Thursday, February 02, 2012

Huffington Post SF piles on Mirkarimi

Carly Schwartz is "editor of Huffington Post San Francisco." I get their "San Francisco alerts," like the daily links I get from BeyondChron, Streetsblog, etc., but there's rarely anything of interest or worth a comment.

Until the other day, with Schwartz's dumb, lemming-like piece on Ross Mirkarimi. Schwartz has nothing new or interesting to say on the matter, but she just wanted everyone in SF to know that she too is piling on Mirkarimi.

Schwartz begins by trying to establish her credibility as a San Francisco progressive:

As a longtime resident of the Haight, I've been a fan of Mirkarimi, my progressive former District 5 Supervisor, for ages. The gregarious politico champions causes like marijuana legalization and equal rights for homeless people; issues near and dear to my heart.

If those issues were really "near and dear" to Schwartz, she would know that Mirkarimi has had little to do or even say about homelessness in his years as District 5 Supervisor. Is she referring to his opposition to the sit-lie law? Hard to say, but it's apparently just pro-forma bullshit, a failed attempt to demonstrate some kind of political credibility. And, except for carrying the legislation to regulate the city's pot clubs back in 2005, the pot issue hasn't been particularly important for Mirkarimi or anyone else in San Francisco, where it's not controversial.

No, Mirkarimi's career as supervisor is highlighted---if that's the word---by his support for the city's foolish, smart-growth development policies: he was the front man for both the Market and Octavia Plan and for allowing UC to hijack the old extension property on lower Haight Street.

Just as important, Mirkarimi has been the go-to guy for the city's bike people for the last seven years, since he supported the Bicycle Plan and whatever else the Bicycle Coalition wanted to do to our streets on behalf of that special interest group with the effective lobbying organization.

And now, sadly, I count myself among the ranks of San Franciscans who believe the time has come for our sheriff to step aside. At least until this whole mess resolves itself...Local and national commentators weren't shy with their opinions, and the chorus of cries for Mirkarimi's resignation grew louder and louder until it completely drowned out his steadfast claims of innocence.

Oh yes, it's so sad when you have to join the mob. Why not wait until the "mess resolves itself," that is, until the man has had his day in court? That's not a question political lemmings or members of the mob ask themselves. Schwartz knows which way the wind is blowing here in Progressive Land, where Mirkarimi is facing stiff headwinds.

I rarely agree with resident Chronicle curmudgeon C.W. Nevius, but I must join him in saying the best thing for both Mirkarimi and his family would be for the sheriff to take a leave of absence until the storm passes. At the very least, San Francisco will have less of a reason to hate him if he's ultimately proven innocent.

Yes, joining Nevius---whose opinions are reliably aligned with those of City Hall---is the safe thing to do. And if he's found innocent? Well, Schwartz will then put her finger to the wind to see which way the wind is blowing.

The whole thing ultimately just makes me want to take a long shower. I feel dirty being privy to the intimate details of Mirkarimi's dark personal life. Shouldn't the man be entitled to at least a little bit of privacy when slapped with such loaded charges, despite his stubborn refusal to step aside? A young child's well-being is at stake.

Hard to beat that for hypocrisy and sheer phoniness, but Schwartz manages to do it with this:

And yet as HuffPost SF's editor, it's my job to amplify the important parts of the tale to a much larger audience. So I'll continue to comb the Internet for every nugget between now and February 24, when his trial begins. 

Yes, it's a dirty job, but Schwartz will continue doing it, as if people of San Francisco need her to "amplify the tale." The local media is already doing that, thank you. But apparently Schwartz missed this in Bay Citizen from Mirkarimi's former partner:

“I was shocked when I read about it,” Evelyn Nieves, a journalist and a past partner of Mirkarimi’s, said in an e-mail. “Ross and I were together for the better part of a decade — eight years or so — and never once did he even come close to being physical during an argument. It’s just not his way,” Nieves added. “He was way more prone to proposing that disagreements be talked out."

This doesn't absolve Mirkarimi of the current charges, but it's a "nugget" Schwartz might have considered before piling on before the man has been convicted of anything.

Schwartz squeezes out a few crocodile tears in a contemptible last sentence: "Maybe it's my District Five loyalty talking, but I have to admit I feel kinda bad for the guy."

