Even Barbara Walters wants to be shown ‘The Door’ in our newsroom

(Here is this week’s installment in a special month-long restrospect on The Door in our newsroom, continuing each Wednesday through February. Possibly longer if someone brings donuts…)

Our actual newsroom door, and the envy of Barbara Walters.
Our actual newsroom door — and the envy of Barbara Walters.
It seems comments about The Door among journalists and bloggers — much like your favorite cream cheese or many Hollywood audition hopefuls — have been spreading quickly. Just yesterday, I got a call from Barbara Walters, asking if I would be interested in talking with her about what she called “Those wonderfuwwy wacky and whimsical journa-wistic pieces of histowy.

I told her I was a big fan and extremely flattered but, “No.

To which she replied, “DWOP DEAD!” and hung up.

So what is The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) exactly? Quite literally, it is a living, breathing piece of journalistic history assembled over 40 years by reporters here at Siuslaw News. That said, it’s no mere coincidence that the other side of The Door leads to the commode, where those same reporters have been depositing a different kind of history — and where, in a fitting twist, nothing living can breathe.

Today, we have a new first on The Door: a two-part clipping, meaning that whoever put this piece together has earned the coveted “Twin Globes of Shame” award, which is named in part because of its rare “two-shames-in-one” distinction, and partly because the trophy once belonged to a failed cosmetic surgeon.

But as regular readers of this weekly feature know, we must first embark on a ritual that followers of The Door have practiced through the centuries, at least in dog years, meaning we must now join hands and, in a monotoned voice similar to Kristen Stewart’s dialogue coach, repeat the following:

The Door is a beacon, drawing us into the jagged rocks of journalism

Today’s clipping comes from the upper right corner of The Door. It was taken from The Bend Bulletin in Bend, Ore., in 1998, in an article that first stood out because of its headline, which demonstrated the expert use of an economy of words while, simultaneously, relaying painfully obvious information …

Yet another fine example of how a good investigative journalist can mean the difference between stating the obvious or revealing what any five-year-old knows.
Yet another fine example of how a good investigative journalist can mean the difference between stating the obvious or revealing what any five-year-old knows.

Yet upon further investigation, this well-intentioned article aimed at providing tips to surviving winter’s freezing temperatures reveals what happens when your proof reader has already frozen to death without anyone knowing…

Sadly, this might actually be the most original tip in the entire article .
Sadly, this might actually be the most original tip in the entire article.

And there you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, Barbara Walters is calling again.



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

38 thoughts on “Even Barbara Walters wants to be shown ‘The Door’ in our newsroom”

  1. Crap yourself in a blanket.

    Glorious addition to The Door. And still excellent winter advice 17 years later.

    (Got the book a couple days ago, Ned. Made me smile. Thanks again for letting us be a part of the good you do. I’m looking forward to diving in.)

    1. Thanks, Matt! I think it was especially funny given that the advice is for the senior population…

      So glad the book finally got there, and thank YOU for being a part of doing something good for others, my friend.

  2. You should be careful Ned – out there somehwere are all the journalists and editors who actually published the door-worthy pieces. They could very well take offence and come after you. I here that editors especially are a pretty viscious crew.

  3. Who’s to say that a steaming pile of poo isn’t a good source of temporary heat. You don’t hear babies complaining, do you? No. They just crap their diapers and give a sly smile of satisfaction. It’s because they’re warm, from the bottom up. 🙂

  4. If chilly infants could talk, perhaps they’d tell the headline writer that the wet offsets the warm in No. 2, Ned. Wow, could that prompt another door-worthy head?

    Talking tot advises mom, causes big stink

  5. D+%*n you, Ned!
    I just spat over another computer…was doing fine until I read the last headline. That must have been a bad day for some poor editor. I’m sure the writer got dumped on, too 😉

  6. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…..*breath* ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!! *breath….wipe tears away* That’s great!!! I love faux pas in print! It was one of the things I LOVED about watching Jay Leno….recon any of those articles on The Door made it to his desk?? 🙂
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your honey! ❤

    1. Bloopers of any kind are my favorite, but there’s just something about seeing it in print that makes it even funnier. I donlt know if anything on The Door made it to Jay’s desk, but I can see five or six that really should have 😉

      Thank you for the Valentine wishes, Courtney, and the same to you and yours!

  7. This reminds me of a funny story that hails from the trenches, or should i say bowels, of the practice of law. A client once called and left me a voice mail expressing great concern about language he saw in a contract that excused performance for Acts of God and other events that are known in legal parlance as “force majeure.” He said, in absolute seriousness, “I want to talk to you about a clause in this thing that lets them off the hook for earthquakes, floods and, you know, force manure.” I was tempted to tell him that, if he experienced a force manure, determining legal liability would be the least of his problems.

No one is watching, I swear...

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