After a busy weekend spent imposing on people, I received a suggestion from a reader to "tear apart" the Mercury's biennial "isn't Mountain View cute?" drivel. However, the article doesn't give critics much with which work -- it's essentially a summary of (pick one) the census/the state of the city address/the introduction to the budget and even less useful.
It wasn't that long ago that the Merc had a reporter covering Mountain View full-time. Sure, one of them publicly bitched out the council and then baked cookies for all of the members, but at least someone on staff over there was expected to know what was going on in the city. The alternative is to write this kind of embarrasingly condescending garbage -- a 1,200-word complete history of the city the reporter visited once.
Of course, things could be worse. The Monterey Herald, another former Knight Ridder paper recently acquired by Media News, has only reporter covering Monterey, and only half-time at that.