By Andy Van De Voorde
Followers of the Guardian's lawsuit lottery against the Weekly may have noticed that Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond posted an item on his blog yesterday calling this blogger an "out of town hit man," complaining that my coverage of the trial has been "breathtaking in its personal viciousness" and demanding a correction for having told readers he took the stand earlier this week decked out in a "puffy" jacket. It was actually quite puffy, Tim; maybe not Michelin-Man-level puffy, but heading in that general direction. And if anybody needs to worry about accuracy, it's Redmond, who wrote yesterday's post despite having not been in the courtroom.
He reported matter-of-factly that former Weekly and Guardian sales rep Jennifer Lopez testified yesterday that she heard New Times executive editor Mike Lacey once describe the Guardian as a "piece of shit." Without commenting on the underlying truth of Lacey's alleged statement, it 's important to note what Lopez actually said: "I believe he said it was a piece of shit. But I'm not quite sure. I remember something along those lines." Her hazy memory of the remark was reminiscent of how she handled another claim that Lacey threw a copy of the Guardian on the floor and "stomped on it" during a 1995 meeting with Weekly staff. At trial, Lopez made that assertion without hesitation; but in her deposition testimony, she admitted to Weekly attorneys that she "may have dreamed it." Keep in mind that Lopez is the main witness the Guardian hopes to use to prove that the Weekly intended to harm the Guardian with a below-cost pricing scheme. As it was, the most Guardian attorney E. Craig Moody could get out of her yesterday was that Lacey purportedly told staff he wanted the Weekly to be "the only game in town," an innocuous "go-team" comment that hardly seems evidence of a long-term financially deviant scheme.
Redmond also demanded an explanation for why New Times has lost what Guardian attorneys describe as $25 million in the Bay Area market. Perhaps because Redmond makes a habit of covering trials without actually going into courtrooms, he is unaware that the defense has yet to present its case. All in good time, Puffy.