ford_scooby.jpgAccording a report published by SF Weekly, SF MTA chief Nathaniel Ford seems to be willingly ignoring the online concerns of his riders, telling one man that “he doesn’t read blogs” when asked about a recent Weekly cover story on Muni’s woes. Maybe this is why Ford can feel “optimistic” about the agency, because he doesn’t know what a huge swath of riders are saying about the transit agency?

According to the Weekly, author/activist Harry Pariser says “I gave the SF Weekly cover story to Mr. Nathaniel Ford, who had not seen it. He told me he doesn’t read blogs when I asked him about it at first. But this is a news article. Amazing!”

Ignoring for a moment the tiresome (and, seriously, totally past the sell-by date) discussion on the differences between a blog post and a “news article,” we have to ask, really? No SFist, no Muni Diaries, no NY Times Bay Area Blog (OK, hard to blame him, there), no Akit, no got my pass in here somewhere, no N Judah Chronicles, no Streetsblog, no City Insider?

The Weekly hops on Ford’s assertion because to them, it implies that Ford had not read their article, but penned “a critical letter to SF Weekly regarding the story.” (A letter you can’t see online yet, as, says Weekly writer (who blogs!) Joe Eskenazi “SF Weekly has received, but not yet printed, Ford’s letter.”)

But, at least to me, I’ve got to wonder (assuming Pariser’s account is accurate), what has inspired Ford to refuse to read his news online? We’ve asked the SF MTA’s media relations team, and will update when we hear back. Update: MTA spokesperson Kristen Holland received our questions with sparkling humor — not being sarcastic, she is cool — and said she will report back to us. Exciting!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Alex Zepeda

    Why? Because he’s been told not to. That’s why. Anyone remember the apology letter he posted on sfmta.com early in his tenure? Maggie Lynch (ugh) got that taken down right quick. The head of the MTA is not a position of power, but one that’s meant to be kept in line by the mayor.

  • Xenu

    We need to abolish the MTA. There was a time when Muni was run a lot better, and we need to revisit those organizational structures.

  • Greg Dewar

    How do you know when Nathaniel Ford and the MTA (and their prince, NewsoM) are lying?

    They open their mouths.

    We pay this idiot 300,000+ a year + benefits and he’s too stupid or too much of a liar to tell the truth.

    Time for him to go, and time for a reorganization. Yes I realize the futility of it, but as it stands we have the worst of all worlds – a “depoliticized” agency that is in fact the most politicized – by a Mayor who’s a fool and whose “boss” , Nate Ford, thinks he works for Newsom, not the owner/riders of Muni. Send him away, Ford is useless and hates Muni riders.