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San Francisco Examiner: The Press on Market
by hugh baghdad
Monday Jul 30th, 2001 5:26 PM
The San Francisco Examiner's one-sided tirade against the poor and homeless...
THE PRESS ON MARKET: A MESS
\"6th
Community residents come together around a memorial for a fallen neighbor
On the morning of Thursday, July 26, a man was killed on 6th Street, between Mission and Howard. On Friday, the San Francisco Examiner ran front page coverage of the shooting as part of their "Mess on Market" series. This latest installment, entitled "Our Wide Open City: Another possibly drug-related shooting in what some see as Hallinan\'s Haven for druggies," is written by Zoe Mezin.

On Saturday night, a group of homeless people and housing activists marched to the offices of the San Francisco Chronicle to demand fair reporting on issues important to them. A local resident showed up at the protest with a copy of the Examiner\'s Friday edition. Holding back tears, she said, "Can somebody help me?"

"I heard about the protest and I had to come down," said Karen (speaking anonymously), who lives at the Knox, on 6th Street. "I can\'t believe the news prints this kind of stuff," she said. "They always want to say people are bad around here or that its about drugs, but that\'s not true."

The Examiner article makes it clear that "[r]esidents of the street said they suspected it was a drug-related shooting. Many of them pointed to the killing as a reason for District Attorney Terence Hallinan having a reputation for being lax on prosecuting low-level drug crimes." The article doesn\'t quote "many residents" who think this, but it does quote a liquor store owner and someone visiting from Arizona.

Karen took a group of street journalists to the memorial which had been quickly put together on 6th Street. "I came to the protest hoping to find someone who could get this information out," she said. Even though the Examiner article calls her neighborhood "one of the darkest, most drug-infested areas of San Francisco," Karen insists that their coverage twists and distorts the reality. "I\'ve lived here over 4 years, and the people around here are so nice, like a community. Homeless people will give my kids money to get ice cream or something at the store."

Other local residents, standing near the memorial, also spoke out anonymously. One young woman, who lives at the Seneca Hotel, was angry about the corporate media\'s attention on a person running a live webcam there which is pointed at 6th Street: "I noticed that he didn\'t want to show his face when he was on the tv news. I wonder if he\'s scared about his privacy." Another resident said she didn\'t think there was a reason to say the recent killing was drug-related: "I was here then, no one was saying it was about drugs."

The Examiner series has been continuing to replace facts and journalism with distortions and bias. In some cases, a higher editorial power is at work, changing the news in an obvious attempt to demonize people. In another "Mess on Market" article written by Mezin, "Police sweeps aid mid-Market cleanup," she says the City Editor made the final call to publish that "[h]igh on the city\'s todo list is getting the riffraff off mid-Market Street." Mezin had turned in the article with different words: "high on the city\'s todo list is sprucing up mid-Market Street."

This prejudice against "riffraff" is prevalent throughout the article, which describes SFPD\'s plan to, among other things, get rid of "unauthorized street vending" and "homeless encampments." The article slams the neighborhood\'s poor and homeless without mercy, writing of "strong smells," a "scruffy image," and "aggressive panhandlers." Mezin didn\'t speak to any homeless people while researching the article. And according to the article, the only opposition to this plan is one quote from a local housing activist, Mary Kate Conner, who says, "[p]eople are just being swept from place to place."

According to Conner, she has grown to assume that the Examiner will not print what she really thinks: "I didn\'t see the article, but I\'m sure it was bullshit." Weeks later, Conner was pleading with the Police Commission with hundreds of other local residents to get mental health training for the city\'s police, a month after SFPD shot a young man over 20 times at the Metreon.

These residents of 6th Street wanted to make sure that their voice is heard even though corporate media ignores them. The SF Examiner\'s "Mess on Market" series has capitalized anyway it can on the daily violence of poverty around Market Street. This continuing "news" series has downplayed or ignored community health workers, housing activists and homeless people who are fighting for survival against prejudice, police harrassment and a violent climate created by sensational corporate media. The Examiner has ignored police brutality and city attacks on Food Not Bombs, a group which serves free food.

As long as the press on Market Street sells lies for advertising revenue, we will call them out on it. Corporate media outlets cannot claim "objectivity" while encouraging attacks against people in our neighborhoods. At the protest on Saturday, a homeless newspaper vendor gave everyone a wake-up call: "When you have one-sided media which targets and demonizes a minority, you have the same thing as Nazi Germany and fascist police."

