By Kate Conger
By Brian Rinker
By Rachel Swan
By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
SFW: What about another role. Say you're the director, or producer, of this film?
MG: Let me just say this. I don't think I get psyched out.
(Editor's note: In the film Pumping Iron, bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger uses a friendly-seeming breakfast with the family of challenger Louis Ferrigno to smilingly taunt his opponent, leaving him a psychological wreck.)
MG: If I lose the race, it's because I'm going to get beat, it's not going to be because I thought someone was stronger than me, or something like that. But I'd been told about that part of the film, so I was waiting to see the level of psychological manipulation there was. But the truth is I thought it was fairly tame. I thought it was playful.
SFW: I think he was nervous as hell. Not overtly. But scared shitless just like any champion is before a competition.
MG: I don't know about that. He sat down to have breakfast with a guy, his father, his mother. Somebody else could have just as easily been drawn into, "Jeez, I've won five times, maybe this youngster, maybe it's the beginning of his career," or, "Gee they're really nice people." But to a certain extent, it's about the safety mechanism of resisting that and saying, "You know what, I've already decided I won this."
SFW: Now, can we bring that back to ...
SFW: Or politics?
SFW and MG: [inaudible arguing]
MG: Look, let me put it this way. I'm in the race. I'm not scared of my opponent. I've got a plan. We're working. Tell me something: Deep down, who are you rooting for? Deep down?
SFW: [inaudible mumbling]
Randy Knox:[jokingly] Look, man, you outed him on the fucking tape. That's wrong, man.
MG: Hey, man, I'm having a beer with a guy who said I'd make a lousy mayor, in print, and published it.
SFW: [nervous laughter]
MG: That hurt my feelings, man. That's something I'd expect Newsom to say.
RK: Give him a makeover and some decent shoes, and he could be the counterculture Newsom.
MG: The guy went to Reed College. He's a total fuckin' radical. He's probably a communist.
SFW: For one thing ... umm ... I mean I, really, just given, I mean, I mean on certain policy issues ...
RK: Did you call him a socialist stud?
MG: [more laughter]
RK: Didn't you call him a socialist stud?
MG: [even more laughter]
SFW: Um ... I think we have radical policy differences. [inaudible mumbled excuses]
MG: I know. I know, man. It's cool.
RK: Let's talk about the shallowness and superficiality of the press coverage in this race. Let's elevate the level of discourse, motherfucker.
MG: [laughing over Knox]
MG: [more laughter]
SFW: [talking over laughter] I work on investigative projects ... [self-pitying excuses inaudible over laughter of MG and RK]. If I call someone an asshole or a lousy mayor, I get 200 e-mails. If I work weeks on a story, I hear nothing ....
RK: Let me just add: Are you getting sufficiently defensive yet? [more laughter from both MG and RK]
SFW: Um. Um. Um. Whatever; you know what I'm saying. So, whatever.
MG: [still laughing] Naah. It's cool, man. Y'know, Randy once defended me in one of my contempt hearings.
SFW: Did you have a lot of those?
MG: I had a few.
SFW: Judging from our affair in the street with the cop, I can imagine you did.
RK: [interrupting] Naah. Naah: That was so staged for your benefit.
MG: [laughing again]
SFW: The movie seemed to suggest that authenticity kills you.
MG: I don't know about that. I didn't connect with Schwarzenegger being ...
SFW: Inauthentic? I rather felt he came off as an ...
MG: I don't know ... I thought Schwarzenegger was, um, surprisingly honest and revealing about how he was trying to accomplish what he was accomplishing. Somebody who was that calculating -- quote, unquote -- I think would have left a lot of that stuff out. He wouldn't have been as candid as he was.
RK: [glaring at my Oct. 1 SF Weekly column, which contends Gonzalez would be a lousy mayor] I'm glad I didn't read this earlier.
MG: One thing, given what we know about Schwarzenegger ...
RK: [interrupting] ... another pimp for Gavin Newsom ...
MG: ... about his total lack of specificity, about his total lack of knowledge of complicated matters relating to budgeting, statewide budgeting. What does it mean when all you say you're going to do is improve the schools without dedicating monies so it can happen? Given all of that, and given this guy's wide popularity, we know this guy's not popular because he has the best ideas. It's about the persona he has prior to getting into politics. People start liking him because of his films, and the celebrity that surrounds him. But fundamentally it's about money. It's about marketing.
And I think to that extent there's a correlation to the mayor's race ... I don't think we've seen marketing the way we've seen it around Newsom, the likes of which is not something known to San Francisco.