Media Frenzy Over Fox News Interview Unwarranted

by Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval on February 23, 2006

There are a few observations that I want to add to the hysteria over my comments on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes. First, I wish I could share with everyone the emails I got from around the country.

The gist of most of them was, as one email put it, that I should “go back to Mexico and take all the queers from San Francisco” with me. Pretty mild stuff to many others, such as one that called me a “stinking spic, faggot, gutless, Anti American [sic], and communist son of bitch [sic]” and expressed a wish that someone would slash my throat this week. Thankfully, the few emails we got from San Francisco were polite and intelligent

The truth is I go on Fox television because I know that the people watching it need a little shaking up. I know I am not going to convince anyone. But in the few seconds the hosts give you to shoot in a word or two, you get a chance to reach hundreds of thousands of viewers and maybe, just maybe, challenge their thinking.

A second, perhaps more important point from the past week is that the San Francisco Chronicle has fallen to very low depths.

The “Voice of the West” didn’t write a news story about my Hannity & Colmes appearance, or the reaction to it—an understandable non-response, I thought, given the fact that my comments came on a Fox News talk show and the fact that few in San Francisco were aware of the comments (that is, until the Chronicle blew up the story).

But then the paper’s editorial board decided the incident was worthy of a gigantic editorial last Friday—an editorial that must have taken hours to write, since it was mostly a transcript of the Hannity & Colmes show. A coda at the end of the editorial piled on, specifically asking “Does Gerardo Sandoval speak for you?” and telling readers to “send your views,” as if people didn’t know they could write letters to a newspaper. Feeding frenzy, anyone? I can almost hear their minds turning: “I think we can use this Sandoval thing to sell more papers.”

Then the glorified gossip columnists—Phil Matier and Andrew Ross—weighed in on Sunday with a catchy cartoon and a rehash of the show. Most tellingly, they ended the item on me with a laundry list of other times I’ve “found myself in the limelight,” which—surprise, surprise—turn out to be the other times Matier and Ross have sought to ridicule me or portray me as some kind of extremist.

Incredibly, another editorial followed on Monday, which made me think my comments on Fox News had somehow become one of the most important issues of 2006. I would be flattered at my supposed influence if I wasn’t so disgusted by the Chronicle’s focus on sensationalism over news that matters. How about a few editorials calling for an independent prosecutor to investigate Bush’s law, or the fact that our supposed champions in Washington just sit back and acquiesce to this all.

In the past five years I’ve had exactly two opinion pieces published in the paper—one of them this past Monday on the subject at hand. Over the years I’ve tried with little success to get the editorial board interested in real issues. Heck, they sat by for the better part of a year while a bully tried to take my house and push my out of office. My political opponents, on the other hand, have had more luck.

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