Talk about the ultimate fake-out. When I first saw the cover of last week’s San Diego Reader, I got excited.
“Wow, are those assholes over at the Reader actually going to do something positive on my city?” I wondered.
Alas, it was a false alarm. As I should have expected, Michael Hemmingson played the roll of laptop journalist and simply rounded up old reports about Tijuana’s history of violence. Good job, Hemmingson, way to be completely unoriginal, lazy and predictable. Did you even step foot in the city before you published this piece? In fact, have you EVER been to Tijuana? Who, cares, right? You weren’t really going for truth here, you were looking for the ole’ shock-and-awe factor, quoting pro-Mintuemen websites in your lead graphs, quoting other people’s year-old journalism ( From Hemmingson’s third paragraph: “What affects one side affects the other,” Mayor Jerry Sanders tells USA Today on February 5, 2007. “We’re literally one region with a fence down the middle.”) and ultimately presenting a portrait of Tijuana that could be a portrait of any other city in the United States if you were bored enough to round up every reported case of violence since 1994.
So, from my friends in Tijuana to Hemmingson and the Reader for publishing 30-something pages of diarrhea, here’s a resounding “fuck you.” Learn how to do some real journalism, jerk, and give us a call or ask for a tour next time you decide to write about our city.
And for those of you as offended by Hemmingson’s attempt at journalism as I am, write his editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.