He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone… – John 8:7
By Bob Dorn
The Pharisees are circling. Their feasting on what are –still — unsubstantiated rumors reveals the same mob-thought and histeria of ancient history, before the rule of law.
We still haven’t heard descriptions, neither anonymous ones nor any from his public accusers, of what Filner has done. Of all the “multiple victims” (the words of a principal accuser who happens to be a lawyer encouraging people to use his services) not one has stepped forward into the light to explain when and where the mayor harassed her, or him. The words sexual abuse have not even appeared in the trash talk of the politicians and partisan lawyers.
There’s a sloppiness in this attack that beggars the imagination, as if the hatred and passion of those dancing around the bonfire has relieved them of their reason and awareness of what they’re saying.
The most recent story to come out against the mayor was from Lori Saldana, a Democratic State Assembly member until 2010.
Saldana told VOSD on Thursday and Channel 10 news on Saturday, the 13th – which is of course operated by Texas media megalith, Clear Channel, Rush Limbaugh’s network — that two years ago she went to County Democratic chair Jesse Durfee some time in 2012 to warn him that women had been complaining of Filner’s harassment when he was still a Congressman.
That didn’t stop her from endorsing Filner a year later as he declared his run for the city’s top job.
Now that she’s joined those calling for him to resign we can only guess what changed her mind.
The other Democrats who earlier stood before the cameras to indict Filner personally have admitted they believed in him, have even called him a friend. Why didn’t these Democrats go to the subject of these rumors to tell him what they knew, or what they thought they knew, so that he could be warned of what was out there?
A smart politician would have been glad if they had told him, so that he could have confronted the lies or changed his behaviour. Has anyone asked these angry Democrats if they tried to head off their own party’s – and the city’s – disaster by going to him and talking?
There’s also sloppy reporting of the pretended Sunroad bribery, wherein Filner is said to have extorted the donation of $100,000 to some favorite municipal projects benefitting veterans and bicyclists in exchange for taking back his veto of a Sunroad development plan. A conveniently elaborate telephone message from Sunroad to Republican Kevin Faulconer (equal to the briber saying I bribed the mayor) got into Clear Channel’s hands. Now Channel 10 and all other media are saying either that the U.S. attorney, the Department of Justice or the FBI are investigating the case. No one can say for sure if it’s true, or which one is investigating.
The entire weeklong onrush of negative stories continues to bear a resemblance to the charade US Senators presented us some few weeks ago after they came out of three closed sessions with the NSA. They told us they could not reveal to the public what they heard in the meeting because national security would be damaged if they did so.
Similarly, here in San Diego we’re being told by those purporting to represent harassed women that they cannot reveal details of the cases because the women would be damaged by the exposure. Really? Not even Jane Does I through XXV can supply credible accounts?
Unanimity among the lesser elected and unelected circling him, even Filner’s own admission that he’s intimidated and disrespected women on his staff, can’t be a justification for his resignation. There has to be a cause.
The nonchalance with which major media can step so easily over the rules about objectivity would be breathtaking in all but England and the Third World. VOSD’s Liam Dillon called him “a New York Jew”
when, in fact he was born and raised in Pittsburgh and came to San Diego more than 40 years ago to take a job teaching history at San Diego State. Dillon never apologized for his whatever-you-call-it. Maybe that’s because he feels there’s not much difference between a Pittsburgh Jew and a New York Jew.
No organization has engaged in more Filner hate than the SD-UT. Its owner and shaper — self-styling himself as Papa Doug and known to his employees as Papa Doc for his ruthlessness — displays the ethics of the robber barons. He’s passed by the boundaries imposed by city codes on development with impunity, time and again, from converting part of the U-T building in Mission Valley to a parking garage without permits, to scraping land in Carmel Valley without a permit.
His editorial cartoonist has morphed Filner’s face into Shylock’s and the front page editorials have cheerfully ignored balance. All this from a showy Catholic whose messy divorce from his wife of 43 years, Elizabeth Manchester — involved court papers alleging that he’d stolen her mail and “transferred at least $9.3 million from the community (their shared accounts) into his own separate accounts,” and forced her to pay her telephone bills with a credit card, among many other allegations.
The barrage of invective against Filner, the free use of hearsay from political insiders, and the eagerly shoddy reporting of it by the major media enthralled with the town’s Big Boys – all of it — suggests a set up. Have the elected Democrats in this Potemkin village cut a deal with the overlords?
Are we in for a decade of Republicanism delivered by Democrats in Name Only?
Filner’s book will be interesting.
This first appeared at San Diego Free Press.