Editor & Publisher Decries 'The War on Alt-Papers'

december 4, 2007  09:22 am
In the editorial of E&P's latest issue, the magazine rails against the "Soviet-style arrests" of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin in the Phoenix New Times grand-jury subpoena fiasco and the "lavish waste of public funds" used by the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation to investigate and ultimately arrest Orlando Weekly employees for "aiding and abetting prostitution." E&P commends the local mainstream dailies in Phoenix and Orlando for sticking up for the alt-weeklies in these two cases. "But dailies too rarely make common cause with their local alt-weekly when they are targeted by the familiar harassments of police ad stings, library banishments, and 'litter' laws concerned more about free papers stacked in a store than candy wrappers on the sidewalk," the magazine says. "Usually that's because the mainstream paper's top people resent the snarky coverage they get from the alternative with its sneering cheap shots. But thuggish local authorities who believe they can act with impunity against alt-papers will soon wonder just how much they can get away with against the mainstream daily."