Hedge funds have become about the only things interested in buying newspapers and other media outlets this days. Given how fabulously unprofitable running a broadsheet is, there’s only one possible explanation for that interest: It must be a hell of a rush to gut and destroy such key pillars of American democracy. To date, one hedge fund—Alden Global Capital—has been having most of that fun. But so enjoyable sucking the life out of the Fourth Estate must be that now it’s got company. It does not welcome the interloper.

A battle of the hedge funds is brewing in the bankruptcy auction of the McClatchy Company, one of the nation’s largest and most decorated newspaper chains, pitting Chatham Asset Management and Brigade Capital Management, both debt holders in the chain, against a newcomer to the proceedings, Alden Global Capital…. Alden, a New York hedge fund that has become a force in the newspaper business, tried to disrupt the Chatham-Brigade proposal on Wednesday by filing an emergency motion in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

That’s right: If anyone is going to needlessly destroy such storied pillars of American journalism as the Sacramento Bee, Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer and Kansas City Star, by god it’s going to be the people who destroyed the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and Boston Herald, and which one day hopes to devastate the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and New York Daily News.

Hedge Funds Duel in Bankruptcy Court Over McClatchy Newspapers [NYT]