I just read a phony attack on Oakland’s mayor that is billed as a new feature in the San Francisco Chronicle, “We Call BS” by Carla Marinucci. First of all, attacking Oakland from every angle and particularly its first woman, grassroots mayor is certainly nothing new for the Chron. It’s just everyday sport for them, not journalism, that is, but sport.
What’s really shocking to me is that a well-respected political reporter, a woman reporter,too, would reach into that old bag of tricks the Chron columnists love to use-stereotypes of Oakland-crime center of the world, little sister to the grand old dame, San Francisco, that quaint museum of a city across the Bay.
Maybe they’re afraid that if tourists find out we have a functioning Chinatown where people live and work, rather than that kitchy souvenir center that is all that is left of the old vibrant Chinatown, or a thriving Latino district that runs from Deep East to the Fruitvale, all the way to East Lake, where instead of hipster boutiques there are still taco trucks, wedding shops, and restaurants representing a wide array of cultures, not to mention, Uptown, Temescal, and the Grand Lake where some of the best cultural-fusion eating establishments-Asian, Black, Latino, Ethiopian,etc. can be found; AND we have a fun bar scene now-no need to worry about the bridge to SF. Why bother to go?
Back to the “Politics Blog, We call BS.” It should be renamed. BS R Us, no real politics here. This investigative piece contacted the White House, oh yeah they did, and found that that contrary to what the mayor said, she did indeed talk to the president and the attorney general. The president met with 18 mayors of cities with rising crime rates amongst its youth. Did she say she had an intimate chat with the prez? No, of course, not but Obama did show up and listen to all the mayors problems and solutions.
This is somehow BS. This is name dropping that she said she met with the President of the United States. Well, in fact she did and after the president left, they talked with the attorney general and his office, probably a total of hours. I very much doubt these folks invited mayors from all over the country to come to DC for a very brief chat.
As to the namedropping accusation, in what world does a mayor get to meet with the president who got his folks to invite her among other mayors, whom he sought out for their input, and she keeps it a secret?? If Jerry had been there instead of Jean, it would’ve been all, oooh, what did he say, and what was it like?
But our diminutive Jean Quan, the upstart woman who “stole” the spot from a bonafide big wheel Democrat, dare not brag, unbecoming to a woman. Is it particularly unbecoming, unseemly even, because she is an Asian woman? Oops, I better not imply that or I will get attacked by the folks who generally expect to be invited to certain places and take umbrage when the wrong folks are invited instead.
What did she get, what was the quid pro quo for her trip? Ms. Marinucci is a political reporter, no? Has she heard a little bit about the difficulty President Obama is in with a Congress who thinks he also doesn’t belong and won’t give him the time of day? Most of us wouldn’t be surprised, knowing the state of national politics, if he can’t get his hands on the funds we need to competently police our city, much less blame that on the Mayor….
So now that the BS calling columnists think they’ve got her down (guess they don’t know Jean Quan), they try for a kick to the head. Oh yeah, do you know the taxpayers footed this bill? Really, how horrible, inexcusable. Maybe she should’ve turned down an invitation to the White House, an invitation to talk about crime, crime folks; because some reporters think it’s a “jaunt.” I call crazy, sorry, that’s just crazy talk.
Wow, the final blow was Quan’s nerviness to remind folks at the fast food workers’ demonstration about the Civil Rights struggle and compare it with current struggles; and so the reporter says, for that the crowd turned on her. Watch the video, a couple of obnoxious people who have a bone to pick, heckled her and ignored the workers and their organizations to make their points. I saw one White guy who thought he was the most important person there yelling at her-but no BS on him, I guess.
So let me get this straight. The mayor was wrong to go to DC or should have waited until she could raise the funds privately, then wrong to talk about it, and especially wrong to believe that the President will do all he can to help our struggling cities. She further erred by recognizing the new generation that is fighting for their rights, economic and civic?
Is that true or is that just BS? Well, let’s call it what it really is, I call Bullshit!