Monday, September 22, 2003

Visit the News Gorilla store at . Good stuff in the store this week, and you'll me needing wardrobe like the new T-shirts and tote bags for those summertime leisure moments when the boss is away on vacation!

For Sept. 22, 2003. Good heavens, Mr. Bush, you mean you suspect more terrorists in Buffalo, N.Y., than in Baghdad!? Well, please don’t tell the Third Infantry, begs the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 631!

FIVE HUNDRED MILES WIDE AND AN INCH DEEP. That’s one dictionary definition of the state of California. but at least they’re entertaining. And graphic, Gateway has given several of the scores of gubernatorial candidates a digital camera and is publishing their campaign self-portraits at They even hired David Hume Kennerly to oversee the project.
We like Gary Coleman’s shots, though that may be more mere big-media bias showing again. Mark E. Johnson said he likes the shots of the candidates using non-Gateway computers in the pictures, but then after the election Gateway can point out that they’re a bunch of losers. He gives the "Let's See How Self-serving We Can Make This" Award to Jim Weir, who is seen reading the camera manual with a caption that notes, "Like all important issues, candidate Jim Weir gives serious consideration to the manual for his new Gateway camera."
Mary Carey the porn star is a participant; though she is wearing decidedly less than Phyllis Schlafly ever wore on the Republican convention floor, she is overdressed by the standards of La Cicciolina, the skinflick actress who was elected to the legislature of that other august democracy, Italy.
Our tipster Johnson included a mention of the University of Syracuse S.I. Newhouse Journalism School, where he both professes and professes to study journalism. At least he was more discreet in his flackery than those University of Missouri (ba-DING) honkers. Well, OK then: Syracuse (brrp).

MUG SHOTS. The Plain Dealer’s Pete Zicari finally got around to cleaning out that drawer full of, as he describes it, "coffee-stained business cards, balloons, old union buttons, fossilized gum, ominous Band-aids and unidentifiable crumbs." Unidentifiable crumbs? So that's where those middle-management committee-lizards got to after the last management purge at the Dayton Daily News.
Anyway, he continues: ". . . when I ran across not one, but two half-column pictures of yourself dating back to Godknowswhen. In the black-and-white, "Charles Stough" sports aviator-style glasses, long hair and a shirt that says 'Copy'; in the color shot, it appears the Daily News staked you to a fancy razor cut hairdo as a retirement present. Having been here in Cleveland only 13 years, I can't imagine both pictures came from the same decade, or must I have dragged one of them here from somewhere else?"
They sound like the only two smiling half-columns ever taken of the Chief Copyboy in 28 years at DDN, Pete. Some recall that I am the only human ever to have a front-page daily column at that paper, not that it shows in my pension. Not so many recall that I was also the last columnist to let his pan appear in his or her column logo (Mama Stough didn't raise no design elements), not including the rotund cafe reviewer who did that cartoon thing.
There's something to be said about cartoon logos, mind you. Nobody buys that saw about keeping the reviewer anonymous; it's that cartoons don't age or get fat.
The razor-cut shot was by ace fotog Bill Reinke and appears on one of the Charles Stough novels, Warm Spit or Stone Flute, continuing available at online bookstores worldwide.

DON'T BELIEVE DEFENSIVE TACKLES. The Shreveport (La.) Times e-mailed a story to other Louisiana Gannett sites about New Orleans Saints veteran defensive tackle Henry Ford. Sayeth one paragraph: "No, not the former president."
What followed down the pipeline was this:
"In our haste to send out Nakia's story in a timely fashion, we overlooked a factual error in his story. In the first graph, Henry Ford was NEVER the president of the United States We apologize for the error and we'll make a more concerted effort to check these in the future.
"Again, our apologies for whatever inconvenience this may have caused."
Let's make this a learning opportunity, sports writers. The lesson is that no matter how sincere a veteran defensive tackle seems, don't believe him when he says he was president, emperor of France or Jersey Joe Walcott. Defensive tackles get rattled too much to know for sure. Well, OK, give them emperor of France, what could that hurt? But check the rest.

