Disinfo Rehab Emergency Edition: Newsom and The Chron and “Free” Wifi

Give the Mayor’s team some credit – at least they know how to use a compliant press to their advantage. This morning, readers were treated to an interesting article about free wifi in San Francisco by private company Meraki – and Mayor Newsom was there, taking all the credit for it.
Even though, of course, Meraki is a private company, and unless the Mayor moonlights as a salesman for Meraki’s repeaters, no one at City Hall did a thing to build Meraki’s wifi networks in the Mission, Noe Valley and Bernal Heights for a couple of years now. (Note to the Chronicle – use The Google to find out these things!)
Instead, this was a chance for the Mayor to Look and Sound Good for the run for Governor, hang out at an SRO, and use the event for what it was really for – repeating loud and clear that “the board of supervisors sucks” and the failed wifi deal as another example of it.
There’s just one problem with this hit – if we had gone along with the Earthlink deal the Mayor was pimping, we’d be totally hosed right now. Earthlink decided some time ago that “Muni WiFI” was not a good business to be in, and has left cities around the country (such as New Orleans and Milpitas, to name a few) high and dry. So in this case, some scrutiny from the Board, instead of a Napoleonic Council rubberstamping Mr. Gavin’s edicts, was a good thing.
The funniest part of the story is of course the rogues’ gallery known as the Chronicle “Comments” section, where the politically correct thugs get together to troll the story to death with their wit and brilliance. The funniest was how angry some people got at the thought of an SRO having an antenna on top – and how misniformed most of these people were in general!
All in all a good day for the Mayor’s team, though, as “facts” didn’t get in the way of a hit on the Board. It is going to be a long summer for Campaign 2008 – and just wait for the avalanche of crappy mail to hit your mailbox this fall. Hopefully they’ll avoid the graphic design tragedy that was the Yes on J sign….

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