San Francisco Free Press - Morse - November 4, 1994

Mayor Mediator? Maybe

Jordan may want to practice settling the baseball strike before he takes on this one

By Rob Morse
Special to The Free Press

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 4, Free Press Staff

Mayor Jordan has offered to help mediate the newspaper strike. That's nice, but why should he be so kind to people who have been so nasty to him? And if he joins the talks, we may be really doomed. Luck is not one of his strong points.

The mayor kept the Giants from going to St. Petersburg, a great accomplishment. Now it doesn't matter because all of baseball has disappeared. If he wants practice mediating an easy strike, maybe he should try baseball before moving on to newspapers.

This week the National Football League owners announced that San Francisco would be the site of the 1999 Super Bowl. Unfortunately for the mayor, there were no San Francisco newspapers to celebrate his victory. "That's our luck," said mayoral spokesman Noah Griffin. Worse, the Oakland Tribune's headline said "we" got the Super Bowl. It must be sweet revenge. San Francisco has plenty of "there" and a Super Bowl, but no real papers to brag about it anymore.

Supervisor Angela Alioto got into the act, offering to mediate the newspaper strike the way her dad the ex-mayor did in 1968. Politicians really are gluttons for punishment. They miss being investigated, made fun of, and hit over the head by newspapers. You especially have to give Jordan credit for wanting to get the newspapers back on the streets, after all the editorials and columns attacking his homeless sweeps and shopping cart confiscations. (Columnist who once accused Jordan of driving a "clown car" up to City Hall now seeks reasonable terms for lease on shopping cart.)

If Mayor Jordan can't negotiate a settlement to this strike, the following are a few suggestions:

*Lock management and union negotiators in the same room with Jordan and Angela Alioto, and don't let them come out until they have a contract. We'll have a paper on the streets inside of three days.

*Bring in Dianne Feinstein. She has stature, and badly needs the papers in her race against Michael Huffington. Besides, she took on the National Rifle Association and the AK-47 and won.

*Put out the call for Mayor Jordan's gonzo political consultant Jack Davis, scourge of The Examiner and despoiler of restaurant decor. He'd settle the whole thing with cream pies at five paces. It would be in the spirit of the negotiations so far, without any of the risk to real lives.

Copyright 1994 The Free Press

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