March 27 2013 10:01 AM

A comment on Voice & Viewpoint's repulsive election endorsement-plus, we have a new reporter

Dwayne Crenshaw
Photo by David Rolland

Have you ever heard of a publication called San Diego Voice & Viewpoint? If you have, it might be because you used to hear its publisher and CEO, John Warren, on KPBS radio; until a few years ago, he was a regular guest on the station's Editors Roundtable program.

At times on the show, Warren, who's also a pastor, would reveal his distaste for homosexuality, although never in a fire-and-brimstone manner; that's not his style. But be assured that he does not think highly of gay folks; like many black ministers, he's swimming against the tide of the African-American community's gradual acceptance of homosexuality.

In his paper's endorsement last week of Barry Pollard in Tuesday's San Diego City Council District 4 special election, Warren, who also revealed that he attempted unsuccessfully to bully some candidates out of the race, essentially argued that candidate Dwayne Crenshaw is unfit for office because he's gay.

Crenshaw's "openly confessed gay lifestyle is at odds with a great deal of the District's African American residents in spite of his family's history in the community," Warren wrote, as if being gay is a transgression to which one must "confess." Warren went on to say that Crenshaw's "positions of leadership and advocacy in the Gay community does not lend itself [sic] to the building of the kinds of coalitions between the religious and civic community that the Fourth District has enjoyed in the past and needs to build on during this critical period of restructuring." In its sections on other candidates, the editorial encourages them to run for the office again in 2014, when they might be better prepared. Not so in the section on Crenshaw, which concludes, "Mr. Crenshaw is not our choice at any time for this position."

Warren's views on sexual orientation are repulsive, and as long as he owns Voice & Viewpoint, the paper that aims to specifically serve San Diego's African-American community is likely to retain its bigoted position. So ironic.

We can only hope that as prejudice against the gay community among all populations, including African-Americans, continues to die off, Voice & Viewpoint's readership, however large or small, will increasingly reject Warren's brand of bigotry. For now, we'll find solace and amusement in the fact that, as of Tuesday morning, an election poll on Voice & Viewpoint's website revealed that among 52 voters, Crenshaw was in first place with 42 percent.

The Taube era begins

Investigative reporter Dave Maass' byline is back in our news section this week, but, unfortunately, no, that doesn't mean he reconsidered his move to San Francisco. What it means is that his CityBeat swan song, the investigative series on inmate deaths in San Diego County jails that he's been working on with Kelly Davis, begins this week. Maass cleaned out his desk a month-and-a-half ago, and we've finally got him replaced.

Starting as our new staff writer this week is David Taube, who emerged from a heap of more than 100 applicants for Maass' job. In true alternative weekly fashion, young Taube spent the better part of the past week trekking across the country in his Kia Rio from his former home in Vermont and making use of the services proffered by in places like Toledo, Des Moines and Denver.

Taube, who's from upstate New York, graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in magazine journalism and has been a reporter at daily newspapers in New York and Vermont for the past three years, with an emphasis, at different times, on education, healthcare and Vermont state politics. He looks like he could still be in high school and is thinking he might really benefit from a hipster beard, though we question his ability to grow one.

Taube has settled in University Heights and will be spotted at local pubs watching Syracuse basketball games, playing Ultimate Frisbee in Balboa Park, catching movies at San Diego's many film festivals, appreciating art at local galleries and museums or maybe even learning how to surf, despite his parents' recurring nightmares of catastrophe. Having no room in his car for his equipment, he's abandoned ice hockey as a pastime.

We welcome him and look forward to the journalistic damage he can do here.

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