by mdillon
Monday Jul 30th, 2001 5:44 PM
thanks for contributing. this is an excellent piece.
by sfexaminerevil
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 12:53 PM
i really wonder what exactly was meant by calling this area one of the "darkest" ... i'm sure that has nothing to do with the comparative skin color between the author of the Examiner article and the people who live mid-Market...
by Jayne
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 1:30 PM
Please!!! Are you even aware that the Examiner offices are at Market and 6th. Does it occur to you that each and every employee of the Examiner has to endure the shootings, the stabbings, the loud screaming, the out in the open drug peddling as well as drug using. Does it occur to you that each employee, in earnest just trying to earn a living, has to walk over human feces and urine every day in order to reach their workplace. That these employees have had feces smeared on their cars, have witnessed the animal like behavoir of individuals defacating, urinating and even masturbating out in the open. That these employees are aggresively approached daily for money and other things and are cussed at when they refuse. Are these people all homeless???? Who knows...but one thing we all know is that it is WITHOUT A DOUBT....MAYHEM ON MARKET.
by anon
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 1:58 PM
i work in the same area, and i do not think it is "mayhem" - really, are you that afraid of humanity, examiner workers? guess what... humans deficate and urinate and even mastrubate! that's what humans do! and when you don't have a cozy apartment to do it in... well, that sometimes only leaves the street.
by anon
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 1:59 PM
i work in the same area, and i do not think it is "mayhem" - really, are you that afraid of humanity, examiner workers? guess what... humans deficate and urinate and even mastrubate! that's what humans do! and when you don't have a cozy apartment to do it in... well, that sometimes only leaves the street.
by anonymous
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 2:06 PM
wow, these anonymous message boards bring out a lot huh? awwww the poor rich examiner reporters have to STEP OVER A HUMAN on their way to work. what an inconvenience for them! better call the police, this filty feces human deserves to be in jail!! this is the attitude of disgusting corporate media pigs who look at some humans are worthy and some humans as nothing but shit. IT IS CLASS WAR, AND WE DIDNT SHOOT FIRST.
by market st resident
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 2:09 PM
hey you rich fuks, who do you think LIVES HERE??? so sorry you have to WALK BY US ON YOUR WAY TO WORK WHERE YOU WILL write nothing but PROPAGANDA to get the police to beat the shit out of us. you people make me sick, print some diversity of opinions for once.
by Mad at the Mess
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 2:09 PM
Face it, the Examiner is right. It IS a “Mess on Market”! Everyone who lives, works or visits the area is faced with inhuman conditions every day. Have you read the whole Examiner series, or just this one story? If you’ve been reading the series, you’d know it HAS detailed the difficulty of area families’ and the elderly trying to raise a family and live their daily lives among armed prostitutes, pimps and drug dealers. How these innocent neighborhood residents are afraid to go out after sundown into the hostile streets. Now there have been two murders by gunshots in as many weeks. Wake up to what’s going on around you, Mr. Baghdad.

Allowing anyone to use the streets and alleys of any city neighborhood as open toilets, or open markets for prostitution or armed drug deals should not be acceptable. So why should we allow this to happen on San Francisco’s main street for tourists to witness? Are you even looking? Or are you just numb to what’s going on around you?

The Examiner coverage of the Market Street “mess” is a welcome attempt to shine a spotlight on conditions no one should have to live or work in. This is not about race or homelessness. It’s about human dignity.
by anyn
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 2:12 PM
The comment left by the Examiner reporter is a perfect example of class ignorance and class prejudice. You see, when normal people are walking around 6th and Market, they see normal people, some with problems, others who are just living their life. But when the Examiner reporters, who are unbelievably naive, gullible and ignorant of real life having been sheltered in their middle-class rich wombs, walk through this neighborhood, they see DARK-SKINNED SCUM who are not worthy of the same rights they are. It is class and race prejudice. Pure and simple. And it will end, but only when we take action.
by anonymous
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 2:16 PM
Dear Anonymous Mad At The Mess Examiner Reporter who is too shitless to post their real name,

You do not offer solutions besides a policeman's billy club. You do not offer compassion except for a one-way ticket out of your line of sight. Whatever happened to JOURNALISM? Are you a propaganda piece for the SFPD, or are you doing INVESTIGATIVE reporting? I think the answer is clear.

Can you explain why you are opposed by neighborhood residents, homeless people, housing activists, mental health workers? Can you explain why you shut these voices out of your reporting? Can you explain why you won't run coverage of protests against corporate media? Can you explain why you have to have such a tight control of information in order to make your point heard?

Try again. You are trying to convince us with the same, tired, sensational bullshit that we are complaining about? Can you explain why some poor guy who had to step over this morning knows more about what is going on in this city than you do?
by anonymous
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 2:18 PM
i think this is easy to figure out. sf examiner makes money by appealing to developers, the city, and the financial district players. they do not make money reporting the truth, or striving for a diversity of opinion. so they hire ignorant rich people who will repeat the same lies that they have been repeating for years. their time is over, no one who really knows what is going on would ever believe the shit they write.
by Anita
(anita1589 [at] aol.com) Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 3:03 PM
I know the author of the article, "Mezin," and I know her to be a very intelligent person with high morals in her reporting both locally and internationally. Also, I am a caucasian, and her skin color is comparatively darker than mine, so I don't think she has the bias that a fellow commentator referred to. She is probably trying to come to grips with the fact that she has to step over several homeless people and fend off several verbal attacks on her way to work everyday, as the Examiner office is located directly on Market Street, so her perspective might be a little different from someone who goes to work in a nice suburb office. I think instead of bashing the author, people should look for more solutions to the problem instead of making more problems...
by question
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 3:13 PM
... do you really think the SF Examiner's editorial policy is seeking solutions? Or is it a narrow political agenda to oust Hallinan and gentrify/clean up Market St? Do you think housing and homeless activists have a right to have their opinion heard also, or is there only one "correct" opinion? I personally demand that Examiner reporters DO THEIR JOB and also that the Examiner print a diversity of opinion and quit censoring the huge group of people in the Bay Area who are fighting for REAL change, not more police brutality, civil rights violations, and wealth stratification. EVERYONE in this city is a HUMAN BEING with human rights, whether they have a HOME or NOT.

by Bob
(puddinhead22us [at] yahoo.com) Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 5:11 PM
Ms. Connor states that she hasn't read the article but is sure its bullshit. The article states Ms. Mezin didn't speak to homeless people when writing the article. Perhaps both sides need to come together a little bit on this.

