Swing and a Miss by Dunning and Mazelis

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Wednesday we reported that Bob Dunning and Noreen Mazelis were off base in their attack on Councilmember Heystek for being part of a “struggle” seminar.

Noreen Mazelis wrote in to say:

“Per Sunday’s Enterprise (‘Briefly,’ Page A3) Lamar Heystek will be on a panel with three other privileged men to discuss ‘struggle.’ ”

Dunning’s insensitive adjoinder was:

wow, nobody knows the trouble he’s seen, overcoming his college education and teaching position at UC Davis to become one of the youngest City Council members in Davis city history … struggle? … Lamar? … heck, he’s not old enough to have even struggled with a razor …

People defend Dunning as being funny and making fun of everyone equally, but this was not funny. This was a mean-spirited and vicious attack by Mazelis.

Moreover, this is an example of sheer laziness by Dunning. If Dunning wants to criticize Heystek for being privileged and poke fun of the perception that Heystek has lived an easy life, perhaps he ought to actually get off his rear end and do some verification.

As it turns out nothing could be further from the truth. In the light of the truth, Dunning’s quips and lack of investigation are absolutely inexcusable and appalling. This is a stunning example of outright irresponsible commentary by Dunning. As I said, there is nothing funny here. Heystek has never ridden the train about the tough life he has lived and that is to his credit. But I feel utterly compelled to set the record straight.

I knew that Heystek did not come from a privileged background. What I did not know is just how disadvantaged he was.

Heystek’s friends report he grew up in very impoverished parts of Oakland, before his family moved to a very modest neighborhood in San Leandro. He and his twin brother (who has served 8 years as a Bay Area School Board member) used to have to run home from school because the neighborhood they lived in was so dangerous. It was common place to be beaten up or robbed and shootings were frequent. Lamar, his brother and older sister (who is a longtime Marine Corps veteran currently serving in Iraq) learned to protect themselves by running to and from school to avoid the violence of the streets.

Heystek’s mother suffers from a chronic and debilitating illness and was not able to help in the raising of the children. His father worked long hours at very modest jobs to support the children and care for his wife.

While attending San Leandro High School, Heystek went to work at a Safeway store beginning a 9 year career as a retail clerk in the grocery business. When he was admitted to UC Davis he transferred to the Market Place Safeway in Davis working full time to support himself and afford his schooling both as an undergraduate and a graduate student.

Heystek is very close to and protective of his family. He rarely speaks publicly or privately of his background and the hardships he and his siblings faced growing up. Nonetheless he has a compelling personal story of overcoming adversity, poverty and building a credible and compassionate life.

Perhaps Dunning and Mazelis ought to do some research before they make assumptions about people’s background and use it to attack them. Heystek’s background is anything but the musical whimsy that Dunning’s insensitive, snide and hurtful remarks imply. Both Dunning and Mazelis owe Heystek a formal apology in the Davis Enterprise.

—Doug Paul Davis Reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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28 thoughts on “Swing and a Miss by Dunning and Mazelis”

  1. Anonymous

    Doug – You are way too polite. Bob Dunning doesn’t “make fun of everyone equally”. His MO is to put down everyone he writes about. Other people may think that is funny, but I certainly don’t.

  2. Anonymous

    Doug – You are way too polite. Bob Dunning doesn’t “make fun of everyone equally”. His MO is to put down everyone he writes about. Other people may think that is funny, but I certainly don’t.

  3. Anonymous

    Doug – You are way too polite. Bob Dunning doesn’t “make fun of everyone equally”. His MO is to put down everyone he writes about. Other people may think that is funny, but I certainly don’t.

  4. Anonymous

    Doug – You are way too polite. Bob Dunning doesn’t “make fun of everyone equally”. His MO is to put down everyone he writes about. Other people may think that is funny, but I certainly don’t.

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    Just to be clear, I was not saying he makes fun of everyone equally, that’s what his defenders say. I was calling that into question:

    “People defend Dunning as being funny and making fun of everyone equally, but this was not funny.”

    I hope it is clear that I was talking about people who defend him, not saying that I believe that myself.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    Just to be clear, I was not saying he makes fun of everyone equally, that’s what his defenders say. I was calling that into question:

    “People defend Dunning as being funny and making fun of everyone equally, but this was not funny.”

    I hope it is clear that I was talking about people who defend him, not saying that I believe that myself.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    Just to be clear, I was not saying he makes fun of everyone equally, that’s what his defenders say. I was calling that into question:

    “People defend Dunning as being funny and making fun of everyone equally, but this was not funny.”

    I hope it is clear that I was talking about people who defend him, not saying that I believe that myself.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    Just to be clear, I was not saying he makes fun of everyone equally, that’s what his defenders say. I was calling that into question:

    “People defend Dunning as being funny and making fun of everyone equally, but this was not funny.”

    I hope it is clear that I was talking about people who defend him, not saying that I believe that myself.

