What Happened to the Vaunted “People’s Right to Know”?

Just for the sheer hell of it we went on line this morning to check out what the general press may have had to say about Yamagiwa v. Half Moon Bay. We figured that given the stir that case produced among informed legal bloggers, it might be of some interest to the general public as well, and it would be interesting to see what the press had to say about it. After all, thirtysomething million dollar awards against small towns are not exactly in the dog-bites-man category. But guess what?  Except for the local papers (which by our lights include the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury), there is nary a peep about this case. Mind you, it’s not like we would expect the legal misadventures of Half Moon Bay to make headlines like Linda Greenhouse’s latest insights into the souls of the Magnificent Nine. On the other hand, given Yamagiwa’s achievement of poetic justice  and its megabuck award, to say nothing about its saga of a blood-stirring confrontation between goodness and evil (i.e. “the developer” vs. “the government”) you’d think that some major newspaper editors would find a few column inches to mention this case. But it looks like we’re wrong again.

Evidently, the people don’t need to know all this legal stuff. It’s just not very important, as compared with, say, the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival which, according to Lexis, was duly noted by the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Journal, Oct. 18, 2004, at p. W2. You don’t believe  us? See for yourself:  www.miramarevents.com/pumpkinfest/facts.html

It’s all about keeping national priorities straight. Right?

Update. We ran this one past a wise, experienced reporter of our acquaintance, and we think his comment deserves to be shared. Quoth he: “Editors understand pumpkin festivals.”

Further your affiant sayeth naught. 

One thought on “What Happened to the Vaunted “People’s Right to Know”?

  1. Robert Thomas

    The S.F. Chronicle has published the expected “parade of horribles” story, devoted to how Half Moon Bay is considering bankruptcy, cutting services, dissolving, etc.

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