One day when I was the editorial page editor of the late, lamented North County (San Diego) Times, I dropped my butt into the chair in an empty newsroom, with my head on top of it, (not directly on top) and got the first call of the day from an irate reader.
“Who wrote that editorial today?” the pissed-off reader demanded.
“I did, sir,” I said.
“Well, I disagree with it!” he said.
“What did it say?” I asked.
“Hell, you wrote it!”
He had a point there. But I swore to god, then and now, that I didn’t remember what I’d wrote the day before. (Mark Twain accepts this conjugation.)
Too much news, my friends. Too much news today.
The best job in the world — or maybe the worst — is being city editor for a newspaper.
Or once was.
You sit down and reporters bring you the news.
Readers holler at you about it.
The publisher tells you this and that and you calculate how far you can ignore him.
I never had so much fun as when I was a city editor.
Or never suffered so much grief, neither. (Mark Twain accepts this grammar.)
I remember the time … no, forget that.
I remember the time when a narco, in jail in Texas, sent an ear — you heard that: an ear — to a young lady under my presumed wing, a reporter, because she had had wrote (vide supra: Mark Twain) a true report that the narco had bought his house, for the second time, from jail, after it was seized from him for being a drug house.
Well, I don’t know what more I can tell you.
O! Yes, I do.
I have seen federal agents smuggling … no, I can’t tell you that.
I have seen federal agents lying about … no, I can’t tell you that.
I have seen federal agents suppressing the votes of brown and black people.
I am allowed to tell you this.
Now, why would they do that?
If you ain’t paid attention yet, the Republican Party is already stealing the next presidential election ahead of time — and the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, if they can — by disenfranchising black people and old folks — who tend to vote Democratic.
I could direct you to this report and that, but it ain’t necessary. It’s being carried out in public.
For a coup de grace, I refer you to a statement our Agent Orange made Wednesday. Despite medical experts’ repeated statements that extensive testing, contact tracing and quarantines are the best tools against Covid-19, and several countries’ proof of it, little don the john said: “By doing all this testing, we make ourselves look bad.” Because the number of positive cases will look higher.
Well, I quit. Maybe I’ll just die now. Might be better than seeing what’s come.