Tuesday, January 25, 2005

=-=-=-=-=-=-THE REAL BONG CONTENT STARTS HERE =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild's World-Famous Encyclical
No. 663


For Jan. 25, 2005. Oh yeah, White House team, let's get that Iraqi election behind us, get our correspondents unembedded and home, and get with the Lame Duck program in serious form, says the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 663!

Visit BONG's News Gorilla store at .

LET NO PERFIDY GO UNREWARDED. Well, the Professional Ethics and Martini Formulae Committee certainly is disappointed that more than a month has gone by since the Chief Copyboy's confession and still there is no outcry, no letters to Romenesko, no tongue-clucking by journalism deans or TV talking heads. Does no one care that the public record is chockablock with phony horoscopes and patchwork creations designed to make deadline, and forewarning the helpless zodiac-following public be damned? Will there be no CNN offers, no speaking tours, no book deal, no lucrative buyout? Well piffle then, no more confessing.
-- George Carvill offers: "Surely I am not the only one who remembers the old story about the newspaper that omitted the star charts one day, only to see the phones light up like the northern sky on a clear winter's night?
"No one could pacify the callers until an old editor suggested the
following response:
" 'The stars said we should not publish the horoscope today.'
"There were no further complaints."
-- Ronald C. Roat at the University of Southern Indiana remarked, " When I was in the editor in Frankfort, Ind., we shuffled them one day and ran them in whatever order was on top. Unfortunately, digital delivery of everything shortly thereafter made it less fun."

THE 10 MINUTES TO PRESS START AND THE STREAMER HED AIN'T HERE BLUES. We recently were reminded of this 1990 creation by the Chief Copyboy, and thrilled to discover that it still has legs. Imagine the harmonica accompaniment:

10 minutes left to press start and the streamer hed ain't here.
The columnists are dried up and they been that way for years.
But they never join the union and readers think they're stars.
And the publisher's a rummy with a tab at 50 bars.

The Nicaragua stringer disappeared on a real thriller,
A probe on tropic butterflies endangered by guerrillas.
And a fax came in from Vilnius, or was it Budapest:
The bureau says their invasion scoop last week was just a jest.

The pop music critic's column got us sued again today.
Something goes off in her occiput when Ozzy Osbourne plays.
Yeah, she looks like Judy Woodruff but she writes like Janet Cooke,
And no one's really sure if she ever read a book.

They found a drunk photographer on the side of Ludlow Street.
He was naked and unconscious with nail polish on his feet.
The bulls could recognize him without seeing his press card
By the coffee coming out his ears and his on that was still hard.

The obit guy's in tears again. He's been forever in that shirt.
He writes those loving words before they cover you with dirt.
He knew his predecessor, the old man who had his place.
Before the landlord found his lonely corpse, his Airedale ate his face.

10 minutes left to press start and the streamer hed ain't here,
And the ayem Page 1 editor went downstairs to get a beer.
It might be coffee in his cup; the printers say it's ink.
It doesn't matter anyhow 'cause no one's paid to think.

Our reporter at the Cop Shop just called in a major piece.
Seems the judge will take your payoff if you want a quick release.
So a writer with no credit is locked in, awaiting bail,
But he says there ain't no hurry 'cause it's warmer in the jail.

A pale and withered hunchback on the desk passed out and died
While the company's strikebreakers kept the rescue squad outside,
But it'll be OK for now – Boy Editor found some scabs
Who can crank out a few headlines, even if they don't know their dads.

The A.M.E. called herself a model when she danced on Bourbon Street,
Till the vice cops raised their prices. Now she takes her white wine neat.
And she writes 15-page memos on how sweet all this will be
When we stop covering boxing and all switch to herbal tea.

10 minutes left to press start and the streamer hed ain't here.
The readers burned the pressroom down, and you still can hear them cheer.
A drunkard hit a school bus and the streets are filled with grief,
And the City Desk'll cover it if he'll fax a press release.

They hired a new columnist at seven times the scale,
And he showed up with his agent, and a taste for pre-teen males.
They put ferns up in his office and it overlooks the street,
But he says he had more fun back on the Churches beat.

Meet the new project team executive, a babe from Baltimore,
Who changed her name for bylines and changed the locks on all the doors.
She cruises on a Harley and she smokes mint-tipped cigars,
And has a toy-boy secretary that she takes to seminars.

10 minutes left to press start and the streamer hed ain't here,
But we never let it bother us, 'cause the First Amendment's clear:
No one tells us what to print and what we shouldn't tell,
And the pension fund's for looting when our street sales go to hell.

10 minutes left to press start and the streamer hed ain't here.
10 minutes left to press start and and the ever-lovin',
read-it-and-weep, up-your-dress,
bloodshot-eyed, muffin-spittin',
streamer hed
still ain't here.

SICK BAY REPORT. Thanks to all the prayers and bar bets of BONGers worldwide, the Chief Copyboy is on the mend after some pretty radical cancer surgery (did you ever wake up restrained, and not in a jail cell? Damned disconcerting.). The Continuity and Resume Updates Committee is grateful for its continuing charter.

BONG Bull is a production of Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild Chief Copyboy and San Antonio (Texas) Express-News copy editor Charley Stough, an eight-time-so-far national Hearst headline contest winner. E-mail Visit the News Gorilla store at .