Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Monday, July 01, 2002

The Datebook section of the San Francisco Chronicle's Sunday paper featured an interview with John Entwhistle in its weekly "Pop Quiz" feature, even though Entwhistle died of a heart attack in his Las Vegas hotel room on Thursday. How did this happen? On the inside of the front page, the Chronicle acknowledged that the Datebook went to press before the death of the Who's bassist. Want to know why the Datebook goes to press on Thursday? So the Chronicle can get its Sunday paper onto news racks by Friday. I can understand early editions of Sunday papers coming out Saturday afternoon, but Friday? Presumably the editors update the actual "news" sections of the Sunday paper to account for breaking news.

Meanwhile, the Chronicle received eight awards (four first place and four second place) in the California Newspaper Publishers Association's 2001 Better Newspaper Contest, which is judged by nine news executives outside California. The Chronicle finished second in the General Excellence category behind the Los Angeles Times. So I guess these out-of-state judges were aided by the fact that they don't have to read this paper on a regular basis.

Back when Chronicle Executive Editor (and husband of actress Sharon Stone) headed up the San Francisco Examiner (which is now run by San Francisco's influential Fang family), there was a headline in that paper regarding a fatal airplane crash that was so obscene that I committed it to memory. Unfortunately, a search the other day of the Examiner/Chronicle's inadequate online archives didn't yield any results, so I'm going to have to microfiche it at the public library. The story was about a passenger plane that crashed on the runway after landing in a storm, buffeted by gusts of wind. Online research of fatal airline crashes in the U.S. points to the crash of an American Airlines MD80 in Little Rock, Ark., in 1999. At any rate, the headline was: "Jet's Runway Death Swerve." I realized the other day the extent to which Bronstein's sensationalistic fingerprints are all over this headline. Compare the above with the headline from two weeks ago that I commented on here: "Joyride Death Plunge." Notice the similarity between the two. Perhaps this is a Bronstein Classic that he breaks out on special occasions.

.: posted by hornswaggler 3:34 PM

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