OFFER STANDS. Make any donation of US$3 or more via PayPal to and receive a genuine personalized Chagrin Falls Commercial Scimitar Foreign Correspondent press card by return snailmail. PayPal is a secure on-line payment system; if you're not already enrolled, use this opportunity to get there and to stun your cubicle mates with glitzy wallet fodder in one easy operation.

BURGEONING PUBLISHER NEEDS HELP. Paul Swortz" is cranking up an on-line community newspaper and is stuck for a name to call it.
"Here's the problem: I need a great name for the paper. No boring Times, Herald, News or Picayune for me, and the Commercial Scimitar already is taken. The challenge: do any of your loyal readers know of a Web resource with a list of newspaper names. Old, new, active or defunct. I'm seeking inspiration from the past."
The Gigolo Buttons and Newspaper Mastheads Committee already told Paul about their special favorite, the Casket of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and speculated at the doubtlessly entertaining story behind the Rhode Island University paper, the Good 5-Cent Cigar. Cox's weekly Standard Laconic of Snow Hill, N.C. needs few words. There are still a few Bugles and Clarions, but no Trombones. If anyone still uses United Press International, we don't hear about it. Whoever is this week's designated idea person, please contact Paul directly.

ONE FROM THE VAULTS. Only a few years ago we heard this story from a BONGer. And then we never heard again. But still, the story is worth retelling.
It seems the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post saw merit in a promotion on its page two called "The Daily Deal," the deal being that if you redeem a coupon in the promo, you recoup the cost of the paper. Sounds fine, right? Well, then they decided to add a little cash giveaway to the promo, which the marketing department decided to dub "The Daily Deal Dough."
Lest you fail to comprehend the unintentional (or, who knows about morale in the promo department?, perhaps intentional) depravity, say the words 'deal dough' out loud. Say 'em fast. Faster! Better yet, pronounce 'em with a Southern accent, like lots o' folks down there have.
Then of course there was the graphic of a rolled-up newspaper on the billboards around the city (yes, billboards). It was a challenge to keep the car on the road when drivers saw dealdos jut forth in five-foot letters.

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: Typo, looking natty in shades and a snap-brim hat under the lights on the stage at the Bait Shoppe, brandishes a guitarron and a smoldering Marlboro and mumbles into the mike, "I'd like to dedicate my next number to my beloved Boss, who's busy at the tailor's with his trenchcoat, a deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island. Seems it got a little ripped when he and Features Editor Hyperba Lee got caught in the elevator during the blackout. Neither one of them knew how long they'd be between those floors and it seems Hyperba was hoping for a little longer outcome and less screaming, but anyway the coat's in the shop. So this is for you careerists out there."
PANEL TWO: Typo sings, "Somewhere outside Kankakee, I found a copy of E&P, and saw an ad sayin' they want me, out west in Seattle! So I jumped a big cross-plains Greyhound and pretty soon was on Puget Sound, reportin' for a JOA in AKA Coffee-Town!"
PANEL THREE: Mugging two frowzy single chicks at a front-row table, Typo croons, "Well, you know that I was so surprised, couldn't believe my bloodshot eyes, when I got through an ugly union-bustin' battle and 'bout got shredded by corporate Seattle! The partners in an Agency got too much into Them vs. We, and now they're fixin' to hit the tracks with a federal case and give us all the sack!"
PANEL FOUR: Eyeing a redhead at the bar, Typo goes into the chorus, "I got them JOA blues, I got everything to lose, all 'cause I put my trust in a two fat press lords with just one press! Don't know when I'll settle with this bar, long's me and my news pals are wonderin' 'bout our Christmas star from two fat press lords with one press!"
PANEL FIVE: Outside the Bait Shoppe, an unmarked ANPA patrol van squeals to a stop and a dozen SWAT troops pile out as Typo's dialog bubble erupts through the door, "So I guess I gotta take my leave, don't look like I'm getting no reprieve, from a press lords' scuffle out by the Bay, and nobody's hirin' in Santa Fe! So please clear me a way to the alley, I'm gone but leavin' my drink tally for these black-suit gents to divvy up and charge to their P.R. budget! I got them JOA blues. . . !"

Visit the News Gorilla store at .
BONG Bull is the product of Chief Copyboy Charley Stough, a copy editor at the San Antonio Express News. Email for any reason.