The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 November 2005

San Francisco Fringe Characters Fight Back


Irrelevant San Francisco Officials Mount Weak Comeback

Finally, a major media personality has the guts to express what many in the US have long felt: Left Coast cities such as San Francisco are anti-American to the core.

Bill O'Reilly, speaking of the Irrelevant City's hostility toward military recruiters, said on Tuesday's Radio Factor (transcript from the Political Teen):

O’REILLY: 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.

Regular Radio Equalizer readers know I've long wondered whether Seattle voters, for instance, would elect to remain in the United States were there to be a city initiative on the subject.

There's at least an outside chance Emerald City residents would choose to join British Columbia. Think I'm joking? Let's try it.

San Francisco shares with Seattle an inward-looking, provincial mentality and a closed-minded attitude toward the world around it. In addition, there's a wildly overinflated sense of civic self-importance.

Missing from both cities, it's not about leftist politics, the real issue is a basic level of support for the United States. Even in their best-case scenario, where Democrats are running everything, there still isn't a strong sense of loyalty to America.

While Boston and New York City may share their lefty politics, there's no question these northeastern cities are part of America.

It's not a big deal to fly an American flag in Boston. In Seattle or San Francisco, however, it's a political act of defiance that defines you as politically incorrect. At the very least, expect scorn, or to be disinvited to the next organic wine tasting party.

Worse, in San Francisco's case, "progressive" politics are now intertwined with a snooty, airheaded, faux-high-society element that makes the city increasingly irrelevant to national discourse. Dopey, opportunistic Mayor Gavin Newsom is the best example.

Meanwhile, corporations based in San Francisco for a century or more, are packing up and leaving for Pleasanton, Concord and other distant suburbs.

The circulation-bleeding San Francisco Chronicle (down 16.4% in the last six months) was the first Bay Area media outlet to attempt a comeback against O'Reilly, in a column by Joe Garofoli:

Conservative talk-show host Bill O'Reilly is ready to scratch San Francisco off the map of the United States. Gone. Coit Tower? Terrorists can blow it up, and the rest of the country shouldn't care.

The Fox News talk-show host and one-man conservative media juggernaut has concluded that the United States and San Francisco just don't go together anymore. Voting to oppose military recruitment in public schools and to ban handgun ownership, as San Franciscans did Tuesday, means the city should be cut off from federal dollars. And then some.

"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,' " O'Reilly said Tuesday on his radio show as San Franciscans were approving the two measures.

Perhaps, he didn't realize that he'd be speaking mostly to foreign tourists and suburbanites if he were standing in Union Square.

"Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead," O'Reilly went on. "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."

San Franciscans might be offended by this invitation, or perhaps even threatened, if more of them visited Coit Tower.

What's Garofoli's focus here? Making sure he could take snooty digs at tourist areas that locals avoid. Beats addressing the issues, doesn't it?

Could be why readers are cancelling subscriptions in droves.

Next, ratings-challenged KPIX-TV (CBS-5) jumps in with this biased report:

San Francisco has long been an easy target for ultra conservatives, but one of the most controversial talk show hosts is taking his anger to a new level.

Bill O’Reilly is America’s most watched cable news guy. He is upset that San Franciscans voted to discourage public schools in the city from allowing military recruiters on campus, and he made his views very clear on his radio talk show.

Those remarks haven’t gone unnoticed.

"Consider the source," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “There are a lot of people that love their country, and embrace the military, but that doesn't mean…that people of San Francisco can't stand up and say ‘hey, there may be some issues, and we want to send a policy statement that raises awareness.’”

O’Reilly has attacked Newsom in the past, but this time the Mayor says he has taken things too far.

Next, KRON-TV got into the act:

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Supervisor Chris Daly is firing back at Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly for comments he made on his radio show Wednesday that encouraged al-Qaida to "blow up" Coit Tower.

O'Reilly reacted to San Franciscans approval of Proposition I, which discourages military recruiters on public high school and college campuses. He advised President George W. Bush to react by withdrawing any military protection for the city.

"...If al-Qaida 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," O'Reilly said.

Daly responded on the KRON 4 Morning News, "Coit Tower's a monument to San Francisco's firefighters. They put out the fires in San Francisco after the great quake.

