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Friday, July 24, 2009

Looks Like Supervisor Chris Daly Purposely Ruined Chron's Scoop

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Sorry, Chuck: No scoop for you!
On Wednesday afternoon, Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius e-mailed Supervisor Chris Daly asking him about the Fairfield home he had purchased in April. The email contained the exact address of Daly's new house. (In other words: Busted!)

Daly didn't respond to Nevius. But later the same day he posted a statement on Fog City Journal disclosing that he and his wife had bought a house near his in-laws in the Solano County city. (As it turned out, the couple actually had purchased two homes there.)

Chron metro editor Audrey Cooper says she thinks the timing of Daly's statement was no coincidence -- Daly chose to do a pre-emptive infomercial on a friendly blog rather than answer to the city's paper of record. "We really would have liked the opportunity to have talked to the supervisor," she said. "We had some follow-up questions that would have given him the opportunity to explain why his family is leaving the city and how often he is staying at his SOMA condo."

It's pretty obvious Daly chose to cockblock a Chron scoop. After all, he'd had plenty of time to tell everyone he and his wife planned to move to Fairfield since they bought their new family homes in February and April, respectively.

Daly also was faced with the reality that his most persistent critic in the "corporate media" was going to break the bad news to everyone. To use the vernacular, there's history between Nevius and Daly. Daly has ranted in the past about being criticized by a suburbanite like Nevius, who lives in Walnut Creek. (An example from a 2008 blog post Daly wrote: "Three days a week the City is subjected to the worst of his suburban biases. It goes without saying that CW Nevius is backward, and his enabling employers are complicit.")

Nevius, meanwhile, couldn't resist taking a self-referential swipe at Daly's hypocrisy in his original story that ran on the Chron's Web site: "District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, who has often mocked his critics who do not live in San Francisco, announced today that he and his wife have purchased a house in Fairfield..."

It's not unheard of for politicians to try and get out ahead of a negative story like this. Politicians want to control the message, and in this case Daly had two options: Let his rival spin the story, or spin the story himself on a Web site willing to volunteer its bandwidth to him. If you were Chris Daly, which option would you choose?  


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