Thursday, October 30, 2014

Letters to Bay Area Media: KTVU, Stop Being a Shill for San Francisco

By Elmano Gonsalves
Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 9:56 AM

KTVU in Oakland has been the biggest San Francisco Giants cheerleading station in the Bay Area. The pro-Giants coverage has been incessant and without any kind of impartial perspective. 

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But KTVU needs to realize that not everyone in the Bay Area is a San Francisco Giants fan. We do have another Major League Baseball team here in the Bay Area called the Oakland A's, which drew more than 2 million fans to home games this year. Why not show a little humility and respect. We all know that KTVU is filled with San Francisco fans but out of respect for Oakland and Oakland A's fans, could you please tone it down a bit? The orange outfits and orange ties every single day has gotten a bit old. The constant fawning has been a bit tiring. There is, after all, other news out there that is much more important to the daily lives of Bay Area residents.

Another aspect of KTVU's biased coverage is the downplaying of the riot in San Francisco after last night’s World Series win. The "celebrations" in San Francisco have actually been much more violent than the "riots" in Oakland during the Occupy demonstrations. After this 2014 World Series victory, two people were shot; one man was stabbed; windows on buses, police vehicles, and private cars were smashed; fires were set in the streets; graffiti was sprayed on businesses; bottles were thrown at the police, etc. In other words, it was a full-fledged riot with more violence than any Occupy protest in Oakland.

Unfortunately, when riots occur in San Francisco, KTVU, KPIX-TV, and some other SF-centric news stations do their best to downplay the violence and destruction and instead behave as cheerleaders for San Francisco interests. No questions have been asked of Mayor Ed Lee or the San Francisco chief of police regarding the violence. No questions have been asked about why San Francisco allowed this violence and destruction considering that this is the third time in three World Series victories that San Francisco has experienced violence and disturbances.

We all know that if the Oakland A's had been the ones winning the 2014 World Series, the enthusiasm from the SF-cheerleading media would have been a fraction of what it has been for the San Francisco Giants. We also know that if this level of violence had occurred in Oakland following an Oakland A's World Series Championship, the focus would have been on the violence and the entire victory would have been downplayed and diminished. Oakland would have received another black eye nationally courtesy of the national affiliates of our SF-centric stations.

When will KTVU stop being a shill and cheerleaders for San Francisco interests? KTVU still continues to have two standards for reporting news: one for Oakland and one for "The City."

KTVU is shameless in its constant promotion for San Francisco even as it continues to identify crime in Oakland by simply "Oakland." As KTVU continues to under report and downplay San Francisco violence and crime, Oakland continues to be unfairly portrayed with crime not being identified by neighborhoods, as KTVU does on a regular basis for San Francisco whenever crime there is reported.

The latest example of KTVU's dual crime reporting methods is the tragic road rage shooting of a mother in deep East Oakland not far from the Sobrante Park neighborhood. KTVU reported the crime as simply being in "Oakland." KTVU didn't bother with a neighborhood name or even the broader "East Oakland." For SF-centric cheerleader KTVU, only San Francisco has neighborhoods.

KTVU in Oakland is a terrible corporate citizen for Oakland. KTVU should really get an office at the San Francisco Visitors Bureau headquarters or rebrand itself as the San Francisco Giants Fan Club station. Please show a little respect and please behave as a professional, independent and fair news station for the entire Bay Area.

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 been publishing some of his letters.   

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