Phil Berg (LP candidate for Congress) accompanied me to the SF Bay Guardian (www.sfbg.com) interview yesterday. Bruce Bruggman and Steve Jones didn't show -- it was Executive Editor Tim Redmond, reporters G.W. Schulz, Amanda Witherell, and us.
We spent about 45 minutes, with myself and Phil doing most of the talking, and Tim asking most of the questions. I brought a tape recorder and recorded the session (with their permission). They did likewise, and I believe Tim said they will be putting the whole thing on the web, which is pretty cool. Not sure if he meant the audio file, or an actual transcript of the entire interview.
They were less confrontational than I expected, and Tim was refreshingly willing to focus on ideas, rather than the usual (for much of the media) "what are your chances of winning" type of B.S. He did focus a bit more than I would have preferred on issues where I was going to lose Guardian readers, especially exactly how big (or small) I would like to see the SF city government become, and the issue of people carrying guns. Phil said some things on the latter topic that I hope they don't print, but they probably will! But overall it was a cordial conversation, hopefully the beginning of a closer relationship between Libertarians and the left-wing weekly.
I told them that I think we have more in common than either side has usually recognized, and read down a list of issues on which I believe we have common ground (immigration, police brutality, government transparency, getting rid of the city-owned newsracks that papers must buy space in (called "pedimounts"), freeing up the broadcast spectrum, drugs, prostitution, gambling, prison reform, freedom to protest, equal quality of city services for wealthy and poor areas, government cameras and spying, nightlife issues ("the war on fun"), etc. I also said that I'd like to see more coverage of Libertarians in the paper, and for them to run columns from libertarians at places like Reason, Cato, etc., on issues where we agree. When I mentioned Reason, G.W. Schulz volunteered that he reads it sometimes and thinks it is a good magazine.
This is the first time I'm aware of that Libertarian candidates have seriously been interviewed by the Guardian, and if we get halfway decent press from them as a result, I will consider it a major step forward. The paper comes out Wednesday, but I don't know if the next issue will have our content, or they'll wait until closer to the election.
As we were walking out of the conference room, I noticed a poster on the wall from one of their advertising campaigns a few years back. It featured the publisher, Bruce Bruggman, who is a big bearded guy, looking down on the viewer with City Hall in the background. He has his hand in a fist (which, as I didn't notice until Tim pointed it out, is actually gripping the handle of a baseball bat!), and the poster reads, "City Hall is full of crooks! I want them exposed!" The editor said he'd see if he can dig up an extra copy to send me. 8)
Love & liberty,
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