Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beyond Chron ten years later

Photo by Frank Jang

Randy Shaw looks back on ten years of publishing Beyond Chron:

Soon after Beyond Chron began that I learned that one of my chief goals---enlisting activists to promote their causes---would fall short. Many activists have a desire to write but can’t find the time. Others lack confidence in their writing skills. Some feared alienating the Newsom Administration with criticism.

Oh yes, those "activists" are so busy they don't have time to write. And what kind of activist would worry about alienating City Hall? The real problem Shaw had is that many of the "progressive" causes ten years ago were dumb and weren't thought through very well, which I pointed out on Beyond Chron's first anniversary.


This meant that I ended up doing more writing than originally planned. Fortunately, Paul Hogarth, an activist with college journalism experience, came on board to give BC a political punch that also expanded readership.

I suppose "punch" is one way to describe what Hogarth brought to the party, but an ultra-left nuttiness would be more accurate. Hogarth's The day Obama became a Republican is a classic in the ultra-left genre, which has been a problem with Shaw's project from the start: You can't flank Beyond Chron on the left! (see also this, this, and this.)

Hogarth also wrote in favor of allowing UC to rip off and privatize the extension property on lower Haight Street that had been zoned for "public use" for 150 years.


Locally, I take greatest pride in a story I wrote in October 2010, “In District 6, Jane Kim Takes on the Machine.” I saw the Bay Guardian/Democratic machine anointing their handpicked candidate to represent the Tenderloin and the rest of D6 as profoundly disempowering and contrary to what progressive politics is supposed to be about. D6 voters agreed, electing Kim handily. In the decade prior to that story I had a good relationship with Aaron Peskin and used to talk to him about once a week; the only time we have talked since then is when we ran into each other briefly at a North Beach café.

Shaw's support for Jane Kim in District 6 over Peskin's candidates implied that Peskin is a racist. Maybe that's why there's a chill in your relationship, Randy. In fact Shaw has consistently assumed that only he understands the interests of non-whites in San Francisco, that those who simply disagree with him on, for example, immigration are racists. Shaw on immigration in 2006:

Can it be that liberal San Francisco does not really care whether thousands of its residents are made criminals due to racist attacks on the current generation of predominately Latino immigrants? Based on the city's inaction, it is difficult to draw a contrary conclusion.

Shaw plays the race card throughout the Jane Kim piece that he's so proud of: "In a city filled with young people and Asian-American Democrats, the DCCC’s slap in the face to Jane Kim does not serve broader progressive interests." Kim is "a young, Asian-American progressive," and by not endorsing Kim in District Six, Peskin and the DCCC "turns away those who do not fit its preferred demographic," which is supposedly white people.

The reality was that the white Debra Walker was much more qualified to be a supervisor than Jane Kim, who was both a carpetbagger and of dubious candle power.

Presumably Shaw's refusal to publish anything on the Islamic bullyboys is also based on his goofball racial analysis of politics, which makes him a typical American lefty. Of course Beyond Chron wrote nothing about the largely successful attempt by the Islamists to intimidate the media during the trumped-up issue of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and they wrote nothing about the anti-Jihad ads on Muni buses.

While Beyond Chron's party line leftism hinders its coverage of issues---especially local issues that can't be usefully analyzed using typical leftist assumptions---just as often it's just plain stupid, like Shaw on Mirkarimi and CEQA.

My post on Beyond Chron's fifth anniversary.

Kim left the Green Party when being a Democrat became fashionable for leftists here in Progressive Land.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Brandeis and Islam

Thanks to Pamela Geller for the link.

Andrew Sullivan on the cowardice of Brandeis.

Labels: ,