The case of the multiplying ironies for the Hearst, Singleton, McClatchy, Gannett, and Stephens chains

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

As attentive B3 blog readers will remember, I sent my previous blog raising the tantalizing questions about why Hearst et al were for sunlight in Santa Clara County Superior Court and for darkness in San Francisco federal court to Hearst corporate in New York City via Chronicle Publisher Frank Vega and Editor Phil Bronstein.

No reply as yet. However, a short Chronicle follow story was relegated from the front page of the Friday business section to the bottom left of the second page of the Saturday business section (see link below). Once again, the Chronicle reported without blushing that its attorneys argued that records in the backdating scandal involving the Mercury Interactive Corp. ought to be unsealed. Chronicle attorneys asked "to have the documents made public, arguing they would shed light on how the Mountain View company manipulated stock options," according to the story.

Good point. So the ironies continue: how can the Chronicle argue to unseal Santa Clara County court records to shed light on financial manipulations and at the same time argue in San Francisco federal court to keep sealed the records of its financial manipulations with Singleton et al? Why don't they explain the irony? After all, these financial records would shed some light on a story that is terribly important for the staffs of all Hearst/Singleton newspapers in Northern California, their communities, the free press, and the First Amendment. Back to Hearst corporate, Vega, and Bronstein. (Watch for a more complete report on manipulations and ironies by G.W.Schulz by G.W. Schulz in Wednesday's Guardian and website.)

Note to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat/New York Times: you are now the only non-Hearst/Singleton daily in the Bay Area. Why don't you start acting "competitive" and start covering the story your "competitors" are censoring. B3

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