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Newsrack-gate heats up; Mercury News ducks interview requests

Friday, August 3, 2012

http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/lt/lt_cache/thumbnail/400/img/photos/2012/08/02/fa/0a/newsbins.jpgThe brouhaha over those newsracks that several smaller newspapers accuse the Mercury News of stealing after they turned up in a back lot behind the newspaper’s offices in San Jose doesn’t look like it’s going away quickly. Metro San Jose publisher Dan Pulcrano is calling it an “assault on the First Amendment” and a newsrack distributor says he’s considering a lawsuit. The photo of the (purloined?) Metro racks is from KTVU 2, whose on-air piece you can view here.

Bay Area TV stations were all over the story last night. The Merc didn’t do itself any favors by declining to make anyone available for the cameras. The newspaper opted instead for a written statement from a circulation boss that was less than convincing. It claimed a long-standing practice of removing newsracks at the request of local municipalities, without explaining what gives the Merc the right to tamper with other newspapers’ property.
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