There is a mess on market, I've seen people shot, been offered drugs repeatedly and watched several fights on the street. I once saw a homeless man kicked unconcious by some rowdy teens.

This is not a good situation for the people that live in the area even though their kids may get ice cream bought from time to time, nor is it good for the folks who work there. It is a dangerous place and needs our attention. Some call it home and I'm sure take pride in it perhaps most there do. But it should not be left alone it needs help.

Now, what are we to do?
by ...
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 5:26 PM
Do you think the solution is shutting activists and homeless people out of the decision-making process? Do you think the solution is silencing voices of dissent against any increasing militarized police force? How long has it been and the SFPD won't even call back Idriss Stelly's mom? Conner was right, the article didn't represent what she thought. And the Examiner article was wrong, people are not filth and unworthy of civil rights. This follows a pattern of decades of this kind of reporting in just about any American city. What needs to happen is that decisions need to quit being made in the interest of rich people, city processes need to quit illegally suppressing the input of poor people and people of color and activists. The city needs to quit taking bribes from developers, the corporate media needs to be diversified, and attention needs to be focused on the fact that this society creates an enormous amount of poverty both here and abroad. Now, we're talking real change and dialogue.
by mia
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 7:41 PM
You want the STORY Your Way that's the problem. It's true that there's a lot of good people in the Tenderloin, who work hard to make their community a good place to live and who are nice and neighborly. But to say that drugs don't have a negative impact on the neighborhood is a lie --and you don't want to hear about it. Your are more biased than any story written about the Tenderloin. You've got your own agenda. San Francisco isn't a meca for people seeing both sides, and neither are you. ITS YOUR SIDE OR ITS BIASED OR WRONG. You are kidding yourself.


Id say ask the victims, but that wouldn't be trendy for you. Who cares about the actual victims --the people that get shot. It's the accused that get all the attention in San Francisco. I found the story refreshing for a city in which people continually try to put druggies and criminals on pedestals. And no, it's not everyone in the Tenderloin, but it's some --or was the shooting just a dream?

Maybe the SF EXaminer should just print how wonderful druggies are and how deprived of everything. Take some responsibility for their actions. If a three year old got shot by a druggie in a drive-by you'd probably boo-hoo about the guy that shot the child, saying how terrible it is for him.

Frankly, news is news. The Tenderloin has problems. Drugs cause problems. Addiction and the violence it perpetuates hurts and sometimes kills other people who are innocent. And you know what? Give someone a steady supply of drugs and they'll go out and try to get a bigger, better high. Because that's just the nature of the addiction.

Before you start casting stones at other news organizations, stop dancing around in your own glass houses.
by jamie
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 8:05 PM
The Examiner story told it like it is. News is news. Unbiased and exploratory. The author wasn't doing an in-depth piece on violence or social issues in the Tenderloin, just a stoy on a shooting in the neighborhood that she was told by a source was drug-related.
She laid the background of the story by describing the neighborhood as it is --it's not clean or cheery, there's lots of drugs, violence, and problems here. To make this seem as a tirade against the neighborhood is unfair.
The Examiner story is potentially a spot-news award-winning story accompanied by a touching photo of the victim's wife. You know what? It may actually open up the eyes of people in the suburbs.

For those of you who don't know a lot of journalism, let me make it clear:

Who? The victim's name
What? shooting
Where? Tenderloin
When? Date
how ? Gun

Under what circumstances?
An eyewitness told the reporter that he saw pills flying over the place, and it appeared to be a drug deal gone wrong.

Is violence unusual for the neighborhood? No it's a notorious neighborhood known for its problems.
The writer should explain a little about the neighborhood and the types of problems it has.

This is not a social commentary story --it's a spot news story done to give the facts, and information available at the time.
Frankly, most of the other media could give two shits about the Tenderloin and Bayview --unless some rich suburban person gets shot here. The fact that the SF EXaminer did the story shows that it cares about all people in the city, not just the ones with influence.

In fact, that's probably why she did the story --because no one else will.

Instead of cursing her, you should probably thank her. She has more journalistic integrity than most reporters in the city.

In fact, I think if you called this reporter she'd be more receptive to you than any other in the city. If you've read her other stuff you'd know that.

If you've read the other great papers in the country like the NY Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald and Boston Globe, you would see that this is author is the real deal.

If I was going to do a story on the city, I'd do stories like these. I always said that if I got shot, I'm so lower-income for San Francisco I probably wouldn't get a brief 2 inch paragraph. Maybe now, I'd get more than what the SF Chronicle or Bay Guardian or you would give to me.

It only became important to to illustrate your point and your views. You could give two shits if people like this guy died. It's just an avenue for you to do your political agenda.

A MAN DIED IN A SHOOTING IN THE TENDERLOIN AND LEFT A WIDOW

The fact that anyone makes this into their own agenda and then claims they are out for the poor guy and downtrodden is just blowing their own horn.

Keep up the good work Mezin. San Francisco doesn't want unbiased news stories like yours --it wants you to crumble to its weight of what it believes to be the correct way.

