Media

It’s the OB Rag’s 15th Birthday Today – Oct. 26, 2022 – Here’s How It All Began

October 26, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

That’s right, today and tomorrow are the OB Rag’s 15th birthday! We launched online over the two-day period, October 26 – 27 in 2007.

Here’s how it all started:

It was early October in the year 2007 – George Bush was still president and the war in Iraq was in its 4th year. I lived in a small cottage on the 4600 block of Long Branch with Patty Jones.

I remember watching the news in the livingroom and yelling at the anchors and pundits for parroting the Bush administration’s lies .

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OB Historical Society Presents: The Story of ‘The Beach News’ — Thursday, Oct.20

October 18, 2022 by Source

From the OB Historical Society:

Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society: Thurs. October 20, 2022, 7 pm at Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. OB, as we celebrate the 100th birthday of The Beach News, OB’s great little community newspaper.

The Beach News started out as a four-page weekly and is THE primary source chronicling the development of the Ocean Beach Community.

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Mayor’s PR Head Takes Swipe at Editordude

September 29, 2022 by Staff

Rachel Laing, director of communications for the City of San Diego and Mayor Gloria’s top PR person, took a swipe yesterday at Editordude of the OB Rag, Frank Gormlie.

In a discussion of local journalists on her tweeter account, Laing took a shot at Gormlie — for some reason.

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OB Rag Fundraiser Tops $3,000

September 1, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

As of today, Thursday, September 1, the OB Rag annual summer fundraiser has topped $3,000 — our goal was $2,000.

The actual figure is $3,121.

On behalf of the OB Rag staff, let me express our sincerest appreciation for the support our community has shown in the response to our request for donations.

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Thanks to Readers and Supporters, the OB Rag Met Our Fundraising Goal!

August 29, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Over this past weekend, enough donations came in to meet the OB Rag’s fundraising goal of $2,000. This is worth celebrating!

As of this writing, we’ve received $2,176 in donations and pledges.

Without advertising or a major benefactor, we need to rely on readers and supporters to get us through the year — and they — you — stepped up for our annual summer gig.

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More Reasons to Support the OB Rag : the Writers – We’re Nearly 3/4’s the Way to Our Goal

August 25, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

As we wind down the week of our annual summer fundraiser, we can proudly say we’ve now reached three-quarters of our goal of $2,000 — $1480 to be exact.

And to add more reasons for our readers and supporters to donate to keep us goin’, it’s the people, the writers for the Rag. Nowhere else can you find their writings, reportings, observations, poetry and photography.

Geoff Page

Through his reports on the goings-on at the 3 local community planning boards, Geoff keeps the Peninsula informed. His excellent research into the state of the OB – San Diego Pier is unrivaled, and he was the first to determine the pier needed to be replaced.

Ed Decker

Ed has joined the Rag with a monthly “advice” column. You can’t read his superb wit anywhere else.

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Reader’s Rant: American Mainstream Media Are Beating the Drums of War With No Sense of History

February 10, 2022 by Source

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

No question Senator Bernie Sanders did a national service by writing this piece for the Guardian. The American press and radio/TV are beating the drums of war with no explanation about past history, so Sanders goes to a British journal to lay out the risks we are taking.

I haven’t seen one word of explanation about NATO’s USA-backed expansion in recent years to the borders of Russia itself.

Instead we hear only that Putin is having a nostalgic fever dream about restoring Russian greatness by reconstituting the old Soviet union.

No mention of any tacit agreement between the USA and Russia in 1990-91 for Russia to accept the reunification of Germany in return for our keeping Ukraine out of NATO.

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San Diego Reader Spotlights Local Online Media, Praises OB Rag for Being ‘Ethically-Conscious’

January 27, 2022 by Source

San Diego Reader writer, Thomas Larson, just had his cover article published under the title, “Where is San Diego’s local news going now?” Larsen interviewed publishers and editors at Times of San Diego, Cannabitch, Voice of San Diego, Union-Tribune, San Diego Community Newspaper Group, and the O.B. Rag.

Larson had generous things to say about the Rag and about yours truly. His last line is worth gold:

The kind of authentic local news groups that need support are those whose back-and-forth between producers and consumers help clarify the intentions of both, and, if possible, cast out the self-interested trolls. I don’t see where else such integrity will come from, except the hand-to-mouth, ad-avoidant, ethically-conscious alternative media.