  9. davisite

    Doug… you hit the nail right on the head.I have subscribed to the Enterprise for many years and it is obvious that the creator of the Wary I is “burnt out”. His attempts at sarcasm, always too heavily tinged with anger and cynicism, are now purely hurtful. Doug.. you hit the nail right on the head.. I expect that the Enterprise will be cutting him back to an occasional spot in the Enterprise very soon now. Dunning’s new gig on the Catholic Station on satellite radio offers him a better fit for his brand of cynical and inflamatory commentary. Davis and the Enterprise will be much better off when his journalistic “talents” are directed elseware.

  10. davisite

    Doug… you hit the nail right on the head.I have subscribed to the Enterprise for many years and it is obvious that the creator of the Wary I is “burnt out”. His attempts at sarcasm, always too heavily tinged with anger and cynicism, are now purely hurtful. Doug.. you hit the nail right on the head.. I expect that the Enterprise will be cutting him back to an occasional spot in the Enterprise very soon now. Dunning’s new gig on the Catholic Station on satellite radio offers him a better fit for his brand of cynical and inflamatory commentary. Davis and the Enterprise will be much better off when his journalistic “talents” are directed elseware.

  11. davisite

    Doug… you hit the nail right on the head.I have subscribed to the Enterprise for many years and it is obvious that the creator of the Wary I is “burnt out”. His attempts at sarcasm, always too heavily tinged with anger and cynicism, are now purely hurtful. Doug.. you hit the nail right on the head.. I expect that the Enterprise will be cutting him back to an occasional spot in the Enterprise very soon now. Dunning’s new gig on the Catholic Station on satellite radio offers him a better fit for his brand of cynical and inflamatory commentary. Davis and the Enterprise will be much better off when his journalistic “talents” are directed elseware.

  12. davisite

    Doug… you hit the nail right on the head.I have subscribed to the Enterprise for many years and it is obvious that the creator of the Wary I is “burnt out”. His attempts at sarcasm, always too heavily tinged with anger and cynicism, are now purely hurtful. Doug.. you hit the nail right on the head.. I expect that the Enterprise will be cutting him back to an occasional spot in the Enterprise very soon now. Dunning’s new gig on the Catholic Station on satellite radio offers him a better fit for his brand of cynical and inflamatory commentary. Davis and the Enterprise will be much better off when his journalistic “talents” are directed elseware.

  13. Michelle

    Doug – You clearly provided us of an example of only one of many problems with the Enterprise: Dunning.

    I can see Dunning now. The so-called Saint by night on Catholic radio and attacker of good people with his “poinsen pen” (computer) by day.

    “Lord forgive me for I have sinned. I have attacked yet another good person simply because I have nothing to write about and need to use up space…I will be good on Catholic radio…I promise.” Hmmm…does God see crossed fingers behind the back?

    The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall. It’s the problem with having only one paper in town. Just like she advocated for the corporate Target to come to town so too should we advocate for another newspaper to come to town.

    The Buzayan story has been on the Enterprise website for 9 months or longer. She left it up even after finally taking down the personal information about the Buzayan children. She (and some of her writers) have shown their inability to be neutral and report the facts.

    These are not professionals. They are protectors of the status quo and will go to any extent to protect themselves and their allies.

    Thank you DPD. Keep up the great work.

    Michelle

  14. Michelle

    Doug – You clearly provided us of an example of only one of many problems with the Enterprise: Dunning.

    I can see Dunning now. The so-called Saint by night on Catholic radio and attacker of good people with his “poinsen pen” (computer) by day.

    “Lord forgive me for I have sinned. I have attacked yet another good person simply because I have nothing to write about and need to use up space…I will be good on Catholic radio…I promise.” Hmmm…does God see crossed fingers behind the back?

    The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall. It’s the problem with having only one paper in town. Just like she advocated for the corporate Target to come to town so too should we advocate for another newspaper to come to town.

    The Buzayan story has been on the Enterprise website for 9 months or longer. She left it up even after finally taking down the personal information about the Buzayan children. She (and some of her writers) have shown their inability to be neutral and report the facts.

    These are not professionals. They are protectors of the status quo and will go to any extent to protect themselves and their allies.

    Thank you DPD. Keep up the great work.

    Michelle

  15. Michelle

    Doug – You clearly provided us of an example of only one of many problems with the Enterprise: Dunning.

    I can see Dunning now. The so-called Saint by night on Catholic radio and attacker of good people with his “poinsen pen” (computer) by day.

    “Lord forgive me for I have sinned. I have attacked yet another good person simply because I have nothing to write about and need to use up space…I will be good on Catholic radio…I promise.” Hmmm…does God see crossed fingers behind the back?

    The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall. It’s the problem with having only one paper in town. Just like she advocated for the corporate Target to come to town so too should we advocate for another newspaper to come to town.

    The Buzayan story has been on the Enterprise website for 9 months or longer. She left it up even after finally taking down the personal information about the Buzayan children. She (and some of her writers) have shown their inability to be neutral and report the facts.

    These are not professionals. They are protectors of the status quo and will go to any extent to protect themselves and their allies.

    Thank you DPD. Keep up the great work.

    Michelle

  16. Michelle

    Doug – You clearly provided us of an example of only one of many problems with the Enterprise: Dunning.

    I can see Dunning now. The so-called Saint by night on Catholic radio and attacker of good people with his “poinsen pen” (computer) by day.