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At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take Heart Rob. The bike nazi's grip is slowly but surely falling apart. Despite their so called political sway, the cyclist who killed Dionette Cherney is being run up the flagpole - he will have to do "a SIGNIFICANT amount of community service". Despite the efforts of the SFBC, this guy is going to pay for his crime.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger carly schwartz said...

Thanks for bringing more attention to my story, Rob! You are awesome! :) :)

Have a great day!

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Mike Portanova said...

I don't quite understand your problem with her post. I think her take on it is somewhat unique: she's a supporter of Mirkarimi, lives in his district and took the time to meet him in the park one day, but now given what she knows, she has decided that perhaps he should step aside while the storm blows over. Yes, I'm sure a lot of people have had this opinion, but as you noted her saying, "as HuffPost SF's editor, it's [her] job to amplify the important parts of the tale to a much larger audience."

You then criticize her for not knowing Mirkarimi's politics, saying that it's "hard to say" whether her citation of Mirkarimi's championing for the homeless includes the sit-lie law. This is intellectually dishonest; of course she is referring to that law as well as other positions, both formal and informal, that Mirkarimi has taken.

I do think you've adopted a legitimate position with respect to whether or not Mirkarimi should step aside until a final verdict. While reasonable minds can differ on this point, I, and apparently Ms. Schwartz, am of the position that while a person is innocent until proven guilty, public officials cannot well-serve their constituents when they are fighting criminal charges, and therefore it would be prudent, if not politically expedient, for him to step aside momentarily.

I'll finish with just my take on your tone. You seem angry at everything, like the homeless man that yells at pigeons, and you take an anti-bicycle position in a city that teems with riders. This piece drips with victimhood, paranoia, and disdain for people who hold opinions inapposite to yours, and calling Ms. Schwartz "dumb" in the third sentence of your post is childish and, as I'm sure you know, logically fallacious.

But I'm sure, deep down, you're a nice boy.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"I don't quite understand your problem with her post."

You understand it. You just don't like it, but, like Schwartz, you're too lame to just say that.

There's nothing "unique" about her take on Mirkarimi's problems at all (not clear how something can be "somewhat" unique, by the way. Either it's unique or it isn't). Schwartz simply recites the news and gossip, all of which is well-known to people in SF. She has nothing to add---no new information, no insight, nothing but a lemming-like eagerness to run with the pack.

After retailing the well-known stories about the incident---and dragging her SF readers through that mud again---Schwartz says she's the one who wants to take a shower! It's all about her, as she tells us: "I'm having an existential crisis, Sheriff, and it's all you fault. (Or is it?)"

Well, is it or not? Schwartz, evidently a clinical case of passive-aggression, is unable to make the call. She assumes it's her responsibility as an editor to write something about the issue, but she really has nothing of interest to say that hasn't already been said.

She wants to have it both ways: to condemn Mirkarimi ("A young child's well-being is at stake." Are their children somewhere that aren't "young"? This woman is an editor?), while acknowledging that he hasn't been found guilty yet.

After heaping all that garbage on the man, she has the nerve to say, "I feel kinda bad for the guy."

Her opaque references to marijuana and homelessness are pure fakery, since neither of those issues have been important to Mirkarimi's career as a supervisor, except that he carried the legislation to regulate the pot clubs, which had nothing to do with legalization.

If either of those issues were really "dear to her heart," Schwartz would have known that. If she meant the sit-lie issue, she should have written that, and her editor---if she has one---should have told her that. But I'm "intellectually dishonest" for pointing out what a phony Schwartz is!

And so are you with this: "of course she is referring to that law as well as other positions, both formal and informal, that Mirkarimi has taken." A new category of political discourse---and "informal" position on an issue!

And this: "public officials cannot well-serve their constituents when they are fighting criminal charges, and therefore it would be prudent, if not politically expedient, for him to step aside momentarily." Bullshit. Mirkarimi is in fact performing his duties as sheriff, but he's supposed to fall on his sword anyhow just to suit birdbrains like you, Schwartz, and C.W. Nevius.

