Merc Headline a Little Too Cute

Late last year the San Jose Mercury News, a local newspaper known best for obituaries and tossing competitor newsstands in dumpsters, launched a political blog called “Internal Affairs.” The website is named after the weekly print feature that runs every Sunday, and it bills itself as an “offbeat look at state and local politics.” The frequency of posts has been herky-jerky, but that isn’t the only aspect of the gossip site that’s missed a beat.

A post last week by reporter Tracey Kaplan broke the story of Ralph Sivilla’s late withdrawal from a judge’s race against Stuart Scott, which gave Scott an uncontested victory at the filing deadline. The story was tame aside from the odd headline, “Which one of these cute dudes now goes by ‘Judge’?”

San Jose Inside called up Kaplan to ask about the story, and she admitted the headline was a mistake in judgment after a long day of reporting. “It’s a sexist joke that in hindsight I later regretted,” she said.

The story’s headline now has asterisks in place of “cute,” along with this wonderful update: “Thank you, Josh Koehn at the Metro, for pointing out my sexist mistake. It was doubly bad because I was a women’s studies major who grew up in the 1960s and 70s, fighting for women’s rights.”

If only for a moment, March 11, 2014 will be henceforth known as the day the Merc and SJI found common ground.

This is a screenshot of the original post on the Merc's 'Internal Affairs' blog.

This is a screenshot of the original post on the Merc's "Internal Affairs" blog.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. I’m actually a huge admirer of the Metro and of Josh Koehn’s. I mean, they broke the Shirakawa story and much, much more. Enough with news racks, though; we little people at the Merc had nothing at all to do with it. Many of us are glad the Metro and Biz Journal and San Jose inside and Daily Fetch are around to take up the slack since the Merc shrunk from 435 in the newsroom to fewer than 100. We need all the voices we can get in this town. There are so few journalists left here and throughout the country.

    • I am a big admirer of Tracy Kaplan and Metro as well. I also was an admirer of Ralph Savilla, who should be a force in Santa Clara politics. He has a lot of good friends in town. Savilla is a great guy, loving husband, and outstanding civic member. Associating with Rich Robinson, the guy who claims to have brought the stadium on his own, minus any help is the only thing Ralph did incorrectly.

    • The Merc shrunk from 435 to 100 and they chose to leave you, Herhold, and Barbara Marshman???
      Epic Fail.

  2. Josh you could be reporting on the 30 or so protesters outside of Lauri Smith’s re-election party, but you choose to report on Tracy’s crush? I think you’re jelly. Don’t worry, I still think you’re handsome.

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