Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Shining Example Of Pointless Politicizing/Policy-izing

More fallout on the old Newsom business, this time because his new girlfriend defended her boyfriend in an Chronicle interview the way most gals would over Cosmos at Cosmos in the Marina. That is: call out The Other Woman.

Would've been fine - except that SFist (you know, that site that isn't Metroblogging San Francisco, but someday aspires to be - I keed, I keed) responded to the story and then the new Newsom gal responded to the response and then all hell broke loose because the cuckolding wife has lawyers and and a PR firm.

So the lawyers and PR firm are pissed that new Newsom girl said that old Newsom fling was "the culprit" in the affair and took swift action - later accepting new Newsom girl's public apology by saying "We will excuse her, but just this one time. ... Apparently she is just visiting this planet."

You stay classy, San Francisco.

But then the Chron's local news blog posted about the matter and linked directly to the SFist comments from new gal Siebel (post author = former SFist editor, fab!). And one of those linked comments is from my friend and former SF Supervisorial District 8 Candidate Alix Rosenthal, and that's where I finally got the nudge to post on the subject.

Alix couches her Siebel-ire in sexual harrassment law. Cute - but it belies the reality of the sitution (which, let's be honest, is something we'll never, ever know for sure, but we can make an attempt). Alix is appalled at Newsom's affair with an at-will employee in his direct line of supervision. She thinks it is "irrelevant" that the affair was consensual.

Um, no it isn't. It's entirely relevant. In fact, I can't think of anything more relevant than consent. I have seen no accusations of coercion by the Mayor. I have seen no reports from the cuckolding/cuckolded camp that the woman in question was high, drunk, or otherwise impaired and incapable of consenting (which could've been a plausible arguemt considering she admitted the affair to her husband while in rehab for . . . something).

A woman has no power to stop herself from engaging in an extramarital affair with a powerful man? Thank god - I was getting worried I'd have to take responsibility for my own actions someday.

This certainly isn't a black-and-white case with one right and one wrong party. The only truly wronged party here is the husband who has displayed more media restraint than his wife or the Mayor's new girlfiend and for that I thank him.

This certainly isn't a Monica-gate situation with a young impressionable girl for whom you could make a reasonable "blinded by the light" argument to excuse her own behavior. But the notion that Siebel is "not a girl's kind of girl" - that she's a girl who doesn't like other girls because she questioned the share of the blame placed on her boyfriend - is laughable.

I don't know any of these people personally so I don't know who has what kind of checkered past or perfect record.

But to relieve Ruby Rippey-Tourk of all culpability because she landed on payroll is an insult to sexual harrassment laws and those who fight hard to enforce them. She wasn't some admin from the steno pool who got fed to the shark in the corner office. She was someone with a long-standing relationship with the Mayor (via her husband) who, for whatever reason, engaged in an extramarital affair she then had to unburden herself of during rehab. It's a sh*t situation for all involved - but not the way Alix frames it.

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