Matt Coker: Gustavo Arellano's Fame 'Doesn't Surprise Me a Lick'

july 20, 2007  03:42 pm
Matt Coker: Gustavo Arellano's Fame 'Doesn't Surprise Me a Lick'
The former executive editor of OC Weekly recalls the days when, helped along by a 2002 AAN Diversity Grant, the man who'd become "The Mexican" got his start at the Weekly. "'That kid is going to be more famous than any of us some day,'" Coker, who now edits Sacramento News & Review, remembers thinking. "What did surprise me was how quickly some day came." He says Arellano's transition to "national media spokesman on all-things-Latino" was partly a function of timing ("¡Ask a Mexican!" started getting more attention as the immigration debate heated up), but also of "a lot of shameless self promotion. Not only is Arellano the most shameless of the shameless self promoters I have ever known in this business, he also is the most self-aware of his own shamelessness, which I find kind of cute." Apparently, not everyone at OC Weekly agreed with Coker: he reports that there was plenty of jealousy of Arellano's fame -- and his six-figure book deal -- in the newsroom as well.