Stay Tuned: Throw the Book at Pelosi

Written by Hope Johnson. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on March 17, 2009 with 11 Comments

Hope Johnson
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Hope Johnson

March 17, 2009

Pelosi – Throw the Book at Her

Which book? Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, of course!

Madame Speaker, in her infinite wisdom, requests the Department of Justice allow local newspapers more flexibility to merge in order to save The Chronicle. Pelosi believes anti-competition laws should include television and internet media in defining competition faced by newspapers.

In this time of economic uncertainty, Madoff, and a corporate history including the Enron fiasco, do we really need to further limit the people controlling the media?

Propaganda model lesson time from Herman and Chomsky.

Few find value in a failed Chron; however, any news unfavorable toward the owners of a media source is susceptible to censorship and biased reporting. Diversified ownership is key to ensure what might be subject to censorship in one publication receives props in another.

Besides, Nancy, newspapers and your idea of their “new” competition, television and the internet, are already owned by a small minority. Think Rupert Murdoch.

The Bush administration used terrorist attacks to limit our freedom. Is this an attempt at using the economic crisis to help the affluent limit our information?

Best Political Mind Prediction Redux

Predicted first comment on viewing new Willie Brown Way street signs? “Hey, check it out, San Francisco really is liberal. They’ve switched from honoring great writers on street names to honoring criminals and con men!”

As one SF resident, who requested anonymity, said of the name change, “Totally unacceptable, unless, of course, it terminates in Madoff Circle.”

Gav, you want to name a street after the guy who used his weekly column to praise a man about to raise college tuition fees during one of the worst economic crisis in our history. What’s the kickback?

Oh, Won’t You Stay Just a Little Bit Longer

At his office party on Friday, District 11 Supervisor John Avalos described the odd feeling of moving from legislative aide to being on the inside of the Board Chambers railing separating electeds from the public.

“That separation exists but I’m trying to break it down as much as possible,” Avalos explained.

And that he did at Wednesday’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting.

It’s never seemed fair the Mayor and department heads aren’t required to listen to public comment on their proposed program cuts, especially as we face devastating losses this year.

Imagine Rec and Park Department General Manager Jared Blumenfeld’s surprise when Avalos said, “I would like to ask a few questions as well but after public comment.”

“I think it would be good if you’re able to respond certainly to our questions, but then some of the things that are brought up in public comment as well at the end,” Avalos instructed Blumenfeld.

And, just like that, finally, the Mayor’s office had to not only stay for their fair share of public comment but also listen carefully. There was a test at the end!

Kudos to Supe Avalos for offering a hopeful spirit to worried commentators and, hopefully, starting a pattern of everyone involved in budget cuts getting an earful.

Stay tuned. Oh, yeah, and happy St. Paddy’s!

Fun Fact

FCJ’s multi-talented Elaine Santore captured live the solidarity protest for Tristan Anderson at the Israeli Embassy. Check it out, here.


Comments for Stay Tuned: Throw the Book at Pelosi are now closed.

  1. oops, my math was wrong, first contractor was $400 each for materials and workers.

  2. Godamnit Hope, you’re not only cuter than a boxload of buttons and sharp as a tack, but also stimulating a lot of other interest here. Gonna share this which came to me under the heading, “The Stimulus Plan”, shortened and edited for local ‘flavah’.
    Contractors were called in to bid on repairing some broken windows at City Hall. A local black contractor and small business owner came first, looked the job over, did some measuring and figuring and finally said, “OK, I can do this for $900. $300 for materials, $300 for my workers, and $100 for my profit. Next came a latino contractor who went through the same process and said, “OK, I can do this for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my workers, and $100 for my profit. The last one in was a white contractor with ‘friends in high places’. He didn’t even look at the job because he had ‘knowledge’ of the other bids. He said, “OK, I can do this for $2,700”. Even the official was a little surprised and asked him to explain how come his bid was so much higher. “That’s easy.” was the reply, “.$1000 for you, $1000 for me, and we hire the low bidder to do the job.”. Guess who got the contract.

