Mayor Bob Filner raged against a “lynch mob” in his resignation speech Friday, echoing supporters who believe he fell victim to a tawdry plot born in San Diego’s halls of power.
“The hysteria ended up playing into the hands of those who wanted a political coup. The removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by rumor and innuendo. I am responsible for providing the ammunition. I did that and I take full responsibility. But there are well-organized interests who have run this city for 50 years who pointed the gun. And the media and their political agents pulled the trigger. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not what democracy is about.”
Filner’s speech, plus some of the public comments that preceded it, marked the zenith of conspiracy theories that have floated on the Internet for weeks. They mainly come from progressive Filner allies who warn of planted accusers with hidden motives and a compliant media.
Conspiracy theories certainly aren’t unusual here. In 1912, local union leaders warned, with very good reason, of a City Hall plot to eliminate their free-speech rights. And within just the past few weeks, a local journalist has become a major player in spreading theories about the death of prominent journalist Michael Hastings in a car accident.