LA Weekly writer Marc Cooper says that the allegations levied against the Los Angeles Times for its four-part series last month against the United Farm Workers by the union is not unusual. He too has been threatened by the union about what he has written about them. He has a 20-page written demand from the union in front of him demanding corrections.
Cooper writes: “The L.A. Times has been handed a similar threat. So has the Bakersfield Californian. Even some lonely bloggers who have recently written about the UFW have been contacted by the union or its hired PR agents and directly warned not to continue criticizing it.
“This attack on critical reporters is the UFWâ€™s orchestrated response to the Timesâ€™ recent four-part series on the union, which raised some very serious doubts over how the legacy of Cesar Chavez is playing out in the fields of California. Times reporter Miriam Pawel did an excellent job detailing the unionâ€™s straying from its original mission and failing to organize any significant number of workers while building a network of interlocking agencies it rather arrogantly calls the ‘farm worker movement.'”
Read Cooper’s analysis of UFW’s media relations here.