If you wrote a biased-one-sided story like this article above they'd be kissing your ass instead of kicking it.



by ------------------
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 8:06 PM
mia, it is not enough to tell us how "bad" it is. everyone knows the situation. the question is the solution. according to the examiner, the solution is silencing the political voice of the homeless, housing activists, etc. this isnt new. the answer is not throw more people into jail. the answer is not beat up innocent people on the street. the answer is not call people "filth" and "scum". the answer is not cover-up police murder and police corruption. and city corruption. and corporate corruption. and then blame the criminal activities on poor people.
by anonymous reporter
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 8:11 PM
a spot news story which supposedly sums up the entire belief of the residents of the neighborhood into a surprisingly narrow political view --- "the neighborhood is shit and it is terence hallinan's fault."

do you REALLY expect ANYONE to believe that this specific political belief is representative of the entire neighborhood?

if so, can you explain why the residents are so upset at the portrayal of them in the examiner? fact is, the mess on market series is making this area appear to be a festering haven of criminals, druggies, and scum ... which apparently you believe is correct... not only correct, but the only one true objective story.

the way i remember, a spot news story relates what happens. it does not provide a sound bite political commentary disguised as straight reporting, which is what the mess on market is. this is EDITORIAL writing, not straight journalism.
by Jamie
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 9:26 PM
You just want it your way or highway. Guess what --you only see it your way. Thank God it's America and you don't control the press. Or do you?
by anonymous
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 9:45 PM
homeless people: "the corporate press isn't fair to us"
corporate press: "no, YOU just want YOUR opinion and no one else's!"
homeless people: "but that is what you are doing, we're trying to say that..."
corporate press: "SEE! you just want it YOUR way!"
homeless people: "but we're arguing for a diversity of viewpoints..."
corporate press: "OH, a DIVERSITY, typical politically correct thugs!! when will we stop being oppressed by the poor and powerless in society??"
by me
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 10:35 PM
Homeless people: people without a home
Homeless advocates: people who are supposed to help people without a home
San Francisco advocates for anything: people who twist anything to push their viewpoints, try to inflict them on other people, who protest anything because they want to be trendy, who don't understand that homelessness is a multi-dimensional problem, that people who are homeless are not criminals, not always incapable of having a job or turning their life around.
Just because someone is homeless doesn't automatically mean that they are great people. It means they don't have a home. I'd like to see them all in good housing --but this wasn't about them, as long as it doesn't come out of my meager pay check (because I can't afford it either)

But this wasn't about the homeless --how did it get to be about them? Instead of whining about how homeless people are being treated by the press, why aren't you concerned that someone was shot and killed there?

He could've been homeless --and shot and killed. Because frankly, the streets of San Francisco aren't safe in any neighborhood and particularily in the Tenderloin.

Are all people homeless deserving of a handout. No, I don't think so. Some of them can work, just don't want to or gave up. Well, I have health and other problems too, but I didn't just give up one day. They've got to do it --they've got to want to do it, they have to have someone believe in them and maybe help them a little bit. But it all comes down to them.

As for the criminals in the city -- whether they be drug dealers who will shoot a five year old for a buck, or someone strung out on meth --theres consequence to actions and it's time people start paying with jail time.

I grew up with a drug dealer, I know how they think, what they do to get people hooked, how the first and most thing on their mind is filling their pockets with money and their name with power. I know how they destroy or try to destroy anything precious around them. That sometimes, if they ever do show an once of human spirit, it's usually when they get thrown in jail. Then they start thinking about what they've done. But most of them are just souless bastards who will shoot you whiney little protestors in a heartbeat, unless they can get you hooked on meth or heroin and get a steady customer until you O.D.

It's about crime, stupid. Homeless advocates are just jumping on this story because they want to profit on it. I don't see any homeless advocates offering up their offices to homeless people to sleep in, or for that matter, and of the homes of SF protestors that come out every week.
They all go out clubbing afterwards saying the Man and coporate press and that is to blame.

As for the real issues about homelessness, the people that really really need help are the mentally ill --they've been thrown out of the mental hospitals because of supposed do-gooders like you. One homeless man told me it's his mission deemed by God to physically clean up the streets of San Francisco, and that by the time he died he would do it. He can't take care of himself. He should have access to mental health care, probably on a permanent basis in a home run by mental health professionals. But people like you convinced the govt to shut them down and let people "be free" --well he's free, sleeping near Pac Bell stadium, afraid to talk to anyone except God, he's dirty and tired and 70 years old. But I'm sure this man didn't have money for a gun or drugs or even a coat without wholes in them. He was too busy being homeless and mentally ill.

Take your biased, unfeeling, trendy attitude and talk to some of the real victims, like people who get shot or maimed by flying bullets. Most of them aren't white, suburbanites either --they are people living in the paradises you call the Tenderloin, Mission, Bayview and Western Addition.

Maybe you should look beyond your own limited views, your biased resentment for the press, for victims, for police.

Not all press, reporters, police, or homeless are the same.
People don't come in cookie-cutter shapes just because they happen to be a policeman --or a homeless person or a reporter. To say that, you are just as bad as the people who believe that all the people that are homeless are bums or are incapable of jobs or living. Some are, some aren't.

Open your mind, before you start trying to close other peoples.
by mia
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 10:50 PM
Frankly, it's enough for me to hear how bad it is, because I almost never hear about it. Two lower-income neighbors of mine were shot and I barely heard a thing about them. What I did and do hear a lot about is the advocates. Advocates like you who want to turn every story into a cause for their agenda.

A straight news story it was. It's called a crime story, because a crime was committed. Someone was shot. You still don't care about that man, do you?

A man, a human being is dead, I don't see you advocating for him or his family. His wife or children, who'll never see him alive again.

The article, however you see it, made you think, feel, and express your views. It didn't spoon feed your ideas back to you, like you wanted, but it did tell me that a man was shot, his family lost a husband and brother or father. I don't frankly want to hear what a Disneyland the Tenderloin is. I hope you never have to suffer the way his family and wife did, because if you do, you might just think twice about what it's like to have your husband, wife or partner shot in the head, dead, on a bad street in the Tenderloin, Mission, Bayview, or Western Addition.

