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Monday, February 8, 2016

Mayor Ed Lee: Mario Woods Shooting Was "Horrifying" "Firing Squad"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:15 PM

I swear, I did not like what I saw. - SF EXAMINER/MIKE KOOZMIN
  • SF Examiner/Mike Koozmin
  • I swear, I did not like what I saw.

Mayor Ed Lee has received heat for the way his office handled the Dec. 2 shooting death of Mario Woods — from both the Black Lives Matter and Police Lives Matter sets.

It took Lee until Dec. 7, five days later, to issue a statement — at which point the vide of Woods being shot killed at least 20 times by five SFPD officers had circulated worldwide — that included the phrase "Black Lives Matter" and seemed to indicate that what happened to Woods was not all right.

That set off the city's easily-upset police union, the Police Officers Association, but it also annoyed sympathizers with Mario Woods's cause, for Lee appearing to let off police Chief Greg Suhr easy. (Suhr initially asserted that police seemed to have acted lawfully and within protocol.)

But now Lee appears to be throwing his lot in with the very Mario Woods protesters who have been hounding him at every public event for almost two months.

In an interview with the Sun Reporter, a longstanding black newspaper with offices in the Bayview, Lee referred to Woods's death as a "firing squad."

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Massive Super Bowl Ads Illegal, City Attorney Says

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 1:39 PM


Remember that large and rather ill-executed Verizon Super Bowl 50 ad draping the Embarcadero Center near the Ferry Building? And remember how San Francisco's ban on general advertising — which bans new billboards and ads of this exact kind — apparently didn't apply, because the Mayor's Office said so, and because the Super Bowl is a "civic celebration"?

City Attorney Dennis Herrera is evidently not as big a football fan as Mayor Ed Lee. Herrera on Tuesday sent a letter to the owner of the Embarcadero Center, declaring the ad illegal and ordering it removed by 5 p.m. Thursday, the San Francisco Examiner first reported.

A spokesman for the Super Bowl Host Committee told the Examiner that the ads would be taken down immediately — prompting, at least among some circles, a "real" civic celebration, but begging additional questions. Such as: why did Ed Lee say the ads were OK in the first place?

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Friday, November 20, 2015

The Atlantic's Silicon Valley Suicides Cover Story and the Risk of Copycat Suicides

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:23 PM


The Atlantic’s
December issue leads with “The Silicon Valley Suicides” by Hanna Rosin, a somber look at the suicide pandemic seizing Palo Alto’s high schools. In the 2014-2015 school year, three current and one graduated student took their own lives, echoing a similar rash of suicides in 2008-2009. The most common method was stepping in front of an oncoming Caltrain.

Rosin, who graduated from Stanford but no longer lives in California, had scarcely arrived back in town to report on the troubling phenomena before she encountered anxious opposition.

Not because she was coming to write about a painful issue that the community is keen to put behind it — although she acknowledges that was a factor. (Diana Kapp investigated the story for San Francisco magazine earlier this year.) 

“I know that the very fact that I’m writing about this and making them confront it again isn’t great for these people, no matter how sensitive I was,” Rosin told me yesterday by phone.

The concern was mostly because experts contend — frantically, frequently, and to whoever will listen — that the mere act of writing about a suicide cluster could incite more suicides. It’s a situation called suicide pathogen, or sometimes just copycat suicide.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Will Judge Judy Watchers Sink Proposition F?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:39 PM


If you've been anywhere near a television in the past several months, chances are you've been subjected to a No on Prop. F campaign ad. Airbnb's $8.3 million is paying for a lot of things, but the big ticket item is air time. 

Thanks to the good people at the Internet Archive Blogs, we now have a sense of just how far Airbnb's cash is going.

The Internet Archive used audio fingerprinting to analyze which ads were running when from August 25th to October 26th.  They found that the Yes on F campaign has aired one 30-second ad 32 times, for a total of 16 minutes of airtime. 

By contrast, No on Prop. F aired its advertisements 3852 times, adding up to 26 hours and 53 minutes. As the Internet Archive Blogs points out, that's a 100:1 ratio for which message voters are seeing. 

The Internet Archive also released the metadata from their analysis, which means that we got to dig through and see which networks and programs are getting hit the hardest by the No on F message. 

