Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

When Thursday is the New Friday

By Emerson Drake  ladyjustice

When politicians and public relations consultants have bad news that has to be delivered for public consumption they try to do it on Friday afternoons. It’s referred to as the Friday news dump.  It’s used to avoid the media scrutiny that would accompany any release during the rest of the week.


You see newspaper people like to have weekends off just like the rest of us.  So the majority of the Saturday and Sunday editions of the paper are pre-written and much of it already printed.  They leave a small space for sports but that’s about it.  And with their staffing cuts many times reaching someone on the weekend  in the newsroom is impossible.


For the most part for courts in the  judicial system Friday is a day to sort out legal and side issues with the attorneys so juries get to stay home.  So any news will come out on Thursday and what better day to release a bombshell like the Frank Carson revelations of forgotten files than the day before Christmas Eve.  The Chief Deputy District Attorney Marlisa Ferreira, after delivering the bombshell of newly found files, had her car brought around to the back of the building and snuck out the back door, all of the time refusing to questions.  And of course where was District Attorney Birgit Fladager?  Conveniently out of town traveling with family, incommunicado. Couldn’t plan that any better.


The District Attorney’s conduct in this case, in our opinion, was reprehensible at best and vindictive, personal and almost criminal at worst.


One of the important questions remaining is will local mainstream media Public Relations Powerhouse, the Modesto Bee, call her out on her heinous behavior and run a series of articles ON A TIMELY BASIS (soon and often) or will they support this petty vindictive politician that is apparently using her office for personal payback.  Another example is if they backed a politician for office than you won’t see many follow-up negative stories.  But if you ran against one of their ‘favorites,’  and that’s a lengthy list,  then God help you because the Bee’s version of ‘scorched earth’ would make General Sherman jealous.


Bee history suggests they will run a positive article after they run a negative one for politicians and organizations they supported to gain ofice.  If they run an article showing the dark side of a few Sheriff’s deputies they’ll run a feel good article showing deputies interacting with children (not picking on deputies just using an example you’ll recognize.


So expect the Bee to allow the behavior of Birgit Fladager and her office to fall by the wayside.  They want to shape the narrative and decide which stories you’ll remember and which you’ll forget.  There goes that institutional memory thing I talk about again.






Birgit Fladager – Guilty of Malfeasance?

By Emerson Drake  birgitfladager
December isn’t a good month for District Attorney. Birgit Fladager. On December 10, 2014, A.J. Pontillo was found innocent of all charges. During the trial Birgit was caught withholding exculpatory evidence that showed he was innocent.  Yes she KNEW he was innocent but hid the evidence from the court.
Now in the Frank Carson case one of her Deputy D.A.’s had to admit they hadn’t delivered all of the discovery evidence they should have. First Birgit is papering judges (punitive judge shopping) that don’t give her the rulings she wants, then her trumped up charges against A.J. go by the wayside and now she’s been caught again with her hand in the cookie jar.  Where is she now? She’s hiding out of town with family, unwilling to face the camera’s and explain why her office is incompetent and vindictive.
Here is his quote: Deputy District Attorney John Goold, spokesman for the DA’s Office, issued a statement Thursday afternoon that read in part: “While auditing discovery in this case, one of our investigators located some audio recordings that may or may not have been provided within the previous 1,000 disks discovered to the defense. There was no time to confirm whether these recordings had been previously disclosed or not. Out of an abundance of caution, we raised that concern with the court this morning and copies were provided to defense counsel.
Yesterday the judge released Frank on his own recognizance.
It’s becoming more readily apparent that Birgit Fladager is out of control and is using her office to punish her “enemies”. After all Frank ran against her for office. We think we elected the wrong person to be D.A.

Ask Yourselves, Why Doesn’t the Modesto Bee Want US to Remember?

By Emerson Drake  threeheadsupbottoms
In a story today the Bee talks about a tribute planned for Supervisor Bill O’Brien next Tuesday night at 6:30.. He’s stepping down after serving twelve years on the Board of Supervisors. As an aside, throughout the years even when Supervisor O’Brien and I didn’t see eye to eye he would always be available to discuss his decision making process and our differences.  The Supervisor will continue to serve until the swearing in ceremony on January, 10th when he’ll be replaced by Kristin ‘the coach’s wife’ Olsen.
People always talk about ‘institutional memory‘ but how is it formed?  It’s formed by an ongoing sharing of facts and memories with the group or in this case the public.  But the Bee has already started the fogging of these memories.  How did they do it?  Simply by not repeating the facts.  It’s diabolically simple when placed into action.
The memories or facts in this case are that at the last minute Supervisor O’Brien decided to make public his decision not to run after previously informing Olsen.  So at the last minute O’Brien, by choosing not to run again, steps down and Olsen magically shows up at the County Clerk’s office, paperwork prepared with the necessary number of signatures and effectively becomes our de facto ‘new’ Supervisor without the voters having a say in the process.
Backroom politics at its worst?  Hell Yes, but for the Bee to start the obfuscation process so quickly is not only almost unbelievable it shows the Bee’s willingness to be an integral part of changing the narrative there by altering the institutional memory.
One thing that will be hard to ascertain is whether it was the reporter or his editor that chose to omit the complete story.  History would suggest the editor made the political decision stay close to the powers behind the throne.  Once again the public was left uninformed and out in the cold.
But as always, in order to better inform the public, we’ll be keeping a close Eye On Modesto.

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