Friday, July 31, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

We’ve been writing about the slow decline of the local newspaper business in the Inland Empire for some time now.

Irrespective of the fact that data reflects print circulation is no longer sufficient to reach a broad base of San Bernardino County residents, “The Sun” newspaper needs to change it’s name to “The Apologist”.

The publication, along with sister publication Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, in the span of a couple weeks have printed it’s own editorial, followed by an op-ed submission by San Bernardino County, that essentially says the same thing.

The editorial titled “Prison realignment putting counties in a bind” essentially blames prison realignment for all of the sheriff’s jail misconduct currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a Federal Grand Jury in Riverside. Misconduct that has already resulted in firings. Misconduct that will likely lead to federal indictments. Misconduct that will likely lead to taxpayers forking out tens of millions in legal settlements.

But, according to the county and The Sun, it’s all to be blamed squarely on the effects of prison realignment and no one else.

The op-ed titled “Why San Bernardino County jails are harder to manage today: Guest commentary” is authored by Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos, Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux and Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon. This op-ed has the same premise as the newspapers own editorial.

In other words according to the newspaper, and the county, the root of all the problems taking place in the county’s jail system is prison realignment.

Yep, that’s the ticket! Prison realignment!

But from their standpoint it sounds good. Let’s gamble on readers being too stupid to think otherwise! Key word being “stupid”.

It’s a concept that San Bernardino County government routinely banks on. But now the newspaper wants to play along as well, and that’s a disgrace.

It’s no secret that San Bernardino County officials have held an unnatural and unhealthy sway over Los Angeles Newspaper Group publications serving the Inland Empire. The speculation on just why this is goes far and wide. But some of the purported reasons floating around are disturbing to say the least.

Next week we’ll be getting into some deeper issues on just how far these publications are willing to go to cover for the county and its misconduct.

It’s no wonder people don’t place any decent level of trust in the news media.