The Hypocrisy of The San Diego Union Tribune


Emma Joehnk, Staff Writer

Disclaimer: The following article reflects solely the opinion of its author and not La Jolla High School, or San Diego Unified School District 

Last year, the San Diego Union Tribune’s Editorial Cartoonist, Steve Breen, and Editorial and Opinion Director, Matthew T. Hall, visited La Jolla High School after a racist cartoon was published in the Hi-Tide student newspaper. Ironically, both Breen and Light have since apologized for a racist cartoon the Union Tribune recently published. While both the Hi-Tide and the Union Tribune were in the wrong for publishing offensive cartoons, it was hypocritical for the Union Tribune our criticize La Jolla High’s paper for something they did nearly one year later.

On February 17, Breen published an editorial cartoon depicting two respected African-American authors, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, in the same light as actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett has been in the news due to accusations regarding lying to the police and posing as the victim to a racially motivated hate crime. Under these circumstances, the cartoon caused major controversy and has since been removed from the Union-Tribute’s website.

In a recent article published by the Union Tribune, Hall apologizes for allowing the cartoon to be published in the first place, “As the person who OK’d the cartoon, I’m sorry.” Hall continues by addressing the papers hypocrisy in publishing the cartoon, “Last year, you (Steve Breen) and I visited a classroom at La Jolla High School after a racist cartoon ran in that school’s paper to discuss what the students could do differently. We should’ve heeded the advice we gave them in this situation…”

The newspaper’s editors should have been more mindful of advice they have given in the past after having the right to do so in the first place. While the Union Tribune critiqued La Jolla High School for mistakes in what content is published can help the Hi-Tide, it is also important for those critiques to be implemented into the works of the Union Tribune itself. Hypocrisy like this can make future advice and criticism to be taken less seriously.

Some students from La Jolla High agree and think that it was wrong of the editors at the Union Tribune to ignore the advice they gave editors at the school a year prior. Alessandro Demoreno, sophomore, explains, “When advice is given from someone and they don’t take their own advice, it loses its value. They criticized us and later made the same mistake.”

Others find the situation to be hypocritical, but look at it from a different perspective. La Jolla High sophomore Alexis Luu believes, “It was hypocritical for them to do so, but we can’t criticize them now for something we did in the past. That would make us hypocrites as well.”