The entire piece is well worth checking out. We repost Larson’s section on the Rag:

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Newspapers Squandered Their Monopoly-Era Profits and Now Blame Google and Facebook

December 21, 2021 by Source

by Chris Jennewein / Times of San Diego / December 20, 2021

Three decades ago, when America’s local newspapers were at their peak, I attended a dinner for publishers at a mid-sized chain. After dinner, the president rose to speak and asked everyone to clap for one publisher whose newspaper had exceeded a 50% profit margin in the previous month.

At a 50% margin, half of every dollar from subscribers and advertisers went directly to the bottom line. Sure, there was depreciation to account for, and some taxes to be paid, but overall that’s a level of profitability that would make a pharmaceutical company blush.

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Thanks for All the Birthday Greetings

October 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Thanks to all those who gave us birthday greetings, either here, on OB Rag facebook or in emails.

It’s been an amazing 14 years (for earlier commentaries on our beginnings, go here.)

The following is from our “About” page:
About the OB Rag

It was early October in the year 2007 – George Bush was still president and the war in Iraq was in its 4th year. I lived in a small cottage on the 4600 block of Long Branch with Patty Jones.

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County Supervisors to Honor Former OB Rag Writer

October 18, 2021 by Staff

On Tuesday, October 19, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will honor Doug Porter, a former writer for the OB Rag, for all his contributions over the years to San Diego journalism.

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San Diego’s Trump-Loving OAN Network Funded by AT&T

October 7, 2021 by Staff

Here’s a stupefying bombshell bit of news about San Diego’s Trump-Loving One America Network (OAN): It’s being funded almost entirely by the largest telecom company on the planet: AT&T.

The network, with offices in the Morena district, is known for spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and Covid.

An in-depth Reuters review of court records shows OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr. testified back in 2019 that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T execs.

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Why We Can’t All Get Along

October 5, 2021 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Marshall McLuhan was right. “The medium is the message.” That was the popularized theme of McLuhan’s book Understanding Media – the most incomprehensible book I have ever read –and it is quite possible that what I think I understood is worlds away from what he meant.

If I am right, however, that thematic summary helps explain why so many of us Americans cannot find common ground. It’s not our fault we don’t get along. We’re not even the same human beings anymore.

It is ironic that today, we live in the most interconnected world we have ever known.

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OB ‘Whistling Guy’ Appears in Saturday Night Live Skit

October 4, 2021 by Staff

Last weekend’s Saturday Night Live captured the OB “Whistling Guy”, played by comedian Bowen Yang. The “Whistling Guy” – you may recall – showed up at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors back in August and created quite a scene.

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Ed Asner – American Socialist

August 31, 2021 by Source

By John Nichols / The Nation / August 31, 2021

“When we can discuss socialism rationally. It will be as if a heavy curtain has been lifted from man’s eyes.” Those were not the words of Karl Marx or Eugene Victor Debs, though either of those radical thinkers might well have uttered them.

Those were the words of Ed Asner, the actor who became a household name in the role of gruff but lovable Lou Grant, the boss at a TV station, in the 1970s TV comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He then carried the character over, with a new job as a Los Angeles newspaper editor, to one of the most socially conscious programs in the history of television, the eponymous Lou Grant of the late 1970s and early ’80s.

When he died Sunday, at age 91,

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Rachel Maddow Wins in 9th Circuit; OAN Loses Appeal in Defamation Case

August 18, 2021 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / August 17, 2021

Score one for Rachel Maddow — again.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said a San Diego federal judge was right to throw out a $10 million defamation suit against MSNBC’s top-rated host. The opinion of a three-judge panel was posted three weeks after hearing arguments in a virtual hearing based in Pasadena.

A lawyer for owners of San Diego-based One America News argued July 27 that Maddow should face trial for calling OAN “literally … paid Russian propaganda” in a 3 1/2-minute segment two years earlier.

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Libel Suit Against ‘One America News’ Could Imperil Trump-Supporting San Diego Network

August 16, 2021 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / August 15, 2021

When the owners of San Diego-based One America News sued Rachel Maddow for defamation, they scoffed at the liberal TV host’s First Amendment rights. OAN lost, and was ordered to pay Maddow’s lawyers $247,000.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Herring Networks, the OAN parent, will plead constitutional free-speech protections to stave off a $1.6 billion lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems.

Another loss could spell bankruptcy. Unlike the six words Maddow uttered in a single 3 1/2-minute MSNBC segment — that OAN “really literally is paid Russian propaganda” —

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The OB Rag’s Second Pandemic Era Summer Fundraiser – Here’s 10 Reasons to Support Us

August 5, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Our Summer Appeal for Donations During the Pandemic – Again!

