When the Minneapolis alt-weekly selected crystal meth as the "Best Cheap Thrill" in its annual "Best of the Twin Cities" issue, the usual suspects lined up to express their outrage, including talk-radio hosts, local TV reporters, health officials, politicians, and irate readers. Editor Steve Perry's first instinct was to stand by the blurb, explaining in an editor's note that it was a joke that was intended to make the point "that it's possible to make entirely too much of the drug hype of the hour--unless you're in radio or television, of course." But after being pounded for twelve hours, Perry issued an apology, saying that he was chastened by "a lot of comments and e-mails ... from readers who've seen the lives of loved ones wrecked or ended by meth."

Continue ReadingCity Pages Takes a Pounding Over Meth Joke

According to NBC-affiliate KSBY, some area residents were upset by the paper's Feb. 2 cover package on methamphetamine, which included a recipe for manufacturing the drug. After the paper hit the streets, one former meth user suggested that citizens should take matters into their own hands: "Everybody should just get [copies of the paper] and burn them. It's just ridiculous." The next day, KSBY reported that "angry readers, recovering addicts, police, and drug counselors" were removing papers from the streets and pressuring store managers to do the same. Andrew Carter of Cellular One, which spends $52,000 annually advertising on the back cover of the New Times, said, "As the lead advertiser in the publication, they've not only, in my mind, embarrassed themselves, but they've embarrassed us." SLO New Times Managing Editor King Harris noted that "instructions for making meth are readily available on the Internet" and said the paper's intention was to inform people, "especially worried parents, about what to look for and what to consider suspicious."

Continue ReadingSLO New Times Meth Story Sparks Controversy