Wednesday, August 09, 2006

BONG Bull 679

The Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild's World-Famous Encyclical
No. 679
Copyright © 2006 by BONG

Reprinted by permission on Common Sense Journalism for all needing an RSS feed. All contents and opinions remain that of the author.

For Aug. 4. 2006. Having a bad press week, Mel Gibson? Think about just taking a couple of reporters out for drinks and a drive along the beach for a heart-to-heart, suggests the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 679!

HOW STREET REPORTING USED TO BE. It made for good stories when 1970s reporters rose early to snatch the curbside trash of White House A-listers. It also stirred almost as much flag-waving ire among Nixon's aides as the NYT's recent SWIFT banking stories did, though we don't recall the Wall Street Journal doing any counter-garbage-sifting editorials.
Jump to 2006: Corporate media moguls beg White House aides for old chairs and trash being ripped out of the dilapidated press room. What, you guys don't know how to get up early any more?

HOW DO THINGS GET NAMED? There must be a semantics professor somewhere who knows why things get called what they do. For example, neither on Wall Street nor in any multimillion-dollar wire transfer spam are there any offers from Joe and Eddie's Bank. Smucker's Jam, but no Smucker Report on CNBC. Makes you wish that TV programs and newspapers were named with the same creative energy as kittens.
For example, bands playing in Dayton clubs this week include Bad Haggis, Big Leg Emma, Halos Were Found @ the Landing Site, Spungeworthy, One Less Distraction and (Friday only, good seats still available) the Temptations appearing with the Four Tops.
Here are some local names for winds around the world: Brickfielder (Australia); Cape doctor (South Africa); Maria ("squamish (British Columbia); sundowner (Southern California); warm braw (New Guinea); williwaw (Aleutian Islands). Thanks,
The ancient Greeks had nice wind names, representing gods (and we're grateful for this list by Matilde Asensi from her novel "The Last Cato") clockwise from north: Boreas, Hellespontio, Afeliotes, Euro, Euronoto, Noto, Libanoto, Libs, Zephyr, Argestes, Tracias, Aparctias. Zephyr traveled with his lover, Cloris the nymph, which explains Ms. Leachman.
Hey, everything has to be named something. Canton (Ohio) Repository staffers live with that on their press cards. But way back when the committees were breaking up and sycophants were saying, "Great idea, J.B. What are we going to call it?" wouldn't it have been nice to be in the room?

TABLOID WARS, SKIRMISHES, TIFFS, SCRAPS. Reviews are less than ga-ga over Bravo's new cable TV reality series "Tabloid Wars," which pits the intrepid subway-straddling heroes of the New York Daily News against those scrabbling ruffians of the Post and Newsday and, occasionally, a gentleman from The Times.
Well, goombas, the Professional Standards and Martini Recipes Committee is underwhelmed. There's nothing different about our fog-shrouded eastern island colleagues except the train-wreck magnetism of their gossip columns. News for them, as for the rest of us, only means going somewhere, asking questions, and writing down the answers. It's the same for a fire in a Park Avenue condo or a Dubuque grain elevator, except that the Dubuque paper is more likely to be making money.

SPEAKING OF PRESS HEROES. Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent of the Daily Planet is getting more big-screen exposure lately for moonlighting as Superman, but old pal John Means ( reminds the Membership and Saloon Credit Committee of somewhat lesser known but equally inkstained colleagues Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, of the Daily Bugle. And over at the Daily Sentinel, Britt Reid hung his hat when he wasn't doing Green Hornet gigs.

GRAPHIC GIFT. This edition's art side is a bunch of bananas. Just think how appropriate it will be for your cubicle, screen-saving away all night as those drudges on the copy desk rifle your rubble for that press release. This one has a subliminal message too. See it here.

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: The Deft Duo enjoy an afternoon of Class A Chagrin Gargoyles baseball as Typo remarks, "Hand me the binoculars, Boss! I think -- Boss, wake up! -- I think a Kokomo Carper is coming to bat! Wow, these company tickets are the berries!"
PANEL TWO: Waking from his nap under a jury-rigged tent made from his trenchcoat, a deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island. Speed intones, "Check out the private boxes behind home plate, Typo! I think we may confirm the rumor that the company really has better seats than these!
PANEL THREE: Typo reassures, "You got it, Boss! Say, I think, yes! Yes, it is ...!" Speed queries (in a subordinate dialogue bubble, from outside the panel), "What!? What!?"
Typo continues, "...It is! It's scantily clad Features Editor Hyperba Lee in a compromising position with Absentee Publisher Gimlet Peen in the company's sky box with full buffet catering and free cocktails, Boss!"
PANEL FOUR: Speed gasps, "Amazing! Buffet? Cocktails?"
Typo appends, "And look at that negligee on Hyperba! Wow, I didn't know Chagrin Tent & Awning had that much pink canvas, Boss! Hand me that telephoto lens! Wow, we're going to clean up on this one!"
PANEL FIVE: As another home-run ball thuds nearby, ignored, Speed drools, "Buffet? Cocktails?"
Slapping a second 500-shot film drum into the camera, Typo asserts, "Don't lose focus, Boss! If we got the nosebleed section because of our publishers convention negatives, just think what these will be worth when Gimlet finds out we have them!"

BONG Bull is the product of Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild Chief Copyboy Charley Stough, in codger's paradise overlooking Dayton, Ohio. E-mail for any reason.


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