Saturday, August 20, 2016

What about Vice, your honor?

"Go online and Google it" is an exceptionally stupid answer in a political debate, but if you've thrown away all the paper dictionaries, maybe it'll do in a pinch for copy editors.

Not sure why, but when this one showed up on the Facebooks (thanks to editors, of course), I was put in mind of a Liebling piece without being able to place it. Amazing what Google does:

Once we had a Mayor of New York named Gaynor, who lived in Brooklyn and used to walk the Brooklyn Bridge every morning to City Hall, attended by the reporters for the afternoon papers. I was a child then, but when I went to work in 1924 I met a lot of the fellows who had walked with His Honor.

There were crusaders then, too, on another pet subject, though for another reason: prurient interest.

“And what about Vice, your Honor,” some poor devil would have to ask every morning, because his editor had instructed him.

“What vice?” the Mayor would ask. “Avarice?”

He had hit the publishers’ favorite.

If you're a framing person (and if you hang around here, you should be), you can read "Horsefeathers Swathed In Mink" online. See if the lede rings a bell:

There is no concept more generally cherished by publishers than that of the Undeserving Poor.

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Blogger Peter Spearing said...

I couldn't help but think of Eliza Doolittle's father, who explained the subject very well. That concept has stuck with me, as I read about drug testing for public assistance benefits and similar ways of punishing the poor and criminalizing poverty.

5:41 AM, September 15, 2016  

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