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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Jan 31 1996
Buzz Off
Media hounds sniffed another whiff of doom for the Examiner after Magazine Editor Paul Wilner announced earlier this month that he was fleeing to L.A. and the executive editor post at Buzz magazine. Though Wilner assured the dogs of disaster at the time that "I'm leaving on good terms, and not because I think the Examiner is closing," writers of the newspaper's obituary took Wilner's departure as an occasion to add another paragraph to their work in progress.

Now, however, Wilner has trumped the doomsayers: He's staying put. "I decided I'd rather be editor at the Examiner Magazine," Wilner confesses, "than executive editor at Buzz -- however attractive the offer -- and I'd rather be living in the Bay Area than L.A." A "combination of personal and professional reasons" prompted his decision, Wilner says, declining to elaborate. (Newsroom sources offer that his wife and kids dug in their heels over the southland relocation.)

On the subject of the publication he almost jilted, Wilner sounds rosy: "Certainly the Examiner continues to be committed to the Magazine. I took on the job of reinventing this magazine more than two years ago, and I'd like to see that process through." Does his change of heart signal assurances from Hearst Corp. brass that the Ex will be around for a while? Wilner claims no insider information in making his decision to stay at the paper. But, he adds, "If people want to see it as a vote of confidence, fine."

Dum-Dum Dems
Like frat boys on a first date, national politicians have only one thing on their minds -- and they're not above telling you they love you for your mind to get what they want.

"Dear Friend," the form letter, addressed to "Sf Weekly," begins, "President Clinton and the national Democratic leadership seek your opinions ... you are one of a select group nominated to represent the state of California in the 1996 National Democratic Platform Poll.

"The responses to this important poll will be compiled into a report that will be forwarded to the Platform Committee, who will formulate the final document to be presented for approval at the convention."

Wow. We feel so important. We read the questions. "Do you believe there is a need to dramatically increase defense spending?" "Do you support the President's initiative to put 100,000 additional police officers on America's streets?" "Do you believe that government has a right to make decisions about a woman's reproductive rights?"

And then we get to the red print at the bottom. "Sf Weekly, a gift of at least this amount will help the Democrats prevail in 1996," it says, right below the payment options that allow us to choose whether we will return our incisive poll answers with a check for $19.96, $30, $50, $100, or "other."

They were just leading us on. We should have known. The first question alone could have clued us in. "SEX:" it says, "Male? Or female?"

By John Sullivan, Ellen McGarrahan


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