San Francisco has been plagued by surges in homelessness, crime, drugs, and business closures for several years now, but you’d never know it after the massive glow up the city has undergone ahead of several key events.
While some 20,000 people from around the world are expected in the Bay Area for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit that runs through November 17, President Joe Biden is also set to hold a high-stakes meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Fran on Wednesday.
On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by hosts of Ruthless – Josh Holmes, Comfortably Smug, Michael Duncan, and John Ashbrook – to discuss San Francisco cleaning up its act and Gov. Gavin Newsom admitting it’s all just for show.
San Fran’s Glow Up
Megyn played a local KTVU report that explains just how much time and energy San Francisco invested in “making sure the city shines” ahead of welcoming its high-profile visitors.
According to the report, the California Department of Transportation has been “repaving major roadways like the Harrison Street off ramp from the I-80,” Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has been “doubling down by deep cleaning their stations” more often, “scrubbing and power washing” has been happening all over the city, the San Francisco Department of Public Works has been “installing decorative crosswalks” and repainting pedestrian bridges, and the Yerba Buena Gardens at the Moscone Center are “decked out with new colorful landscaping and murals.”
The voice over from the KTVU reporter Crystal Bailey confirms that “it’s noticeable how clear the streets look” and “how few homeless encampments there are on major thoroughfares.” One of the residents interviewed for the piece remarked that the bottom of his shoes “look clean.” All of this, KTVU said, was done “just in time for the 20,000 high-profile CEOs and heads of state coming into town.”
Megyn called the situation “unbelievable.” “[California Gov.] Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed clean up the city just in time for the Chinese leader to show up there with Joe Biden,” she said. “They’re important, but the actual residents of San Francisco can pound sand.”
Newsom: ‘It’s True’
In case there was any confusion as to why all of these improvements were made in such a short period of time when the city has been in decay for years, Newsom confirmed it is all for show:
“Anytime you put on an event, by definition, you know, you have people over your house, you’re going to clean up the house… You have 21 world leaders, you got tens of thousands of people coming from all around the globe, what an opportunity to showcase the world’s most extraordinary place… Folks say, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming into town.’ Um that’s true because it’s true. But it’s also true for months and months and months prior to APEC, we’ve been having different conversations.”– Gov. Gavin Newsom
In Holmes’ view, the comments prove politicians and officials in cities like San Francisco are making the conscious decision to look the other way. “I am just going to thank Gavin Newsom for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s not that they can’t clean up the cities in America, it’s that they choose not to,” he said.
That, Megyn said, is what is so “offensive” about it. “Guess what? Most of us don’t live in a pigsty day to day. We have some small clutter to clean up. It’s not a complete overhaul of where we choose to raise our children,” she explained. “That’s what you need in San Francisco. He doesn’t give two sh-ts about the children. He doesn’t care about them at all.”
Both Ashbrook and Smug agreed. “He doesn’t care about them at all – I think he’s proven it over and over and over again,” Ashbrook noted. “We know who he likes better than people in California. It’s Xi.” The timing is also telling. “In one week, he can make the city hospitable for all the citizens there and he chooses not to,” Smug added.
If nothing else, Megyn said the honesty is refreshing. “I love that he just gave it up,” she concluded. “’That’s true because that’s true’ – he’s been taking speech writing from Kamala Harris, his main competition for the job of president.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Ruthless by tuning in to episode 669 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.