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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