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The Mandel Card: 

Don't Leave the Ex Without It

Wednesday, Mar 8 1995
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Things didn't grind to a halt at San Francisco's Siamesenewspapers -- the Examiner and Chronicle -- as copies of Bill Mandel's "The Case for One Daily," SF Weekly's March 1 cover story, poured into the separate but almost equal newsrooms. But a temporary work slowdown did ensue as reporters and editors loudly guffawed and snorted their way through the piece, which advocated that one of the twins be snuffed now so the other can live a normal and healthy life.

At the Examiner, graphics wizards assembled the "Member of the All-Mandel Dream Team" card pictured above, copies of which were distributed to writers who made the cut. The Dream Teamers proudly posted their cards on their computers.

Meanwhile, Examiner Executive Editor Phil Bronstein dispatched to SF Weekly offices a recording of a telephone message left by Mandel the day before "The Case for One Daily" went to press. In his message to Bronstein, Mandel asked the two-fisted editor to "intervene" on his behalf with San Francisco Examiner Magazine Editor Paul Wilner to help him win freelance assignments, confiding that "working with [SF Weekly] made me appreciate things like Paul Wilner, and so on." Mandel continued: "My experience with lesser organizations makes me that much more eager to work again with some of the operations at the Examiner."

(Mandel's telephone complaint was inconsistent with the e-mail he sent thanking SF Weekly for an "Excellent edit job. Just excellent.")

Bronstein added a message of his own to the cassette tape, asking: "What in the hell did you guys do to poor Bill Mandel to actually make him want to come back and work for people here?"

"He has a lot of fucking nerve," says Mandel, when told of Bronstein's prank. Mandel also notes that Bronstein faxed the SF Weekly feature to a Sacramento talk-show host bragging that he had "informed the entire piece."

At press time, Bronstein was in Burma -- presumably fighting and fucking -- and could not be reached for comment.

Jack Shafer

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Jack Shafer

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