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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Apr 15 1998
Don't Hate Her Because She's Beautiful
The Cult of Jane Metcalfe is well-established at Wired, where it's common for staffers to speak swooningly of the magazine co-founder's amazingly toned physique. (And these are the female staffers.)

So Dog Bites was somewhat comforted to learn that it was not always thus. In an excerpt from Burn Rate, the forthcoming, dirt-dishing autobiography of NetGuide founder Michael Wolff, we learn that even Jane has to work at perfection. Wolff met Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe in Amsterdam, pre-Wired, where Louis asked Wolff to give Jane pointers on, well, everything.

"This is my girlfriend Jane," [Louis] said. One would certainly not have written him with a girlfriend. "She's going to be selling advertising for the magazine. I thought you could tell her some of the things she should be doing."

I was embarrassed for them, and grateful to be in Europe where no one I knew might see me. Jane came to eager attention, poised with pen and pad. "I want to get liquor and car ads!"

She was as young and fey and comely as he was old and burdened and humorless.

A year later, Wolff saw the couple in San Francisco:
Louis and Jane -- subtly transformed from Parisian gamine to Bay Area power babe (flowing hair became tight-cropped, long skirts became short, swaddled arms became bare and muscular) ... [had gone] from ditziness to great stature in the publishing and advertising industries -- all in a year and a half!

Memo to Jane: Please e-mail the name of your personal trainer.
-- Laurel Wellman

Courting Embarrassment
Last Friday found lanky blond KTVU entertainment reporter Marcia Kimp-ton and a cameraman prowling the Hall of Justice. Oddly, there was no entertainment story in sight -- no opening of a Nick Cage film, no swing band show, no exuberant revival of Show Boat.

Kimpton was, in fact, taping segments for her new variety show, which is going to include some real, hardball journalism. Although staff of the fourth floor SFPD public affairs office were quietly referring to her as "that crazy girl," she either didn't hear or ignored their sniggering. She was on a mission.

Accompanied by a member of the public affairs team, Kimpton and her cameraman stormed, tape rolling, into the third-floor Superior Court Clerk's Office, Criminal Division. A clerk was summoned to the counter, and Kimpton grandly produced a piece of paper summoning her to jury duty.

According to bemused eyewitnesses, her expedition hinged on the fact she couldn't serve on the jury because it would cut into her job, the arduous task of scooting around the city doing nightlife segments for Channel 2.

Unfortunately for Kimpton, the court clerk standing behind the counter waved off her tale of unjust treatment, and informed her she was in the wrong place. Superior Court was reserved for criminal cases. She should be hounding Municipal Court, which was located on the second floor. Nervous laughter rippled about the room, the cameraman stopped filming and shut off his light, and Kimpton left sheepishly.

-- J.B.

System Disarmed
Dog Bites' favorite Republican senatorial hopeful, Darrell "Viper" Issa, had a bad week. First, Issa coyly announced to media that his wife had called President Clinton a slut -- "And I would never contradict my wife in public."

Now we know why the man is legendary for his rapier-sharp wit, or, um, not.
But the really embarrassing revelation for the rabidly free-market candidate was that his company, Directed Electronics, had been asking for state handouts to retrain its workers -- $173,488, in fact. Why would a man worth more than $250 million ask for such pocket change? Well, hey, the money was just sitting there.

After press inquiries, Issa decided it didn't look good to keep pursuing the money, "inasmuch as it detracted from his message of smaller government," campaign manager Tom Trento explained to Dog Bites.

-- Laurel Wellman

We Went Out There and Gave 110 Percent
When done well, sportswriting tells us about the four corners of the human spirit. Done poorly, it languishes in cliche and hackdom. But as a philosopher once said, we must know the worst to know the best. With that statement as our guide, Dog Bites inaugurates an occasional feature documenting the pratfalls of local sportswriting.

This week's topic: brain-numbing statements of the obvious. Or, as we like to call it, the "We Came to Play" syndrome. This week's subjects: the sportswriter-sports figure team of the Chronicle's Tim Keown and the Giants' Dusty Baker. Their topic: the Giants' large opening-day turnout.

After noting that the team came on strong toward the end of last season, inspiring fans by winning its division, Keown quotes Baker as saying, "People are going to come out if you win."

Let us now observe a moment of silence.
Please, allow us to qualify our ridicule by saying that sports figures are not naturally given to uttering moronic comments. They have a lot of help from dumb-ass sportswriters asking dumb-ass questions that have only one answer.

-- George Cothran

Dog Bites welcomes tips, especially those pertaining to disgruntlement. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail


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