American heroes -- they were there on Sept. 11 and now you want al-Qaida to blow up Coit Tower? Give us a break. You are out of line." Proposition I got 60 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election. It does not ban recruiters, but it does urge schools to reject them.

Note how KRON only used the latter portion of O'Reilly's quote, dishonestly taking it out of context.

TVNewser also has a take here: asks: "Does Bill O'Reilly have it in for the city by the bay?"

"San Franciscans have been in an uproar this week over apparent comments by the host of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor that it was A-OK for terrorists to wipe the city off the map."

Here's what he said.

"City officials were not amused. 'It sounds like he's on the same medication Rush Limbaugh is addicted to, and he should go see a therapist,'' Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, whose district includes the tower, told the Chronicle..."

The Radio Equalizer can smell where this liberal media firestorm is headed: an attempt to turn it into a Bill Bennett sequel. The same out-of-context interpretations are already buzzing around the mainstream media.

Expect the same sleazy dirty tricks used to smear Bennett.

UPDATE: Terrific work at Newsbusters, they take MSNBC to task for their self-serving slams against O'Reilly:

You know you're reading an unfair attack article when they're too scared to even use a byline. Today someone at MSNBC relied on partisan activists Media Matters to go after Bill O'Reilly for saying "that it was A-OK for terrorists to wipe the city [San Francisco] off the map."

That's not what he said at all. I was listening when he said it. The article reads:

At issue are comments from O'Reilly's Election Day broadcast radio show about a San Francisco ballot measure opposing the presence of military recruiters in city schools. "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," O'Reilly said, according to a transcript and audio posted by liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America, and by the San Francisco Chronicle. "And if al-Qaida comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it..."

What they left out was the paragraph before that where O'Reilly suggested that because San Francisco routinely rejects the military, if the measure passed, Federal officials may want to consider pulling military protection from the city. He didn't at all say it was "A-OK for terrorists to wipe the city off the map," only that if they do attack San Francisco the rest of us shouldn't have to come bail them out, and everyone should know that from go. By the way, does the whole city of San Francisco live in Coit Tower?

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O'Reilly graphic: KPIX (CBS-5), Second graphic: TVNewser O'Reilly Frowning: KPIX
Coit Reflection: Deanne Fitzmaurice, San Francisco Chronicle


  • We know you're an imposter because you tried to pretend to be several other Air America personalities before settling on Seder.

    If you really were Seder, I'd have some fun with this, but the fake Seder is even more boring than the real one.

    For the readers who wondered: the real Seder is Janeane Garofalo's co-host.

    By Brian Maloney, at 8:45 PM

    Have fun with it you moronic wimp When have i ever posted here as anyone else, never mind another AAR host. You can check ip addresses- you know I've never posted here as anyone but myself. And you know why I post here, because I am responding to your lame, pathetic emails to me.

    To you this is all a sad game where you make up for the fact that you've been a loser all your life by trying to hang with the bully's on the right. Those same guys like O'riely who intimadated you when you were in high school and those girls like Malkin who would laugh at you when you were 14.

    You think you can get into their good graces now because you have a blog? They still think you are a loser but play with you for the same reason you email me- it is a game for them and you help them drive traffic or ratings. Albeit barely.

    Grow up you putz- do some real work.

    If i posted under another name would you then answer my questions like:

    - Since you are on and on about aar's financing and now that you have no radio career how do you make your money?

    - Why do you boast about a mention in time magazine in your bio when that mention consisted of calling you a conspiracy theorist in the context of a story about Conspiracy town usa in nevada?

    - Why so silent on the aar "scandal"- is it because aar did nothing wrong and actually repaid the loan months if not years ealier than they had negotiated to do so?

    - How ironic is it that you call SF fringe when the only mention you have had in national media (besides the time I mentioned yo uon air) was to call you a lunatic? (see Time mag article I have referenced on this blog)

    By Blogger samseder, at 12 November, 2005 02:39  

  • P.S.

    Janeane is my co-host.

    By Blogger samseder, at 12 November, 2005 02:41  

  • San Fransisco may have its problems, but Bill O'Reilly's comments were out of line. So was his "greedy oil companies" rant. He used to be really intelligent and make good points; now I think he's lost it.

