Scott Wiener, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, knew Fox News was lurking.
“They’ve been stalking various members of the board of supervisors for the last week. They went to someone’s home. One of my colleagues said they were following her around in her district last week,” Wiener told ThinkProgress in a phone interview.
Fox News became interested in local San Francisco politicians like Wiener after the murder of Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant. Fox saw this as an opportunity to point the blame at the Board Of Supervisors for making San Francisco a “sanctuary city” that does not actively seek the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Or, as Wiener put it, Fox News is trying to “take advantage of a horrific crime to bash immigrants.”
When Fox News finally ambushed him in the hallway, Wiener knew what he was going to do. He didn’t want to answer the questions because he knew Fox News was not going to make a good faith effort to cover the issue. He didn’t want to just duck his head and hide, because he knew how that looked on TV. So he addressed Fox News directly: “Fox News is not real news. And you’re not a real reporter.”
This elected official has the appropriate response to Fox News’ chicanery: pic.twitter.com/TVmPr0id0o
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) July 15, 2015
This short clip has made Wiener a hero in his city. The response in San Francisco has been “overwhelmingly and enthusiastically positive. People are thrilled. There is such a deep seated frustration with Fox News and the fringe it represents,” Wiener said, saying he’d also received messages of support from around the country.
He emphasized that he’s fine talking with reporters from conservative outlets, just not Fox News, which he puts in a different category. He regularly takes calls from Deborah Saunders, a very conservative local columnist.
Response from Fox News fans has been less positive. His social media feed has been flooded with “really extreme fringe hateful” posts. His office voicemail is also filled to capacity.
Still, Wiener has no regrets. Fox News is a “propaganda machine, nothing more and nothing less,” Wiener said.