December 10, 2023   < 1

San Francisco, for decades known around the world for its jazz, free love and beat poetry, has in recent years become notorious for a different reason. Tent encampments on its streets and open-air drug markets have become a reference point for the consequences of ultra-progressive policies.

Florence Read and Freddie Sayers took a film crew (and an armed security guard) into the Tenderloin district to find out the truth for themselves. This special report includes remarkable interviews with city supervisor Dean Preston and Michael Shellenberger, author of San Fransicko, as well as drug users, locals and activists across the West.

Their report dives into the ideological and practical battles at the heart of the story, and asks whether San Francisco today could be a harbinger of things to come across the Western world.

San Francisco, for decades known around the world for its jazz, free love and beat poetry, has in recent years become notorious for a different reason. Tent encampments on its streets and open-air drug markets have become a reference point for the consequences of ultra-progressive policies.

Florence Read and Freddie Sayers took a film crew (and an armed security guard) into the Tenderloin district to find out the truth for themselves. This special report includes remarkable interviews with city supervisor Dean Preston and Michael Shellenberger, author of San Fransicko, as well as drug users, locals and activists across the West.

Their report dives into the ideological and practical battles at the heart of the story, and asks whether San Francisco today could be a harbinger of things to come across the Western world.


Freddie Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.

freddiesayers