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Gavin Newsom's show to debut on Current TV

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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's show debuts on Current TV on Friday night. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's show debuts on Current TV on Friday night.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently proclaimed that he has too much time on his hands and his job should be redefined or eliminated. But the charismatic politician has found a new way to attract attention.

In the wake of Current TV’s high-profile falling-out with liberal firebrand Keith Olbermann, the channel seems poised to feature a more kindly style of questioning with tonight’s premiere of “The Gavin Newsom Show.”

Based on selections from the first weekly episode, Newsom chats with celebrities and company executives along the lines of a less-stuffy Sunday morning talk show. The program will end with “Just Gavin,” in which the former mayor opines for three minutes on issues of the day.

Tonight’s show features a frank interview with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. In a clip released this week, Armstrong said he’s “done” with questions over drug-use allegations.

“There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, and I mean 500 or 600 doping controls, that are all negative — blood, urine, hair — whatever they wanted to take,” Armstrong said. “I’m just on to other things.”

Newsom prompted Armstrong to speak his mind by mentioning an anti-doping group’s probe into his behavior, despite prosecutors having dropped a federal investigation.

“Do we have sort of a culture of cynicism — when we witness greatness, immediately we question it, because sometimes it’s too good to be true?” Newsom asked.

“You know better than anybody,” Armstrong replied. “The current state of the media, the way that the news turns so quickly … it leads to a frenzy, a feeding frenzy, and if they smell blood — which plenty of times in my life they’ve smelled blood in the water — they go nuts.”

Armstrong said certain stories should have resulted in reporters losing their jobs.

“Never happens,” Newsom responds. “Rarely.”

The first episode airs Fridayday  at 8 p.m.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com