A print media Wailing Wall.
And a place to ask that eternal question:
How did THAT make it into print without someone noticing?!?
In addition to its significance as a sentinel of journalistic history, it also contains enough tape, glue, wax and paste to withstand the blast-radius of a backfiring 1967 Volkswagen Beatle.
I bring this up because today is the anniversary of The Door, which was my first weekly feature on this blog. It had greatness thrust upon it each Tuesday for about a year. And let me just say that whatever else may have been thrust upon it over the years is a different matter entirely. Although I can tell you there are lipstick stains that remain ingrained to this day.
As I sat here sipping coffee and looking upon what is essentially a Smithsonian of journalism accompanied by the occasional sound of flushing, I thought it appropriate to look back at a few of everyone’s favorite entries on The Door…
This first example would fall under the “Shame” category. In 1994, it seemed headline editors everywhere re-discovered the many uses for the word “probe,” and how it can be used as both an “action” word or noun, depending on how it’s, um… inserted. And while most newspapers “probed” sparingly, one in particular appeared to relish any opportunity for a good probing. Here is a collection of headlines from The World newspaper in Coos Bay that appeared in print all in the same week — earning a hallowed place on The Door.
Warning: You probably won’t appreciate this next entry if you’re a fan of Dick Cheney. Then again, if you’re a Cheney fan than you probably have bigger problems.
What follows is from a 2004 article in The Washington Post, which was picked up from the wire service by the Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore.
I mention this because, to this day, it remains unclear whether the final remark at the end of this lengthy article was part of the original piece written by Dana Milbank, or added later by a copy editor at the Washington Post or Register-Guard. Either way, I draw your attention to the very last word in this piece because I think it effectively articulates how many of us were feeling at the time…
To clarify, this entry would fall under the “Brilliance” category of The Door, although I’m sure there was plenty of “Blame” going on as well.
Whoever you are, Cheers.
This next entry shows that everyone makes mistakes — Even ME. No, it’s TRUE! (Next time, please try to act more surprised.) What follows is a photo that here in Siuslaw News last October, on a page I worked on.
Seems innocent enough, right? I mean except for the women kneeling in the front row making the Oregon “O” in front of their mouths. If you were thinking anything else, shame on you… but it gets worse. You should probably know that the mascots for our two local college teams are the Ducks and Beavers. Wait, it still gets worse…
In my own (weak) defense, the photo and cutline were submitted to us. However, given my years of journalistic experience, and factoring in a natural thought process my wife has often referred to as “naughty,” I’m surprised I didn’t catch that before it went to print.
I’m not saying I would’ve changed it, just that I should’ve seen it.
These next few entries are pretty self explanatory and demonstrate how the omission of a single letter can change the entire meaning of a headline — and possibly prompt a bigger turnout and some cases…
I’m going to leave you with an example of brilliance, which is actually from the very first edition of The Door — and my personal favorite. To this day, I think it is one of the best headlines I’ve ever seen. In addition to doing what a headline is supposed to do, which is sum up the point of the article in one eye-catching moment, the editor also recognized the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the circumstances presented: Police in Forest Grove breaking up a drug ring operated by the three brothers — Tou, Soua and Yeu — who share the last name “Cha.”
For now, The Door will remain on stand-by, maintaining its dual role as sentinel of journalistic history and guardian of commode users. It will patiently await its next entry, whether it be newspaper clipping or IBS sufferer. In the first case, you will be informed immediately of any new developments; in the second case, it’s highly doubtful.
If you simply CANNOT WAIT until then (and who could blame you), here’s the link to the archives of The Door. Please remember to close it behind you if you plan on using the commode.
Just a reminder: This Friday’s NWOW (May 2) will be a stop along the #mywritingprocess Blog Tour. Joining me this week are Nic DiDomizio of The Nicolas Blog and Bill Pearse of Pinklightsabre’s Blog. As I mentioned Monday, the #mywritingprocess Blog Tour asks four questions about each blogger’s writing process. The answers, which are made public, may surprise you — depending on how they spell “public.”