San Francisco supervisor and mayoral candidate Jane Kim did not mince words while responding to a reporter’s pointed questions about her personal background in a blogpost on the online publishing platform Medium.
The reporter, who works at the San Francisco Chronicle, sent Kim a list of questions to answer on a tight deadline, ranging from the District 6 supervisor’s education at an elite private New York prep school to her upbringing as a “child of privilege.”
“It’s oppo dump time,” Kim wrote in her post. “If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s what happens when a rival campaign collects opposition research and dumps it into the hands of a journalist eager to make a saucy headline.”
Kim then goes on to say: “This oppo dump closely follows billionaire Ron Conway launching his negative attacks and it means the same thing: our campaign has real momentum.
Yesterday, I was contacted by a Chronicle reporter asking me to answer vague questions about my background. My campaign requested the questions in writing. We received the list at 3:29pm with a deadline of 10am to answer. I’ve reproduced the questions in full and am providing my answers below publicly, so every voter who is interested can read the record for themselves.”
Kim was also asked about her father’s background as an executive at Kiss Products, a global cosmetics company with millions in revenue. “Why do you never talk about that accomplishment and its impact on your worldview?” the reporter asked.
“I’m rarely asked about my dad’s career," Kim wrote. "As a woman who has been an elected official for more than 10 years and who has been involved in San Francisco civic life for nearly 20 years, people generally are more interested in my accomplishments than my father’s. It’s also 2018 and I believe most voters would find it very retro to measure a woman by her dad’s job.”
“Could it not be seen disingenuous to paint yourself as a hero of the people, when your father has this high-paying executive job?” the report asks in a follow-up question.
I’ve never said I was a “hero of the people” … My father (and my mother) came to this nation as immigrants, leaving a country that had been torn apart by war, “ Kim responded.
The reporter also goes on to ask Kim questions about her father’s business based on incorrect information.
The reporter’s final question: “Couldn’t someone looking at all these details about your life draw a different conclusion about your background than the one presented in your campaign narrative — that you’re more of a child of privilege than you paint yourself? And wouldn’t’ this change voters’ view of you if they were presented with your true background?”
To this, Kim responds, “It is absolutely extraordinary that this question would be asked in this way. Seemingly every word in it was chosen to advance a specific story favored by my opponents. This is not journalism as I understand it.”
San Francisco Chronicle Executive Editor Audrey Cooper apologized about the tone of the questions in a tweet, which linked to a longer statement posted on the Chronicle’s website.
“It's always best if we can have conversations to sort truth from fact. I wish that could have happened in this case. However, it's also important for us to realize when we fail to meet our journalistic standards,”
My statement about @JaneKim's Medium post. It's always best if we can have conversations to sort truth from fact. I wish that could have happened in this case. However, it's also important for us to realize when we fail to meet our journalistic standards.https://t.co/eQHN09UmBI
— Audrey Cooper (@audreycoopersf) May 4, 2018