At least the homeless people are alive one more day to possibly get help or help themselves. This man is dead and maybe next week it'll be me or you that dies when some punk gang member decides to let lead fly in our direction.
by have some love
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 11:03 PM
Does it occur to you that the Examiner could move? It's not t that bad on 6 th market. Your problems are all in your head defender of the Examiner employees.
by patriotic redevelopment!
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 11:16 PM
1) convince the upper middle class and intelligentsia classes that they are not at fault for the poor in society, no matter how much white privilege has helped them.

2) convince these same people, which includes the corporate media class, that the homeless and poor are a threat to them.

3) play up any violence, except ignore police violence

4) force one-sided propaganda out as news. if someone questions you, simply claim the problem is "complicated" even though your reporting doesnt reflect this

5) start giving police free reign to enforce your own twisted and misplaced fears

6) watch a hated minority get wiped away. it doesnt matter because they are scum

7) now you can walk to starbucks without looking at any poor people! your convenience has been restored, brought to you by American Fascism, Inc.
by anti-mia
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2001 11:25 PM
mia you cannot turn the tables. fact is, a death occurred and the examiner jumped on it to push their political agenda against terence hallinan. how dare you blame homeless advocates who spend their lives with the homeless, doing everything they can against a corrupt city government?? many of whom are also homeless because of the outrageous real estate prices in this city, accelerated through ILLEGAL city maneuvers. you sit in comfort and judgement? tough place to be. yes someone DIED. let's DO something about this, does that mean ignoring anyone who wants to do anything besides using a paramilitary force to attack and brutalize a population of mostly peaceful poor people??
by kevin
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 10:45 AM
There's not much point in posting any reasonable viewpoint to this board. Seems the that the "neighborhood" prefers status quo -- murder, open drug dealing, and excrement covered sidewalks. Their posts keep "translating" these issues into "homeless people".

Dear "activists":
Let's get together to get rid of those very real problems, while offering help and support to the city's homeless population.
by shit
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 1:04 PM
we know the problem is poverty. we know that there is only limited solutions to poverty, as the society we live in creates it in plenty, lets do something to alleviate poverty instead of "cleaning up" the street so rich people arent inconvenienced
by anon
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 1:14 PM
do you people really think the sf examiner cares about that man that was shot? they told nothing about him, except that he was possibly involved in drugs.

and for that person calling themselves "me" that says that homeless advocates don't do enough.... you have no idea what kind of work homeless advocates do, or how sf protesters are involved in their communities - you obviously don't know these people, argh, and it totally frustrates me that you would even say such things.


by kevin
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 1:24 PM
are you trying to say the the people who live in the here enjoy the drug dealing and prostitution going on at their front door? You think the media is wrong? What's your solution?
by guess again
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 2:04 PM
The Examiner is owned by a local company, which for better or worse, has offices situated in more than one SF trouble spot. It's no more elitist than Donuts World. The Examiner writes imperfect stories about the dire situation in the tenderloin, which incidentally, is a residence the paper chose recently. Amazingly, the paper is immediately attacked for a variety of paranoia-driven reasons.

Do any of you so-called homeless activists/advocates comprehend that the paper could be an ally? In this whole succession of postings, I've read hundreds of attacks from you, but not one insight based on your experience with this area and its problems. If you have no solutions to propose, are you really advocates for the homeless or are you really into some sick version of preserving the current condition? Seems that the homeless here are not a threat. I'm more fearful of the drug dealers and the "advocates" who victimize them.
by anonymous
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 2:25 PM
the solution is the end of corrupt city government, the end of police harrassment and militarization, the end of social prejudices inflamed by the media, the end of wealth polarization, the end of community attacks by corporations.
by anonymous
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 2:28 PM
and then we have this wonderful comment from "guess again" who also can't read the INNUMERABLE solutions posted in the original article and the comments. the examiner IS the problem, their bigoted, prejudiced and classist coverage IS the problem, their support of classist violent city policies IS the problem. if you want solutions, let's have a city-wide dialogue run on consensus method, meaning that rich people do not get to talk as often, they have to respond to people's concerns, etc. think that will EVER happen? not likely. whether you know it or not there is a class war happening in san francisco.
by guess again
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 2:29 PM
That's all fine and good. Sounds like you watch too many science fiction movies. The Examiner is publishing stories to bring focus and change.

The question is, what are you going to do in this particular situation?
by Kevin
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 2:32 PM
when you're ready to talk about something possible, i'll be here.
by anonymous
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 5:03 PM
let me guess kevin. these problems dont directly affect you or anyone you love, huh. thats the usual response of someone with no stake in the matter, "oh its just the way things are" ... you can tell by the millions of people worldwide who are coming out in the streets that business as usual and the way things are will be changing soon. so if you think racism and classism and corruption are just problems to be "worked around" because you are not the ultimate victim, maybe you should quit having this discussion and return to your cubicle.
by A different Kevin
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2001 5:31 PM
is to gentrify the neighborhood they moved in to, and no doubt using the city funds slick Willie provided them through the Redevelopment Agency. Long before the Fang's controlled the paper it has had a very long and serious position in SF's class war against the poor and the Fangs are just the newest incarnation of that.

The real violence in that neighborhood is economic violence but the Fangxaminer doesn't ask the hardball questions because that would mean putting their corporate sponsors in the spotlight.

