Is the Chronicle in jeopardy? Of course it is, but who is the real threat here: Hearst or the Teamsters? The two sides are playing a game of chicken, with Hearst betting that they can maneuver the Teamsters into taking the fall for any closure of the paper and thereby counting on labor-related politicians (and this is the Bay Area—all politicians are labor-related) to stop the Teamsters from driving the paper off that particular cliff.

Just wait until it gets on the 11 o’clock news, where they have to boil it all down to 90 seconds of TV: big, bad Teamsters want to shut down Chronicle, a known money-loser, which Hearst has courageously kept alive for nine years. Transcontinental will be spinning those non-union presses in no time and there will be fewer unionized drivers as well.

Chronicle readers deserve to know these facts, including how Hearst is trying to use the House Speaker’s powers as leverage in negotiations against union members.

Perhaps Bay Area and Washington journalists not under the fact-denying thumbs of Bushee and Chronicle publisher Frank Vega will get out there and tell the people about how, to save its investment, the Hearsts and Bushee have sold their journalistic souls in a crude attempt at manipulation through flackery.

Correction: This article originally identified the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle as Ward Bushee Jr. He is only Ward Bushee, no “Jr.” involved. CJR regrets the error Click here to return to the corrected sentence.

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David Cay Johnston covers fiscal and budget matters for CJR’s United States Project. He is a reporter with 46 years of experience, including 13 at The New York Times; a columnist for Tax Analysts; teaches tax and regulatory law at Syracuse University Law School; and is president of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE). Follow him on Twitter @DavidCayJ.