Media hogs

The county's coffeehouses and convenience stores, already awash with just-started free newspapers that come and go each month, can count on one more newbie: The South Bay Review, operated by Mike Inzunza, brother of the clan that includes Democratic San Diego city councilman Ralph and National City mayor Nick. And -- surprise -- the cover hypes a famous Inzunza family mentor, GOP county supervisor Greg Cox, who once employed Nick and still sits on the board of Chula Vista-based Seacoast Commerce Bank with him. Cox, says the story, has "an all-encompassing ability to bring communities and people together with something called character." Chula Vista planning chairman and ex-Cox staffer Marco Polo Cortes, another member of the Inzunzas' extended political family who golfs regularly with Ralph, hails Cox as "a true statesman." Readers also learn that the supervisor wakes every morning at 5:30 to feed five pet cats and take a shower. "He leads a consistent and stable life," the story says. "He takes comfort in getting his monthly haircut from the same family of barbers for the last 30 years." Wife Cheryl's lobbying and political-consulting business, which has been raising South Bay eyebrows for years, is nowhere mentioned, but both she and Greg are touted for higher office. "Political insiders are rumoring a push for Cheryl to run for mayor of Chula Vista, while others see Greg Cox as a favorable candidate for Congress." The paper's advertisers include real estate woman Pepper Coffey, who was Ralph's appointment to the board reviewing taxpayer financing for a new Chargers stadium ... It's been another string of bad news for the Union-Tribune: hot on the heels of the walkout of anti-George W. Bush columnist James O. Goldsborough, the paper reported last Thursday that the Los Angeles Times (and not the U-T) had been the first to ask for a recount in the dizzying Frye-versus-Murphy San Diego mayoral race, quoting editor Karin Winner as saying the paper was consulting its lawyers about what to do. The next day the U-T reported it had finally gone ahead and submitted a request. But all is not lost. Local readers of Newsweek were recently treated to a full-page ad for the U-T's Sunday "Currents" section, which Winner used to edit, featuring a black-and-white portrait of an elderly black man looking skyward, accompanied by haiku-like copy: "Sunday morning/ A story of a hero's life/ That you tape to your child's mirror/ To remind her of who she can be/ Sunday lasts forever." The ad goes on to urge readers to "Pick yours up Sunday. From sections A to J, what you read, see and learn on Sunday will last forever."

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