Gavin Newsom on Ross Mirkarimi: 'I understand his … feeling he's being picked on'

UPDATE, 11:35 A.M., 2/3/12: Newsom spokesman Francisco Castillo responded to the below story with an e-mail, stating, “The Lt. Governor never said he thought press coverage was 'unfair,' nor did he suggest that domestic violence charges not be treated with extreme seriousness — any suggestion otherwise is sloppy and just plain wrong.”

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's former mayor, said on a local radio program today that he feels news outlets are being unfair to Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who is facing charges of domestic violence.

On KQED radio's Forum talk show, Newsom expressed a surprising degree of sympathy with Mirkarimi, a former political rival who is facing trial on charges that he abused his wife. In particular, Newsom called into question the frequent news stories that have appeared about Mirkarimi's case, coverage spurred by a second woman's decision to come forward with allegations of physical violence against the sheriff.

“It's a little indulgent, in terms of just the day-to-day pounding in the media,” Newsom said to host Michael Krasny. “There's got to be something else to talk about, as important as this is. So I understand his frustration, feeling he's being picked on. But trust me, I've been there, we all have, and such is the nature of responsibility in the public realm.”

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