Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Mercury News is a slu-ut

Hola Amigos.

Please accept my apologies for my failure to comment in recent weeks on all the big local news: An anonymous water polo teammate's devious scam finally led to the collapse of Tower Records. My fellow UCLA students organized a protest against the police department's multiple uses of a Taser on an unarmed and non-violent student only to implore rally-goers to "talk to your parents [and] have them call the chancellor." (Viva la revolucion). San Jose Mercury News reporters were told to wait by their phones to find out if they would keep their jobs. And the corner bar across the street from my apartment changed ownership but still refused to add a single window.

Yes, much has gone unremarked. Luckily for you all, today's Mercury News has something that is just too good for even a diligent student like yours truly to pass up without commentary.

According to the story, Stephanie Herrerra -- a "Christian mother with values" -- was terribly mortified to discover the toy Little Mermaid doll she bought her daughter as a present was saying impolite things about her daughter's sexual habits. Herrerra was appalled, but the worst part is that now her daugher got stuck with some lame nativity scene instead.

The funny part about this story is that it took an astute reader to point out the very strong possibility that Herrerra is using the Merc in order to drive up the price for the dolls she had already been planning to sell on E-bay. I suppose it's possible the writer may have been trying to hint at that in the story as a way of getting back at whoever assigned it to her. Or maybe debasing the paper is some new hardball strategy in the labor negotiations with MediaNews. Still, somebody should have caught this before the story ran.

Not so long ago, the Mercury was shining light on the toxicity of consumer electronic waste and linking the CIA to the spread of crack in the inner-city. Now it is giving ink to small-time con artists like Herrerra and Anna Ayala, the woman who falsely claimed to find a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili. Ayala got on the front page at least 11 times last year. So we probably haven't heard the last of Herrerra.


Lauren said...

It's a sad day for newspapers when what is essentially a two-source story about one woman's sexual inhibitions gets play on the front page of what once was a reputable news source. Does our industry have any news judgement left?

blondebomber said...

I still rank the SJMN slightly above the MV Voice, even though one of its better reporters left last fall.