The Guardian of course gleefully ran the censored column and the censored ad in our own full-page ad.
On July 25, l970, the day after Nixon signed the Newspaper Preservation Act, the Guardian filed a major antitrust action in San Francisco attacking the constitutionality of the legislation and charging that the Ex-Chron JOA had taken the lion's share of local print advertising, leaving only crumbs for other print publications in town. We battled on for five years but finally settled because the suit became too expensive. The Examiner and Chronicle continued to black out or marginalize the story, but they and the other JOA papers gave Nixon resounding endorsements in the l972 election even though he was heading toward Watergate and unprecedented disgrace.
Well, in October 2006 the mainstream press is a different creature. Hearst and publisher Dean Singleton are working to destroy daily competition and impose a regional monopoly. The Knight-Ridder chain is no more, and the McClatchy chain has turned the KR remains into what I call Galloping Conglomerati. Even some alternatives, alas, are now getting chained. Craigslist has become a toxic chain. Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft (known as GYM in the online world) are poised to swoop in on San Francisco and other cities throughout the land to scoop up the local advertising dollars and ship them as fast as possible back to corporate headquarters on a conveyor belt.
I am happy to report on our 40th anniversary that the Guardian is aware of the challenge and is gearing up in the paper and online to compete and endure till the end of time, printing the news and raising hell and forcing the daily papers to scotch the rumors coming from our power structure exposés and our watchdog reporting. The future is still with us and with our special community and critical mission, in print and online. See you next year and for 40 more. SFBG
STOP THE PRESSES: As G.W. Schulz discloses in "A Tough Pill to Swallow," (a) Hearst Corp. was fined $4 million in 200l by the Justice Department for failing to turn over key documents during its monopoly move to purchase a medical publishing subsidiary, the highest premerger antitrust fine in US history, according to a Justice Department press release; (b) Hearst was also forced by the the Federal Trade Commission to unload the subsidiary to break up its monopoly and disgorge $l9 million in profits generated during its ownership; (c) Hearst-owned First DataBank in San Bruno was alleged in the summer of 2005 to have inflated drug costs by upward of $7 billion by wrongly presenting drug prices, according to a lawsuit reported in a damning lead story in the Oct. 6 Wall Street Journal. Hearst blacked out the stories. And the Dean Singleton chain circling the Bay Area hasn't pounced on the stories as real daily competitors used to do with fervor.
STOP THE PRESSES 2: SOS alert to the city and business desks of the "competing" Hearst and Singleton papers: here are the links to the key documents cited in our stories, including federal court records of the Oct.