Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Get me one while you're up

Tell me this is just coincidence, please.

What the president is getting is "flak," a noncount noun meaning more or less "grief" (originally from a German acronym for "antiaircraft cannon"). A "flack" is a shill. Time was, if you couldn't tell the difference, you weren't ready to write heds for the front page of a rag the caliber of the N&O, whence this example is drawn -- much less slot 1A heds or sign off on the page.

So surely it's mere chance (p = .875) that today also marks the appearance of a parody front honoring the latest victims of downsizing at the same paper.* The farewell mockup of the frontpage is a time-honored tradition** in newsrooms. But I've never seen a page for a few dozen people at once.***

It's an exceptionally good example of the farewell front, with almost enough sharp elbows thrown in almost enough faces. But the real, genuine, 50-cents-a-copy 1A makes the point even better: Sooner or later, you're going to be sorry you threw all your old hands over the side.

* And three million cheers to Romenesko for posting it.
** There's a particularly evil example in the lower gallery, actually. Strayhorn wrote the "Line of Death" peri lede. Of course.
*** I never worked at the N&O, so this casualty list isn't as personal as some of the other recent ones. I recognize a good number of names, though I wouldn't recognize their owners.

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Blogger Strayhorn said...

Yeah, that's a good front. I'll have to ask my favorite local cast-away to clue me in on some of the inside jokes.

10:35 AM, April 22, 2009  

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