It’s only appropriate, considering it was Karl Marx who quipped that history repeats itself the second time as farce, that it was a pair of entreprenurial deliveryman for the blue-collar New York Daily News who have been busted for allegedly stealing stacks of The New York Times and the New York Post from a newsstand at the Nassau Blvd. station on the Long Island Railroad. Nat Ives has the story over at Advertising Age, and while he brushes the thefts off a bit (“The alleged theft doesn’t rise to the level of, say, a Pink Panther caper”) we’re kind of hoping that this goes up to the very top somehow. After all, it was the rank and file at Newsday who were throwing thousands of copies of their own paper away each day, and that led to the resulting circulation scandals which have rocked the paper and its parent, Tribune.
Even if it doesn’t topple Mort Zuckerman’s empire, the thefts are another fine addition to the lore of the metropolitan area’s five-way newspaper war, joining the New York Sun’s not-so-stealthy attempts to boost its circulation, the Daily News’ sweepstakes snafus, the Post’s taunting billboards across the street from the Daily News’ headquarters, and so on, and so on. One thing we’re wondering is whether the 2,100 missing copies were already counted by the Post as paid circulation, and if not, will the paper issue yet another story trumpeting how much faster they’re gaining on their arch-rival. Expect juicy coverage in tomorrow’s edition regardless.