Julian Davis' Attack on SF Weekly Gets It Wrong

Categories: Media, Politics
rsz_avalos-davis-campos.jpg
Center photo: Luke Thomas
Julian Davis, middle, has lost endorsements from Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, and the Guardian
When confronted with allegations from Kay Vasilyeva that he inappropriately touched her beneath her clothing, Julian Davis attacked. He had his attorney send a cease-and-desist letter threatening her with "significant legal liability." It was this action, according to Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos, that led them to strip their endorsements from Davis. 

In a press release put out today, Davis denies the allegation, as he did, strenuously and repeatedly, in SF Weekly's article. He then goes on, however, to attack me: 

Davis also said that reliable sources informed him that SF Weekly reporter Joe Eskanazi (sic) expressed to them "serious doubts" about the veracity of the accusations, the timing and credibility of the story, and was on assignment from his editors and "seriously conflicted" about going to press.

I did not say these things, because I do not believe these things. 

I was not "on assignment" from my editors. This was a story that originated with me. My editors did not drive the reporting of this story, and were not more actively involved than they would be for any article. They would have not allowed it to run if they did not believe the facts warranted it to do so. 

I did not question the timing, as I first met with Vasilyeva in August. She reiterated to me the allegations she made to others many months earlier. As noted in our article, the late running date of our story is due to Vasilyeva's decision to go on the record only after the wording of the Guardian endorsement led her to believe the paper was obfuscating and minimizing allegations of mistreating women. 

The timing of the article was also due to our need to do further reporting, contact sources, and attempt to get them on the record. Unattributed sources, unlike those in Davis' release, were not quoted. 

Finally, I did not express "serious doubts" about Vasilyeva's allegations because, if I had felt this way, I was under no obligation to write the article. I have staked the reputation of this paper on the trustworthiness of this source, which is not an action to be taken lightly. My concerns were with doing my due diligence and writing the fairest and most journalistically sound article possible.  

This leads to Davis' last accusation, that I was "conflicted." This is accurate -- but not for the reasons he would insinuate. 

The job of a journalist is to sift through the evidence, weigh the facts, report and report some more, and produce the most accurate article possible. I expressed, perhaps a bit too honestly, my knowledge that running this article would affect people personally and professionally, and potentially aid politicians and political factions to whom I have no allegiance or sympathy. This is the nature of being "conflicted," not questions about the veracity of our on-the-record source. 

Allowing the potential ramifications of your work to influence the editorial process places one outside the business of practicing journalism and into the realm of managing the news.

That's not what we do here. And that's not what I did.  


My Voice Nation Help
8 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
j.stone2004
j.stone2004

To top it off, Kay Vasilyeva tweeted this:

 

https://twitter.com/kayvasilyeva/statuses/251524547596152832

 

(I'm not making this up- this is wild!)

bob.leungsf
bob.leungsf

 @j.stone2004  I am not going to argue with someone as stupid as you, because that would require stooping all the way down there to your level.  It is clear that you are well experienced at being an idiot, although it is also clear that you are new here, as your first post on SF Weekly was yesterday.

 

Anyhow, I would count myself as a friend of Julians, and I would say that you really aren't doing him any favors right now.

j.stone2004
j.stone2004

Not to be too much of a wise guy, but I would like to bring up a couple of questions about what exactly is happening here. First of all, the timing is a dead giveaway. If Kay Vasilyeva and Julian Davis ever had the encounter that Mr. Davis is accused of years ago, then why did she wait until now to bring it up? And then take a look at who is making the allegations. Kay Vasilyeva? I looked around a little bit online, and found a movie online at http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi2257323033/ starring Kay Vasilyeva - "five sexy coeds. one killer schnauzer....it's not unrated for nothing." (NO, I'm NOT making this up!) Gee whiz, San Franciscans, the wool they are trying to pull over everyone's eyes here is 50% polyester! Don't be dumb enough to fall for this kind of thing. It's not about women's rights this time - this is about power, money, and people with agendas. I'm going to continue to support Julian Davis because I'm not dumb. I also want to urge all San Franciscans who vote to unite and tell City Hall (especially after Mirkirimi's reinstatement) that we are tired of sex and women's rights being used as political weapons.

sheila
sheila

 @j.stone2004 Hey Julian staff member, women who have been victims of rape and sexual assault either:

 

A) Never come forward or

 

B) Due so after years of trauma and eventual bravery.  This is a fact. Kay is not the only person who has come forward and let this be known about Mr. Davis.  This is also a fact.

 

EvilSchnauzer
EvilSchnauzer like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @j.stone2004 So because someone helps their friend out by acting in their small movie project that means that Julian isn't a creep? Okayyyy. 

Humanoid
Humanoid

You seem highly defensive, Joe.

merlonius
merlonius like.author.displayName 1 Like

"I have staked the reputation of this paper on the trustworthiness of this source, which is not an action to be taken lightly." Um, yeah, that's why you did such a great of substantiating her claims. This is really, really lazy journalism--and dangerous. You clearly never studied journalistic ethics. I just lost all respect for SF Weekly. It's not worth the paper it's printed on.

suzanne
suzanne like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @merlonius , you are the problem with our progressive movement. Please stop. 

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...