|Bob Filner campaign image|
Usually we pay attention to San Diego about once a year, during Comic-Con
. But in the last few weeks America's Finest City has played host to an even bigger spectacle -- the implosion of Mayor Bob Filner.
Today, Filner sought to cling to power by promising to go to sex-harassment rehab. Some folks thought he would resign, but it seems like he would rather prolong his downfall.
At a noon press conference, Filner seemed to abandon
the "Mad Men" defense, saying, "It is simply not acceptable for me to try to explain away my conduct as the product of the standards of a different generation."
He also apologized to the community and "to the women I have offended."
Offended? OK. It's hard to come up with a catchall phrase, but other possibilities
include "violated," "groped," "grabbed," "intimidated," "assaulted," "disrespected" and "demeaned."
Whatever the appropriate verb, Filner says he is taking responsibility:
"I am responsible for my conduct, and I must take responsibility for my conduct by taking action so that such conduct does not ever happen again," Filner said.
It's always nice to see a 70-year-old man acknowledge that he is responsible for his own behavior. In this case, it seems the more effective way to do it would be to resign. But you see, that would be the easy way out. Better to endure several more weeks of this before enough pressure builds up to force him from office.
So does this hurt the broader community? The U-T sought out
a professor to find out:
"If you are a city that nobody has ever heard of, and your mayor does something outrageous and Stephen Colbert is talking about it and everyone is talking about it, it could be the only thing everybody knows about your city," said Robert J. Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University. "But that is not the case with San Diego. There is an awful lot of other stuff people know about San Diego that can dilute this."
Yes, like the zoo, the last-place Padres, and cosplay
. Nothing can restore the city's wholesome image like these two