The Streets of San Francisco

One of the more unfortunate side-effects of the backlash against Prop. 8 is that it’s given Bill O’Reilly the chance to gin up his contrived “culture war” between a mythic “traditional America” and the dark forces of “secular progressivism.”

According to Bill O, this amorphous group of “secular progressives” has been “emboldened” by Obama’s recent election victory… Thus, it follows in Bill’s delusional wingnut mind that the “far-left” will now exert their scarily powerful influence on President-elect Obama to embrace their “radical” liberal values with the potentially horrifying result being a nation modeled after… San Francisco!!!

The “journalist” in the piece who concocted this highly skewed profile of the city mainly featuring interviews with people that are either homeless, addicted to drugs, prostitutes, crazy, or some combination thereof, is O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters — a man better known for shamelessly “ambushing” media personalities that Bill is feuding with (e.g., Keith Olbermann, Bill Moyers, etc.)

Of course, Bill’s hostility towards SF is nothing new. Back in 2005, when the city voted to oppose military recruitment in public schools and to ban handgun ownership he had this to say: “You know, if I’m the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium and I say, ‘Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you’re not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead. And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.’”

18 Replies to “The Streets of San Francisco”

  1. Wow! Where do you even start with this? Interesting that Bill O wants them to blow up the Coit Tower. Its a WPA project from the 1930’s, so perhaps blowing it up would be a symbolic victory for those who want to dismantle the New Deal.

  2. I don’t think Bill’s that familiar with SF. Why did he call the North Shore the “tenderloin district” of SF? Um, why not just go to the actual Tenderloin? Weird. And as for addressing “citizens of San Francisco” in Union Square… I think he’d be speaking mostly to tourists and out-of-town shoppers.

  3. Indeed, Red, when I read that, I thought – “Bill O has never been to San Francisco.”

    Let the bastards scream…it makes them look bad, not gallant.

  4. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend viewing this clip from the daily show when Bill O was on there. Stewart totally blew away the mythical “America is a ‘center-right’ nation”. It was funny watching Bill O try to back-peddle and pretend that he’s an “independent”.

  5. Canadians would be livid if we had to put with a broadcaster abusing its license like this to produce insulting propaganda. Imagine a network producing a segment like this about the Downtown Eastside or Toronto Parkdale? Good thing there was any swearing though. The FCC would have had a conniption.

  6. C-C: Yeah, I watched that show the other week. Bill O seemed terribly subdued… Must have been on his meds.

    I’ve heard that “center-right” meme a lot since the election. It’s like the wingnuts find it something soothing and reassuring in it. But then, it’s all relative. Certainly compared to Canada or much of Europe, it’s true. But within the strictly American context, I’m not so sure that it has much validity.

  7. p.s. Those Comedy Central clips aren’t playable here in Canada (it’s a broadcast licensing issue). Just so you know for future reference.

  8. RT: I see it as the wing-nuts trying to impose some sort of restriction on Obama’s governance with their claim: “we’re a ‘center-right’ nation, so you better govern accordingly!”.

    Stewart hit the nail right on the head about what utter bullshit this meme is when he said to Bill O: “try to abolish Social Security and you’ll see how ‘center-right’ this country really is.”

  9. Yeah, that’s quite true. There are a lot of “third-rails” when you think about it. Look how far Bush got with his “mandate” in 2005…

  10. I see the recent and constant repetition of the meme that “the US is a center-right country” simply as a another example of the right’s use of the “repeat something often enough and it becomes indistinguishable from the truth” tactic.

  11. Bill has no idea what he’s talking about. Going to the Presidio at night? the Presidio is a historic landmark with hundreds of buildings that has art museums, Spielberg studios, and lovely landscaping. People generally don’t go there at night unless they’re attending an event or live in the historically-restored housing. Saying you wouldn’t walk through the Presidio at night is like saying you wouldn’t walk through the MoMA at night. Not cause it’s dangerous, but because it’s closed and not residential…. and yeah, North Beach and Tenderloin are totally different neighborhoods and don’t border one another.

  12. “highly skewed profile of the city mainly featuring interviews with people that are either homeless, addicted to drugs, prostitutes, crazy, or some combination thereof”

    Also known as “Bush White House staffers as of January 2009

  13. way to stack the deck, fauxos.

    san francisco enjoys the highest median household income in the nation. also, because of her profound generousity, san francisco has become a haven for homeless people from across the nation.

    if we don’t look out for our fellow americans, who will?


  14. When does ambushing a person constitute journalism? Never.

    Likewise, churning the emotions of a person and taping their response to a question isn’t fair either.
    It’s like push-polling before the cameras but only recording the reply. That’s a tactic often used by Global TV news to make the news story more emotionally charged. Think of their treatment of
    Palestinians and extend it to whatever other target Global wants to rubbish.

    Don’t forget Global’s Fox affiliation. Therein lies
    the underpinning.

  15. Did you notice it, too?

    All the disadvantaged people shown in the report and some of the “regular” people were children during Reagan years. That means they were the first persons to go through the “gutted out” school system and be inundated by “values voters”.
    And this is the end result.

    We have a similar problem in Ontario. The recent decade of police officer recruits are markedly different because they came through the Harris school reforms. And we’re paying for it with reduced professionalism in law enforcement.

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