By Robert Haugh
Santa Clara News Online ran a story in July 2021 about how Santa Clara Councilmember Anthony Becker wanted the City Council to apologize to Santa Clara voters for the CVRA lawsuit.
He was criticized for dropping his draft letter on the Council late – after the July 13th meeting started. And it was filled with lots of factual errors.
But Becker wasn’t the author. It was Santa Clara Weekly reporter Carolyn Schuk.
According to the data included with the Word document presented to the Council, Schuk created the letter on July 13 at 12:20, a few hours before the evening Council meeting.
Becker and Schuk did not respond to multiple calls for comment on this story.
Ethicist Dr. Tom Shanks says, “A cozy professional relationship between Council Member Becker and Silicon Valley Voice reporter and editor Carolyn Schuk raises public trust and conflict of interest issues for both of them and their organizatons. For Mr. Becker, the question is whether the apology letter represents the best interests of the people of Santa Clara or the narrower self-interest of the Silicon Valley Voice, Ms. Schuk, or Publisher Miles Barber. For Ms. Schuk and the Silicon Valley Voice, the question is how fair, truthful, and objective can she be in her reporting about Mr. Becker and the Council, her many stories about Mr. Becker during the election, and her reporting about his opponents.”
Shanks adds that The Society of Professional Journalist’s Code of Ethics makes a special point that reporters should “be vigilant and courageous about holding those in power accountable” and “recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government.” Neither of these is possible when the watchdogs are helping to draft the very policies they are meant to watch.
The letter that the Council discussed for months was never corrected and completed by Becker. So it was never finalized by the Council.
Interestingly, at the December 14, 2021 Council meeting Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked Becker if the 49ers or the team’s political consultants had a hand in drafting his letter.
Gillmor was referring to a report from a month earlier by Santa Clara News Online that 49ers’ political consultant David Beltran secretly wrote a letter signed by the Asian Law Alliance’s Richard Konda.
In response to Gillmor, Becker said: “That’s all my writing. That’s my full letter.”
You can watch the two-minute exchange on YouTube here. Becker did not mention Schuk.
Schuk has written multiple positive stories about Becker over the years and is considered close to him.
She has also written multiple stories about the CVRA lawsuit.
This is not the first time, Schuk has been involved in ethically questionable behavior as a journalist.
San Jose Inside wrote a story in 2017 about how Schuk reports on “a nonprofit arts foundation she created without mentioning this little detail to readers.”
[…] Anthony Becker says he was the author of draft letter he presented to the Council. He lied about it. Reporter Carolyn Schuk was the real author. That’s a major […]
Carolyn!!! Ethics!!! Ever heard of them???? Between your sneaky unethical conniving with Big Mac Becker, please read the SPJ Code of Ethics (https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp).
Suds, you loser, get off this page and go continue to be the 49er’s lapdog!! And quit it with the Gillmor obsession, Stalker Suds!
July 13, 2021 ~ the date WinoShucky’s letter was created ~ was the council meeting where becker claims he sent letter to city clerk at 4 pm.
Actually it was at 5:29 pm while Council was in closed session. why doesn’t someone do a PRA request and get Becker’s laptop and see what else he was doing during closed session on July 13? Rowen this is right up your alley! It’s all in the Council video!
Sudsy maybe you should give up your creepy obsession about Lisa before she gets a restraining order against you.
Focus on Becker.
He obviously needs writing lessons.
Note for Becker, jain, park for 2024
Just going to say this, I respect Carolyn. I think she is a true journalist. Becker, Jain, Park are bums and cowards
My Dear Suds, It is just like you to totally miss the point of this investigative story. Carolyn Shuck is guilty of unethical innuendo journalism (if you can call what she does to be journalism) and here is the undisputed proof. She is the author and Becker copied her document (actually quite surprised, he is Patty’s toy) then presented this to council, So WHY did she do this?
I question the motivation, who is really behind the curtain? Not a far leap.
As usual you attack Robert for being a great reporter and showing the residents the truth. Next directly attacking Lisa Gillmor for having a “cozy” relationship with Robert which you think is hypocrisy. YOU are the one that has the “cozy relationship” with the SF49ers. Meetings every week (you deny) with NO transparency about what is really discussed.
You deserve to be Re-Called. A waste of space on the council.
What policies have you enacted for the residents since you have been on council?
Answer, NONE! You are nothing but a paid for mouthpiece for the 49ers!
What sheer hypocrisy here! I find it incredibly hard to believe that there is no cozy relationship between Robert Haugh and Lisa Gillmor given that Gillmor encouraged Haugh to start writing his highly opinionated blog that he calls “news”. I don’t believe Gillmor has ever received a Jabroni award from Haugh. It was interesting to see Haugh palling around with Gillmor candidates at councilmeetings during the last election cycle. I wonder constantly about Haugh’s sources and how he often seems to have privileged information. It’s also amazing to me that I have had a lot of trouble contacting Dr. Tom Shanks but Gillmor’s allies have no trouble getting him to appear on podcasts or comment on stories.
You mean those editorials you write for the Weakly are news?
Or that your bully friends at SanJoseSpotlight write is news?
Or that your friend Eddie at the Murk writes is news? It’s all
salacious gobbledygook from your good friend, Rahul.
Shanks has ethics and values unlike Sellout Suds. Get a
better hobby for your time than worrying about Haugh’s
Don’t you have Jed’s campaign expenditures to pay back?
Suds Jain – Santa Clara’s George Santos. Liar, manipulator, sellout, embarrassment.
No doubt all those allies are on public assistance and cost the city 6 million
Hey Sudsy. How is amy?
Wow! Becker caught in such a boldfaced lie!!
hmmm … sounds like something the grand jury should be interested in …
Good investigate report, Robert. Thanks for keeping track of the dishonesty.
In addition to factual errors, did the letter include spelling and grammatical errors? The lack of the latter errors would make us question the authorship.
This is where I am with this. I did support special actions to act to apologize and make right was done to Japanese Americans for internment, btw nothing was done for Italian Americans. I also think African Americans have a right to seek repair for slavery. But the CVRA action by Becker was STUPID. I am more interested in the full picture.