Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Visit the News Gorilla store at . There you will find even more Mars-message monogrammed items, the better to wow your cubicle mates!

For Oct. 6, 2004. Golly gee, Belo Corp., let's see if we have this straight. Getting caught with executive fists in the honey pot, lying about Dallas Morning News circulation, costs execs some Christmas change, but costs staffers 250 jobs? What if some staffers can show they lied too, can they keep their jobs? asks the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 656!

GET YOUR EYESHADES. Also at the News Gorilla store at , the Professional Raiments and Recognition Sign Committee has added updated visors for editors in glaring, eyeball-frying newsroom environments. Couldn't get them in green plastic but they do have the hallowed title EDITER emblazoned on them in green type. And yes, the committee knows that's misspelled. It's a joke, get it? That means you can give one to the boss and he has to smile. Order in bulk and get discounts.

DOOFUS MARKETING. Maybe some BONGers in the advertising auxiliary can explain the recent upsurge in brainless mouth-breathers as TV commercial stars, to-wit:
-- The Raisin Bran Crunch guy so taken by the sound of grinding gravel in his head that he doesn't know he's been fired. Did some committee at Kellogg's say, "You know, we need placement among people who would rather eat this stuff than draw salaries!"
-- The Grape-Nuts muncher so mesmerized by the music of BBs on tin roofs that he doesn't notice the bear routing his campmate and dragging away the tent. Is somebody at Post Cereals hoping for a bonus for milking the vacuous tree-hugger segment?
-- How many computers does Dell hope to sell to sweaty droolers who buy them for their air-drummer, solitaire poker and new-heads-on-Easter-Island-statues possibilities?
-- The Bud Lite drinkers who knock themselves out walking into newly cleaned liquor store windows; we're semi-grateful for the establishing shot of the sparrow hitting the pet shop glass, but does Budweiser think its exec bonuses depend on selling more brew to birdbrains?
H.L. Mencken wisely noted that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American reader. It's even kind of amusing to think of the Mad Ave. bosses saying, "Hey, we need dummy specialists for a big contract here! Pull two guys off the Swift boat campaign and get 'em on this cereal thing!" But one just sort of hopes for a bankruptcy or two to get things back on track.

THAT BIGFOOT, WHAT A GUY II. Chuck Keefer at Palm Beach (Fla.) Post weighs in on Sasquatch headlines in the tabs. "Bigfoot also was one of my favorites from WWN, along with Ed Anger, written by a former co-worker. One night I wrote what I thought would be the ultimate Bigfoot headline: "I HAD BIGFOOT'S BABY, THEN HE ATE IT!"

DESPAMMED. John McClelland, who professes journalism at Roosevelt University, reports, "Thought you'd like to see what our new antispam gizmo had to say about No. 655."
(Copyboy's note: What followed made prominent mentions of Lose Weight Spam; No Fees; Possible porn – Hot, Nasty, Wild, Young; Eliminiate Bad Credit; Bang boss, or talking about your boss with an exclamation; lots of YELLING; erectile dysfunction and clicking below. Our Barracuda-Spam score is 3.9. Wow, with an indictment like this we wouldn't want BONG Bull in our end of the convent either. But we're still looking for references to any hot, nasty, wild or young anything in BONG or indeed anywhere in the news business. Watch for future bulletins.)

HAIL TO THEE, BUZZ STOREY: THE WORLD'S THE GRIMMER FOR YOUR PASSING. Steve Urbanski at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette <> did a masterful sendoff Sept. 22 of the late Walter J. "Buzz" Storey, former editor of the Uniontown (Pa.) Herald-Standard, who was 61 years a reporter and editor.
"We are living in an era that needs more journalists like Buzz Storey. Trust in the media is declining at an alarming rate. In 1999, according to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel's "The Elements of Journalism," just 21 percent of Americans thought the press cared about people. This was down from 41 percent in 1985. Only 58 percent respected the press's watchdog role, a drop from 67 percent in 1985. And, perhaps most startling, only 45 percent -- fewer than half of those polled -- thought the press protected democracy. In 1985 that figure had been 55 percent.
"Is journalism forgetting the individual and concentrating more on bottom-line profit? As old-school, shoe-leather reporters like Buzz Storey die, is respect for the guiding principles of the public trust, truth and objectivity beginning to wane?

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: Crouching behind a thistle bush along the riverbank in the dark, the Deft Duo review the evening so far. Typo observes, "Well, Boss, trying to rent the balconies for the vice presidential debate was probably optimistic!"
Speed agrees, "So who knew Fox News already had them sold?"
PANEL TWO: Typo notes, "And riding down the assembly line on the 10 millionth Chagrin Fixtures Company's toilet seat was a bad camera angle!"
Speed shrugs, "I thought the vice president's speech at the factory would go longer!"
PANEL THREE: Typo adds, "OK, and that brings us to the balloon drop at Chagrin Hall! Better than the Democrats did, but how did they decide it was your idea to make them water balloons?"
Speed wonders, "Well, it could've been my trenchcoat, the deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island! Or my check that they found in that stagehand's vest!"
PANEL FOUR: Ducking the beam of a searchlight from a passing attack helicopter, Typo queries, "Gee, Boss! You'd think the Secret Service would have other things to do! The bus left hours ago!"
PANEL FIVE: Peering through binoculars, Speed warns, "It's worse than that, Typo! Here comes Features Editor Hyperba Lee with her wet wig and her Village Battalion! Our only hope is to stick together, Typo! You hear me, Typo? Typo?"

A production of BONG Chief Copyboy Charley Stough. E-mail
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