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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gavin Newsom's TV Debut Imminent: Flee While You Can

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

The horror. The horror.
  • The horror. The horror.

A public safety notice on SFGate today warned the general public of potential exposure to former San Franciscan Gavin Newsom's imminent television debut. Per the warning, our erstwhile mayor and apparently bored silly lieutenant governor will on May 18 commence chatting with "stars" such as Lance Armstrong, Oliver Stone, and Paypal and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Perhaps most alarmingly, however, Newsom will be allotted a segment titled "Just Gavin," in which he will "discuss his views on the issues of the day."

This is an ominous development. Newsom's good looks would put him in the running to host even a farm report -- but Current TV is giving a platform to the man who, not four years ago, loosed upon the general public a 7.5-hour State of the City YouTube address.

For those who actually subjected themselves to that ordeal, the thought of -- voluntarily! -- tuning in to watch Newsom pontificate, nod at Camera 2, or "discuss his views on the issues of the day" is an offer akin to a chain gang reunion back at the ol' work farm. 

SF Weekly
's Benjamin Wachs watched every last minute of Newsom's 450-minute attempt to sweep the city's problems under the rug. When queried how far he would go to avoid being subjected to The Gavin Newsom Show, his initial response was "Alaska." If Current TV comes in there, next stop Vladivostok.

As perhaps the city's foremost expert on the dangers of handing Newsom a microphone and turning on a camera, Wachs offered this dire prediction:

Gavin likes to talk a lot more than he does listen.

A man who gives a 7.5 hour speech to YouTube is a man who can't summarize. I'd expect the show to go off the rails, a lot, because Gavin can't tell the difference between getting lost in the minutia and staying on topic. His instinct, somehow, is not to say "My administration funded salad bars in select schools to give kids a healthy lunch alternative" -- but rather to tell you how much broccoli is in those salad bars as a percentage of total vegetable mass, and how much fiber that broccoli contains on average.

A lot will depend on what Current's production values are. What Gavin demonstrated in his state-of-the-citycide is that no production value is too low. If Current doesn't stop him he'll probably hold up Powerpoint slides printed at Kinkos the day the toner was running low and insist "Get a close-up shot of this!"

He will have an absolutely phenomenal command of facts and statistics, and an equally amazing capacity to ignore facts and statistics that are inconvenient. This is a guy who could talk, in detail, about the city budget for hours straight -- but never once mention that San Francisco had a budget deficit.

He'll look good. Count on it. His state-of-the-citycide was basically an all-nighter, on his feet, under lights - and he looked as neat and pressed coming out of it as he did walking in.

Perhaps Newsom has a portrait of a shriveled, hideous man hanging somewhere in his closet. So long as that's the case, he will continue to be a presence on our televisions -- and, perhaps soon, our statehouse.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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