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

VIDEO: Batshit Old Man with TV Show Calls for Arrest of Supervisor Malia Cohen

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 12:17 PM

  • Flickr/Jennifer Low
San Francisco's politicians enjoy taking a swipe at right-wing Fox News every now and then. Witness Supervisor Scott Wiener's much-lauded assertion that "Fox News is not real news" when a cameraman dogged him in the corridors of City Hall over the summer. 

So when the Board reaffirmed its commitment to Sanctuary City policies on Tuesday, it didn't seem all that notable that District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen (who joined progressives in rejecting Mark Farrell's Kate Steinle-inspired resolution 6-5) called out the network for its anti-immigrant bashing:
We cannot allow one event to dictate 25 years — 25 years of our city's policies towards undocumented immigrants in our city. And more importantly, more importantly, we cannot allow hateful conservative news stations to drive how we respond to incidents in our city. I'm not afraid of Fox News and they don't influence how I make my policy decisions here in San Francisco. 
Fox New's resident racist Bill O'Reilly clapped back, with an unhinged segment calling for Cohen's arrest:

That woman is a disgrace, and if I were the attorney general of the United States, I would immediately place her under arrest. I might not win the case, but I would send a message to all subversive office holders in this country, that if you do not obey federal law, you yourself will be prosecuted.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Whose Fault Are Evictions?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 12:26 PM

  • Shutterstock
There's nothing the media loves more than a counter-intuitive argument (n.b. #SlatePitch), and the San Francisco Chronicle's J.K. Dineen came up with a doozy this weekend in an article titled, "Why S.F. evictions are on the rise," in which he argued that a new pro-tenant law is actually increasing evictions in San Francisco. 

Dineen points to a bump in the rate of evictions since a tenant protection law went into effect on March 7 to suggest that the law is actually incentivizing evictions for landlords:

Since March, the number of eviction notices filed per month with the San Francisco Rent Board is up 32 percent compared with the previous three years’ average, while owner move-in evictions are up 131 percent. During that period, the average number of evictions has climbed from 151 per month to more than 200, while the number of owner move-in evictions per month has jumped from 23.7 to 54.7.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Fallout Over Controversial Gawker Post Continues With Top Level Resignations

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 10:58 AM

  • Scott Beale/Flickr

Last week, Gawker published a story detailing Condé Nast CFO David Geithner’s alleged attempt to arrange a sexual assignation with a male escort. The story was widely and harshly condemned online, with journalist Glenn Greenwald calling it “reprehensible beyond belief” and Sabrina Siddiqui, a political reporter at the Guardian, labeling it “disgraceful" — to quote but two critics. Roughly 24 hours later, Gawker CEO Nick Denton ordered the post removed, an unprecedented editorial decision that Denton described as a “close call” among his staff.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Watch: Scott Wiener Shuts Down Fox News Reporter With Heroic Insult

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 10:06 AM

  • SF Bicycle Coalition/Flickr
In many ways, it was a made-for-TV moment. Supervisor Scott Wiener, who only two weeks ago announced his bid for state senate, was ambushed at City Hall on Friday by a Fox News reporter demanding to know if he "showed remorse" over the July 1 killing of Kathryn Steinle. Supervisor Wiener was none too pleased, and let the reporter know his opinion of both him and his employer.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Watch: Geraldo Compares Immigration Debate to a "Cheap Drug" and Almost Kicks Ass on TV

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 1:04 PM

  • Courtesy of FOX News

The death of Kathryn Steinle at the hands of an undocumented Mexican national has become a flashpoint in the national debate over immigration and Sanctuary City policies, with everyone from Donald Trump to Bill O’Reilly to Hillary Clinton weighing in on the case. Now you can add another pundit to the mix: Geraldo Rivera.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Creative Entrepreneurs To Relaunch The Bold Italic

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 12:48 PM

  • dmon_21/Flickr

This morning, The Bold Italic’s Facebook and Twitter, which have been dormant since the company shut down in April, posted a brief, cryptic teaser: “The Bold Italic lives, stay tuned for more soon.” The news has spread through San Francisco media faster than outrage over a Marin measles party.

(Full disclosure: I was managing editor of TBI from January through April, so this is in no way objective reporting.)

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