Jon Carroll Chronicle tales

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By Tim Redmond

Everyone knows how power works and how daily newspapers are part of it, but it's always nice to have an insider give you the actual goods every now and then.

Jon Carroll, who is often the Chron's best columnist (although I also like Ray Ratto) weighed in today on the Yalie scandal that he's calling "Gleegate." He has little to add to the debate (actually, Ken Garcia, who is normally an idiot, actually had a more interesting hit on this.

But what Carroll said that made me smile was the following:

When I started [at the Chronicle], every editor had a list of names. If any of those names should pop up in police reports, divorce suits or on party guest lists, the publisher was to be notified before any story ran. Photographs of certain important members of society were always airbrushed (or, as you might say today, Photoshopped), sometimes quite heavily -- the artists posted a small collection of the most egregious examples on the back wall.

Again: We all knew this was happening. I'm sure it still does, at some level, at some papers. But it's refreshing to see someone actually spell it out.in print.