Note to Phil
Chronicle — Northern California’s Largest Newspaper”
Now let’s think
about that for a second. Must be true, it says so right there on the San
Francisco Chronicle masthead mere millimeters away from editor Phil
Bronstein’s name. Then again, wouldn’t this depend upon which particular
day you weighed the Chronicle, and which day you chose to determine
the heft of perhaps the Sacramento Bee or the San Jose Mercury
News? Heavy question, to be sure.
measures 25 by 44 inches, hardly king size since that’s the precise size
of an overwhelming amount of newspapers worldwide. This hardly qualifies
for the weighty issue at hand. It’s difficult to conceive the Chronicle is
largest despite reassurance to business section readers last year that it
was suspending publication of daily stock reports, except on Saturdays,
for the “convenience” of Chronicle readers.
one of its — I mean The Chronicle’s — ubiquitous polls suggested as much?
Macy’s double-truck ads that almost daily swallow one sixth of the main
news section contribute. “Largest” due to the Chronicle’s ceaseless,
immense portions of back patting about Chronicle polls that reinforce the
Chronicle’s enormous appetite to share with Chronicle readers how the
Chronicle chronicles all that we need to know in exclusive Chronicle
reports, as reported first in the Chronicle? This heady claim can even
surface in what nowadays appears to be two thirds of the chubby
Chronicle’s story content, its articles attributed to other healthy papers
like the L. A. Times, New York Times, and Washington Post.
“Largest” because of
its endless, beefed up coverage of the BALCO steroid issue in the wake of
grand jury testimony “leaked to the Chronicle,” “as first reported in the
Chronicle?” Macy’s. Well, I think I remember a poll taken by the Chronicle
recently where — first reported by the Chronicle — many of those polled
opined how “heavy and weighty” is the in depth reporting of the Bay Area
In fact, it is
common knowledge how award winning and thorough is the Chronicle’s
admired, mountainous reporting because Mr. Bronstein thrice or more weekly
tells us so. He passionately expounds upon the Chronicle’s “Investigating
Journalism,” turned in by “reporters like Vanessa Hua.” Now granted these
regular quarter page ads contribute to his paper’s largeness, if not his
own largesse, but why is it always his prodigious chin and snout
prominently displayed and not, let’s say, Ms. Hua’s… or any of the dozen
or more other Chronicle muckrakers whose virtues he extols?
Chronicle pounded its sizable chest to announce “Two Extra Helpings of Jon
Carroll!” That should beef up thickness, help oversize the Chronicle’s
diet for coverage. Actually, I personally think Mr. Carroll was perhaps
the Chronicle’s best choice of columnists for the Chronicle to
reincarnate, to be allowed to toss out his wit five days a week for the
Chronicle. An admirable step to gain girth but what about the other dozen
or so columnists cut back to twice weekly, some less so, some eliminated
altogether when the Hearst entourage first took over? Might they soon
return to bulk up the Chronicle weight train too?
return, why “It’s a Windfall of Praise for the Chronicle.” Oh, sorry,
“Windfall of Prose” is how the Chronicle’s ad read, announcing how
much larger the Chronicle had grown.
I am unaware if Mr.
Bronstein has personally sung the praise of the Chronicle’s front page
“Gets Things Done for Your Community” column. He has plenty of time since
the Chronicle, as reported by the Chronicle, seems to spend 249 days on
average vigilantly helping add weight to community concerns. The
Chronicle’s Mr. Bronstein, due to his paper’s sea of never ending Macy’s
ads, has plenty of space in which to sandwich his sage ness. Still, this
exclusive Chronicle feature, as first shown in the Chronicle, plainly
makes it clear that we share a better neighborhood because of what the
Chronicle chooses to examine. Whoops! The Chronicle never uses the
In fact, isn’t it
dubious that Mr. Bronstein never posited himself as quite the fabulous
Chronicle crusader he has now become until he departed editorship of the
afternoon Examiner to make the move to mornings when he examined, then
took advantage of, his pixilated publishing prospects when his employer
the Hearst Company sold the venerable afternoon newspaper in order to
purchase the larger, nay largest paper of all…. The Chronicle? “The
Chronicle, All that’s Fat to Print?”
Ah! Perhaps the
Chronicle’s weight gain comes from its barrage touting “The Perfect
Holiday Gift.” That is, “Now you can purchase Chronicle photos.” No, no.
The Chronicle’s girth expands when a bereaved reader purchases “These
tasteful icons to help commemorate the passing of a friend or loved one.”
Whether or not you,
dear reader and/or Macy’s shopper, find the enormity of the foregoing,
overstuffed analysis wasteful, bloated, or perhaps of no enormous concern,
thank you for devouring, however so tiny a taste, our beefy, keen attempts
at insight (like the Chronicle’s), our ever growing investigative appetite
that would no doubt be proven fat with expansiveness were the Chronicle to
take such a poll. A wise
reader might think the Chronicle’s Mr. Bronstein would sing our high
calorie virtues too; but we are not going to fast from searching fat and
factual reporting while we wait for the Chronicle's editorial endorsement.
Note to Phil, another chance for prominent placement of your mug shot in
Now I know the
Chronicle, as first told to the Chronicle, does not roll out daily without
some kind of credibility, some small mountain of worthiness. Indeed, many
readers find the Chronicle quite fit and in good taste. Why heck, the
Chronicle used to be so popular among Chronicle readers that its masthead
then boasted “San Francisco Chronicle, Northern California’s Largest
Super sized, eh?
Hunger for the good ’ol days, Herb?