The office of the president of the Board of Supervisors got into it with a tourist last week, reaffirming the old adage that only San Franciscans can talk trash about San Francisco. It just so happens that in this case, as the Chronicle reports, the dust-up was literally about garbage.
Tourist David Cochrane was apparently appalled at what he saw while strolling the streets of our fair city on vacation with his wife, and wrote into the Supervisor's office to complain. “I was embarrassed to be an American because of the way San Francisco is presented to the world,” he wrote on July 25 in reference to what he believed to be excessive litter.
Cochrane received a response on Saturday, but it was likely not what he expected (although what, exactly, he did expect is unclear). “If you are embarrassed to be an American, then you are barking up the wrong tree here, buddy,” read the response from Breed's office. “Why don’t you write a letter to the editor of whatever town you’re from if your panties are in a bunch?”
Cochrane instead forwarded the email to the Chronicle, where he continued to refer to Fisherman's Wharf as a "dump" and said he'd be telling all his friends to avoid our city, and the paper then circled back to Breed.
Breed has blamed the email on an unpaid intern — saying that the person who wrote it has been let go. “I take full responsibility for the volunteer’s words and have personally apologized to Mr. Cochrane,” Breed told the paper.
This, of course, it not the first time the supervisor has run into some digital controversy. In 2009 she embarrassingly argued with safe-streets advocates on Twitter and tweeted the following (since deleted) gem at a constituent: "if you pay my salary, I want a raise to listen to your bullshit." She deleted her account shortly thereafter, but revived it last year.
If the speed at which she dismissed the intern in question and apologized to Mr. Cochrane is any indication, she may have picked up a thing or two since 2013 about how elected officials are supposed to behave online.