The much vaunted non-profit that seriously opposed the Atlantic Yards has a new enemy. Today the Municipal Art Society announced that, tired of decrepit and ugly news racks, it is launching a new campaign to eliminate the city of every last stinkin' one of them.

Claiming that inhabitants of other world class cities like Paris and London do not tolerate such rattiness in their streets, MAS is asking the public to help document the worst offenders by sending photographs to newsrack@mas.org. Don't hold back. The organization wants the "dirtiest, most unkempt, most repulsive" ones you can find in the five boroughs. Include cross-street details, people! There's even a prize for the winning photo: a $100 gift certificate to Urban Center Books on Madison Ave. at 51st St.

While news racks are illegal if they are within 15 feet of a hydrant, in a bus stop and within 5 feet of a corner area, among other rules, MAS wants elected officials to regulate them even more stringently!

While we admire much of MAS' work for the city and we know this is a media-obsessed kind of place, we wonder about this preoccupation with news racks. Is it so bad if a teensy, little ugliness on city streets remains in the '00s? And is increased government regulation of news racks really a fight MAS should spend its time fighting?

To get a sense of what might replace the so-called eyesores, check out the "modular distribution box" that hit the streets of Park Slope in May.

Photograph courtesy of the Municipal Art Society