The mid-Market area will look like Yerba Buena in the next 5 or 10 years, I guarentee it. The ball's already rolling and this is just an appetizer.
by mia
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2001 1:07 AM
Dear Anti-Mia:

I've worked with/for several non-profit and social service orgs, and let me tell you something: some of the people that do the work really want to make a difference.
Many of them, however, just get off a power trip on "representing the interests" of people who are in their clutches. They use it as spring boards for their own little empires, so don't give me this bull that one side is all goody-goody and the other is awful. You are so biased you can't even attempt to look at another point of view.\
If they had the answer to all the woes that befall the homeless and mental health professionals knew all the answers there wouldn't be any problems to deal with. Frankly, it's a complex problem. But if you want to believe that the people in all those service orgs and advocates are out for the best interests of those they represent, you'll be waiting along time. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Half of them are pulling strings on the puppett, perpetuating their own salaries and offices under the guise of helping people.

by Me
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2001 1:37 AM
Do know homeless advocates, do know homeless people. I've probably talked to more than you have. I know you from Craigslist --you are a professional tech person -aren't you? When's the last time you had less than $50 bucks to get by --it's been recent for me.

I don't see people in white and black, or problems for that matter. All the advocates wear white hats, all the police wear black in your world. But it isn't reality --there's good and bad in all.

I've met some very good people working for different causes, some nice police officers, some really wonderful people in the Tenderloin, but also some advocates who work for themselves, some police that make me want to brush my teeth after talking to them, some vagrants in the Tenderloin that make me want to take a shower.

It makes me sick that YOU ASSUME that I don't know what's it like to be down and out or live in a bad neighborhood, just because I disagree with your point of view.

Fact is --the far left has GREAT influence in San Francisco --there are so many programs for the homeless in SF --and that's why many have moved here --some five or ten years ago -- from Oakland and other places, to be closer to the health orgs, food kitchens, etc.

AND GUESS WHAT? PEOPLE ARE STILL LIVING IN TENTS on Potrero Ave, under the bridges in SOMA, on the Embarcadero, etc.

One guy I talked to living homeless in the city said he's got drug problem --and he SAID it's his responsibility to clean himself out. That he's had job offers but turned them down because he just wants to party. He said he knows places where he can go to get help, like AA, and others. But he's not ready, he said.

Your far-left ideals are in work around you --and they aren't the solution either.

Peace and love and your SUV in Ashbury Heights. Polish your clubbing shoes and go out and spend $100 on drinks and dancing and then the next day post here and tell people all about what the poor people in the Tenderloin want. You make me sick.

I didn't know that the group that protested was representing every person in the neighborhood. Glad we don't vote like that in America --except in San Francisco.

That's pretty presumptuous, too, don't you think? That everyone in the Tenderloin feels victimized by the press --instead of the crime that keeps them prisoner. Nah, that would mean you can see both sides of the issue, not just the one you insist everyone else see.

But again, here we go. This story wasn't about homeless people --it was about a guy getting shot. And by the way, the story did show the human tragedy --a day in the life of the Tenderloin's crime scene.

Close your windows and shut your doors you pretenders. Because there's more problems than just homeless in the city. Like people getting shot and dying. But that's not trendy for you is it?



by bad
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2001 4:06 AM
what is bad is that SFPD/BART police kill people on a regular basis because they won't properly train their cops and no one covers it and no one does anything about it. what is bad is that groups like Food Not Bombs and other homeless advocacy groups are arrested for serving food in the city because it attracts "undesireables" --- not MURDERERS, etc, but just people coming to get food. what is bad is that street newspapers, one of the few ways that people can get their voice out and make money, is being made illegal. what is bad is that housing activists and other people who work on a daily basis are frustrated with a flagrantly anti-democratic process that favors people who can bribe the most city government players. seriously, quit acting so condescending and listen to what people are saying here. flat-out, do you agree that an area should be gentrified, the ultimate result being low-income residents' communities and families are destroyed, lower-income people than that are hassled and brutalized and maybe killed by police, more people are put in more desperate situations, just as long as the examiner reporters don't have to walk next to a homeless person. your "solution" is more like a "final solution", pick up a copy of street sheet next time you are out and see what people are saying
by Jan Lightfoot
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2001 6:58 AM
I work to prevent homelessness. It is time the media stop stereotyping the poor, and homeless. Which is esaier than to examine the reasons why they were underpaid. Or denied assistance to avoid displacement in the first place.

If us, the Public insists on FULL COverage - it will be so. Rather than the easy way of finding fluff and nonsense to wrap around advertisements; news could inform us not of gossip but of FActs on IMPROVING the quality of society.

Until newspapers stop reporting on fires, vehicle accidents, and one sided homeless issue's the quality of life for all, even the housed, will remain the same- bad.

Not all homeless live in the tenderlion district. Nationally there is a growing trend for families to became homeless.

The number one cause of homelessness is POVERTY.

I, and Hospitality House Inc. searches for people willing to give media space to the idea of each individual realizing and achieving true freedom. Please phone 207/453-2986
Jan Lightfoot
by anon
Thursday Aug 2nd, 2001 11:14 AM
fyi - i do not work at craigslist, and i am not a professional tech person. i am a woman that works in a san francisco nonprofit, and i definitely don't make enough to spend $100 on drinks! the org i work with, works with homeless and low income people as part of what we do.
by duh
Friday Aug 3rd, 2001 2:53 PM
the examiner's article is "spot reporting"
this article is "latte-sipping attacks from the corrupt leftists"
in other words, the examiner article is objective
this article is worthless
DO NOT THINK ANY FURTHER. FURTHER CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THIS TOPIC MAY VIOLATE QUALITY OF LIFE LAWS.
by o
Friday Aug 3rd, 2001 8:17 PM
Dear Jan, the press's job is not to exclusively report on homeless problems --or to solve them. That's your job.

