Burt Wilson, from the Public Water News Service, on Jerry Meral's BDCP Comments

  There is a fragment of the Ancient Wisdom that goes, "You cannot defeat evil in disguise; you have to unmask it first." It's too bad the general public in California doesn't know to what extant it has been victimized by the California water agencies', version of the Big Lie when it comes to the Delta However, the truth is beginning to come out and the public response has been staggering. They know they've been had. It's as if an ocean of lies has been held in check by a water agency dam and that dam began to crack a few days ago and it is now pouring the truth out for all to see. Events characterize the quality and honesty of a leader and Dr. Jerry Meral just couldn't help spilling out the truth when he remarked "The BDCP is not about, and has never been about, saving the Delta. The Delta cannot be saved." Wham! The Big Lie was over. Unmasked in two short sentences. Another awful truth is that a Big Lie cannot be promulgated throughout the entire state without the complicity of the state water agency leaders and especially the media. Take the Sacramento Bee: yesterday they ran an editorial saying that Dr. Jerry Meral is being "vilified" by the activist community. The editorial was signed by "The Editorial Board" which is a way to get around having to claim authorship. The Bee editors--all honorable men--claim that Jerry's words were taken out of context (this is usually the kind of retort we get from politicians caught in the same circumstance) and that he really meant that the Delta cannot be restored. For an example, they went back to the mid-1800's which they pinpointed as the time the Delta was pristine and wrote that Jerry meant the Delta couldn't be restored to that time. Well. For the Bee editors to twist what Jerry actually said to try to make us believe that he said something he didn't say at all, is the height of Yellow Journalism. Wm. Randolph Hearst must be rolling in his grave. Shame on the Bee. But the Bee isn't the only newspaper in the state that adheres to the Big Lie and doesn't zero in on the truth. Most newspapers print the water agency hand-outs--all lies--and stay far away from unmasking the inconsistencies and absurdities of the Delta Plan. Sure, they love to print stories about the people in the Delta who will be displaced, but question the legitimacy of the twin tunnels and the water to be sent south? Forget it! Are they worried about losing advertising if they print the truth? Might be. Most are on the financial ropes to begin with; the Bee especially, plus it has a union problem. What happened to the old editors who looked for ways to expose lies at ever instance? They only exist in the old movies on TV now. Yes, we are living in the day of the corporate editor who measures the effect of a story first, evaluating whether it will hurt the paper's bottom line instead of evaluating its truth. Is this how the newspaper industry wants to go out--with a whimper? It's happening right before our eyes.
     I was on the media staff of the "No on 9" campaign against the peripheral canal in 1982. We won by a 2/3 vote statewide and stopped the canal. Voters knew then that it was just another watergrab just as poeple know that today's move to construct Delta tunnels is just another watergrab. You know it too.
Burt Wilson Editor and Publisher. Public Water News Service