News Outlet Ridicules San Diego Mayor with Music Video Parody

Thursday, August 15, 2013
U-T TV's Bob Filner parody

Singer Robin Thicke doesn’t dance a lick in his summer pop music video “Blurred Lines,” and neither can the man who parodies him in a video that skewers embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

But that’s not what bothers a lot of people about it. And it’s not necessarily the lyrics—“Take a good look. He thinks you want it, but you don’t want it. It makes us vomit.”—that are giving critics pause.

It’s the fact that the parody was produced by the local television arm of U-T San Diego, the city’s largest newspaper, and stars its news hosts. The gyrating, lip-synching journalists put professional considerations and, some would say, discriminating taste, aside to deliver a flashing message to the mayor and former 10-term congressman accused of making untoward advances to women: #RESIGN.

“He’s just a bully. He’s just a creeper and we would prefer if you resign. . . . You want our money. That’s really funny. You such a dummy, hey.” #CREEPER

The video features Scott Kaplan and Amber Mesker, co-hosts of U-T TV’s “Front Page with Scott & Amber” show. The TV station is located in the U-T newsroom. Kaplan joined the station after losing a sports radio talk show job last year when he called former professional basketball player and current broadcaster Andrea Lloyd an “animal,” a “monster” and a “sasquatch of a woman.”

He later apologized for his behavior, calling himself “an idiot” and “a schmuck.”            

Some question the irony of a news operation castigating Filner, who is being pressured to resign for his undignified treatment of women, while objectifying women members of their own staff by having them bounce around in tight clothes with little more to do in the video than appear fetching.

The newspaper, formerly the San Diego Union Tribune, has been under new management since being purchased by developer Doug Manchester three years ago. He has taken the conservative newspaper in a decidedly more conservative direction, shedding most of what was left of the paper’s objective reporting.

Manchester is new to publishing, but is looking to expand. He lost out in a bid this month for the Boston Globe and is said to be interested in properties being divested by Tribune Corp. Especially, the Los Angeles Times.

Filner and Manchester, arguably the two most powerful people in San Diego politics, don’t seem to care much for each other. In 2009, when Filner was a congressman, he asked the FBI, the U.S. Attorney General, the local U.S. attorney, San Diego's Mayor's Office, Centre City Development Corp. and the Port of San Diego to investigate “possible fraud” in the siting of the Navy Broadway Complex, a $1.3 billion, 2.9-million-square-foot office-hotel project spearheaded by Manchester. 

During the mayoral race last year, Manchester dissed Filner, a liberal Democrat, in an interview with his newspaper. “I think that Bob Filner is a bad congressman and he’s a bad guy.”  

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Parody of Robin Thicke Video Calls for Mayor Bob Filner to Resign (by James Rainey, Los Angeles Times)

The 3 Most Absurd Media Stunts of the Filner Scandal (by Sara Libby, Voice of San Diego)

Scott Kaplan Sorry Now (by R. Stickney and Megan Tevrizian, NBC San Diego)

San Diego Mayor Refuses to Resign as Political Brawl Gets Personal (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

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