Jennings, Duffy: Moscone's work ethic and possible scandals
Jennings: Interesting thing about George's work ethic and as I think about this, one of things that was happening in the mid-seventies in journalism was the whole Watergate investigative reporting trend that had grown out of Washington and spread all over the country. And everybody wanted to be an investigative reporter which they always seem to be kind of redundant term, but there it was no different in San Francisco. And George Moscone had a reputation of a guy who liked to go out late and party and, you know, and have fun. So even as I was covering him during the day, The Chronicle, at one point, assigned a couple of reporters to skulk around and see what they can find out about George that might be embarrassing or scandalous or, you know, whatever. And, you know, maybe there was scandalous stuff but if there was, I was naive to it. But still, you know, he often didn't punch a clock, you know. George would work well into the night and he frequently as a San Francisco native and a North Beach kind of guy, he would he would go out to dinner with his aides or with a political associates or others very often. His favorite place was the North Beach restaurant. I remember that one night, I got a strange call from Corey Bush late at night and he told me the story about how he and George had been with having dinner with some other people at the North Beach restaurant and somewhere in the group that they were having dinner with was a woman, apparently alone, who got up to leave and George, being the gentleman that he was, offered escort her to her car late at night in North Beach which he did. And he put her in her car and then he went back into the restaurant. When he and Corey left Corey was driving George's Alfa Romeo, probably because he might have been in a better shape to drive or whatever. George might have had some wine, I don't really know. But in any event, Corey drove George back across town to his house in St Francis Wood and dropped him off there and started to head home himself back towards, I guess, Pacific Heights where he was living. And he became aware of a car following him and he, I think made a couple of evasive turns or whatever you know, he finally, you know, he realized, yes this car was following him and he didn't really know what with the what it was about. Finally at one point, I think somewhere on the Nob Hill area top of the hill somewhere around the Fairmont hotel, Cory finally said, “alright enough of this, I'm gonna find out what's going on.” He pulled over and the car pulled behind him. I guess Corey got out of his car and he confronted two Chronicle reporters. One was a guy named Michael Taylor, the other was a reporter named Rob Hazler(?). They had been put on the Moscone-gate case whatever that was. And Corey confronted the two of them and said, “this is crazy. What are you doing? There’s nothing going on.” Whatever. And he called me after that happened, he called me and said, “did you know about this? Did you know anything about this?” And I said look, this is where I mentioned earlier that our adversarial relationship was such that we didn't let it interfere with our professional relationship and I said, “of course I knew about it, but I was going to tell you about it and, you know, I don't know what they were looking for or doing” I said but [he said], “those guys are damn lucky I didn’t have a gun with me because I was scared.” And so that's a typical kind of example of you know how George would be out at night, working the neighborhoods, meeting people. If he had other things going on that, you know, that would have been embarrassing, I'm not aware of any of what they would have been.
The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library
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Jennings, Duffy, "Jennings, Duffy: Moscone's work ethic and possible scandals" (2020). Moscone Oral Histories. 234.