Thursday, July 12, 2012

SF Chron Omits Gay Supe from
Piece on Public Pooping in his District

(A person with soiled clothes sitting on bench at the BART plaza located at Mission and 16th Street. Photo credit: Liz Hafalia, SF Chronicle.)

When it comes to members of the Board of Supervisors, the unquestionable favorite of the San Francisco Chronicle is Scott Wiener, who represents District 8 and downtown business interests. Wiener passes gas on his latest idea and the paper is there to sniff and report on the smell. All other supervisors either receive scant coverage from the Hearst-owned daily or find themselves omitted from stories about key issues in their district.

The latest example of this sort of reporting can be found in today's Chronicle. In a piece written by Ellen Huet, we learn about the stinky and unhealthy problem of flagrant and fragrant pooping at the two BART plazas at Mission and 16th Streets:

Commuters wrinkle their noses as they walk across either of the two street-level plazas at 16th and Mission streets, where loiterers have few qualms about using the plazas as an open-air restroom, neighbors and officials say. 

"The elevator becomes an easy-access urinal or worse," said Tony Sustak, a Richmond resident who commutes to the station daily. "The real dregs take a dump in public. They're not discouraged by the crowds passing by." 

Human waste and other debris on the street-level plazas are usually a San Francisco Department of Public Works problem. But although that agency cleans the surrounding sidewalks, the plaza itself is BART's responsibility.

The Chronicle quoted a BART spokesman and a member of its governing board, but omitted quoting out gay Supervisor David Campos and the plazas are in District 9 which he represents. Two BART folks get a say but not Campos? Rest assured that if the story dealt with a public area in Wiener's district the paper would have not only quoted him but also played up whatever he had to say.

Curious to learn if the reporter attempted to get a reaction from Campos, I emailed Huet at the Chronicle and Campos and his aide Hillary Ronen to see what they had to say. Huet never got back to me, but Ronen shared this info:

We were not aware of this article or the issue until you brought it to our attention today. David will be in contact with the Department of Public Works and BART to ensure that the sanitation issues are addressed immediately and will monitor the situation. We are not aware of the Chronicle contacting us for a quote.

Very lame of the paper to not give Campos a chance to show leadership on the public pooping and peeing at the public plazas in his district, via a quote.The days of fair and impartial journalism being practiced at the Chronicle are long over. Fox News could learn a few lessons from the Chronicle on being biased toward pet politicians and shutting out elected officials who are at odds with the news outlet's agenda.

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