What the Media Is Saying about the Recall of DA Chesa Boudin


Chesa Boudin could not be further away from Donald Trump on the ideological spectrum, but the two men share one thing: People want to read about them. Below is a quick collection of some of the Wednesday morning quarterbacking going on the day after Boudin was resoundingly recalled.

Media from across the country weighed in

Washington Post columnist James Hohmann went hard on Boudin’s handling of drug dealing cases, and he noted The Standard’s story on the DA securing zero fentanyl-dealing convictions in 2021. “This helps explain why one of the most liberal cities in America voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recall Boudin and repudiate the prosecutor’s soft-on-crime approach,” Hohmann writes.

What does the recall mean for Boudin’s predecessor and current Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón? Pro-recall folks in the City of Angels were thumping their chests in this New York Post story, saying the bell now tolls for another progressive prosecutor.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón holds a press conference on reforms to the criminal justice system during his first year in office in Los Angeles on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Sarah Reingewirtz/LA Daily News via Getty Images

In a looooooooooong essay by Nellie Bowles in The Atlantic, the writer called San Francisco a failed city that was feeling its progressive self so much that it basically became an unrecognizable wasteland that caters to its crises in a self-propelling cycle of destruction. It’s a thought-provoking piece from someone who knows San Francisco well. And it also includes the wonderful line, “I learned young that it was impolite to point when a naked man passed by, groceries in hand.” True!

Looking for a both-sides assessment on the recall of a DA in “famously liberal” San Francisco? The Associated Press, as ever, has you covered. 

The Question on Everyone’s Mind: Was This a Progressive Referendum?

So just how progressive is San Francisco, really? Lincoln Mitchell for the Examiner took aim at the perception versus reality debate in this column/history lesson exploring how racism and deep-pocketed interests have defined the political direction of the city.

Sam Levin at The Guardian considered whether the recall is a blow to the national progressive prosecutor movement and how other races in California were affected by low voter turnout. Could people in San Francisco simply be weary of voting for the third time before summer even officially starts?

NBC host Monte Poole argued on Twitter that San Francisco wasn’t as progressive as it’s labeled. He tweeted, “ LGBTQ issues aside, halls of power might be more conservative now than 50 years ago.” 

Is the recall of DA Boudin a sign of a “Red Wave” in this November’s elections? Fox News did a roundup of Twitter reactions from conservative pundits and progressive activists. If only there were a piece noting that the GOP has been trying to capitalize on the recall of a progressive prosecutor in San Francisco to make a bigger push for larger electoral gains. Oh, here it is. 

The New York Times had a full rundown of how we got here and what motivated voters, with former Mayor Wille Brown getting the kicker quote noting that Boudin is a “warrior for the downtrodden,” but not a prosecutor. Also, there was a jazz band playing “discreetly” in the corner of the bar where Boudin and his supporters gathered.

Washington Post columnist Perry Bacon dove into the Boudin recall and what he describes as “a war on the left,” where votes are up for grabs and centrist arguments play better to moderate voters but will do little to fix a broken criminal justice system.  

Here’s what local voices had to say

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez at our media partner KQED summed up the recall results in this article, which also notes the names being floated as potential successors to Boudin: Supervisor Catherine Stefani, prosecutor and former DA candidate Nancy Tung and former prosecutor and Boudin recall spokesperson Brooke Jenkins.

Mission Local’s Joe Eskenazi pulled out the hand mirror in a “This Is Us” essay that thankfully avoids the smarm of an NBC show thirsty for your tears. Esk takes a few delightful shots at parachuting media clumsily having its “elbow on the pulse of San Francisco.” And in a bonus shot at the extra woke, “… the Black Lives Matter posters are sun-bleached and neglected in the windows of the city’s $2 million homes.”

Tech Crunch’s senior editor Walter Thompson shared the story on Twitter and added, “The difference in voting patterns between the Sunset and Inner Sunset is the sort of nuance that’s lost on East Coast reporters.” Several people agreed, saying it would be lost on even a California reporter. 

Eloise Fang, 5, holds a sign at a rally to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin at Portsmouth Square on Friday, May 28, 2021, in San Francisco, Calif. Paul Kuroda for The Standard.

Charles H. Jung, an attorney and executive director of the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association, published an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle saying the DA’s recall should be seen as a warning to the Democrat Party: Ignore Asian American voters at your peril.

According to polling by The Standard, no group was more motivated in the recall and that’s mainly due to the rise in hate crimes and discrimination targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the pandemic. The oft-conservative voting bloc is flexing its muscles at the ballot box as demonstrated in the recall of Boudin and three San Francisco school board members this February.

Also in The Chronicle, Heather Knight takes aim at Boudin in this column, arguing that voters were “angry. Steamed. Pissed Off.” Despite ample evidence to prove this point, Knight writes, Boudin failed to listen to people’s concerns. Hard to argue against that point when looking at the scoreboard.

The post What the Media Is Saying about the Recall of DA Chesa Boudin appeared first on The Paloalto Digest.



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