After hundreds of copies of the Santa Fe Reporter were stolen from newsstands last week, editor Alexa Schirtzinger is striking back with a cover story on media censorship:
It started with an anonymous call around 10 am. The caller said the paper was “filthy” and said he planned to remove copies of SFR from newsstands around town. Although he didn’t specify what, exactly, he considered filthy, the cover of the paper featured the headline “Nuts to Butts”â€”a reference to a controversial prison shakedown technique, and the topic of that week’s cover story. The image showed the backs of a man’s bare legs (actually, the legs of SFR staff writer Joey Peters), with an orange prison jumpsuit around his ankles.
Here at SFR, angry calls about less-than-G-rated material aren’t exactly uncommonâ€”but rarely do they turn into “acts of censorship.”
Ultimately, it probably did less harm than good. By the end of the day, we had ordered 1,000 additional copies of the “Nuts to Butts” issue and taped two TV interviews for that night’s 10 pm broadcast. Only around 400 of the 19,500 papers we’d printed were actually taken, and the rest were flying off the stands.