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September 26, 2007
The San Francisco Left and the Marines (updated)
America's liberal-dominated media are doing their best to ignore a story of a leftist official snubbing the Marines. When the haters go too far in their anti-militarism, The Cause is damaged. MoveOn.org may have reaped a lot of donations from its famous ad, but widespread pubic revulsion and the irregularities in the ad's handling by the New York Times have caused no end of woe for the "progressive camp."
In the wake of the MoveOn dust-up came another example of serious disrespect for the brave warriors who protect our freedoms: denial of a permit for the Marines to film on a city street in San Francisco. A team of Marines has been traveling the country, filming drill maneuvers in iconic places like Times Square. But San Francisco's Film Commission turned down their application for use of a city street on the day the team was in town.
The story has plenty of visual possibilities: connections to Hollywood celebrities, United States Marines in drill formation, and San Francisco playing its typecast role as a scenic citadel of crazy leftism. The official involved has a story that doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. Yet despite initial coverage in three major media outlets -- the San Francisco ABC television station (owned and operated by the network itself), USA Today, and Fox News -- no other major media outlets have picked up the story. Mark Carney of USA Today has followed up and been given a runaround.
When conservative embarrassments make their way into public notice, others rush in to amplify the damage. But the media are not anxious for this story to have any legs at all. Bias reveals itself in the stories that are not covered, as much as in stories that run.
That's too bad, because this story turns out to have some quite interesting connections.
The city official who denied the permit is Stefanie Coyote, the wife of left wing activist and actor Peter Coyote. Even more interestingly, she is a former Teamster, and a highly controversial appointee to a city job, actively (and visibly) supported by Sean Penn when a longtime staffer was fired without cause, making way for her to run the city agency charged with attracting film production jobs to San Francisco her way with her people.
As the website Sweetness & Light (which unearthed her Teamsters background) sardonically commented,
The Marine Corps is not crushed. They have posted a version of the commercial to the web, with locations on federal land with views of the Golden Gate and other scenery.
Sweetness & Light finds a 2005 piece by Matier & Ross, the San Francisco Chronicle's ace investigative reporters, which reports Stefanie Coyote (then known as Stefanie Pleet Coyote) faced some potential hot water:
S&L links to this M&R article reporting that Stefanie tried to get free rent for Rent, the movie, when it was filmed in a former hangar/film studio on Treasure Island, which the City of San Francisco owns.
If the report is true, it raises an interesting question: If Stefanie was working for the city, shouldn't she have been trying to get rent paid to the city and generate a return for the taxpayers?