parents David and Megan, his sister Kynlee and his grandmother Cathy Buckley. Trevor's memorable article is frosting on the cake.

Carson's mother, Megan, did die Saturday, April 6, 2019.

— Alice Reis, great-grandmother

The Californian’s Robert Price answers your questions and takes your complaints about our 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 Include your name and phone number; they won’t be published.

(1) comment


It's no surprise Jack Balfanz's take so diverges from the facts since the facts simply don't support the narrative of Trump or his values. His rant reflects the all too common unhinged frantic desperation Trump supporters feel they need to rely on to defend the indefensible.

Jack is an intelligent and skilled businessman and I remain surprised at the number of otherwise very intelligent people who let their passions so blind them from reality. In well playing the grievance card Trump is a master at accomplishing what reasoned dialog and critical thinking fail to do.

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