Ha! Vindication! Who's the chump now?

A reader, who we'll call "Jenny Gotwals," e-mails to ask "WHY have you not commented on your blog re. the tragic tales of gavin newsom?" (For those of you who don't know, Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, earlier this month copped to an affair with the wife of a top aide and close friend.)

The answer, "Jenny," requires some back story. The biggest fuckup I committed during my short and undistinguished career as a political reporter in San Francisco involved printing a stupid non-fact about then-county supervisor Newsom's personal life. Actually, that was the second biggest error. The biggest came the following week, when, in attempting to correct the error, I replaced it with a different error. (I'm not going to go into detail about what these errors were, except to say that they revolved around making an incorrect inference about one person, and then confusing that person with a different person with the same first name. This is the kind of thing that's usually harmless if you are not a newspaper reporter.) The Bay Guardian, the paper that allowed me to sully its pages with this sequence of non-facts, doesn't seem to have those columns online, thankfully freeing me from the obligation to link to them. (I don't think anyone deliberately removed the columns, a feat of coordination that I fear would strain the capabilities of the Guardian's web operation past their breaking point; everything from the '90s seems to be gone.)

Anyway, as a result of this blunder, whenever I hear Newsom's name I am filled with a cringing sensation of embarrassment, even when he's doing something awesome like marrying gay people. Ever since, I have harbored this secret fear that he would one day be president (something that was once discussed as a real possibility by California Democrats), and every time anyone said "the president" it would be as if they were saying Gabe Roth is a fucking moron.

And so my reaction to the news that Newsom has made what has to be considered a larger mistake than mine, a mistake that would seem to greatly diminish his chances as a candidate for higher office, is a profound and selfish relief: he'll probably never be president, and even if he is, everyone will remember his fuckup rather than mine. This relief is of no interest to anyone other than me, but it prevents me from writing something pithy and clever about what a fucking dumbass Gavin Newsom is. Sorry, "Jenny."