Posts Tagged ‘Press’

For those who have read the news of Boris Johnson and winced to be informed of the ridiculous levels British politics have descended along with him, I offer a rehash of anecdotes posted in 2010. There were those who spoke their mind and said it in such inimitable manner.

Henry Cust (1861-1917)

He was irreverent and he also dabbled in poetry. But journalism is what made him famous. His brilliance made the rich and famous take note of him and during one night in 1892 William Waldorf Astor walked over and offered the editorship of his latest acquisition The Pall Mall Gazette to him. True to form his editorials sparkled and irreverence also was very much in evidence. A leading article on the Eastern Question was entitled,’The Voice of Turkey.’

When the fate of the Chinese statesman Li Hung Chung was in the news the headlines carried-‘Li Chung- Hung? A school board controversy concerning a Mr. Dingle was presented to the public as follows:’To Dingle I am not able, to Beggle I am ashamed.’




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Once at the Algonquin round table, Dorothy Parker reported sadly,”My old cat, that I’ve loved so dearly has grown so feeble and helpless that I’m going to have him put away.”She added she was wondering the most humane way to do it. It elicited  this comment from Playwright George S. Kaufman: “Have you thought of curiosity?”
“I understand your grandfather was a Negro, monsieur” a nobleman once asked Alexandre Dumas,”May I enquire what your great grandfather was?”
“An ape, sir,”replied Dumas,”My pedigree commences where your terminates.”
WH Russel of the Times once approached Bismarck and reminded him,”Your Excellency, you’ll have to admit that I am one newspaperman who has respected yor confidence. You have conversed with me on all sorts of subjects and never once I repeated a word you said.”
Bismarck cried angrily: “The more fool you are! Do you suppose I’d ever say a word to a man in your profession that I didn’t want to see in print?”

Noel Coward was once approached by a reporter for the London Star, who asked,” Mr. Coward, would you like to say something to the Star?”
“Certainly,”replied the playwright,”Twinkle.”

The first US Presidential Press Conference was granted by John Quincy Adams, but unwillingly. The President was swimming in the Potomac river when a newspaper woman Anne Royall surprised him. She sat on his clothes and vowed that she wouldn’t budge until he gave her an interview.
The Potomac was chilly and Adams finally granted her request.

As a rookie reporter for the New York World, young Heywood Brown was told to interview Utah senator Reed Smart.
“I have nothing to say,”Smart told him.
“I know,”replied Brown,”Now let’s get down to the interview.”

•    Heywood Brown, one of the kindliest newspaperman ever, wasn’t much of an executive. While running a publication called The Connecticut Nutmeg, its managing board gave him discretionary powers to hire hands at $35 a week. He could go up to $50 maximum.
On the appointed day the job- seekers were called in and Brown queried,”Which would you prefer- $35 a week or $50?”

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Press Here

A fellow who regularly took part in Mardi Gras was once brought before the Judge for ‘crimes against the State’. Before sentencing him the Judge asked him if he had any last wish. “Ah I wish to give a performance of a lifetime, get me a good press and an appreciative audience.”
“Appreciative audience? And a good press?” the judge exclaimed, ”These are not in my power to give.” He ordered for the rack instead.

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Critic’s Choice


Supposing newspapers were available in the days of Nero, the morning after the Emperor’s abortive attempt to burn down the Capitol, would have witnessed in the Senate Hall a scene on the lines given below, more or less.
Waving a newspaper Nero growls in the best traditions of a student of Rhetoric: “I feel almost tainted by the scurrilous piece of writing!” A pause. Nero continues: “Look, it smacks of the underground press.”
Before an attentive body of senators in varying degrees of corruption, he sniffs his nose in disgust and adds: “An infamous rag which goes by the name of ‘The Christian Monitor’. What it insinuates is too much for a sensitive soul to bear!”
One senator: “Ave Caesar! ‘Roman Tribune’ is no better. Did you read its editorial? What a gall to run down your policies!” Quoting from the article in question he adds: “The Emperor needs to check his burning enthusiasm for creating a brave new world, which only encourages divisive forces at work….”
Shaking his neronic locks of which he was unduly proud of, Caesar interrupts: “Bah! A conservative paper funded by the patricians! One cannot expect them to smell bacon when it is done to a turn.”
“Ah, here it is!” Nero nearly leaps with joy, “One column in this is worth all the trouble! What a sensitive piece of writing!” He has a tabloid in his hands now. “Read, you must Gaius.” he exclaims, tugging at the sleeve of a portly senator. “My lyre-recital has been well received by the music critic of ‘La Scala’. By Jove I already feel deified!

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