Bill O'Reilly Blathers On About San Francisco -- to Jeff Adachi
FOX bloviator Bill O'Reilly seems to have the same attitude toward San Francisco that 20th-century Germans had toward France: Loves the place, but just can't stand all the damn people who live there.
So it was interesting to watch O'Reilly going on about San Francisco this weekend, stating he'd been here "hundreds" of times -- this despite airing a "documentary" in which he stated, and we quote, "Every city has its Tenderloin. And in San Francisco, the Tenderloin -- is North Beach."
(He also expressed horror at the notion of traveling into the Presidio after dark. God knows -- you might be raped and killed by a family of four out barbecuing and fire juggling). In any event, it was no surprise to watch O'Reilly hit some San Francisco softballs. It was surprising that his "guest" -- really, just someone to talk over -- was public defender Jeff Adachi.
When I saw Adachi pop up on O'Reilly's left, I was expecting a discussion about the public defender's "Smart Reform" pension measure. You know, the one that could save San Francisco nearly $170 million in its first year that's turned him into labor's Darth Vader -- and has induced clumsy acts of retribution against the public defender's office. (An aside: What a stand-up guy Daly is! He identified with accused criminals so much that he refused to vote for bonds to retrofit police headquarters because the rebuild wouldn't affect the jail area -- but now he's moving to strip funding from the city lawyers who defend accused criminals. In this city, that makes perfect sense).
You'd think the notion of a progressive flipping the caps and detonating his bridges with big labor and essentially calling out unions for helping to rapidly bankrupt this city would be perfect fodder for O'Reilly. It'd be like a San Franciscan stumbling across a Republican environmentalist who likes to play frisbee. But -- no.
Instead, the bloviator didn't let Adachi get a word in edgewise about two things the public defender has absolutely nothing to do with: Mayor Gavin Newsom's inane ban of sodas from machines on city-owned property and a proposal to curtail the sale of pets in San Francisco.
We haven't yet reached Adachi, but we're wondering -- did he know this was all O'Reilly was going to talk about? And, if so, why even go on the show?
We're not regular watchers of O'Reilly's show, so we can't testify about what makes for good O'Reilly TV. But the sight of the host loudly talking over Adachi in his attempt to lecture the lawyer about hamsters and sodas wasn't nearly as much fun as hanging out in Washington Square Park in the heart of the Tenderloin.
Update, 7:40 a.m.: Jeff Adachi returned our call. "I was probably a third-stringer," is his explanation as to why he got a call to be on The O'Reilly Factor. "He probably couldn't get anyone else on."
Adachi decided he was okay talking about the city's soda ban and proposed pet ban because "one was city policy and the other was a proposed law."
If you couldn't ascertain Adachi's feelings on the situation over O'Reilly's constant interruptions, here they are: "I understand the problem the ban on pet sales was trying to address, but I think the law went too far. There's only three pet shops in the city. It's not like we have one on every corner." And, regarding soda: "It's one thing to limit children's access to soda, particularly on school grounds. But at some point, you've got to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially adults."
Screen capture | SFCitizen
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