Charticles -- POW!!!

Dateline: Fri 13 Nov 2009

This is based on a Washington Post incident -- a true happening. Poliltico's Michael Calderone was first to report Nov. 2 that a veteran newspapermen at the paper (read; in his 60s, near retirement) was so disgusted and pissed-off at a story a younger (read female) reporter had turned in that he called it, "the second-worst story I have seen in Style (read features section) in 43 years."  A younger editor (male), coming to the defense of his femme colleague, (don't be such a "c---sucker") was then physically attacked, apparently over the c-word. Another editor had to break it up.

Yaaay!!! The aftermath? The world of journalism erupted into frenzies of joy over the fact that THERE IS STILL LIFE IN THE NEWSROOMS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, tho not much. Among the funnier outcomes was this YouTube interpretation of events, which I am confident, is exactly how it happened.

After you've watched it, please submit your favorite story of a newsroom brawl. Photographers are certainly included, because, at least at the Star, in my day, they were the last to go down swinging....YAAAY!!!!

Comments

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

My first job, at a smalltown daily, required us to do Chicken Dinner news on a regular basis. That is, call "correspondents" who lived in the sticks, to copy down their news of the weekend. As in: Daisy and Bill had dinner with Mike and Gloria...Jimmy is home on fall break from Purdue, etc. Each small berg in the county had a correspondent, and the locals fed news tidbits to her.(Always a "her" altho the local barber shops were fascinating news sources, too...but I digress) The correspondents were all older single women, and, I discovered much later, mostly lesbians. Not that it matters.

I never minded the menial chore...I often picked up tidbits regarding local politics. I split the task of calling nine local correspondents with a newbie, fresh out of Ball State J school, cocky as hell. Let's call him John.

He was ill one day, and I called a correspondent, let's call her Miss Miller. She answered the phone, I identified myself, and she asked why John wasn't calling.

I responded: "He's ill."

The sedate Miss Miller, a spry 80 at the time, replied:

"Well if he's sick, tell the little cocksucker he left his car all night at my neighbor Bridgette's house. You young breeders don't know how to behave."

Trouble is, this was the old days, and I had the phone on speaker as I typed. My desk was close to the front desk, and everyone heard Miss Miller's retort.

That exchange made it around town by noon.

Working at a paper exposed me to many colorful characters. I need to write a book some day.

2009-11-13 10:35:44

ellen [unverified] said:

early in my years as a copy editor at the star, one of my copydesk colleagues and a reporter, both heavy drinkers, got into it. here's how i heard the story:

both had come back from drinking lunch, and hadn't sobered up much near quitting time. as both were visiting the men's restroom off the city room, the reporter, younger than the copy editor by 20 years or so, and somewhat taller, offered the editor a ride home on grounds that the editor was too wasted to drive. the editor, deeply offended, threw a punch that missed the reporter -- but left a hole about shoulder-high to him in the wallboard near the men's room entrance.

the incident was plastered over somehow (pardon the pun), but the hole remained in all its glory for some time -- maybe until the area was remodeled when the teletypes became obsolete.

2009-11-13 11:28:04

B2 [unverified] said:

Then there was the sports editor who, in the last paragraph of a column, correctly predicted the order of finish of the Hoosier Hundred auto race that was to take place the next day at the Fairgrounds.
Unfortunately, the column was one paragraph to long to fit the hole and the last paragraph got cut.
The next night, after the race, the sports editor stormed into the office and confronted the slot man. You "m ...f ...ker. I correctly predicted the top three finishers and you $#%%& cut it."
To which the slot man replied, "Then next time, c ... sucker, put it in the lede."

2009-11-13 12:31:13

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

This story is also about the fun of working in a smalltown newspaper office back in the "good ol' days."

Every Friday, an old guy with a white goatee and a black hat used to come to the newspaper office to sell Amish bakery products, meats and cheese. Often, he'd come right at deadline time, oblivious to how busy reporters are at deadline.

Anyhow, we had this terribly obese and crass sports editor and he was the Amish food salesman's best customer.