Newspapers often do "in-depth" coverage which explores issues, such as homeless, and call up people like you and interview them and ask their opinions or knowledge about the issues. And then asks other people, preferably people that disagree with you their opinion and experience and knowledge and forms it into a story for people to read --so they get both sides of an issue.
This type of story is different than just a spot news story saying "a homeless man was killed by a drunk driver on Friday" said police.

Reporters are not social workers, advocates, helpers, spiritual advisors, psychiatrists, or legislators. If they wanted to do that they would have chosen that carreer path, in the same way you chose to do what they did.

News organizations are supposed to report the news and sorry, but fires, and accidents are news. Go to the library and check out a Journalism 101 book and you'll see it.

You might not like reading about fires or accidents, or shootings. But other people want to know about them, and that's one of the things which is defined as news in journalism books.

The homeless people are not the only people suffering in San Francisco, although they are one large group that do. It's your world, so you feel strongly about it. And that's good, because it's your career. But not all of us have the same concerns, or perhaps in the way you would like us to have them.

Street Sheet publishes stories all the time about problems and solutions and ideas about homelessness and poverty, but it hasn't solved the problem, has it?

WORDS enlighten, sometimes, but don't always effect change.
ACTION is what changes things. And in San Francisco two ways to make a change for homeless are 1) go to the political officials --they are the only ones that have the power to shift money and essentials to homeless problems 2) someone wins the biggest lottery in CA history and goes and distributes thousands of dollars to each homeless person in the city or uses it to buy housing, food, health benefits and such. The people San Francisco elects to change things are the Mayor and city council, and people give organizations such as yours, money, to make changes. The press should report the news, do in-depth stories, and leave the action to the people responsible for that.

I am not responsible for ending homelessness. It's not the career I chose. As an American, I have that choice.Even if it's not what you think I should be doing. I don't want to read a daily newspaper all how all police officers are scum bags and brutalize everyone, nor do I want to read 20 stories a day about homeless issues. If I do want to read about homeless issues, I read the stories in the daily papers, or I pick up Street Sheet, or read other magazines and articles from national journals on poverty. If I want to read about how all police are brutal thugs I read one of the alternative papers like this or the Bay Guardian that gives me that one-sided hard-hitting view.

The fact is, I want more than just that in a newspaper or magazine. I want to read about fires, drug busts, graffitti in my neighborhood, about a homeless man and his take on poverty, or a homeless woman that got arrested for a sexual offense, How the firemen saved someone's life, or the police stopped someone from killing somebody, or how a fireman started a fire, or a policeman beat someone up. I want it all: not just what you want me to see.

Street Sheet is a great publication ---with a tight focus on what stories it does. Asking a regular paper to give up reporting news and just write homeless stories and stories you only want to see is like asking Street Sheet to stop writing stories on homeless and instead write stories on fur protests at Macy's.

The press is not supposed to be an advocate for anyone, ideally. Although in San Francisco the news organizations ALL of them, take more liberties with this concept that other cities' organizations. San Franciscans have been exposed to this type of journalism for so long, that it's acceptable to be seen as swaying one way or another. It's gotten to the point that if some news article doesn't come right out and say it's on your side, you automatically assume the defensive and think it's against you.

I'm sorry that their are homeless people in San Francisco, probably it has the most homeless of any city I've ever seen. But, there are also other problems that people are concerned about aside from homeless.

And PS: as for POLICE Brutality --if you want to count the numbers: gang violence kills more people in San Francisco than the police do. I'm sure if you checked the statistics you'd also find that California police officers are amoung the highest group of police that themselves, get killed. Those found guilty of BRUTALITY should pay the price of that, but not all police and not all SF POLICE have the same background and makeup --they are not one big police gang. They get up in the morning, kiss their kids, hoping that they don't get killed today and never see them again. They have a cup of coffee talk to their spouse or partner, call their Mom, say hello to their neighbor, grab a check to mail to the credit card company, and then go on duty, not knowing who might cross their path. In other words, they have lives outside of the little blue world full of bruts you paint.

If you don't want people to discriminate a particular group like the homeless --with people saying all homeless are the same --then you should be just as devout about understanding and accepting that not all police are the same (because they are a group made up of individuals, much the same as the homeless). If you want to effect change, go to the sources that can help you accomplish that: The one to blast about "police brutality" is the Chief and the Mayor --because they are responsible for policy, training, and discipline. When you lump all the bad cops with the good cops, you discriminate against them as a group because you "See them as ALL THE SAME" just like some people see the "homeless."



by anonymous
Saturday Aug 4th, 2001 3:30 PM
dear "o": it is not enough to just claim "objectivity" and "journalism" ... again, this Examiner article in question fabricates a neighborhood opinion which, amazingly, matches the editorial stance of the paper! do you really think that the Official Neighborhood Opinion is that "terence hallinan is at fault for this killing and every thing else bad that happens here!" hahaha. it really cracks me up. especially since the examiner is part of an effort amongst business and corporate leaders in san francisco to gentrify and "clean up" this area, which means they also have a political, if not financial, motivation for twisting the news.

