The needler in the haystack.

Monday, February 29, 2016

"De-Listing" Norman Ortega's Plainfield Latino blog


Logo of Norman Ortega's
Plainfield Latino blog,
which will no longer appear on
CLIPS as of tomorrow.
 

Today will be the last day that a link to Norman Ortega's Plainfield Latino bog will appear on the CLIPS blog.

I have been pondering the move for some time, since Mr. Ortega seems to have forgotten the terms I laid down in agreeing to add it to the blog roll to begin with: that all articles be signed and that the blog publish on a regular basis.

Sort of like the stock exchanges, where a stock is de-listed if it doesn't meet the listing criteria, Norman is being "de-listed" from CLIPS.

Begun a little over a year ago as a simple blog (like this one, or Bernice's or Olddoc's), Ortega soon changed the format to a snazzy magazine-like style with posts filed under such headings as News, Events, Letters and Editorials. Despite the spiffy format, it has never lived up very well to its promise -- posts seem to be filed in an arbitrary manner, many articles lack an author's name, and there is no masthead listing the blog's contributors or how to contact them individually (for an excellent example of one, see NJ Spotlight's here).

Though Ortega originally proposed the blog would be a voice for the entire Latino community, it soon became evident that it really wasn't going to showcase the diversity of opinions among Plainfield Latinos on the issues facing the community.

Instead, it became a megaphone for a few people, took on a mission of attacking Mayor Mapp almost exclusively, and failed to recognize Latino achievements among any but Norman's tight little circle.

The capper came when Ortega decided not to recognize the achievement of Plainfielder Christian Estevez in being elected statewide president of the Latino Action Network (see my story here) -- even after I pointed the news out to him.

Notwithstanding these shortcomings, there is then the problem of veracity. Ortega's style seems to be: Ready, Shoot, Aim. Except that very often there is no "aim" step.

From the Bilingual Day Care Center to the matter of Maria's Restaurant on North Avenue to the Community ID cards, Ortega has played fast and loose with the facts, spreading false information and confusion.

He misrepresented the policy decision in outsourcing Bilingual Day Care. He posed as Maria's supporter (even starting a fundraiser, which netted $250, of which $75 was from me) -- and never gave the city credit for putting together the loans and other resources for her to open in a new location. He has willfully sown confusion on the matter of community ID cards.

Who needs all this?

In addition, Ortega used the blog to thump for his failed 2015 run as an Independent for City Council -- not exactly what we were told the blog was to be about from the beginning.

So, if you want to follow Ortega's "adventures in journalism", be sure to visit the site today and bookmark it. It will be dropped from the CLIPS blog roll as of tomorrow.

And to Norman -- Good Luck, as always.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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