Sara Libby’s recent article on the Lená Lewis incident missed several points, but the overall gap was simple: logic. Her logic made no sense. Instead it was just an emotional rant and rave that has no place in professional journalism.
First of all, she compared her bachelor party to Lewis. This was the first indication that she totally missed the point. I’m assuming (which I’m not supposed to do) that Libby was not in the public sector when she had her bachelor party. To compare the two is apples and oranges. Lewis is a public figure. She is paid by the taxpayers. And specifically, her position is to be the public voice for the mayor of the eight largest city.
The old adage in politics is that perception becomes reality. Does this make it right? Does this make it fair? It doesn’t matter.
And I truly could not believe the gall, arrogance and pompousness of Libby to pretend to read my mind by stating that what I truly meant by saying Lewis should know better was, “he means she shouldn’t have been in Vegas at all, shouldn’t go out and have fun in a capacity wholly unrelated to her job, shouldn’t be anything but quiet and chaste or behave in a way that might make men who don’t know her uncomfortable in the off chance her private photos surface online.” Libby clearly doesn’t understand the basics of the public sector. My statements were that is was improper for a press secretary – especially one that represents the mayor of the eighth largest city – to have the photo taken especially when her boss is out of the office hiding from the public because of sexual harassment charges. C’mon, let’s be honest … could her timing have been worse?
If Libby spotted Bob Filner going into a strip club, can she honestly say that her logic would be that it is on his own time and not a story? The Voice of San Diego would be the first one to run a story like that.
And I stand by my statement that Lewis “should have known better.” But again, this is another example of Libby not understanding the basics. Lewis should have known better as a press secretary. A press secretary is supposed to have political savvy, good judgment, a sense of what will play well in the media. This was a very brief lapse of judgment and we all have them many times a day.
Finally, Libby did not even mention that I have worked with Lewis for years and consider myself a friend. She interviewed me many times, mostly on politics, but on one occasion a very gut-wrenching, tough interview regarding my father’s murder. None of my comments were about Lewis personally but about her role as a press secretary. Until I read Libby’s article, I didn’t think yellow journalism existed anymore.