Keep the Press Local and Free and Healthy

The OB Rag‘s second Pandemic Summer Fundraiser starts today! Who would have known that when we started our 2020 fundraising campaign, we’d be still wearing masks in indoor public spaces. But here we are. For the last several years, we’ve held one fundraiser a year, in the summer. This week our goal is to reach $2,000 in donations and contributions from our readers and supporters.

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Two Oscar Nominated Movies, and Why the Sixties Never Leave Us

April 22, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Hill / April 19, 2021

Two movies nominated for Academy Awards for both “Best Picture” and ”Original Screenplay” are “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.” They capture an iconic time in our history in ways that few earlier cinematic efforts have managed with a couple of notable exceptions. These include Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” that revealed the tactical and strategic challenges of the 1960s civil rights movement for Martin Luther King and his fellow activists and Milos Forman’s “Hair” that explicitly connected the emergence of an exuberant hippie culture to the looming death culture of the Vietnam war.

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San Diego National Cable Channel Still Doubts Biden Is President

April 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s incredible. A San Diego-based right-wing cable channel still questions whether Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. As recently as March 28, one of the correspondents at One America News Network said, “There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president.” This statement was made by “correspondent” Pearson Sharp.

To go by much of OAN’s reporting, it is almost as if a transfer of power had never taken place.

OANN is currently located at 4757 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117 and its public phone number is (858) 270-6900.

Reportedly, OANN is available in some 35 million households. And it has become “a kind of Trump TV for the post-Trump age,

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San Diego Mainstream Media Get It Wrong About the Ocean Beach Pier

April 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Up until this morning, local San Diego mainstream media have been getting it all wrong about the Ocean Beach Pier. From Fox5News to ABC10News to KUSI, to KOGORadio, they all are making the same journalistic and factual errors.

Tuesday morning, April 13, the OB Rag broke the devastating news about how badly damaged the OB Pier really was, and how it may actually be history – as it’s doubtful the strapped city could come up with the millions needed to rehab or replace the pier.

OB Rag reporter Geoff Page had filed a Freedom of Information Act request over three years ago in an effort to obtain the consultant’s report about the pier. Page just received the report – which was the basis for his post on Tuesday. Contrary to every other media report, which stated that the City had released the report to the media, Page had to get a crowbar and force it out of the city.

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We Added Some Color to Breen’s Pro-War Editorial Cartoon

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Could not leave alone Union-Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Breen’s piece of work published in today’s paper. Apparently, he falls into that group of patriots who think 20 years in Afghanistan is just not enough. His cartoon today displayed that sentiment.

So, here’s our response – added some color to his graphic.

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San Diego-Based Cable Channel Aired Anti-Biden ‘Documentary’ as Part of Kremlin Campaign to Influence 2020 U.S. Election

March 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A brand new, declassified intelligence assessment has come out about how Russian President Putin tried to influence the 2020 election in favor of Trump.

And part of the Kremlin campaign of disinformation that was pro-Trump and anti-Biden, was the use of un-named American “media conduits to launder their narratives to US officials and audiences,” states the report by the National Intelligence Council.

And specifically, as part of the campaign efforts, “they also made contact with established U.S. media figures and helped produce a documentary that aired on a U.S. television network in late January 2020.” Who do you think aired that propaganda? None other than the San Diego-based cable channel

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Let Them Eat Truth

March 2, 2021 by Source

By K-B Gressitt

Having spent half of a Sunday reading the latest news— and everything I couldn’t stomach during the previous week— I find it’s high time for a key revision to the style guides that dictate news reportage.

This is not to disparage the classic or the contemporary. Nope, I keep several of them on my shelf, among them, my old AP Stylebook and Libel Manual, which dominated my newspaper days, Strunk and White’s gem, even Sterling Johnson’s handy analysis of the profane, English as a Second F*cking Language.

Nonetheless, far too much of today’s news reporting is inadequate, and I hold the guides responsible for a small but critical piece of the problem: Formal title standards no longer cut the mustard. It’s time to forsake libel-weary gentility and be honest with readers. We need a new method for presenting the formal titles of news report subjects; we need factual titles that encapsulate the essence of the subject. Think full, but succinct, disclosure.

