Shame on CNN and Anderson Cooper

Last night, CNN aired, “The Whole Story: What Happened to San Francisco” — it was anything but the whole story. Shame on CNN and Anderson Cooper for being so incredibly desperate for ratings that they have veered solidly away from journalistic integrity to a performative, one-sided hit piece on San Francisco.

Glaringly missing from the narrow perspectives in this so-called “special” were myriad and important voices from the substance use disorder provider community — folks who have dedicated their lives to supporting the most visible and vulnerable on our streets in dire need of assistance. Missing are frontline workers who themselves struggle to survive on low wages through historically underfunded San Francisco contracts, which often pose serious challenges to the ability of non-profits to recruit and retain staff. These talented staff, unlike some who participated in this irresponsible ratings-grab on CNN, are highly educated in the fields of substance use disorders and behavioral health. Many of these treatment professionals have lived experience, in addition to their considerable formal education and training, and their work is grounded in empirical research. They employ evidence-based best practices and methods that are proven to help solve these decades-long challenges, and they could make a lasting and meaningful impact if the political will to scale their work to the breadth of this crisis existed.

Rather, CNN chose to elevate voices among the most critical opponents of San Francisco who have worked tirelessly to blame the city’s challenges on so-called “failed policies” solely for their personal, political, and financial gain – several of whom do not even reside in our beautiful city of San Francisco. Unfortunately for San Francisco and those who are further stigmatized by this unbalanced reportage, CNN has decided to take a page from the Fox News playbook of depicting Democratic cities as “chaotic crime-ridden hell holes.”

About HealthRIGHT 360:

HealthRIGHT 360 is a non-profit provider of substance use disorder treatment, mental health services, and primary care to over 47,000 Californians annually, including more than 15,000 San Franciscans. HealthRIGHT 360 provides care that is compassionate, non-judgmental, and evidence-based. We provide services, regardless of one’s ability to pay; inspired by our belief that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Learn more about HealthRIGHT 360 and our programs at

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