Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dark Days at City Hall

The demonization of San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly by virtually all of the local press outlets is almost unprecedented in its savagery and overkill. You'd think he had actually done something wrong, like giving away public property to his rich buddies, or featherbedding city jobs, or keeping the police from stopping crime, but in truth all those particular activities are being accomplished by the Mayor's Office.

My friend h. brown sent out a column recently from his SF Bulldog website (click here for the whole thing) where he accuses the "San Francisco Chronicle" of incitement to murder, and he's not exaggerating. Here are a few excerpts:
"I don’t put many limits on my writing. One of them is that I don’t call for the murder of my political enemies. Not even in jest. The Chronicle does not recognize such boundaries."

"Tom Meyer is a hell of a great cartoonist and that’s what makes his recent turn into work that promotes violence all the more troubling. Before his just-ended sabbatical, Meyer’s work was even-handed and even tilted more to the left. Well, something must have happened in the year or so that he was off work. Or, more likely, he was told that if he was to return and draw a paycheck from the Hearsts that his drawings should more closely reflect their thinking and not his.

A couple of weeks ago, Meyer did a cartoon of a vacant house with the word ‘reality’ written on the side...The implication is that Daly is insane. This is an implication that is reinforced over and over again throughout the right-wing press and in the even more rabid blogosphere (where a poster who calls himself ‘YOGO’ has suggested harm to Daly’s family – to which SFist merely smiled and continued to post him). The message is very clear in the cartoon; that Daly is crazy and should be dealt with.

Following the Meyer cartoon by a few days, a lead editorial written by Marshall Kilduff said that it was time for San Franciscans to “remove Chris Daly”. Kilduff didn’t specify how.

"Two weeks later, drawing on another local story (the shooting of the coyotes in Golden Gate Park – to ‘protect’ us), Meyer brought the Chron editorial board’s message home more directly. This time Daly is depicted as a rabid animal running away from City Hall after attacking someone. A looker-on is sending 2 men with rifles to pursue Daly and kill him. It is that simple.

Another Kilduff editorial ran below Meyer’s cartoon and likened the Board of Supervisors to a pack of coyotes and closes it by saying that: “Maybe it’s time for a new test of citizenship in San Francisco: dealing with the wild things that follow us home.” Is Kilduff trying to get YOGO and Sfsweetie and that crowd riled up to the point that they’ll do physical harm to Chris Daly? It certainly seems that way. The pieces to ‘justify’ it are all there. He’s crazy. He’s dangerous. There’s precedent for pre-emptive murder. Hey, I’m an ornery asshole but this shit is way past anything I’ve ever done."

Supervisor Daly has started his own blog (click here) and it's instructive to read the comments, many of which are insanely rabid and insulting. There's something very dark going on among the thugs over at City Hall, but it's certainly not Daly's doing, even though in their looking-glass mirror kind of way they are trying to make it so.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the newspapers are attacking Daly unfairly by most of that is just media bs. However, I do live in District 6 (not the Tenderloin part and we get nothing from him but the excuse that he must recuse himself from everything because he lives in a condo on Valencia. That means that the people in Valencia Gardens get no help from him with their ongoing struggle to deal with the drug dealers that are returning to the neighborhood, we get no support for other public safety, clean streets, better lighting and other civic issues - nada, zip. So, while he may talk radical politics, he's not very helpful to a lot of us in this area who are retired (comme moi), working class or just wanting a better neighborhood for themselves and their kids. I'd have more respect for him and more sympathy for the newspapers attack if I saw him doing something useful for us.


Kimo C said...


Since you might have some time on your hands as a retired preson, have you considering volunteering at some of the various Supervisor's offices at City Hall? Daly's office is very frequently filled with people getting assistance unlike many of the other Supervisor offices which are often closed or unattended.

I bet if you went to Daly's office they would try to help you.

Many of the issues you complain about above certainly are the Mayor's responsibility too - he has thousands of staff working for him, a Supervisor has oh um TWO.

Anonymous said...

Dear kimo c: I do a lot of volunteer work in various groups that are working to improve our area. I don't need to go to Daly for personal help; what our neighborhood needs from Daly is for him to represent us in city hall, not stand aside while we are packed with pot clubs, homeless shelters, halfway houses, unsupervised drug rehab shelters, etc.

momo said...

Nancy, whether or not your frustration is justified is not for me to say. But the point of this blogpost is that this series of cartoons crosses a line from political critique to presenting assault on a public official as reasonable. I don't know about you, but I remember vividly when Moscone and Milk were murdered by someone who felt very self righteous about his actions.