Media Watch


Dave Silver is concluding his reign as Tucson's longest-serving sportscaster this Friday, Dec. 23. The KGUN Channel 9 sports director has been with the station for 28 years. He has accepted a position with the UA Foundation.

Meanwhile, KGUN has added Valerie Cavazos to its reporting roster. Cavazos, a Tucson native, is a 20-year veteran of television broadcasting, including stints with KOLD Channel 13 and KVOA Channel 4.

ANTI-ETHNIC-STUDIES BLOGGER PARTS WITH TUCSONCITIZEN.COM editor Mark Evans wants to find bloggers who take opposite views on specific issues, but one of his first attempts at that ended abruptly when Lori Hunnicutt, who operates the Tucson Daily Independent blog—which is, among other things, anti-ethnic studies—made demands to Evans about the content in David Morales' blog, Three Sonorans.

Evans said it wasn't the first time Hunnicutt made demands about what she perceived as personal attacks by Morales. But for Evans, enough was enough, and he finally reached the point of hastening Hunnicutt's exit.

"Because the passions on this are so high, they can't resist personal attacks on each other," Evans said. "So David would write things about Lori, and Lori would write things about David, and when Lori would write not-so-nice things about David, I never heard from David. He never complained. He told me those are the slings and arrows he has to suffer for being a fairly popular blogger in town. Lori, on the other hand, took everything quite personally and would complain to me regularly."

The final straw involved blog posts Morales wrote about three people: Hunnicutt's husband, John Hunnicutt; former Tucson Unified School District candidate Armand Salese; and TUSD assistant superintendent Lupita Cavazos-Garcia.

"Armand Salese is an amazing man, and Lupita Garcia is an amazing woman, and they don't deserve to be slandered by the Three Sonorans," Hunnicutt said. "Armand Salese has probably done more for the underserved kids in this community than anyone I know. The Three Sonorans suggested, essentially, that I am incapable of writing on my own, and that my husband ... writes all my stuff for me, and as a feminist, I took offense to that. ... I took exception with that and asked Mark Evans to clear up the record. I gather that (Morales) was reacting to that, and then went after Armand and Lupita. The misogynistic tendencies of David Abie Morales are evident to anyone who is fair-minded. His attacks on Lupita are unwarranted, and at best, sophomoric, mean and irrational."

Evans conceded that Morales does make personal attacks, but that he, Evans, is restricted in what he can do as the administrator.

"That's one of the things about what David does that I don't like," Evans said. "If he views someone as an opponent to ethnic studies, he doesn't just argue why they're wrong, and why ethnic studies is correct: He goes after them personally. In the overall scheme of the Citizen, I'm not going to get involved in that. I can't be the civility police. I have to hold my nose and let that go forward. He's crossed the line before and realized he did it and fixed it, but that's only happened two or three times. He's been blogging for two years and has a pretty faithful following, anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 page views a day. He writes to a segment of the community that is pretty disenfranchised."

Said Morales via email: "(Evans) told me that Loretta wants me to take all mentions of her husband off my blog, that he is not involved in any way, blah blah. I told Evans that while (John Hunnicutt) may not be authoring the blog, he is involved. I have pictures of him onstage with Tom Horne and (former TUSD teacher) John Ward (the guy suing for a million dollars). He speaks at TUSD meetings against (Mexican-American studies) and the (International Baccalaureate) program at Cholla (both paid for with deseg monies and successful programs for minorities). He is the one doing the public-information requests, and he attends the TUSD meetings."

Evans said that Lori Hunnicutt claimed her husband was uninvolved with her writing.

"I don't know whether that was true or not, so I was telling her I agreed with her, and that I would talk to David," Evans said. "I think that made her assume I was going to do something about it and make David change his article. When David told me John Hunnicutt is there as much as Lori is, and has been almost as vocal ... in his opposition to ethnic studies, it seemed reasonable to me that David could say Lori and John work as a team. It also could be reasonable they don't work as a team, and as husband and wife, they have the same point of view. But since it wasn't this egregious, outrageous (claim) that was damaging John Hunnicutt's reputation, which is what you have to have in order to have libel, I don't think I can have David change it.

"I have to set a line. If I get involved in story assignments, story editing and canceling stories, then I'm treating these people like employees, and that creates all kinds of problems. If I edit their content, I'm owning their content as well, and I become as responsible for it as (the bloggers) are. That was not acceptable to Lori. She got really mad."

Evans said it wasn't her first outburst, and that this latest exchange led to a telephone argument that ultimately prompted him to end's relationship with Hunnicutt. When you try to access The Daily Independent on the site, a message pops up that reads, "This user has elected to delete their account, and the content is no longer available."

"That is an alert message automatically generated by WordPress. I didn't even know it said that until she sent me an email," Evans said. "Getting it to say something else was an amount of work I didn't think was worth having the programmer do, just because it says she 'elected' to (delete her account) when she didn't 'elect' to do it. I elected to do it. I didn't think it was that big a deal, so I didn't change it. That just adds to her conspiracy theory."

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