Carolyn Said of the Chronicle has written a profile of billionaire Ron Burkle, the supermarket magnate whom the newspaper unions are hoping will bankroll their attempt to buy Knight Ridder’s Bay Area newspapers. The Chronicle describes Burkle as an “angel” and makes no mention of his attempt to change state law to seal divorce court records from the public and press. The story is similar to a piece two days earlier by Michael Stoll of, which also fails to note Burkle’s attempt to limit court access, which was the subject yesterday of a “Legislative Alert” by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Both stories play up the union’s chances to buy the newspapers. When the stories use quotes from employees of KR papers, both rely mainly on comments from Guild officers. However, there is one quote in Said’s story this morning from a Merc employee who isn’t a Guild officer, who expresses a contrarian view of the union buy-out plan: ”A lot of folks I’ve heard from are not too keen on forking over their retirement nest egg to a bunch of their colleagues,’ said one Mercury News reporter, who asked not to be named because of the uncertain status of the newspaper. ‘When it comes to your retirement money, you want to give it to grumpy, stingy old men and not do-goody journalists.'”

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