However, what KRON and other local media outlets did last week was a shameful hit piece that would have even made the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci blush. When news hit Quan was involved in a fender bender in Oakland, KRON, the Chronicle and the Bay Area News Group framed the news around potentially specious accounts of the accident. For KRON, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy after the station received so much attention for the “People Behaving Badly” story on Quan and her cell phone. When was the last time viewers paid attention to KRON? Last week, they appeared to have overreached in reporting an account biased toward the mayor is driving reckless yet again meme.
It turns out maybe the media accounts of Quan’s minor scofflaw last week mixed with latent anger toward Quan fueled these early eyewitness reports. After the hubbub just days before, Quan is involved in an accident, how else could this story evolve in the minds of onlookers than she must have been talking on the phone once again and plowed into an innocent motorist? When a massive tsunami slammed into Indonesia a few years ago, it seemed like every little ripple in the ocean was reported by the media. News bureau are more conscience of the major event and consumers of the news are more keyed into the fact. It’s like never knowing of Gruyere cheese before trying a slice and completely loving it. Before you know it, your taste buds are tuned to Gruyere cheese and it periodically enters your consciousness--be it a serendipitous article in a magazine at the dentist office or a stroll down the cheese aisle at Safeway.
This exonerates those at the scene of the accident, but the local media is still at fault for this irresponsible behavior. Not only is there a strong anti-Quan presence in newsrooms around the East Bay, but there appears to be a great deal of cluelessness to what a personal attack against her sounds like to difference ears. Without the facts pinned down, these news outlets proffered a story about a middle-aged Chinese American woman whose erratic driving constitutes a menace to society. When did this cease being a racist stereotype of Asian drivers? What if the same newspapers and television stations ran stories about witnesses insinuating Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid, who is black, wasn't attending council meetings and instead was seen eating fried chicken from Church’s in East Oakland? Residents would go nuts. In either case, it’s unfair and here’s the truth many female politicians will rarely admit: it’s hard running for office when you’re a woman. It’s even harder if you’re a female from a minority group.