Low turnout, a deeply warped media narrative, and right-wing billionaire money framed a very conservative outcome. That’s the real story.

By Tim Redmond, 48 Hills

I have been covering San Francisco politics for more than 40 years, and I have never seen a district attorney face anything close to the media assault that came down on Chesa Boudin.

The first DA I covered, Arlo Smith, was marginally competent, but never went after a rogue cop, never did anything about public corruption, and had at best an unimpressive record on convictions. Nobody cared.

His successor, Terence Hallinan, had management issues (and fired a lot of staffers when he took office), and was a former defense lawyer. There was a major domestic violence case that he failed to prosecute, and a woman died. Only limited media attention, nothing like this.

Chesa Boudin profile picture in black and white

Kamala Harris never prosecuted a cop for wrongdoing. Neither did George Gascon. There were plenty of cases where that could or should have happened, but the news media by and large didn’t care.

But I was here, and under both of them, bad crimes happened, some by people who had been let out of jail. There was open-air drug dealing, and people died of drug overdoses—and they both escaped any serious media attacks.

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