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Donna Frye: How to Reduce Misinformation and Political Polarization

February 11, 2021 by Source

By Donna Frye / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 8, 2021

The political polarization facing our country today is not a new thing. People have been fighting about their differing points of view for as long as anyone can remember.

What is relatively new, however, is the speed at which massive amounts of information can be disseminated to millions of people at the same time.

Not that long ago, people generally relied upon the newspaper, television or radio to find out what was happening both locally and nationally. Those were also the venues people used to communicate their points of view, especially to the public at large.

People sent letters to the editor or called radio programs. Sometimes days passed before their response was received and published. In other words, there was time between the information being received and the response being sent.

That’s not how it works today.

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‘If There Ever Was a Reason to Leave Facebook …’

January 11, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

If ever there was a reason to leave Facebook in droves, the scene on January 6 in Washington, D.C., would be it. The LOSER would never have been elected were it not for Facebook.

In mid-November 2018, I wrote a piece in The OB Rag explaining why I deleted my Facebook account. I quoted the following paragraph from an article by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker. And before anyone turns their nose up at the New Yorker look at the piece titled “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?” It is an exhaustive, detailed article.

The quote is from the LOSER’s campaign staff.

“During the campaign, Trump used Facebook to raise two hundred and eighty million dollars. Just days before the election, his team paid for a voter-suppression effort on the platform. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it targeted three Democratic constituencies—“idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans”—sending them videos precisely tailored to discourage them from turning out for Clinton. Theresa Hong, the Trump campaign’s digital-content director, later told an interviewer, “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.”

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OB Rag Online Celebrates 13 Years

October 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Today, October 26, 2020 is the OB Rag’s 13th year as an online platform or “blog.”

It was early October in the year 2007 – George Bush was still president and the war in Iraq was in its 4th year. I lived in a small cottage on the 4600 block of Long Branch with Patty Jones.

It was a time when TV anchors and pundits parroted the Bush administration’s lies and newspapers – especially the Union-Tribune – were no better. The truth, it seemed, had no outlet, both nationally – and locally – and the media only presented the corporate narrative. Progressive ideas were being stymied -there was just one liberal news caster on TV at the time, for example.

So, we decided to publish our own news and information platform, named after OB’s “underground” newspaper that flourished in the first half of the 1970s. (Whose 50th anniversary we just celebrated in September.)

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The Very First OB Rag – Scanned and Unedited … So Brace Yourself … From Sept. 17, 1970

September 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here it is – the very first OB Ragthe OB People’s Rag – published on September 17th, 1970. Unedited … so brace yourself if you are of tender ears, as of course, the language in the articles was sooo-seventies, a mix of the raw rhetoric and bravado of the campus militant with the casual drawl of the counter-counter, as the staff was a bunch of young twenty-somethings, half still in college and the other half fresh off the campus.

It was four pages – front and back of 2 pages stapled together. We have scanned all four pages – see below – plus we have retyped all of the articles so you don’t have to squint and ruin your eyes. In addition, we have included all of the graphics and most of the hand-drawn headlines.

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Origins of the First OB Rag

September 14, 2020 by Staff

How and Where It All Started

Fresh off the campuses of the University of California, three young friends in their early twenties decided to publish an “underground” newspaper for Ocean Beach, the hippie area of San Diego.

John Lyons and Frank Gormlie – from UCSD – and Bob “Bo” Blakey – from UC Berkeley – had all just graduated and had moved in together in an old house on Etiwanda Street in northeast OB. Gormlie and Blakey had known each other at Point Loma High School and both had been involved in student government; Blakey had been Senior Class President and Gormlie had been President of the Student Body. Lyons and Gormlie had cut their activist teeth on the radicalism at UCSD.
All three had been deeply involved just months earlier in the anti-Vietnam war movement on their respective campuses.

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Celebrate With Us the 50th Anniversary of the Very First OB Rag this Week

September 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Fifty years ago this week, the very first OB Rag was published and hit the mean streets of Ocean Beach. Called “The OB People’s Rag”, the first issue was four pages stapled together and distributed at OB’s main stores at the time, Safeway and Mayfair, on choice OB street corners and in front of Point Loma High School.

So, all this week, we’ll be publishing memories, background, the behind-the-scenes stories and actual articles of the gritty “underground” rag that became the main community newspaper for Ocean Beach for nearly five years. Art Kunkin, the editor and publisher of the grandparent of all underground newspapers, the LA Free Press or “LA Freep”, once called the OB Rag the best alternative, community newspaper in the country.

Online Party Thursday Night, Sept. 17

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