Saturday, March 29, 2003

The Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild's World-Famous Encyclical
No. 618

For March 29, 2003. Hello, all you embedded reporters and those hoping to become embedded after the office party, says the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 618!

GIFTS FOR THE BOSS. The News Gorilla store has added nifty dribble bibs and companion cups emblazoned with Charles Stough's famous painting "The Editor." Visit the News Gorilla store at .

AND THAT GOES FOR YOUR DESKMATE, TOO. A reporter with ventriloquist skills and his dummy were entertaining the newsroom by making fun of the city editor, when the editor came out of a meeting and stalked up behind him.
"Hey, are you insulting me?" the boss demanded.
The reporter started to apologize.
"Not you!" the editor barked. "I'm talking to the little guy!"

SOMEBODY TOLD DADDY. While former President Clinton was in Austin, Texas, speaking to a packed house about former-presidential things, the Young Conservatives of Texas were outside picketing for liberty. Steve McLinden of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram gave them what-for:
"Ah, the heartless, greedy, anti-intellectual little fascists are mobilizing again. (Let me guess. All you frat boys saved up your allowances and monies from your McDonald's jobs for those Beemers you'll be driving to the protest, and those new jackboots you'll be sportin' enroute. Hey, don't forget all the nasty little deals that Reagan's henchmen cut with Middle East figures that got us directly into this mess today. I'm sure you'll be protesting the Reagan household any day now. By the way, is it not enough to have the White House and Congress? Would you like to stamp out all signs that we are a two-party, Democratic country? What's that? You would? How noble of you. I salute you and your polarized, little status-quo world."
Shocked, shocked that anyone should dare voice opposition to them or the picketing of a public speaker, the young defenders of the Republican way copied McLinden's note to Startlegram Executive Editor Jim Witt. Witt responded that such an opinion is not the Fort Worth Star-Telegram way, and added:
"We are currently conducting an internal investigation concerning the e-mail. Our news reporters must abide by a company ethics code that is very strict in matters such as this, and violation of it can result in harsh penalties, including termination. Again, I apologize for this incident and hope your annual convention is successful."
Guess what. McLinden's gone and Young Conservatives of Texas communications director Chris Allen said n March 14, "We are gratified that, whatever the cause or causes of Mr. McLinden's termination, the message we received from Mr. Witt alone demonstrates that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram clearly recognizes the seriousness of media bias and unprofessionalism. The impressive and decisive manner in which the Star-Telegram handled this will hopefully serve as an example to media outlets and journalists across the country as they strive to maintain the time-honored standards of objectivity and professionalism."
Let the word therefore go forth. Texas is a dangerous place, full of nitwits with SUVs, cedar pollen, golfers, people who haven't been executed yet, guys who don't use free Hotmail accounts so their bosses can't nab them by the short hairs, snakes, editors who get the babbling shakes reading a pouty letter from a yuppie club, scorpions, and legislators who think children's health insurance is not public business but cleaning up after poor starving oil drillers is. And oak wilt. On the other hand, Texas enjoys a budget deficit of some billions of dollars, and no income tax.

BLOOMBERG GIVES REPORTERS THE BIRD. The New York Post on March 14 reported that Bloomberg L.P., the financial media company founded by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, gives staffers plastic pink flamingos for boffo reporting. Bloomberg flack Chris Taylor said, "It's neither a reward nor a punishment, it's an acknowledgement. No money, pride in your work is the reward."

COMIX SECTION. The Further Adventures of Herman "Speed" Graphic, ace photographer for the Chagrin Falls Commercial Scimitar, and his Faithful Companion, Typo the Wonder Pig.
PANEL ONE: Speed is trying the herbal hangover cure this time when Typo darts into the photo lab saying, "Boss! What are you doing here? You're supposed to be at the camel race!"
PANEL TWO: Speed rummages in his trenchcoat, a deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island, for the agony amulet he got on Bourbon Street from the chubby lady in the shoestring halter top and sequined mask. He chokes, "Camel race? You mean Arabia? You gotta be kidding!"
PANEL THREE: Typo reiterates, "Right, Boss! Ever since the Morale Committee meeting, when Features Editor Hyperba Lee said all you need to be a middle manager is a helmet hairdo and two hours of happy-staff training, and you looked in her bottom drawer and found the sequined mask!"
PANEL FOUR: Speed enquires painfully, "What Morale Committee meeting? I wasn't even there!"
PANEL FIVE: Typo clarifies, "Well, that's the other thing, Boss! I thought I should cover for you so I gestured hypnotically and took your place. Anyway, I think you'll be safer in the desert if you hurry!"

DID WE MENTION GIFTS FOR THE BOSS? The News Gorilla store has added nifty dribble bibs and companion cups emblazoned with Charles Stough's famous painting "The Editor." Visit the News Gorilla store at