By Robert Haugh
Yesterday, San Jose Spotlight published an article claiming that Mayoral candidate Anthony Becker has been the subject of death threats and homophobic remarks.
Becker claims that Santa Clara News Online (SCNO) is the “primary culprit” of the attacks.
First and foremost, I want to say that I condemn hate speech and do not condone homophobic or racist remarks of any kind.
The goal of this site is to inform the community and maintain safe, respectful dialogue on important issues.
Here a some of parts of the story I think are worth responding to:
“It comes from a right-wing fringe group that supports the mayor,” Becker told San José Spotlight. “(Gillmor) will never, ever denounce that blog. And what that tells me is that she is in association with a blog that is a safe space for homophobia and bigotry.”
I have no idea what group Becker is referring to in this statement. But it’s really irresponsible of Becker to accuse people of belonging to a “right-wing fringe group” without any specifics or evidence. And Becker attacks SCNO with loaded language and hateful accusations. Isn’t that his complaint about others?
As I have written many times, I support Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. I think she’s a good leader and shows a lot of courage in her battle to stop the 49ers from taking over Santa Clara.
While she, and dozens of others, did encourage me to consider starting an online news source years ago, she and no one has control over the content. And no one, including Gillmor, pays me to write. I do so because I love my city and think the media coverage has been really skewed.
Becker has received death threats over the last couple of months, which he reported to the police. He believes the threats are related to a comment from Burt Field, a city parks and recreation commissioner …
I am unaware of threats of any kind made on SCNO. Under no circumstance is any type of threat acceptable. Anyone making any sort of threat via my site will be immediately reported to the Police and they will be banned from making further comments.
Field, who often writes for Haugh’s blog, wrote, “Doing something as public as a recall actually has a right way to do it, and a wrong way. Much like shooting a loaded gun. Ready, aim, fire sure sounds a whole lot better than ready, fire, aim.” Becker reported it to the Santa Clara Police Department, emails show.
There have been 16 articles authored by Field in my six years of publishing this site.
Becker takes a comment where Field used an analogy of firing a gun out of context. Spotlight should have included the entire text so readers could see the context. They failed to include a link to the article and the comment. Field’s analogy wasn’t the best, but Becker is trying to make a mountain of a molehill.
Vice Mayor Suds Jain told San José Spotlight when he tried to comment on Haugh’s blog, Haugh confirmed he moderates all submissions … “The fact that (Haugh) allows homophobic things, when he says his (website) is moderated, implicates him,” Jain said.
Jain has made several comments, all have been approved, many of which are personal attacks at me and others.
Hundreds of comments have been rejected over content, or because the email of the commenter could not be verified.
When I learn of offensive comments, I edit or remove those comments as soon as possible.
Comments do not reflect my personal views, just like letters to the editor do not reflect the views of the publication they are published in.
In conclusion, I should share with readers that Becker and his political allies frequently attack me with terrible and false allegations. One time, Becker issued a public apology.
But the personal attacks continue. And I’m not the only one who has to deal with Becker’s abusive behavior. He has developed quite a reputation and track record.
You can read about it here.
Many Spotlight readers have made comments on the story that demonstrate the story is biased and lacking any real facts or evidence. I appreciate the support.