One day, he bought a huge pumpkin roll cake. He then grasped it in both hands like a giant roll-up sandwich, and began to wolf it all down.

A reporter, who had just finished filing a deadline story, stood up from his desk and saw the sports editor's activities. "My God!" he yelled. "That is DISGUSTING!!!"

The undisturbed sports editor ignored this verbal attack and continued to wolf down the rest of the Amish pumpking roll.

A few weeks after this event, I saw the sports editor at a local grocery store and his shopping cart was filled exclusively with frozen beef burritos and frozen pizzas.

2009-11-13 12:52:18

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Anyhow, we had this terribly obese and crass sports editor and he was the Amish food salesman's best customer."

Initials by any chance DQ?

Folks would like to find this erstwhile reporter/editor/publisher/deadbeat.

2009-11-13 13:48:27

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Hi Tom. No, not DQ.

This guy I am talking about used to crack me up when he'd muse with all seriousness, "One of these days, I am going to seriously consider going on an exercise program."

2009-11-13 14:03:14

hendy [Member] said:

I was on the phone with one of my editors. She sat at 600 Harrison St in SF, about five floor up, in an office that was always crammed to the max. She used to joke that cleaning her desk meant putting two large trash cans on one side of the desk, while she lifted the other side to tilt it.

Ok, it was a monthly.

As I'm talking with her, there's commotion coming from her side of the line. A long string of excited shouting, then epithets. Loud noises. Dial tone.

About an hour later, I get her on her cell phone, one of the early bag phones she carted around with her. We had an earthquake, she says. The bookshelves fell over on top of me and my desk, and the glass windows shattered, both the door/windows and the outside windows. My ass, she said, was hanging in the breeze, literally.

I was the fifth or so person they pulled out in the office, she said. One guy was on a gurney now. The I-880 bridge collapsed.

OMG. I thought she was having another fight with the publisher. Instead, it was the 1989 earthquake.

2009-11-13 14:11:50

John Howard [unverified] said:

I had to google 'charticle' since I'd never heard the term before.

And so, essentially, a charticle is to real journalism what a comic book is to a novel.

2009-11-13 19:53:11

Citizen X [unverified] said:

I worked for WTHR Eyewitness News in the late '70s. This was before videotape, so we shot and edited 16 mm film. One afternoon a veteran reporter and a veteran photographer who invariably worked with him every day were editing under deadline. The reporter stood over the photographer as he cut and spliced the b-roll (film to illustrate the copy.) They started to debate an edit point and it turned into a raging arguement. Everyone in the room....we all edited next to one another...stopped to watch, thinking this was a joke. Then the reporter asked the photographer out to the parking lot to discuss the matter further. They returned about 5 minutes later. The reporter and photographer both had bruises and one of them a bloody lip.

2009-11-14 07:09:11

nicmart [Member] said:

Given the reflexive feminismof newspapers, the old fellow will no doubt be given the heave. Quality is subordinated to political correctness, and we never, ever hurt the feelings of women, who we have been told for 40 years have fragile self-esteem.

2009-11-17 10:11:15

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Uh, Nic...1955 and Mrs. Cleaver called. They need you right away.

Ruthie, dear, we've got a Neanderthal holding on line 3.

But I think he likes the hold music.

2009-11-17 11:42:01

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Given the reflexive feminismof newspapers, the old fellow will no doubt be given the heave."

The Old Fellow was minutes from retirement, universally admired as an editor and writer, and reportedly did not return to his desk. He was in the DGAF phase of winding down.

As far as "reflexive feminism," when my wife worked as a reporter at the Star and made less than males of same grade and time in service, it helped create an eventual and highly deserved atmosphere of reflexive feminism.

Women have been literally screwed so long I think they not unreasonably got tired of being metaphorically screwed as well.

2009-11-17 17:25:34

jim [unverified] said:

I remember years ago a fight between two sport reporters at the News-Dispatch in Michigan City. The fire in their eyes but neither knew how to fight.

It was fun to watch.

2009-11-19 09:11:40

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