  3. If “Madame” Pelosi is really interested in saving local newspapers, preserving the freedom of the press and the public’s access to divergent views and opinions, might I suggest that she consider “going to bat” for the SFBayview. Unless of course she is really only interested in preserving the monopoly of her MSM paymasters, their ‘right’ to control and manipulate the distribution of news and information in furtherance of their various schemes and scams, in protecting their investments and further restricting our rights and liberties. Oh, I’m such a cynical old curmudgeon. Remember, Obama’s not the answer…we are.

  4. Brown lavished sufficient riches on Republicans and Democrats alike that he’s covered his rich ass quite well.

    Didn’t Brown go to bat for Schwarzenegger over Angelides back in 2006?

    He would not be the first to play both sides all the way to the bank.


  5. Hope: You can be dishonest in what you leave out as much as what you put in. Brown praised Yudof with the exception of the idea of raising tuition, which was your objection to the man. After spending his whole life in the public arena, do you really think Willie Brown committed crimes he got away with? Much of his political life was under Republican administrations in California. Do you really think the Republicans wouldn’t have nailed Brown if he had given them the opportunity? The fringe left dislikes Brown because he’s not a leftist; the Republican right dislikes him because he’s a liberal. The reality is that Willie Brown ran rings around both political factions.

  6. @ H. brown

    Our taste in art is controlled by Donald Fisher and Dede Wilsey?

    It could be worse.

    Our taste in taste is controlled by Michael Bauer.

  7. Dear Mr. Anderson,

    Thank you for participating with us at FCJ. I must respectfully disagree with some of your conclusions.

    “You and your commenter have your facts wrong about Willie Brown. He’s not only not a criminal; he’s never even been charged with a crime.”

    My prediction statement is my opinion, as is your belief as to Mr. Brown’s criminal status (I’m assuming here your double negative is in error and you do not believe Mr. Brown is a criminal as your statement indicates). We’re both entitled to our opinion. It should also be noted not all persons guilty of crimes have been charged, e.g. Jack the Ripper (never charged) or Robert Vesco (fugitive financier at large for many years prior to charge).

    “And he argued against raising UC’s tuition in last Sunday’s column.”
    My column does not discuss Mr. Brown’s position on tuition increases, rather his praise for Mr. Yudof. Per Brown, “But whatever they do, this guy Yudof will make it happen. He’s impressive as all hell.”

  8. Watch the police beat down of Tristan Anderson at the Israeli Embassy, here

  9. Hope,

    Avalos is as advertised and I apologize for jumping in his shit earlier when he insulted Adachi. He still can’t carry Jeff’s jock but he’s doing very very well.

    Upon the matter of media monopolies, a few of us were having a nip and a toke and talking about the ever narrowing control of venues for live music now. It’s actually true that Warren Hellman and Philip Anschutz together control almost the entire SF stage space.

    Did you know that once Bill Graham had control of the SF venues many years ago that he bullied the California Board of Regents into giving him the rights to every single major booking within the system? He cut out all the student groups that had promoted events in the past. He once stood on a stage here and pounded the podium and screamed: “No Joe Schlitz will ever promote in this town!!”

    Problem is that if our taste in art is controlled by Donald Fisher and Dede Wilsey and our taste in music is controlled by Warren Hellman … where’s Charlie Daniels gonna play?
    You’re sharp, girl. You should wear a burka so folks won’t be distracted.


  10. Thanks for the Pelosi slamdown, Hope. It’s time for monopoly journalism to die and the loss of the “Chronicle” might actually leave room for other voices that aren’t beholden to political hacks like Madame Speaker.

  11. You and your commenter have your facts wrong about Willie Brown. He’s not only not a criminal; he’s never even been charged with a crime. And he argued against raising UC’s tuition in last Sunday’s column.