City Editor Tells it Like it Is

NaBloPoMo DAY 15:


Goodness gracious, I have now officially, beyond a shadow of a doubt, completed TWO WEEKS of that mind-blowing, hard to remember–what’s it called? Oh yeah.


Three cheers for me!  Thirty days, 30 posts–and this is Post #15!

Fifteen. Can you believe it?? Neither can I. Somebody pinch me, please!

Anyhow, let’s get on with it shall we?

Ever wonder what a city editor sounds like when editing a reporter’s story?

Well, chances are they don’t all sound the same, but this city editor, Gar Joseph, stands out for two reasons:

1. He works for the same daily newspaper as does my sister, who’s a reporter but, just for the record, Gar Joseph is not her editor.

2. He seems to embody typical city-editor behavior–brusque, to the point and, definitely, no holds barred. Think Perry White (from “Superman”) and Lou Grant (from “Mary Tyler Moore Show”). Yikes.

So, take a gander at some of the things this city editor has been overheard to say. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you that he’s got a, ahem, salty mouth:

“This part doesn’t make any fuckin’ sense. It’s written in mumbo-jumbo police jargon that no reader’s gonna understand. Other than that, it’s pretty good. Fixable.”

“I don’t give a shit about the Thanksgiving parade unless a small child is entangled in the ropes of the Mighty Mouse balloon and choked to death, so don’t waste a reporter on it.”

“If you get killed, it’s a good one-day story, but long term, it’s bad for business.”

“Old Testament: ‘God is great.’ New Testament: ‘God is Love.’ Of course you lose some metaphors.”

“I have 15,000 questions on your story.”

“This story ain’t gonna run, unless you can figure out a way to make it unboring.”

“Nice suit. I’d go w. skinnier tie, tho.”    (He wrote this in a tweet about Joey Merlino, a reputed ex-mob boss as he entered a federal courthouse with his attorney.)

And One More (which he didn’t say himself, but he retweeted, and I thought it rather insightful):

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” — A.J. Liebling


Thank you to all of you who keep reading my posts, which, if you ask me, have no meaningful value whatsoever, but I love that you’re coming along for the ride anyway!

15 thoughts on “City Editor Tells it Like it Is

  1. He’s a brutal one but I’ll bet, a real softy. His quotes would make cool T-shirts for the field of journalism.

    Slept through yesterday and didn’t post, by the way. Oh, well…

  2. Day 15 – Look at you go, Monica. I love these little gems you throw in from time to time. The guy even looks a little bit like Lou from Mary Tyler Moore show – which I loved by the way. Although a bit taller and the glasses -er, a bit mobster like. He even has a name to suit his image.
    I also find out little things about you which are so lovely, like you have a sister who is a journalist. Perhaps you’ve mentioned it before and I missed it.

    Enlightening re-tweet.

    • MM, right about now I’m doing a happy dance. For the life of me, I didn’t think I’d make it to Day 15. I’m over the hump. Yep, my kid sister is a reporter for a daily paper. She also went to the same college as me. We’re living the writing life!

  3. Happy to be along for the ride. It’s entertaining to know those old fashioned editors are still out there. I do think there’s a point in that last retweeted quote though.

  4. —Fabulous photos above, Monica!
    Ahhhhh the life of ‘YOU” is exciting, isn’t it? Fascinating people in your circles.
    For me, **Blogging** is my journalism! Liberation.
    I can say Fuck whenever I please. haaaa.
    Btw, …what the heck is NaBloPoMo. Everybody is doing this. xxxxx

    • November was set aside as National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, in which you post daily for an entire month! It’s a ridiculous name and whoever thought to dub it that, should be ashamed. But here I am, trying to achieve a post a day. Sigh.

  5. You know so many very interesting people. I love visiting your site to read what you share.
    Responding to Liebling’s quote, I think it’s an amazing time we live in to be able to blog.

    • I think Liebling’s quote is very telling, a statement of our times. It truly makes me sad. Here in San Diego, we have a prime example of a man (a hotelier) who came in to town a few years ago and bought the largest daily paper here. He then gutted it and made it his own mouthpiece. He then bought the second daily newspaper in town and put it out of business. After that he purchased about half of the community papers and made them adhere to his own perspective. He probably has his sights on the other neighborhood papers. They’ll be next. A crying shame.

  6. I have known a couple of newspaper people over the years and the stories they told me would make your toes curl.

    Over here in the UK the press have had it bad over a few years because of phone hacking etc…. They are generally not popular people.

    Your posts do have meaningful value if only in so much as they keep me entertained and I look forward to the next one.

    You keep writing and I will keep reading…

  7. As a former journalist (is one EVER a *former* journalist?!?), I got a chuckle out of this one, Monica. I worked under many city editors — all of which were, at heart, kind and decent individuals. No vulgarity, though I suppose that is the typical stereotype. If one of us had turned in a story raising “15,000 questions,” we’d have probably been fired!!

Comments are closed.