Ed Lee is No More the Mayor than Emperor Norton Was

Evidence of the claims I have been making that the Bay-Guardian, The Chron and The Bay Citizen are not only out of touch, but the worst sort of insider-journalists can be found in their ratification of the results of this year’s election over the reality: only a handful of people decided the political fate of the City.

By contrast, in the blogosphere, SF Appeal, The League of Pissed off Voters (via tweet), and SFist all noted the pathetic voter turnout in the election within minutes of polls closing, which is the story of the election of 2011 – a handful of very wealthy people decided this.

Chris Roberts at SFAppeal notes: “In other words, 112,275 voters — or less than 25 percent of the electorate — decided who became mayor of San Francisco. And of them, 68,721 — or about 14 percent of the electorate, and about eight percent of the citizenry — actually voted for Mayor Ed Lee.”

The absence of coverage of this single most important issue of the election by The Chronicle, The SF Bay Guardian and the newly minted Bay Citizen until now, suddenly this week – when they use it to attack Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff Voting – are exactly what I have been talking about this year.

The reporters and editors of these papers are participating in a cliquish civic theater instead of reporting on the needs, thoughts and desires of residents of our City.

They are engaged in stroking a few candidates and ridiculing anyone who thinks outside the box. They lack courage, conviction and objectivity and cover elections so they can be near the winners and get invited to the party.

The Chron and Bay Citizen and SFBG not only avoided discussing the absurdly low numbers of voters who decided matters until this week, they chose to make their election coverage about defining these very few voters as an aggregate image of the “voters of San Francisco” and to attribute this ridiculously small number of citizens in our town with the general opinion of San Franciscans.

In the Bay Guardian, the political novice Steven T. Jones spent a long column discussing the makeup of “SF voters” – with no mention of the fact that they were not even a third of those eligible to vote! He dares to title the piece San Francisco’s Political Spectrum: a primer – What balls!

The Bay Citizen, however, is the worst and with the furthest reach. The Bay Citizen made an arrangement whereby select pieces appear in print in the New York Times’ Bay Area editions.

So readers of the NYT here in the Bay are informed by a blog started less than a year ago with $5million from the Hellmans (hover over the link to the bay citizen at right).

And the Hellman family’s editors chose to publish a piece by two of their writers that claim that this election “Signals Shift to the Right” in San Francisco! With no mention of the lowest turnout ever!

Again, what balls! Is this so New Yorkers living here can feel that Manhattanization is happening on schedule?! Is that what this is about? Argh. You are killing our City!

These aren’t journalists, they’re mediators.

This was a horrible election because wealthy vested interests manipulated millions of dollars to ensure a handful of viable choices would appear to wrestle for power, while Ed Lee was basically ratified in a confirmation election.

The Chron and The Bay Citizen and The SF Bay Guardian show their true colors even as the Occupy Movement tells the real story of the disenfranchised.

Blame the media – do it. We’d never have such pathetic candidates if instead of gravy-training reporters at the Chron, SFBG and Bay Citizen, we had real reporters and caring journalists.

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