Lookin' for love in all the wrong places

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By G.W. Schulz

I cracked open the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday genuinely excited to read it. I like going to the local section first, even if local sections across the country are seeing fewer and fewer available column inches; the Bay Area, and indeed, California, happen to be places that produce interesting local news.

What I found was hardly fulfilling.

The Chron put three reporters on a story about the Bay Area’s response to the Floyd Landis doping scandal. Three reporters. There are a lot of cyclists in the Bay Area, and the Landis story certainly warranted a local perspective, but an intern with a car probably could have done this story within a few hours.

Then down below, on the front page of the local section was a story about a big, bad and scary hike ‘n’ bike trail in Oakland. It took two reporters to note that residents near the trail are calling for police to crack down on speeding motorists. Again, an intern with a car. Or, an intern with a car who’s willing to safely drive at Oakland’s posted speeds.

Things didn’t get much better today with a leading story on the front page about the dangers grocery carts pose to children. Apparently, children tragically suffered 24,000 brutal grocery-cart injuries last year, all of which resulted in months of excruciating physical therapy and even amputation. That’s a lie. But one wonders whether parents, say, at the Lebanese border with Israel are all that much worried about gruesome grocery-cart mishaps.

The Chron’s editorial page today seemed to brighten things up slightly, calling for a real hike to the federal minimum wage. In fact, the Chron has taken some bold stances lately, defending journalist Josh Wolf, eviscerating congressional Republicans for pissing on the poor and asking the toughest question of all when it comes to California’s burgeoning prison population: Are we sure that all of the state’s inmates actually belong in prison?

Then I remembered something important. The Chron opposed San Francisco’s minimum-wage hike two years ago. Good Christ.

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