: Drudge tells us that airlines are canceling flights on Sept. 11. I wouldn’t fly then. Would you?
But then, I haven’t flown at all since Sept. 11 … and still don’t want to. Seeing a jetliner vaporize before my eyes has something to do with this.
All heart, all the time
: Matthew Yglesias wants to start the 24-hour liberal network. Some would say that’s CNN — but I wouldn’t; lately, it’s just the dull network.
Matthew is right: FoxNews if fun to watch, no matter where you stand. Liberals are missing out on that fun.
I have an even better idea:
Left News/Right News: Every half hour, you switch. For the first 30 minutes, you get the liberals; for the next 30 minutes, you get the conservatives; and on the top of the hour, they spend 5 minutes yelling at each other.
Now that’s entertainment. And it’s balanced.
The Faust Advertising Agency
: Sony is hiring actors to go to hip bars and use the company’s hip new phone (with attached camera) and get into conversations with people … about the phone.
I love this: Human advertising.
No, I really do love it. It’s brilliant.
Some Naderite dork is complaining that this is deceptive advertising. What, as if everything else that happens in a hip bar is not deceptive?
Only in San Francisco (and Australia)
: Mass breastfeeding.
: Jim Wood, a San Francisco reporter of legendary status, has died. Jim was kind and wise for me when I was a cub columnist on the old Examiner. He was also a character and looked like one, with a Santa beard and belly.
I’m glad to see that his obituary revives one of the great newsroom stories I know:
Wood was renowed, among other things, for his messy desk. It was forever piled, no stretching of the truth, about two and a half feet high with papers. He had fee-fi-fo-fum fits if anyone dared disturb his anarchic archives. And he always, always insisted that he knew exactly where everything was on that desk and vowed that he could retrieve anything on a moment’s notice and often did. So some wag — a breed resident in every newsroom — decided to test this by burying a dead fish about two feet into the pile and leaving it there. As I recall, it stayed there a few weeks (in the story, legend has amplified this to months) before Jim discovered it. He was not amused. Everyone else was.
More desk stories
: This reminds me of two other desk stories from Chicago Today, the paper that had no tomorrow (as a Washingotn flack said to me when I identified myself as a reporter there a day before the paper died).
There was an odd duck in the newsroom who, like Wood, kept a very messy desk, piled high with paper but who, unlike Wood, was not well liked. He whined. He pouted. He got tough old newsmen pissed at him constantly and finally, one of them had had it: He said the guy’s desk on fire. The reporter was not amused. Everyone else was.
And then there was the story of the editor at the City News Bureau (a kind of Associated Press for murders in Chicago) who was a germ freak. He would come into the office every day, clean off the desk occupied during the previous shift, and then pour lighter fluid on it and set it on fire himself. The germs were not amused.
Chicago newsrooms were odd places.
On my first day at Chicago Today, I made the mistake of going to the men’s room. There, I saw a guy brushing his teeth over the toilet. But that was nothing. A reporter (the messy desk guy) finished relieving himself at the man-only appliance and then took his happy willy to the sink and aggressively washed it. I then understood why the other guy didn’t want to brush his teeth there.