Jason Fagone Profile picture
Reporter @sfchronicle. Author of THE WOMAN WHO SMASHED CODES. jason.fagone@sfchronicle.com. Signal: 512-814-6553. Newsletter: https://t.co/ZbkZI2lTGH.
20 Jun
The Covid outbreak at San Quentin prison is bad — 91 prisoner cases, 30+ staff cases — and getting worse by the hour. We talked to prisoners and a corrections officer who tested positive and are none too happy. New story w/ @meganrcassidy: sfchronicle.com/bayarea/articl…
@meganrcassidy The state corrections department has lied about how this all happened. sfchronicle.com/bayarea/articl…
@meganrcassidy ICYMI: Our story on the worsening Covid outbreak at San Quentin prison — an outbreak sparked by the Newsom administration’s errors. Newsom’s office declined comment to us and steered Qs to the corrections dept. instead. sfchronicle.com/bayarea/articl…
Read 15 tweets
11 Apr
Another explanation for the COVID-19 testing backlog in California — hospitals & clinics are using slower, bottlenecked testing pipelines instead of fast academic labs that have capacity to spare
This is quite a quote that @amymaxmen got from a UC Berkeley scientist who runs a testing lab: "I don’t want to be disparaging, but the people who made the CDC kit simply failed at molecular biology — they created a nightmare.” nature.com/articles/d4158…
@amymaxmen OMG this Berkeley guy. "The business of American medicine and the way it is organized is astonishingly unprepared for this… I show up in a magic ship, with 20,000 free kits… and the major hospitals say: ‘Go away, we cannot interface with you.’” nature.com/articles/d4158…
Read 5 tweets
29 Mar
Delaware County, where I used to live, has 560,000 people and NO public health department of any kind because Republicans didn’t want one and didn’t think it was important. inquirer.com/health/coronav…
How can a county of half million people have no health department? That style of GOP government is very simply going to kill people. We have friends there. inquirer.com/health/coronav…
Republicans ruled the county for decades, basically forever. Democrats campaigned to form a health department and won a council majority in November, but you can’t create a department from scratch in a few months. inquirer.com/health/coronav…
Read 5 tweets
1 Feb
A little FOIA story: Last October, when Trump was talking about “cities going to hell” in California, he made a strange comment that San Francisco was "in total violation” of some sort of waste rule and “we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon.”
Sure enough, on Oct. 2, one of Trump’s EPA appointees sent a notice of violation to a San Francisco official, claiming the city was improperly discharging wastewater and sewage. I filed a FOIA for all EPA docs and comms related to the violation. epa.gov/ca/city-and-co…
I got the FOIA response back today. EPA is withholding 86 (!) records in full. That’s a lot of withheld documents for what I thought was a narrow request!
Read 11 tweets
22 Jun 19
The thing about the Hannity-Manafort texts is that they reveal exactly the sort of media corruption — at Fox — that Fox & its allies are forever projecting onto mainstream outlets
Behind the scenes, Fox was advising Manafort on legal strategy and offering to hook him up with Fox legal researchers. Hannity texts that he wants Manafort’s adversaries to go to jail. Fox information ends up in Manafort’s legal filings. Etc etc.
I get that Hannity is not a journalist, but how many of his viewers really understand that? This stuff is just galaxies away from anything related to newsgathering
Read 14 tweets
9 Nov 18
For years, Tetra Tech & the Navy processed thousands of truckloads of contaminated soil right next door to a busy San Francisco office building, spreading radioactive dust into the air. New from @cdizikes
& me: sfchronicle.com/bayarea/articl…

DOCS & EMAILS: documentcloud.org/documents/5029…
I always like reading how other reporters first got into an investigative story so here is a sense of what the journey was like for us. 2/
This one grew out of an earlier piece on an unusual building at Hunters Point -- Building 606. The city started putting police employees there in 1997, using it as a HQ for tactical units & the crime lab. 100+ people worked there for years, 40 still do. sfchronicle.com/news/article/A… 3/
Read 14 tweets
30 Oct 18
I wish it worked like this — lies and smears designed to dehumanize you go away if you ignore them -- but I don’t think it does. So I don’t think this is good advice.
Chuck Todd, of all people, wrote a good piece about why the press should fight back. "The American press corps finds itself on the ropes because it allowed a nearly 50-year campaign of attacks inspired by the chair of Fox News to go unanswered.” theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
Key line in this piece: “The idea that our work will speak for itself is hopelessly naive.” theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
Read 7 tweets
28 Jul 18
Here is one of the craziest San Francisco housing stories I’ve heard. It begins with an atomic bomb. sfchronicle.com/news/article/A… 1/x
You have probably seen that image before, maybe in the closing montage of Dr. Strangelove. It’s from an American nuclear test in July 1946, “Shot Baker." 2/x
The military arranged a ghost fleet of empty warships off the shores of Bikini Atoll and detonated two large atom bombs there, to simulate a Soviet attack. They wanted to observe the damage to the ships. Baker was the second test. An underwater bomb. 3/x
Read 27 tweets
12 Jul 18
Readers of “The Woman Who Smashed Codes”: I wanted to share something with you. It’s an email I received from the archaeologist and author Elizabeth Wayland Barber (elizabethwaylandbarber.com). It describes a 1959 meeting with William Friedman that she says changed her life.
I’ve been thinking about Barber’s story all week. It says so much about the Friedmans: how they lived, what they valued and found joy in, what they regretted. And their profound influence on others.
Also, this is quite a P.S. from Barber about her own struggles in a male-dominated field. For much of her career she published under the name E.J.W. Barber “so I would look like some British esquire” and the book would get reviewed.
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct 17
I’m starting to upload some primary source docs about Elizebeth Friedman to the Internet Archive. A few a day over the next couple weeks.
First doc: The long-classified, 329-page technical diary of her WWII codebreaking unit. Includes ENIGMA SOLUTIONS. archive.org/details/Histor…
Much of this doc is *very* technical. I had to ask experts for help understanding it. But crypto obsessives may like it.
Read 33 tweets
25 Sep 17
I want to tell you a story. For 3 years I’ve been researching Elizebeth Smith Friedman, a puzzle-solving heroine of the world wars. 1/
Born in 1892 to a large family of Indiana Quakers, she studied poetry, not math. But then she taught herself to be a codebreaker. 2/
A codebreaker solves secret messages without knowing the key. Starting from scratch, at age 23, Elizebeth became one of the best ever. 3/
Read 27 tweets