Look, I've been to the San Francisco Chronicle's newsroom. I used to work there when the place was called the Examiner. Now that was a few years back, but I can tell you this: No one wore love beads. Everyone wore a shirt. And the only ones getting stoned on the job were the paste-up guys (I kid, I kid — he flushed the toilet too fast to get caught red-handed).
But if it behooves the representatives of Red America to brand the Chron as a pack of hippie extremists, so be it. Yesterday on Politics Live, Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch said the only reason Democrats were seeking bipartisanship on the massive stimulus package was that they knew it was a crap bill and were preemptively seeking to spread blame around. “It's a dog right now,” he said. “Even the San Francisco Chronicle calls it that, and that's a liberal paper.”
If this is the latest GOP foray into shock and awe, well, congratulations. But here's the problem: Help me out if I'm wrong here, folks, but I can't find any official Chronicle statements about how bad this bill is — and calling something “a dog” in a pejorative manner here in San Francisco wouldn't make much sense. People in this city love dogs.
Running a search on the Chronicle's main page, I certainly can't find the term “dog” being literally applied to this bill. In fact, the only article I can find excoriating the House and Senate stimulus bills comes, naturally, from staff conservative Debra Saunders. This is not a surprise: If liberal San Franciscans came out in favor of water, Saunders would renounce bathing. But, if this is all Hatch has got, then he's got nothing. It'd be like claiming Alan Colmes spoke for FOX News.
In fact, far from being a bastion of hippie-dippie liberalism, the folks over at Media Matters claim the Chron unthinkingly repeated Republican talking points — that happen to be false — about $4.19 billion in the current recovery plan going to ACORN.
You know who else has been pushing that dubious claim? That's right — Orrin Hatch!