San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has exaggerated and distorted the truth lots of times this summer. We’ve looked into seven recent assertions made by the mayor or his allies and found some creative spin, significant gaps in logic and even an outright falsehood or two.
The mayor’s office declined to comment.
Issue: Filner Deputy Chief of Staff Allen Jones resigned.
The cavalcade of bad news for Filner began three weeks before allegations of sexual harassment broke. Jones and the mayor’s former spokeswoman Irene McCormack, who later filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner, resigned after a tumultuous staff meeting. Jones was seen exiting City Hall with police officers helping him carry out boxes.
But the day of their resignations, Filner denied it happened. Here’s an exchange with our Scott Lewis:
Did you fire Allen Jones?
I’m not going to talk about personnel issues.
Did he quit?
I’m not going to talk about it.
But he’s not working for you any longer?
As far as I know, he is …
He’s still part of your administration.
As far as I know.
Filner acknowledged Jones and McCormack’s departure a week later.
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All this reminds me of the final scene of the original 1930s film "King Kong." Alone atop a pinnacle of power, the beast, machine-gunned by encircling bi-planes, reaches out with one hand to swat them down. With the other, he grasps Fay Wray, his human and unrequited love. In Filner's case, what would Fay Wray represent? Misogyny? Love of power? Disregard for social norms? Loyalty to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party that has censured him? Whatever it is, Filner's grasp of it (or the grasp of the "monster" Filner has confessed is within him) is impressive and tragic. Rather than usher in a Greek chorus, however, it might be more fitting to cue up the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" (perhaps as the soundtrack for TV news videos). After all, to paraphrase another Stones tune, "it's only politics but we love it, love it, yes we do!"