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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Does Guardian Know of 'San Francisco Values'?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Gavin doesn't represent 'San Francisco values.' He just keeps winning San Francisco elections.
  • Gavin doesn't represent 'San Francisco values.' He just keeps winning San Francisco elections.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian didn't have much luck telling voters how to think with its endorsements issue this year. All three of its cover boys and girls either lost their supervisorial races or are on the way to losing.

Now it's taking a stab at telling our elected officials how to think. This week's cover story is, essentially, a very lengthy chalk talk by Coach Tim Redmond, drawing up the X's and O's for his Progressive squad -- down by a few scores at halftime -- so they can execute his game plan in the second half. Folks, he wants winners!

There's nothing wrong with that. The Guardian, overtly, sits at the same lunch table as the Progressive crew and serves as an essential component of the so-called "Progressive Movement." What we wish the Guardian would stop doing is accusing those who see the world differently than its writers and editors of not espousing "San Francisco Values." 

This week's cover story veers into a ditch even before Redmond gets the keys into the ignition. The subhead beneath the cover photo of Mayor Gavin Newsom notes "It's goodbye, Gav. Now can the progressives set aside ego, ambition, and personal peeves and actually choose a mayor who represents San Francisco values?"

The implication, of course, is that Newsom does not represent San Francisco values. Of course he doesn't -- because, in the Guardian's world, it is the sole arbiter of San Francisco values.

You can come up with any number of solid reasons why Newsom was -- and is -- a terrible mayor. If you wanted to, you could write whole cover stories about it (and more, and more, and more). But he's the only mayor we've got -- and he didn't take over this city via some kind of putsch. We elected him -- twice. And 75 percent of city residents, whatever their motivations, saw fit to back him for lieutenant governor.

Gavin Newsom supporters, it turns out, are like Garth Brooks fans. Just because the Guardian doesn't know anyone who owns one of Brooks' albums doesn't mean these people don't exist. You can question why a man such as Newsom remains so popular -- believe us, we do -- but you veer into dangerous territory when you claim he doesn't truly represent San Francisco despite winning election after election.

He exists. So do his fans. Believe it.
  • He exists. So do his fans. Believe it.
But representing San Francisco is, transparently, not the Guardian's ballgame. This article is plainly about how the Progressive movement can make chicken salad out of election day chickenshit and take control of Room 200; apparently nothing espouses San Francisco values better than a back-room, supremely political appointment process. "We have to come together here and do what's right for the progressive movement," Supervisor David Campos is quoted as saying.

That's a pretty chilling notion when you think about it. "What's right for the progressive movement" apparently trumps "what's right for San Francisco."

Campos is a brilliant public servant. It'd be a shame if his strident partisanship reduced him to irrelevance. If he wants a hint of how that looks, perhaps he should read the Guardian

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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