Arts and CultureSan FranciscoSlider

Why Losing the SF Bay Guardian is so Terrible for San Francisco

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news


I actually cried this morning. I’m a grown-ass man, I can’t remember the last time I cried, but today I found myself whimpering and making snuffling noises as tears came down my face and I looked out my window onto Folsom Street.

To say that the closing of the San Francisco Bay Guardian is bad news for San Francisco is an understatement. It’s worse than bad news; its no news. Whether or not you agreed with the Guardian’s views, it was San Francisco’s conscience. They called out motherfuckers who needed to be called out and they did it fearlessly since 1966. With the Guardian gone, who will do this? Who will be there to point the finger at Ron Conway and show the world that he’s a plutocrat trying to buy San Francisco? Who will be there to run stories about how the influx of wealth is pushing out the working class people and the artists who make San Francisco special? Who will be there to steadfastly push progressiveness and transparency in San Francisco’s Politics?   

Of course there are other publications who touch on this stuff and run the occasional story about the changing nature of San Francisco, but the Guardian saw it as its sacred duty to dig as deep as possible and fight for the little guy.

Maybe the Guardian was a bad name for the publication because, in the end, it wasn’t strong enough to actually guard San Francisco from the forces that are tearing her apart. Maybe a better name would have been the San Francisco Bay Mirror since really, what this publication did, was hold The City’s politicians and citizenry accountable for sad and terrible things they might do.

But here’s the thing: at a time when so many people are being evicted from their homes and so many of the things that we consider fundamental San Francisco values are being sold to the highest bidder, we need the Guardian more than ever.

And it’s fucking gone.

Who will stand up for us and be our voice now that the Guardian is gone?

This is not bad news for San Francisco, this is no news. And that’s the scariest part of it all.

What did the Guardian mean to you? Please tell us in the comments below


Like this piece? Make sure to sign up for the mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

It’s Time to Retire the Word “Slut”

Next post

The City That Was: A Broke-Ass Business Launch

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. MPetrelis
    October 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Their endorsement of Weener showed how far from left-radical they really were. If you were on their blacklist and didn’t make their insular A-list, forget about any coverage.

  2. joey
    October 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    It is sad, the right has there totally irrational conspiracy theories. What will we do without our totally irrational-stupid-fuck conspiracy theories.

  3. Nick Parker
    October 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    So, so true. I also cried. The Bay Guardian Writers were heroes in every sense of the word. And they threw a damn good party. It feels to me like there is more anger than sadness though, which gives me hope that something could be done to save it but who knows. I feel like it will be nearly impossible to again compile such an amazing dream team of writers who are so passionate, creative, and entertaining. Also <3 the weeknighter.

    • October 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      I agree. They really were spectacular. The city is worse off without them.

      and thanks for the Weeknighter love 🙂

  4. rob g
    October 15, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Hey Stuart. Love the site, blah blah blah. Your cousin and I are friends which admittedly made me like it more. Anyway, I freelanced for the SFBG about music and was grateful for the opportunity. Here’s a wall of text I pasted from my FB page:

    The first thing I do when I arrive in a new city is pick up the local free weeklies. There is no better way to quickly get the pulse of what is happening in a new place and I stand by that statement in the digital age. There are simply too many damn websites, apps, etc to digest in a given major city for it to be a convenient, efficient endeavor. I want to find out what issues people are talking about, what bands are playing, what art exhibits are taking place, and where the street festivals are happening that week as I ride a bus or have a beer at the bar.

    The San Francisco Bay Guardian provided that when I first moved to the city. But it also shaped my entire impression of the Bay Area. I was struck by how proudly left, even socialist they were. And I respected them for it not because I agreed, but because they always went to bat for the working class and social justice. They meant it! They stuck to their principles, scrutinized the relationship between government and big business, and called bullshit when they saw it. In the past, the paper did some important investigative work, particularly when it came to PG&E.

    The paper’s impact has steadily diminished since I arrived in 2009. It wasn’t spared the struggle print publications are experiencing. It was bought by the same publisher who owns The Examiner and SF Weekly. Tim Redmond, the former editor-in-chief was let go (he still does good work for his online publication, Its edge seemed dulled. But I was still very, very proud to write for it when I had the opportunity to cover live music for them.

    And so another piece of San Francisco’s identity, around since 1966, is gone. The city is inexorably changing as all things do. The whole Bay Area is as Silicon Valley advances north. Inevitable as it may be, it’s still tough to watch and hard to swallow.

  5. […] would highly encourage you to check out this piece by Broke Ass Stuart on the closing of the SFBG.  He is a far better writer than I could ever hope to be and I think he […]

  6. Kaetan Mazza - The Broke-Joke-Who-Enjoys-a-Midnight-Toke
    October 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Dude we can do that shit on BAS

    • October 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      I know, but we’d need a better infrastructure and more money.

  7. […] of the San Francisco Bay Guardian hitting the streets. Last week, the weekly newspaper was abruptly shut down just after they finished printing their annual Best Of Issue. Looking through this historic issue, […]