    By Blogger Unwilling Participant, at 12 November, 2005 04:18  

  • Why anyone would want to live in SCUM FREAKCISCO--I call it that b/c scums and freaks live there--is beyond me!

    O'Reilly's rant about the oil companies--PROMOTION OF FASCISM! And that is WRONG--SHAME ON YOU O'REILLY!

    But his thing about blowing up the Coit Tower--I say not enough--how about a quake the size of 1989 or how about 1906--THAT'LL LEARN THEM!

    Or it could be worse for them--Michael Savage could be MAYOR there--in reality though he wouldn't try politics.

    The people of SF have made their bed--dirty sheets and all--and it's time for them to sleep in it!


    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 12 November, 2005 07:50  

  • Samseder:

    Sorry, it's clear you're a fake. Don't know why you push this tired, stale "joke". Time to move on.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 12 November, 2005 10:32  

  • NE Patriot:

    I'll go ahead and take your bait.

    O'Reilly didn't say he wanted to Coit Tower blown up, only that if San Francisco chooses to be anti-military, it shouldn't expect federal help.

    It also doesn't deserve to be defended.

    The problem, as your post highlights, is that his comments are immediately taken out of context and twisted. This is exactly what they did to Bill Bennett.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 12 November, 2005 13:04  

  • I note that an example of MMFA's faulty "analysis" that I added to this page has been deleted:

    Perhaps someone who's familiar with WP style could add *and maintain* a new section in that entry for all the things that MMFA gets wrong. The difficult part is to make sure that it stays there, since my example was deleted after being there for a few months.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 12 November, 2005 13:44  

  • I grew up in NoCal so the Bay Area is very familiar to me. Before I go on, O'Reilley knew dam well his comments would get him reams and reams of free ink. Now for Frisco; it has become an open air sewer, the stink of urine overcoming the smell of seaweed and surf; drug addicts shoot up in broad daylight, and all the "homeless" deficate on the street while the city "fathers" talk about the Military. Frisco has been phony to its narcissistic core for at least a century. With all the liberal talk, it is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. with a one bedroom apartment renting for $2K plus. 450 sq ft studio costs $900 per mo. and the city has a 2% vacancy rate. Apartment rents in San Francisco rose 20 percent between the summers of 1996 and 1997, and that followed two years of 30 percent increase. These steep increases have continued to the present. Electric rates are up 300% this year alone. And the most important thing is to keep the Military from recruiting there. And you haven't mentioned the hand gun ban, forcing all gun owners to surrender them to the police, which is unconstitutional on its face and has been ruled so twice. By definition you have to be single and well off, or don't apply.

    By Blogger Howard, at 12 November, 2005 14:22  

  • Brian - what's amazing to me is that had an Air America host said anything vaguely resembling this you'd be crucifying them.

    Your articles read like Nazi Propaganda. Nice Newspeak calling yourself the "equalizer" - this place is about as balanced as Soviet Russia.

    By Blogger Lyin' Baloney, at 13 November, 2005 11:21  

  • Hey quit picking on poor Brian. He does the best he can and, frankly, comparing Bill O'Reilly to Bugs Bunny demonstrates a lot of insight.

    By Blogger Krononum, at 15 November, 2005 00:20  

  • Unwilling Participant,

    As far as I am concerned they were not. The citizens of San Francisco cheer for the deaths of our soldiers and civilians. They laud and encourage any and all who wish to attack this country. I will guarantee you that they will start spitting on our military people again in the San Francisco airport just like they did 40 years ago. They wish to be some hippy anarchocommunistic little country but with the benefits of the rest of the US footing the bill. Well, as far as I am concerend if Al Qaida or the Norks decide to take San Francisco out I will have three things to say.

    1. I am happy that so many got their desire and got martyred for their cause of the destruction of the US. Maybe Allah will cough em all up 72 virgins of whatever sex or species they want.

    2. No.Great.Loss.

    Sorry, but after seeing and hearing all the shit that spews forth from those idiotarians in the bay area I have gotten to be just like them in one respect. I am rooting for those who hate America, as long as they take out ONLY San Francisco.

    By Blogger Nahanni, at 15 November, 2005 22:18  

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