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With h brown

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Court Jester reviews Chronicle's chronic fear
of blogosphere


By h. brown


March 25, 2007

Chronicle Death Watch goes 24/7

(barefoot bloggers overrun food critics)

"David Lazarus makes too much money."

(Hearst stockholder)

Wall Street likes blogger model

("What's not to like?")

They work for free. They don't need a parking space. They don't mind sleeping on the floor, or the humiliation of peeing in the sink of a Tenderloin SRO. They don't need high priced editors. They rarely have the funds to use soap or toothpaste, and they rarely sleep. Best of all, they work for free. Did I already mention that?

Chronicle shooting wounded in mad assault on free speech

For the life of me, I can't figure out what they're smoking over at the Swell's flagship daily. First, bloggers don't exist or are inconsequential. Now, bloggers are the death of 'real' journalism. I smell blood.

On TV, Tom Stienstra strides through the redwoods with a ranger who listens to him raptly. Once Tom is fired, the same ranger will arrest him for gathering shrubs and berries to feed his starving family at exactly the same spot.

'You getting paid by the friggin' word?"

(Eileen Left)

OK, bottom line it here. I was right again. OK, I know you're getting tired of hearing that. But, it's true. I said a couple of days ago that it looked like the Chron writers had decided around their Arrowhead water cooler that they were going to bring down the blogosphere.

Everyone laughed and so did I. I offered little in the way of support for my argument. A couple of articles and a cartoon. But, today they attack online food critics, for God's sake, in the center, front-page headline that ignored the possibility of nuclear war in Iran?

Then, the Chron's 'Two Cents' riff calls bloggers "self-proclaimed journalists" and "amateur blogs, incoherent rants." Yeah, we've got a full on assault here folks.

Incoherent rant #48

When you were in college, you pompous mainstream media assholes should have picked your minors more carefully. Once you lose your jobs, we'll find out if you're real writers, or just poseurs with connections. For 90% of you, it is certainly the latter.

How do you compete with people who not only are more dedicated than you, but are willing to eat table scraps and drink flat beer?

You know what the hottest job for graduates of the famed U.C. School of Journalism is? It's PI/Analyst. That means it's easier to get a decent paying job as a private investigator than as a paid reporter. Let's learn from that.

I'd say that anyone majoring in journalism at U.C. should be minoring in something like Kung Fu with an emphasis in Bail Bonds and wiretapping.

Food critics should definitely minor in over-the-road truck driving. That way, when the free-bin of online smart-ass and pretentious clones of wannabes described in today's front-page Chron piece, renders them unemployed, they can take to the roads and report online about truck stop cuisine. And, of course, the cleanliness of their showers and bunks, the STD rate among truck stop hookers and the purity of the local meth.

And on…. and on...

I mean, give me a friggin' break. Like the Chron is going to win this battle by paying too much money to stymied dead weights like Marshall Kilduff? Put on your parachute and take a number, Marshall.


And, there are other problems that weigh down knuckle-dragging, union busting publishers like Frank Vega.

It ain't just Kilduff. How does he fire Bill Keane? Keane is arguably the worst cartoonist in America. But, he has political clout.

The future of journalism is online as it is at present. Killing trees is so 20th century.

There are two things that people will do for free. One of them is propogate. The other one is write. In both instances the 'amateur', with his/her heart in the activity, is always more fun.

Bottom line for Chron reporters

Many of you are going to get pink slips. That's a simple fact. If you really have writing in your blood, then you'll continue writing and contributing your work to the public. But, suddenly you can be arrested and imprisoned for doing exactly the same thing you do now, only doing it for free.

The Hearst syndicate is trying to criminalize online journalism and you are helping them. The Hearst-designed national shield law specifically leaves most online journalists unprotected. And, while I don't give a shit if you don't respect me, I do mind if you maneuver to imprison me.

Josh Wolf remains in prison. His pop, Len Harrison is maintaining a daily vigil in front of the federal building at Larkin and Golden Gate. Come bring him a cup of coffee. Watch his banner and candles while he goes to pee. He has more integrity in his little finger than David Lazarus has in his entire body.

Kudos for Kops

(yeah, it happens)

A friend of mine who suffers from scoliosis was in great pain. She went to SFGH and got an X-ray. They told her she was OK. Two days later 2 cops show up at her door. Seems the medical staff had looked at her pics again and decided that she might have a broken hip. They couldn't reach her by phone so the cops came out to make certain she was OK. I am eternally grateful to the cops for making that visit. She went back in for an MRI and there is no break.

Southern cops shine

My liquor store is in a bad neighborhood as are most liquor stores. This particular store is called 'Travelers Liquors', thus named I'd guess because it's just down the street on 7th from where the old Greyhound Bus Station used to be.

Well, let's be honest here, 7th street between Market and Mission isn't the best of neighborhoods. And liquor stores in poor neighborhoods come with a virtual flotilla of sidewalk blocking predatory drunks and thieves. There is a 250 lb or so bully who terrorizes the sidewalk in front of Travelers Liquors.

Two days ago, as I left the store with my flask safely tucked away, I watched the thug deftly pick a pack of cigarettes from the coat pocket of an old man with a cane. It was the pack of smokes he'd just sold the man.

Well, I raised hell. Told him he was a thief and he should give the cigarettes back. He told me it was none of my business and threatened me.

Now, having no common sense is almost as good as being young and strong, and so I jawed at him 'til I saw a sector car from Southern station cruising in our direction and flagged them down. They yelled at me for coming out in the street, but they did go over and confront this local smalltime thug. I am grateful for that.

David Campos keeps his word

Police Commissioner David Campos promised me last week that he'd raise the issue of steroid testing for cops at this week's meeting of the commission. Imagine my surprise when he actually did it. He took the first step in gathering information for a future hearing.

Not only that, he pressed Commission President, Louise Renne, to calendar hearings on both the Josh Wolf incarceration and another on Patrol Specials.

I am watching, David. I am listening.

" I don't like crowds. I don't even like going to the mall."

(my favorite bass player)

My new favorite band is coming to town soon but I don't know exactly where or when they're playing. You have to be invited to their performances and then you're never sure. Imagine that.

Touching the 'g' spot of chaos rock since 2006

Yeah, that about describes them. I'll write a review and name them after they've left SF. Best band around. No tickets. No advertising. No traditional venue location.

Wish me luck. Anyone got any psychedelics?

Danny Glover for Mayor.

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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