Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letters to Bay Area Media: Chip Johnson, Stop Ignoring Inconvenient Facts

By Elmano Gonsalves
Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Hi Chip,

It seems that your vendetta against Jean Quan and the City of Oakland continues unabated.

The San Francisco-centric and slanted media goes after Oakland’s mayor as if she were Kim Kardashian. Quan makes news when she gets a parking ticket, is involved in a fender bender, when her car window gets smashed, when she's talking on her cellphone, when her purse gets stolen, etc. It's all fun and games for the selective SF-centric media who could care less about what Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, is up to. Lee was not questioned about a 22 percent increase in crime in San Francisco in 2013. Lee goes on with his business as tourists are shot in San Francisco. Lee is undisturbed as tourists and KRON have their cameras stolen at gunpoint. No one writes a column when a 14-year-old boy is murdered in San Francisco.

click to enlarge Chip Johnson.
  • Chip Johnson.
Chip, you like to embellish any negative news or crime numbers when it comes to Oakland. You stated that crime in Oakland under Quan has reached a level of "size, breadth and width the city had never before experienced."

Once again you're making things up. In 1992, there were 175 homicides in Oakland. The ’80s and ’90s saw much higher crime rates than today. The robbery numbers the media likes to pin on Oakland had to do with smartphone thefts, which included 75 percent of all robberies in Oakland in 2012. San Francisco had the same problem.

Chip, it’s interesting that you make no mention of how much crime has come down in Oakland in the last two years. You're not interested in the record low 48 non-justifiable homicides in Oakland as of September 9. You know Oakland’s homicide, robbery, and residential burglary numbers are down by more than 30 percent in 2014. You know that Oakland has a chance to record the lowest homicide count since the 1960s. Why aren’t you writing about the record low crime rates instead of once again smearing Oakland?

Unfortunately, this has been your method of operation for many, many years as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. You bury the good news and the record low crime numbers since it doesn't fit your anti-Oakland agenda and the narrative that Oakland is a "crime infested " and "impoverished city," which you and your fellow SF-centric colleagues want so desperately to promote and perpetuate.

Folks in Oakland understand that you’ve had an anti-Oakland agenda for a very long time. No one likes a bully. You may think that you're helping to insure that Jean Quan loses the election, but what you’re really doing is exposing the San Francisco disdain for any progress in Oakland. Oaklanders don't like bullies with agendas working for a newspaper in a neighboring city that attempts to define Oakland on a daily basis with selective reporting.

Your anti-Quan agenda is going to backfire and I predict Quan will get re-elected. Is she the best candidate with the best leadership skills? Probably not. Has she been unfairly targeted by you and your SF-centric media colleagues? Absolutely.

— Elmano Gonsalves

P.S. Here are the Oakland crime stats for 2014 that show 48 homicides. The 2014 stats also show a 30 percent reduction in homicides, a 37 percent reduction in robberies and a 31 percent reduction in residential burglaries. I understand these are inconvenient facts for a San Francisco-centric and slanted media with an anti-Oakland agenda, but they are the facts.


Oakland native Elmano Gonsalves has embarked on a months-long campaign to set the record straight about his hometown. Gonsalves sends emails almost daily to Bay Area journalists, pointing out biases in news stories about Oakland. The Express has decided to start publishing some of his letters.   

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