Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The year of the bicycle?

Every year is the year of the bicycle for the Bay Guardian. When was the last time they did a cover story on homelessness? Bicycles uber alles, a good illustration of the degeneration of left-wing politics in San Francisco.



At 3:41 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Apparently the Guardian feels that Nevius has the homeless meme covered.

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have regularly covered the homeless issue, including this extensive, award-winning investigation and cover story last year:

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Why would the leading progressive publication in SF leave the field to the Chronicle on this important issue? Recall that Newsom was elected mayor in 2003 primarily because of the homeless issue. Besides, while Nevius has done a lot of important work on the homeless issue, the Chronicle had Kevin Fagan covering the issue years before Nevius started his column. The Guardian has simply failed the prog community on homelessness, as they have on housing and the bicycle fantasy.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"We have regularly covered the homeless issue, including this extensive, award-winning investigation and cover story last year."

The story you link is from Feb. 2008, which is 15 months ago. It's good work, but where's the follow-up? What city progressives really needed was the steady, long-term coverage that this important issue requires to provide city lefties some understanding. Recall that this is the issue Newsom used to get himself elected mayor. The Guardian goes for months without even mentioning the issue. Where's the serious analysis of Care Not Cash, supportive housing, and Homeward Bound? You didn't even mention the latest homeless count.

What's required is the kind of serious, long-term reporting and analysis that Steve Jones gives to the bicycle issue. I disagree with Jones on most everything, but at least he's covering the issue. You used to have Rachel Brahinsky covering homelessness---I remember seeing her at the Alioto/Newsom press conference introducing the Ten-Year Plan---but she's long gone, and no one has taken her place.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

At 10:43 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

I thought about this some more. Why is it the Guardian's responsibility to cover homelessness anyway? They aren't a public utility, they are an entertainment weekly.

If they make bad choices of what to cover, their advertisers won't buy ads, and they'll go out of business. That isn't happening.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Keep thinking, Murph, and maybe eventually you'll think of something intelligent to say. The Bay Guardian is the leading progressive publication in San Francisco. Just a few years ago, homelessness was the most important political issue in the city. In particular Gavin Newsom rode the homeless issue into the mayor's office, as opposed to his uber-progressive opponent, Matt Gonzalez, who offered nothing on the issue but more of the same.

When the Guardian did cover the issue, it was off on the fringe left with Food Not Bombs. They failed the city's left intellectually by not understanding two things---how unhappy city voters were with the growing numbers of homeless on our streets and in our parks; and that something meaningful could in fact be done to alleviate the homeless problem. The implication of this approach, as Shaw pointed out, was/is a defense of the status quo.

Since Newsom has shown us that some things---short of a "solution," of course---could in fact be done to deal with the problem: Care Not Cash, Homeward Bound, more outreach, and supportive housing. Thus the Guardian failed city progs on the homeless issue. Notice that they've stopped talking about entirely?

At 10:12 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Yet it is the Chron which is slowly going out of business. What are you, some sort of socialist, saying that the public should tell a business how to run itself?

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Of course the Guardian is a commercial operation, with sex ads and ads for tobacco products. But it's primary role has always been as a political journal. It's done well as a business---though it's looking pretty thin on ads lately---but has failed as a political publication.


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