Tuesday, August 19, 2008

News-Press Targets Effluent Readers

I hate to admit it but I've been falling down on the job here lately. I've been failing to keep track of what "The Investigator" has been writing about as of late.

You might recall that "The Investigator" is the handle used by Robert Eringer, who writes a Saturday column for Wendy McCaw's News-Press.

I actually was calling him "Snoop Dog" for awhile there. I should have called him "Snooze Dog."

On Monday, a reader called my attention to Eringer's column of August 9th, in which he writes about his tour of the city's wastewater treatment plant.

I'll avoid the obvious jokes about what columnists at the News-Press have been reduced to reporting about as of late.

The notion of writing a column about what happens to our sewage when it reaches the treatment plant is absolutely bizarre. Anyone who happened to read the column while having their breakfast probably longed for the days when the News-Press was an afternoon paper.

I don't know about you, but I'm well aware that there's flour to be found in the bakery, monks residing at the monastery and hookers hanging out at the whorehouse. The notion that there's smelly stuff where the sewer empties out is hardly a revelation.

Turns out his description of the waste treatment process was merely to provide a nine paragraph lead-in to what he calls "the crap that isn't being treated," which includes Rick Caruso's Miramar project and John Price's proposed development for the site of the 76 filling station at Olive Mill and Coast Village Road.

Only at the News-Press does one have to wade through crap to get to the hot air.

Eringer then proceeded to get in his licks against Caruso and Price but the cheapest shot of all was actually contained in the column's opening paragraph where Eringer wrote:

Just off Yanonali, where bottom-feeders linger for migrant work, El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant transforms raw sewage into compost and recycled water.

"Bottom feeders?" That's a reference to the day laborers who gather across the street from the waste water plant in hope of finding work.

At a newspaper where an editor lost her job for allegedly allowing Dr. Laura to get dissed, it's apparently okay to adopt a condescending tone when referring to anyone from the working class.

They only thing I'd point out to Eringer is that at least those laborers are willing to put in an honest day's work to earn their money. Which is more than I can say for Wendy or Arthur.