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The CrackBerry Chronicles

With Elaine Santore

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Elaine Santore


November 28, 2007

Now you see it, now you don't

"A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier."
- H. L. Mencken

On November 23, a blog named Investigate the Media posted an item titled "The San Francisco Chronicle deceives its readers through comment-deletion trickery." The author, who goes by the alias "Jim Jams," claims SFGate deletes comments, even though the comments are still visible to the original author. The post has received 104 comments at the time of publishing, many from readers reporting a similar problem.

Jim Jams doesn't argue against SFGate's right to delete comments, but believes the website deletes comments for reasons not outlined in the comments policy:

"Why would SFGate do such a thing? Because ever since public input was first allowed at SFGate, many commenters who had their comments deleted would come back onto the comment thread and point out that they had been silenced for ideological reasons -- i.e. they weren't sufficiently 'progressive' -- or because they had pointed out ethical lapses at SFGate and the Chronicle."

First of all, I find it strange to see the word "progressive" used in the same sentence as the Chronicle, but whatevs. If a form of censorship has occurred and continues to occur, more people should speak up. But I'm always suspecting towards people who passive-aggressively post online instead of writing a letter to the editor.

The subject came up two days later on Indybay. The author, Robert B. Livingston, covered a rally in Union Square protesting Pakistan dictator General Pervez Musharraf. The protestors asked if other media would be covering the event, and were disappointed by the lack of exposure.

However, after publishing his article on the event, Livingston was shocked to discover Chronicle reporter Rachel Gordon did show up, but allegedly couldn't find the protestors:

"If there was, as planned, a protest in Union Square Saturday against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, the participants did a mighty good job blending into the crowd of holiday shoppers."

Hmmm... Union Square is not that big. And protestors are usually distinguishable next to holiday Bridge and Tunnel shoppers. Maybe Rachel was running late?

Livingston left a comment on SFGate correcting Gordon, but he wasn't sure if his comment actually appeared on SFGate (it did). There's also a screen shot of his Google searches and postings on SFGate, including one informing readers comments were closed.

I've heard complaints in the past about comments not appearing on SFGate, but those were mainly because of registration issues. However, the jury is still out on whether or not the problem comes from a technical error, or if the Chronicle is practicing censorship.

Axis of Love Awards

On Monday Fog City Journal attended an award ceremony for Shona Gochenaur and Axis of Love at El Rincon in the Mission. Our very own h brown received an award for his column on the Pot Wars, and Terrrie Frye, Deborah Walker, Police Commissioner David Campos, and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi (Shona wrote "Mayor Mirkarimi" on his certificate) also received awards.

District 3 State Senator Carole Migden and Shona Gochenaur.

Terrrie Frye, Deborah Walker, David Campos, and h brown pose with their certificates.

This chick did not want her picture taken with Elaine Santore and Ross Mirkarimi.

The "Green Room"

"Mayor Mirkarimi" accepting his award.

Some party favors.

Ross Mirkarimi and the owner of El Rincon.

Afterwards, our crew headed over to the Elbo Room to watch Jeremy Pollock play in his band, My Last Day on Earth. These guys know how to play their instruments.

Jeremy Pollock (right) plays lead guitar but he's also a versatile bassist.

Bill Barnes and Michael Goldstein enjoyed the show...

... as did Sonya Mehta and Andy Blue.

CrackBerry Blind Item

Which oafish campaign manager doesn't bother to, you know, campaign much? He ran his last progressive campaign into the ground and hasn't stepped up his game for his current client. His laissez-faire attitude will get his incumbent meal ticket booted out of office, unless he stops using events as an opportunity to lurk and drink alone.

Do they give these campaign manager jobs out at the door? Can we get one?





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