or did you not cover ETHICS when you were in journalism 101?

i think you need to get out of journalism 101 and get into real world 101.
by Disgruntled former san franciscan
Saturday Sep 28th, 2002 10:20 AM
SF has turned in to a hell hole.THE WHOLE FUCKING TOWN.I ran from there SCREAMING.What a toilet.I f any of you know someone,like say,one of thoses losers like the crankster gangsters,KILL THEM.Its fucked up scumbag LOSERS like them that have ruined the city.KILL ALL THE PUSSY SPEED FREAKS AND DOPE FEINDS!Then run that scumbag fucking punk Wille Brown and all his buttbuddiesout of town.And the Hallinan family(you know,irish mob dressed up respectable but still scumbag bottom feeders)could use a good culling.Then maybe the city would be livable again.Im not coming back till the PISS SMELL is gone! FUCK OFF!
by Disgruntled former san franciscan
Saturday Sep 28th, 2002 10:20 AM
SF has turned in to a hell hole.THE WHOLE FUCKING TOWN.I ran from there SCREAMING.What a toilet.I f any of you know someone,like say,one of thoses losers like the crankster gangsters,KILL THEM.Its fucked up scumbag LOSERS like them that have ruined the city.KILL ALL THE PUSSY SPEED FREAKS AND DOPE FEINDS!Then run that scumbag fucking punk Wille Brown and all his buttbuddiesout of town.And the Hallinan family(you know,irish mob dressed up respectable but still scumbag bottom feeders)could use a good culling.Then maybe the city would be livable again.Im not coming back till the PISS SMELL is gone! FUCK OFF!
by Disgruntled former san franciscan
Saturday Sep 28th, 2002 10:21 AM
SF has turned in to a hell hole.THE WHOLE FUCKING TOWN.I ran from there SCREAMING.What a toilet.I f any of you know someone,like say,one of thoses losers like the crankster gangsters,KILL THEM.Its fucked up scumbag LOSERS like them that have ruined the city.KILL ALL THE PUSSY SPEED FREAKS AND DOPE FEINDS!Then run that scumbag fucking punk Wille Brown and all his buttbuddiesout of town.And the Hallinan family(you know,irish mob dressed up respectable but still scumbag bottom feeders)could use a good culling.Then maybe the city would be livable again.Im not coming back till the PISS SMELL is gone! FUCK OFF!
by Disgruntled former san franciscan
Saturday Sep 28th, 2002 10:21 AM
SF has turned in to a hell hole.THE WHOLE FUCKING TOWN.I ran from there SCREAMING.What a toilet.I f any of you know someone,like say,one of thoses losers like the crankster gangsters,KILL THEM.Its fucked up scumbag LOSERS like them that have ruined the city.KILL ALL THE PUSSY SPEED FREAKS AND DOPE FEINDS!Then run that scumbag fucking punk Wille Brown and all his buttbuddiesout of town.And the Hallinan family(you know,irish mob dressed up respectable but still scumbag bottom feeders)could use a good culling.Then maybe the city would be livable again.Im not coming back till the PISS SMELL is gone! FUCK OFF!
by Disgruntled former san franciscan
Saturday Sep 28th, 2002 10:21 AM
SF has turned in to a hell hole.THE WHOLE FUCKING TOWN.I ran from there SCREAMING.What a toilet.I f any of you know someone,like say,one of thoses losers like the crankster gangsters,KILL THEM.Its fucked up scumbag LOSERS like them that have ruined the city.KILL ALL THE PUSSY SPEED FREAKS AND DOPE FEINDS!Then run that scumbag fucking punk Wille Brown and all his buttbuddiesout of town.And the Hallinan family(you know,irish mob dressed up respectable but still scumbag bottom feeders)could use a good culling.Then maybe the city would be livable again.Im not coming back till the PISS SMELL is gone! FUCK OFF!
by MAMANSITA
Friday Oct 18th, 2002 9:23 PM
i feed from the bottom. you feed from the top. i feed upon the morsels you happen to drop. the coffee that somehow leaked out of your cup, if nothing comes down. I'M FORCED TO SWIM UP!
by Billy Lee
Thursday Nov 28th, 2002 9:07 AM
The real question is:

Why are San Franciscans somehow responsible for the well being of every
tramp, derelict, loser, thug and mentally ill person that chooses of their own free will to alight in our city?

If they can't make it here-well then go back where they came from. If someone is a working class San Franciscan, (someone that I would humbly define as someone born and or who grew up here, who has worked and contributed to the community in some way-not just selling street sheets)-then the community of San Franciscans ought to do something to help them back on their feet. ONE TIME.

If they are strung out on drugs-once again-a voluntary choice-or refuse to follow some basic rules of human decency-such as not crapping on sidewalks etc, well then SCREW THEM.

I fell like the so called "homeless" are being used as shock troops to destroy any real sense of community or civic pride that could, were it allowed to exist,challenge the control of the carpet baggers that have taken over our city in the last 30 years such as Willie Brown, ( a Texan), or the assorted social activists, (none of whom I can determine is from San Francisco.)

The real controllers of the city that benefit from this dissolution of civic unity are the Shorensteins, Fagenbaums,(owners of much SF downtown real estate through blind trusts) and Fishers. These are the people that call the shots.
by IN SF
Thursday Nov 28th, 2002 9:56 AM
You have no standing in your arguement. You stated that "you ran screaming from SF". Well I stuck around and I am actively trying to clean up the filth. Get some balls and come back or shut up.