Tuesday, January 31, 2006


What was the name of that famous American cowboy-humorist of the 20s and 30s? You know, the one who started out as a lasso artist in Wild West shows and whose routines always began, "Well, I see by the papers . . ." and who was killed in a plane crash as he attempted to fly around the world? George Will?

No, that's right, Will Rogers. Anyway, his is the kind of gentle, joshing humor I'll be aiming for whenever I blog about the Post or News.

Try this: Post business columnist Al Lewis is blogging from the Enron trial in Houston. Sorry, wrong Al Lewis. I mean the embarrassingly self-aggrandizing Al Lewis whose site is here. Al is pretty excited about the Enron trial, as you can tell by yesterday's post, "Hoping to catch a glimpse of history" ("Today, I’m catching a 3 p.m. flight to Houston in hopes of catching a courtroom seat at the Enron trial.")

Later he tells us his feelings about--don't faint--"Waiting in line for a golden ticket." ("I got in line outside the U.S. District Courthouse in Houston at 4:30 a.m. for opening arguments in the Enron trial." Bonus quote: "The Enron trial is the Superbowl of corporate fraud prosecutions." )

Is there a single newspaper person in the entire world who understands blogs?

Worse than his problems as a writer (not really), Al doesn't seem to quite get the concept of linking, which I was under the impression is an essential part of the "blog experience." Check out his main page. He never links to anything except more of himself.

Update: Matt Donegan, until quite recently a copy editor and reporter for the Dover (DE) Post, is another newspaper person who doesn't appreciate the power of the blog. Via Romenesko, who links to the feeb's site. Donegan is a disgrace to the noble profession of copy editing.

Update II: Matt wrote a piece last year about the spread of blogging in Delaware. It begins:
"The online sewing circle of news, gossip, mindlessly inept ramblings and perversion that is the blogosphere has entranced computer users in this and other countries, with Delaware displaying no immunity.

Bloggers, you know who you are.
Yes, yes we do. Fun quote: "'There’s a whole community of bloggers out on the Internet,” [some idiot] said." 'It’s a growing trend in Internet publishing.'" (Remember, this is in 2005.)

Update III: No, I don't know who the old gentleman I link to under the words "copy editing" is. But he's smiling strangely and wearing a fake beard. Ergo: copy editor.

Update IV: Have to admit it was from Al Lewis (in his regular column) and not the AP's lovely Nedra Pickler that I learned Daniel Petrocelli is Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling's lead attorney. Al doesn't mention that Petrocelli represented Ron Goldman's father in the Goldman and Brown families' civil suit against O.J. Simpson, and won a $33 million judgment (unpaid) against the murdering ex-running back. He also, incidentally, got to do what prosecutors in Simpson's criminal trial never could: get Simpson on the stand and tear him up. Petrocelli wrote about the civil trial in his somewhat grandiloquently titled Triumph of Justice; it's worth reading just for the chapters that feature O.J. answering questions under oath.

In the book Petrocelli also said that before the Simpson civil trial he'd been strictly a corporate litigator. Guess he's still doing that.

Update V: Jesus, the Post changed the byline of the AP story I linked to; it first said Nedra Pickler, I swear, but now it's a couple of other ginks. Apologies.

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