Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bronstein wanted Thompson to cover OJ trial

"The best idea I ever had, that never got acted on, was to have Hunter Thompson cover the O.J. Simpson trial," Phil Bronstein tells MarketWatch's Jon Friedman. At the time Bronstein was executive editor of the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner. "We had an eight-hour negotiating session. Hunter wanted satellite dishes, an unlimited expense account and a suite or two at the Chateau Marmont. We were a dying afternoon paper with no budget."

Bronstein, now editor at large of the Chron, tells Friedman that he's still irked by that line in the 1976 movie "All the President's Men" that mocked the Chronicle. (Jason Robards, playing Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, dismisses an annoying salesmen who was pitching a feature on yesterday's weather by saying: "Send it out to the San Francisco Chronicle — they need it.") Some 33 years later, Bronstein says, "It showed an under-appreciation for the quirkiness of San Francisco ... It was a case of East Coast snobbery."

Friedman, who is based in New York, asks his readers at the end of the column to comment on what they like or dislike about the Chronicle. (Photo credit: Paul Harris)


Anonymous said...

Bronstein is a moron. Why people continue to quote the losingest editor in the history of newspapers is a mystery to me. Count up the number of readers and the amount of money the Ex and the Chron lost under his editorship. Must truly be a staggering number.
By the way, regarding All the President's Men, Ben Bradlee claims the crack on the Chron made it into the film as revenge for a negative Chronicle review of Robert Redford's performance in a play years ago. It's been an oft-repeated unfair slur against the Chron, one I'm sure Bronstein enjoyed repeating when he was busy running the Ex into the dirt.

Anonymous said...

Bronstein has elevated his profile over the years with stunts (scuba diving to look for an allegator) or hanging out with celebrites (even marrying one of them), or his fist fight with Clint Reilly but it's pretty hard to find much solid journalism in his past except for work he did as a young man in the philippines back in the early 80s.