Extra! Extra! Ratner!

Brooklyn residents boarding the F train at Bergen Street in Cobble Hill this morning had a choice of newspaper hawkers to deal with. Alongside the AM New York representative–headline: “THE PLAME GAME”–stood a guy with copies of the Brooklyn Standard.

Last month, the New York Sun brought word of the arrival of the new tabloid, and of its narrow editorial mission: The Standard, which describes itself as a “publication–not a newspaper,” exists to solely promote developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project. “BROOKLYN’S BOOMING,” page one declares, “Atlantic Yards Will Bring Jobs, Housing and Hoops.”

Now the 16-page tab, which borrows its name from a 19th-century Brooklyn paper, is employing another old-fashioned journalistic touch: a squad of not-newsies to distribute the not-newspaper.

According to Joe DePlasco, a spokesperson from Dan Klores Communications representing Ratner, subway distribution has been going on for two weeks, with a team of 10 hawkers. They’ve distributed between 20,000 and 30,000 copies of the Standard’s total circulation of 140,000. The team will rotate around the borough distributing copies at stations in Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights and Cobble Hill, DePlasco said.

“It was always our intention to distribute at subways,” DePlasco said. “We felt this is a great way to share information with people in the borough.”

Asked if he worked for Ratner, a Standard hawker named Mel outside the Bergen Street station replied, “Yeah. You’re not going to throw the paper back in my face, are you?”

–Gabriel Sherman Extra! Extra! Ratner!