Janesville55°

Tonight’s big story: Is it newswordy?

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Rick Horowitz
July 29, 2010
[Under the heat of the studio lights…]

“I won’t do it.”.


“Of course you’ll do it.”


“Two minutes to air.”


“I mean it—I won’t do it.”


“Of course you’ll do it—it’s in the script. Your job is to read the script.”


“But ‘WikiLeaks’?! I actually have to say ‘WikiLeaks’?!”


“That’s their name.”


“‘WikiLeaks.’”


“That’s their name—you can’t do the story without mentioning them. And you have to do the story.”


“But…”


“It’s an important story.”


“I’m not arguing about important—I agree it’s important. So why don’t they have a name that sounds important, instead of…”

“That’s their call, OK? They can call themselves anything they want—we’re just here to report it.”


“Ninety seconds to air.”

“Aren’t they embarrassed?”


“Excuse me?”


“Aren’t they embarrassed? This guy’s trying to make history—blow the cover off the war in Afghanistan and all that—and he’s going around calling himself ‘WikiLeaks’?! He ought to be embarrassed!”


“He isn’t.”


“Well, I’m embarrassed! I’m embarrassed for him, and I’m embarrassed for me!”

“Objection noted. Now, are you…”


“‘WikiLeaks.’ Ridiculous.”


“You used to say the same thing about Google, remember? You said nobody’d ever believe a network guy who said ‘Google.’”


“As a verb! I was talking about using ‘Google’ as a…”


“But now you say it all the time, right? Even as a verb. And…”


“Sixty seconds to air.”

“…nobody bats an eyelash, am I right? You get used to it. Everybody gets used to it.”


“And ‘Yelp.’ My kids are always telling me to go Yelp.”


“So you…”


“I don’t even know what that means! ‘Go Yelp.’ I…”


“Yelp helps you find where to…”


“Did we run out of real words all of a sudden? I’ve been in this business all my life…”

“And you’re very, very good at it.”


“Do you have any idea how it feels to tell people to ‘Check out my Tweets’?”


“I…”


“To ‘Check out my Tweets on Twitter’? I’m an anchorman, damn it! I shouldn’t have to say things like that!”


“I sympathize. I really do.”


“I’m glad somebody does.”


“Thirty seconds.”

“No, I really do.”


“Good.”


“Of course, I’d sympathize even more if you weren’t taking home that enormous paycheck every week.”


“I earn that paycheck!”


“Not saying you don’t. Just saying that part of what gets you the big bucks is occasionally doing something you don’t like doing. Something that makes you uncomfortable.”


“Got it.”


“Fifteen seconds.”

“Or even a little embarrassing.”


“Got it.”


“So we’re OK?”


“Sure.”


“Ten.”

“You’ll read it the way we wrote it? ‘WikiLeaks’ and all?”


“Sure.”


“And you’ll nail it, just like you always do.”


“Sure.”


“Excellent!”


“In five…four…three…”

“Yahoo.”


“Yahoo?”


“The sound of a happy newsman.”


“I love it when you’re sarcastic.”


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.

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