You don't like my tone? Tough shit, Mike. You're clearly much too sensitive a guy for my blog. You're a perfect embodiment of everything I despise about the city's political life---passive-aggressive, wishy-washy, intellectually pretentious, and, as your last sentence shows, witless.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll finish with just my take on your tone. You ARE angry at everything.


At 10:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Brave words from another anonymous jerk. You guys pull the anger bullshit because you can't make a real argument. Anger is presumably never justified in the world created by the self-esteem movement. Everyone gets a trophy, even Carly Schwartz, who did the best she could. And she gets points for the happy faces, right?

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Mike Portanova said...

You are a bit too condescending and aggressive to engage in civilized discourse. I think we'll let your blog slip back into obscurity now.

Have a wonderful weekend Rob!


At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole affair gets more boring by the day. By the way did you hear of Rose Pak's airing of statements made by Herrerra? Who cares.
But Rob, what I really want to ask you is whether it is naive to think the oil industry had no influence in decisions regarding high speed rail in our state. And just what that influence might be.

At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Puhleez! Politicians and scandals like this is why we In the East think you are all crazy in SF with your laws against circumcision and your medical marijuana "clubs". So now we have a local pol whose histrionic Latina wife (is there any other kind?) is making exaggerated on again off again allegations about his physical abuse of her.

I think that local political office should never be the job of last resort for losers who can't find gainful employment in a serious careers and that it behooves the opposition to expose these nuts before they get elected so they don't get elected.

This guy should never have been elected to the District 5 job in the first place-- not because of the pending allegations but because he clearly lacks the common sense to marry well and to behave like a prominent local politician. Whatever his politics, the guy is a loser.

As for the opinions and reporting of SF HuffPo--again, an employer of last resort staffed by wanna-be journalists who wouldn't be able to report a story that didn't come with a press release--I say, who has time to read this junk?

The idea of a major American city electing a sheriff is ridiculous. Law Enforcement is a serious endeavor that ought to be handled by trained professionals not elected clowns. The mayor picks the police chief and succeeds or fails on his effectiveness in managing crime. That's how grown ups do it.

I wonder how the digerati in Silicon Valley view the crazies who run SF politics? Is this one reason why the tech hot shots all headquarter in Mountain View and San Jose? Is politics saner there?

At 1:36 PM, Blogger AIDS-HIV Info Blog said...

Bravo. Schwartz was way off base and has joined most of the media, left and right, in a truly debasing swallowing of the DA's whole invented storyline, ignoring the inconvenient facts that Eliana Lopez herself, the alleged victim, says she is not a victim, the relationship is not abusive, and the violence being done to her family is being done by the DA's office.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

What crap! You folks in the "East" never have politicians in legal trouble? Mirkarimi has only been charged, not convicted of anything. The East still does have the same Constitution we have, right? This "loser" not only hasn't been convicted of anything, but he's been elected to city office three times now.

I think he's wrong on every important issue facing San Francisco, but I don't claim that he's "nuts." He's just wrong, though he represents the political consensus in SF on important issues.

Who cares what Silicon Valley thinks? I guess the folks at Twitter don't mind our political leadership, since they like the tax break City Hall gave them to locate in the city.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"You are a bit too condescending and aggressive to engage in civilized discourse. I think we'll let your blog slip back into obscurity now."

Good riddance. Don't let the screen door hit your ass on the way out.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

That Mirkarimi isn't allowed to see his son---even on a supervised visit---shows the collateral damage of over-zealous prosecution enabled by a smug, self-righteous judge who happens to be a woman.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Continuing to show how much of a sexist asshole you really are.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The court couldn't allow Mirkarimi an immediate supervised visit with his son? A week is a long time for a two-year-old mystified at the disappearance of his father.

Falling all over themselves to disapprove of domestic violence, the PC busybodies have overreached with this case and, in their excessive zeal, are doing more damage to this family than the original offense.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bold statement Rob - have you seen all of the evidence the DA has?

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One nitpick. That actual reporting you referenced that she ignored was by Scott James at The New York Times/Bay Citizen, not "Bay City."

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, thanks for the correction. It's important to give credit when and where it's due.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The Examiner's Melissa Griffin wants Mirkarimi's scalp, even though he hasn't been convicted of anything.


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