The Chron's Willie Brown problem


I'm glad someone else has noticed the problem with giving a political fixer his own newspaper column. I've been talking about this for years now, and the Chron doesn't care. Brown is a walking conflict of interest -- he represents clients who have business in the state and the city, and he can freely hype those clients in the Chronicle, and he can promote candidates who he is doing fundraisers for -- and he never has to disclose anything.

Chronicle Editor Ward Bushee keeps saying that this is a celebrity, an-about-town column, but it's really not. Brown mostly writes about politics, and he's got a huge platform to help people who are paying him. It's an embarassment.

I don't expect the Chron to get rid of him, but at the very least, they ought to make him disclose when he has a financial interest in what he's writing about.


Also I hope you will find our new post on "what happened to the 2011 mayors election" of interest at

Posted by Guest citireport on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

Citireport provides an I depth analysis of how this impacts todays election at

Posted by Guest citireport on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

and the Italians keep electing him, even though they also keep firing him. So it doesn't seem to be an issue either way. Having said that, I wouldn't want Murdoch for Prez.,

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 12:58 pm
Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

Brown is an awful writer - reading that column is like wandering through the musings of a 14-year old girl's diary - a 14-year old girl who loves name dropping and talking about all the fabulous people she hangs out with and the limo rides she's always taking.

Brown is no longer poor and hasn't been for a long time, yet the memory of growing up poor and being never quite good enough lingers with him. Brown wanted to attend Stanford but his grades were bad so he attended San Francisco State where he was admitted on probation. He then wanted to attend Cal for law school but again - he wasn't good enough so he went to UC Hastings instead. He's never served in federal office despite fervently wanting to do so - again, settling for the Assembly and the Mayor's office.

All of this shows in the neediness and desperation Brown regularly makes part of his column. He's had more than most people ever will - yet it's never enough and he always feels like he's not quite good enough, thus the relentless focus on money and status - because when you're someone like Brown, someone who's never really become what they wanted to be and who still feels deep down that they're that poor little boy from Mineola who wasn't good enough for Stanford and Boalt - that's all you've got left.

Posted by guest on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 2:41 pm