    “Lord forgive me for I have sinned. I have attacked yet another good person simply because I have nothing to write about and need to use up space…I will be good on Catholic radio…I promise.” Hmmm…does God see crossed fingers behind the back?

    The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall. It’s the problem with having only one paper in town. Just like she advocated for the corporate Target to come to town so too should we advocate for another newspaper to come to town.

    The Buzayan story has been on the Enterprise website for 9 months or longer. She left it up even after finally taking down the personal information about the Buzayan children. She (and some of her writers) have shown their inability to be neutral and report the facts.

    These are not professionals. They are protectors of the status quo and will go to any extent to protect themselves and their allies.

    Thank you DPD. Keep up the great work.

    Michelle

  17. Rich Rifkin

    “The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall.”

    Quite naturally, I find this statement offensive. Insofar as you are referring to me as a lazy columnist, I’d like to know what “facts” you think that I have gotten so wrong.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    “The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall.”

    Quite naturally, I find this statement offensive. Insofar as you are referring to me as a lazy columnist, I’d like to know what “facts” you think that I have gotten so wrong.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    “The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall.”

    Quite naturally, I find this statement offensive. Insofar as you are referring to me as a lazy columnist, I’d like to know what “facts” you think that I have gotten so wrong.

  20. Rich Rifkin

    “The fact that Debbie Davis chooses to have some columnists and reporters that are lazy in their so-called research, reporting and writing who get their facts wrong is reflective of the Enterprise overall.”

    Quite naturally, I find this statement offensive. Insofar as you are referring to me as a lazy columnist, I’d like to know what “facts” you think that I have gotten so wrong.

  21. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I think you are taking a statement meant to refer to Dunning as a personal swipe. That’s not to say I agree with everything you’ve done or even anything that you’ve done. As I’ve told you, I had problems with your HRC piece, but I don’t think you are lazy.

    Dunning however was lazy in this case. He made assumptions that were wrong and also very hurtful. He did not make an attempt to check to see if they were true before he printed them. I think that’s a problem. The fact that you are not defending Dunning on this (at least until I prompt you now), tells me a lot. I also find it appalling that when confronting on this, he was completely evasive. But more on that later.

  22. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I think you are taking a statement meant to refer to Dunning as a personal swipe. That’s not to say I agree with everything you’ve done or even anything that you’ve done. As I’ve told you, I had problems with your HRC piece, but I don’t think you are lazy.

    Dunning however was lazy in this case. He made assumptions that were wrong and also very hurtful. He did not make an attempt to check to see if they were true before he printed them. I think that’s a problem. The fact that you are not defending Dunning on this (at least until I prompt you now), tells me a lot. I also find it appalling that when confronting on this, he was completely evasive. But more on that later.

  23. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I think you are taking a statement meant to refer to Dunning as a personal swipe. That’s not to say I agree with everything you’ve done or even anything that you’ve done. As I’ve told you, I had problems with your HRC piece, but I don’t think you are lazy.

    Dunning however was lazy in this case. He made assumptions that were wrong and also very hurtful. He did not make an attempt to check to see if they were true before he printed them. I think that’s a problem. The fact that you are not defending Dunning on this (at least until I prompt you now), tells me a lot. I also find it appalling that when confronting on this, he was completely evasive. But more on that later.

  24. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I think you are taking a statement meant to refer to Dunning as a personal swipe. That’s not to say I agree with everything you’ve done or even anything that you’ve done. As I’ve told you, I had problems with your HRC piece, but I don’t think you are lazy.

    Dunning however was lazy in this case. He made assumptions that were wrong and also very hurtful. He did not make an attempt to check to see if they were true before he printed them. I think that’s a problem. The fact that you are not defending Dunning on this (at least until I prompt you now), tells me a lot. I also find it appalling that when confronting on this, he was completely evasive. But more on that later.

  25. davisite

    Rifkin’s response “..taking offense
    at this(Doug’s) statement….” illustrates ENTERPRISE COLUMNIST Rifkin’s self-absorption and ego-narcissism. No comment on Dunning’s outrageous attack on Lamar Heystek but only how Doug’s comment might reflect upon himself. Very revealing.

  26. davisite

    Rifkin’s response “..taking offense
    at this(Doug’s) statement….” illustrates ENTERPRISE COLUMNIST Rifkin’s self-absorption and ego-narcissism. No comment on Dunning’s outrageous attack on Lamar Heystek but only how Doug’s comment might reflect upon himself. Very revealing.

  27. davisite

    Rifkin’s response “..taking offense
    at this(Doug’s) statement….” illustrates ENTERPRISE COLUMNIST Rifkin’s self-absorption and ego-narcissism. No comment on Dunning’s outrageous attack on Lamar Heystek but only how Doug’s comment might reflect upon himself. Very revealing.

  28. davisite

    Rifkin’s response “..taking offense
    at this(Doug’s) statement….” illustrates ENTERPRISE COLUMNIST Rifkin’s self-absorption and ego-narcissism. No comment on Dunning’s outrageous attack on Lamar Heystek but only how Doug’s comment might reflect upon himself. Very revealing.

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