That time Dick Cheney wanted to blow up our newsroom door

I know I said the month-long retrospective of The Door in our newsroom was only going to last through February, but the PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN! Plus, the people sent donuts. And one threat of bodily harm if I didn’t keep The Door open for a other month. You know who you are. (But in case you don’t, it was Paul, Judy, Susan, John, Gibber and about dozen others who made it clear they wanted The Door to remain open for a while longer.) Who am I to argue? At least until I finish these delicious donuts…

The Door: Guardian of historic journalism; protector of commode privacy...
The Door: Guardian of historic journalism; protector of commode privacy…

It appears Keith Morrison has given up pursuing an exclusive on The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) here in our newsroom. There were no creepy messages from him on my voicemail this morning and, after throwing his back out lifting a water jug, he is no longer posing as an Arrowhead Springs water delivery guy in order to gain access. In addition, we’ve stopped jumping whenever the fax machine goes off now that Morley Safer has stopped sending booty faxes with the warning You Will Crack! written on them.

Yes, things are quiet here; the calm before the storm.

I say that because today’s post will likely put me in the crosshairs of one of the most powerful men this country has ever purposely been made to forget about. In fact, his systematic disappearance after leaving the White House was so complete that I can’t even remember where I was going with this…

Wait! I remember, thanks to this newspaper clipping, which illustrates the importance of The Door, and why journalistic icon Geraldo Rivera has called it “The Al Capone’s Vault of journalistic treasures. No really, I MEAN it this time!” and why rearviewed… oops, I mean revered… journalist Anderson Cooper has referred to The Door as “A revealing look at journalism, depending on who comes out of the commode.”

Before we get to this week’s entry and identify He Who Shall Not Be Named, I should explain to those who may be visiting for the first time, or those with a medical marijuana card who don’t remember being here before, The Door is a collection of newspaper clippings taped to our bathroom door by reporters here at Siuslaw News since the 1970s. The tradition continues to this day, as does use of the commode on the other side.

In keeping with tradition, we must now join hands and, in a monotoned voice similar to Queen Elizabeth explaining where babies come from to a 23-year-old Prince Charles, recite the following chant:

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

Now for this week’s entry, which is probably already being dialed in by someone with first-strike capabilities. Why? Because it requires me to utter the name…

β€” HOLD ON! let me put my fingers in my ears first, just in case there’s an explosion β€”

… *whispering* Dick Cheney.

Whew! Still here! He must be sleeping or playing Whack-a-Mole.

Anyway, today’s entry is from a 2004 article in The Washington Post, which was picked up from the wire service by the Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore.

The article, as it appeared in the Register-Guard newspaper. I especially like the added touch of having a tank behind Dick Cheney. Was that for effect or just part of his security detail?
The article, as it appeared in the Register-Guard newspaper. I especially like the added touch of having a tank behind Dick Cheney. Was that for effect or just part of his security detail?

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 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 most of us were feeling at the time…

My guess is that whoever added this didn't keep their job long after that. Or was possibly promoted to senior editor.
My guess is that whoever added this didn’t keep their job long after that. Or was possibly promoted to senior editor.

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.



(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, 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...

31 thoughts on “That time Dick Cheney wanted to blow up our newsroom door”

  1. That is awesome. I’m wondering what would happen if I started to end some of my very corporate emails that way… maybe just after my email signature… I like to be a bit of a rebel but I wonder if that would be too much?

    Do ya think I could make money off my blog in the event I am suddenly unemployed? Nah, probably not…

    f this

    1. HaHa! I’m the type who would think it’s worth it. Then again, that could explain why I’m a humor columnist instead of a corporate executive.

            1. We can only hope. Right now, he lives in Thailand, so I think you’re safe from a Horton/elephant hybid coffee. Although “Horton the Elephant Brew” has potential…

  2. Thank goodness the Door is back because, even though the Post is my hometown paper, I f missed that! In a coincidence that is more disturbing than eerie, the Bush administration was on my mind today as I attending a Continuing Legal Education course in which the presenter used the non-word “renunciating.” He should have stuck with “f this.”

    1. We don’t miss much here, Karen. As long as it’s on effing Door. By the way, I’m thinking your presenter’s use of the non-word “renunciating” was just a part of his strategery…

      1. “renunciating” is one of the class of non-words that SHOULD be words. I can see many applications.

        For example, when the press asked the Duke for the umpteenth time if it was true that he was really abdicating the throne, he could have said, “Let me speak clearly: I’m renunciating.”

  3. Only in the States could the politicians also be the owners of one of the largest gov’t contractors supplying the war machine and the oilfield (Halliburton). It is amazing to watch. War, anyone? We can double your money.

No one is watching, I swear...

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