San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pointed fingers at the “media and their political agents” for executing a “political coup” to oust him from office following allegations of sexual misconduct Friday in his resignation speech.
Filner acknowledged he provided the “ammunition” for his enemies to publicize the salacious accusations, but put the blame on the media and his political enemies for assembling a “lynch mob” and forcing him to resign:
BOB FILNER: [...] Now I have to caution the council about one thing, the city. I started my political career facing lynch mobs. I think we have just faced one here in San Diego. You are going to have to deal with that. A lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment which have led to demands of my resignation and recall. Not one allegation, members of the council, has been verified or proven in court. I have never sexually harassed anyone. But the hysteria that has been created and many of you helped defeat is the hysteria of a lynch mob. Now, as I said I faced lynch mobs many times when I was younger. No evidence was needed. The mob knew who was guilty. Who needed due process? Ladies and gentlemen, democracy needs due process. San Diego needs due process. Those of you in the media and politics who fed this hysteria, I think need to look at what you helped do because you have unleashed a monster. I think we will pay for this, a front to democracy for a long time. Now the hysteria plays into the hands of those who want a political coup. The removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by rumor. Now I am responsible for providing ammunition. I did that. I take full responsibility. But they are who pointed the gun. And the media and their political agents pulled the trigger. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not what democracy is about. I was elected to make changes. People opposed me from the beginning. They found the weapons they needed in my own failures as a human being, but they found those weapons and they used them in a bloody and vicious way. So, you’re going to have to deal with that, if you care about democracy. What I would like to leave you with is what I started my campaign on, and that is a vision of what this city ought to be and what we can become. [...]