Saturday, June 19, 2010

Inside An Editor's Mind

Watch where you step!

For -- h'mm, for just about as long as I've been alive, the Morning Catbox-Liner Of Pretentiousness* has been running a cheesy one-line feature on the front page called the Daily Chuckle. It vanished unceremoniously awhile back and I didn't notice until a letter to the editor popped up.

Newsmaven Ruth Holliday -- a real journalist even without a paper to call home (look quick, kids, Journalistae Americana is scarce even in captivity. We'll miss them when the last one's gone) -- caught it and rang up her old boss to get the scoop.

Ms. Holliday's plan to mark the sudden death of the Chuckle -- and what you can do to help -- I leave for her and you. 'Tis priceless! Along the way, Mr. Editor-man's comment on some reactions to why he yanked the syndicated feature is illuminating. "Daily Chuckle" had indeed come slightly adrift in time, and sometimes trod a bit upon various sensitive toes (oooo, noes!). Thus, the ax. --He Who Edits declaimed, "[S]ome [readers] tell us we need to lighten up and not be so politically correct, a term I despise because I do think we need to be sensitive."


Remember when newspaper Editors were hard-boiled newshounds, interested in as much of The Truth as they could cram onto the page by press time and Devil take whatever got in the way? --Or at least they were supposed to be and showed no reluctance at all to try livin' up to the stereotype? Toss that on the fire, right next to dial telephones answered by real, genuine human beings paid to be helpful. --I was gonna say "with the cigars all Editors supposedly chomped" but it would be soooooo insensitive to the delicate sensibility of moderns to burn anything as gauche as a cee-gar. Editors these days, a slightly-used antimacassar could whup 'em and they'd prolly apologize to it after.
* Sorry, Star, but the afternoon News was a paper with its sleeves rolled up and the sweat of honest work on its brow, while you sipped tea and essayed arch witticisms about the crudeness of hoi polloi. Had to kill it, didn't you?


Jeffro said...

Cee-gar? Why, they'd choke on their Dasani. Perish the thought.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Always appreciate your cat-box liner comments. Problem seems widespread.

My late father spent his entire career (49 years) with the largest daily in Canada, and retired as an editor.

His ghost shares my disgust with what it, and journalism in general, have become in the last 40years.

Writing for public consumption presupposes
-a command of the English language
above a primary school level

-knowledge, hopefully underpinned by values

Those being sadly lacking these days, I no longer indulge in dead-tree newspapers.

WV "goneis".

Yup, happens to newspapers every day.

Joseph said...

I am constantly seeing these days misspelled words and incorrect information in the papers and electronic news media
Someday, working in these professions (apologies to the real professionals that are left) will rate up there with Hula-hoop instructors.

Borepatch said...

Journalistae Americana is scarce even in captivity.

Tasty, though. Like Passenger Pigeon.

Stranger said...

I have known several very hard boiled editors, and worked for two. Editors who, like Ed Gaylord, frightened the guy with the scythe, so they did not die, they conjugated and then declined.

Unfortunately, the soft handed modern variety of editor seems unaware of the difference between a hand towel and toilet paper. The sort of walking ignorance with a crying jag you definitely do not want coming to your house.