Even its name is misleading- the Berkeley Daily Planet hasn't been a daily as long as I can remember. In the past I'd been known to pick it up occasionally, whenever I felt the need for a liberal dose of outrage and anti-Israel hate speech with my morning coffee and croissant. The lack of editorial control or constraint has been well documented, leading me to wonder if Becky O'Malley's business model is "I don't care what they say as long as they are talking about me".
As the paper grew more and more narcissistic (who can forget 8 articles in one issue devoted purely to ad hominem attacks on local critics?), many locals, myself included, have given up on it. The Berkeley Daily Planet is making the local Pennysaver seem like a journalistic triumph.
While its clearly too early to sound the death knell for the Daily Planet, its final days may be near. The Planet, in the time honored tradition of other free papers, has always been distributed via newsboxes scattered throughout Berkeley. They'll be phasing out this system and instead stocking their little fishwrap in "select" cafes in the future. If you feel the need to see Berkeley public opinion reflected as an obsession with Israel-bashing, then for a 2 dollar "donation" you can find the Planet at the following establishments (all Berkeley except as noted otherwise):
Nabolom Bakery 2708 Russell St
Mo’ Joe Cafè 2517 Sacramento St
The Vault Cafe and Restaurant 3250 Adeline St
The Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St
Roxie Delicatessen, 2999 Shattuck Ave
Pegasus and Pendragon Bookstores, 1855 Solano Ave and 2349 Shattuck Ave
Local 123, 2049 San Pablo Ave
Jumpin Java, 6606 Shattuck Ave, Oakland
Sonoma Cafe 2131 Durant Ave
33 Revolutions Record Shop & Cafe´, 10086 San Pablo Avenue El Cerrito
Those of us who want a local paper responsive to the needs of the community urge you to talk to the owners of these fine establishments. It's time for an intervention. Tell them you want a real local paper- one that emphasizes informed discussion of local issues, and not a disproportionate focus on one issue that far too often devolves into hate speech. Tell them that by carrying the Planet, they are rewarding incompetence and lack of journalistic integrity.
We are NOT suggesting that you boycott these stores; actually, going in and buying a cup of coffee there will make your suggestion that much more valid (after all, you ARE a customer!). And, just as importantly, we condemn any type of theft of the paper-- even if you ARE desperate for lining for your hamster cage.
And consider signing the petition against hate speech in what used to be a newspaper that actually served the local community.