Alt-weeklies may have to stop branding themselves as the papers unafraid to print the word "fuck." Editor Ben Fulton says Salt Lake City Weekly was briefly kicked out of Wal-Mart "because we used the f-bomb in our paper," Glen Warchol reports in The Salt Lake Tribune. City Weekly lost a week's distribution at the chain after a self-identified Christian stumbled upon the word in its pages and complained to the store's regional managers. Wal-Mart let the paper return based on promises of increased vigilance about the use of profanity.

Continue ReadingWeekly Resolves Not to Use Word That Offended—Except in Quotes

Some Cincinnati police officers claimed to be in two places at once so they could double-bill the city and the public housing authority, Leslie Blade reported in CityBeat on Dec. 10. Now the Cincinnati City Council wants to ask her questions about the scandal so badly it voted 5-4 last week to subpoena her. CityBeat Editor/Co-Publisher John Fox criticizes the decision to make a journalist an investigative tool of government.

Continue ReadingCincinnati City Council Votes to Subpoena CityBeat Reporter

"Throughout the day I'd witnessed police provoke protesters," writes Celeste Fraser Delgado, who was reporting on the protests surrounding last week's free-trade meetings. "I'd seen young people cuffed and lined up along the street, but I thought they must have done something bad to be detained." Her perceptions quickly changed when she was handcuffed and jailed by Miami police who ignored her press credentials. Her crime: Doing "nothing but walking down the street."

Continue ReadingNew Times Reporter Arrested Covering Protests in Miami

It's déjà vu all over again in Vancouver, where the venerable alt-weekly is under attack from B.C. Liberal ministers. In what Publisher & Editor Dan McLeod calls "the biggest threat in its 36-year history," the Straight has been stripped of its status as a newspaper under provincial sales-tax legislation and assessed fines and penalties that will total more than one million dollars by year's end. McLeod, whose paper was "prosecuted frequently under a wide assortment of trumped- up charges" in its early years, calls the new attack "a politically motivated attempt by the government to silence one of its harshest critics."

Continue ReadingLocal Officials Hit Georgia Straight $1 Million Fine

Marc Schultz was grilled by FBI agents acting on a tip from someone who saw the dark, bearded freelance writer reading something "suspicious" in a coffee shop: After retracing his steps, Schultz remembered what he had been reading: a printout of an article from Weekly Planet (Tampa) -- Hal Crowther's "Weapons of Mass Stupidity." "(I)t seems like a dark day when an American citizen regards reading as a threat, and downright pitch-black when the federal government agrees," Schultz writes.

Continue ReadingFBI Questions Man Seen Reading Alt-Weekly Article

Judicial Watch, which buried Bill and Hillary Clinton in legal papers, has subpoenaed OC Weekly writer Gustavo Arellano for all the photographs he shot of a fight that broke out at an anti-immigrant rally in Anaheim, Calif., in December 2001. Judicial Watch represents the anti-immigrant group California Coalition for Immigration Reform, which claims the city of Anaheim didn't protect CCIR members when a melee broke out with counter-protesters. OC Weekly publishes the photographs in question, and it seems they may actually hurt CCIR's case.

Continue ReadingRight-Wing Group Subpoenas OC Weekly Photographs