Bits o' Bull No. 438!
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 97 14:43:14 -0700
Subject: Bits o' Bull No. 438!
Excerpted-from: @BONG Bull No. 438
THE BURNED-OUT NEWSPAPERCREATURES GUILD'S NEWSLETTER
Copyright (c) 1997 by BONG. All rights reserved.
OCCULT HAND CENTRAL. It was indeed Rex Bowman who snuck the phrase
"It was as if an occult hand had..." into print last November in the
Washington Times. And he is willing to certify future Occult Hand
Society members, and here's proof.
"Though I'm not sure I'm happy about Sean blowing my cover, I
would like to hear from anyone else who has managed to wrest the
expression into hard copy," he said. "I'll keep a list of those
who succeed, and maybe once every two or three years we can all go
out to drink brandy at a topless bar in Baltimore. (Why Baltimore?
Because that's where H.L. Mencken worked. Why a topless bar? Why
The Gigolo Buttons and Professional Certifications Committee
recommends sending clips. Bowman can be found at the Richmond (Va.)
Times-Dispatch, P.O. Box 85333, Richmond, Va. 23293.
WANTED: CRACK PROOF-PRESS INKER, SHOE SIZE 11, TUBA PLAYER, GOOD
TENNIS BACKHAND. Mike Peterson at the Press-Republican in
Plattsburgh, N.Y. observes the common intermarriage of talents now
expected by Editor & Publisher advertisers. "I've started seeing ads
that claim they want people with good news instinct, hard-headed
knowledge and ability to lead a team, sniff out a story, etc. and
then they want you to be a splendid page designer, too.
"It's not that the two talents are mutually exclusive, but
there's no logical reason for them to co-exist in one person. We've
been making fun of broadcast for hiring good looking geeks and
pretending that they are deep-thinking, competent journalists when
they are simply telegenic folks who can read out loud.
"So what are we doing over in print? I mean, which do you want
to hire, a copy editor or a layout artist? The fact that both tasks
can now be done on the same computer doesn't mean they can be equally
handled by the same person, except by happenstance.
"I think I understand the priorities, though. Pass the
hairspray," Mike reports.
POOPY DUST. Ken Allen of Charlotte Magazine declares, "Until reading
BONG Bull, I had thought the phrase 'Poopy Dust" had originated in
St. Petersburg, Fla. where I first heard it in 1985, shortly after
starting work down there. Poopy Dust stories were ones of particular
interest to Gene Patterson (company president and legendary former
editor) and/or Andy Barnes, (the then-current editor and keeper of
our careers). At the Charlotte Observer, from whence I had come, such
stories were introduced to the unwilling reporter as 'an important
story for this community,' a phrase introduced in the newsroom by
Observer ex-publisher Dave Lawrence.
The Nashville (Tenn.) Banner's Kristen Hallam informs, "Here we
refer to those stories near and dear to an editor (or our publisher)
as having 'The Juice.' The word 'juice' is usually preceded by said
editor/publisher's name, i.e. Eddie juice, as in 'Watch it -- that
story's got Eddie juice all over it.'"
© 1997 Peter Langston