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Leland Yee Says He Gets Death Threats! Ed Lee Gets All The Publicity; Is That Fair?

State Senator Leland Yee, who is running for mayor of San Francisco, has let it be known, via leaks and an unprecedented official “death threat”  press release,  that he has been the target of death threats and vile racial slurs.   Thus far, Leland’s cries for attention  have been met with what can only be described as a big yawn from the media. Meanwhile, Ed Lee, who is the Mayor, has been sunning himself in the warmth of an extended honeymoon of positive press comment, with no prodding from him. One can only imagine Leland’s frustration.

Leland’s cry for attention began  in the wake of the Tucson shootings, when Yee’s San Mateo office leaked to the San Mateo Times the news that Tucson Sheriff”s investigators had called them inquiring if there was any link to threats Yee received from Sara Palin fans when he was hot to trot about the secretive nature of Saran Palin’s speaking fee for an address last summer at California State University, Stanislaus. Lee got some really good ink out of that beef, particularly in the Chronicle, after University authorities went into stupid mode and there was talk of faxes being shredded and that sort of thing.

The San Mateo paper dutifully published a lengthy January 14 exclusive: “Death Threats to Bay Area Senator catch eye of Giffords investigators.”  The rest of the Bay Area media didn’t pick up the story – KGO-TV did give it a mention – possibly because the San Mateo paper,  having done its best to stir the death-threat pot, concluded , after talking to the CHP which investigates threats against state officials: “Despite some rough similiarities, a CHP spokesperson noted that detectives think Loughner acted alone. And he has no known connections with Yee or the Bay Area.”

Not to be deterred, Yee then picked a public fight with right wing totem Rush Limbaugh singling out “offensive comments” (as if everything Limbaugh said wasn’t offensive) he made and calling for a boycott of advertisers on his syndicated radio show. This, predictably, generated yet another racist death threat — as Yee’s office pointed out in a January 26 press release: “After condemning offensive comments by Rush Limbaugh, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) today was sent a racist death threat via fax to his San Francisco and Capitol offices…” – and reproduced the offending communication replete with noose and references Yee as a “Fishhead” and “Rectum Sniffing Moron.”

Yee Death Threat?

Just about every elected official gets death threats and there is an unwritten political etiquette between politicians and press such deranged threats are not to be publicized – and certainly never bragged upon by a politician – because of commonsense monkey-see, monkey-do concerns.

The death threat press release was apparently too much for the Chronicle’s usually mild-mannered Matier & Ross, who in their Sunday column gave Yee a bow shot to stop this, noting that prior to Yee’s unprecedented and slightly loopy press release and apparent attempts to suggest that he might have been on the Tucson shooter’s hate list, Yee “had previously advertised death threats over his call to regulate violent video games.” (Note the verb “advertised.”)

“Yee, who is running for San Francisco mayor, isn’t the first lawmaker to get death threats. But he’s the first we’ve known to announce them with a press release – then go on every TV news show that will have him to talk about it,” Matier and Ross wrote.

The ever-obliging web site Fog City Journal printed Yee’s press release verbatim including posting the ugly racist death-threat fax Yee’s office had sent out to the media. The Fog City Journal added: “Spread the word! Bookmark on Delicious, Digg this post, Recommend on Facebook, share via Reddit, Share with Stumblers, Tweet about it…” Wonderful. Generate more death threats.

Matier and Ross quoted the head of the Senator’s San Mateo office, Adam Keigwin, who appears to have played a central role in the bragging of Leland death-threats, as explaining that the blameless Yee “can’t control the interest the media has in this.”

Odd. The only real interest the media has shown to date is to tell Yee to shut up already spreading this self-promoting, dangerous claptrap.

Posted: 2.1.11

Tags: Uncategorized

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