Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Newspaper Journalism Acid Test

Novelist and one-time pioneering journalist Tom Wolfe was a reporter for The Washington Post in an earlier phase of his life, and here a current-day staffer visits the archives to see how Tom plied his trade. Not too many stunning revelations, but this paragraph from an article about a local parade couldn't have been written by anyone else, for better or worse:
Twenty-six thousand cart-wheeling, can-canning, cloud-kicking, cadence-counting, kilt-flipping, skirt-flouncing, show-boating, baton-twirling, tall-strutting, crowd-tickling — Take a breather here. We've got 10 blocks to go, from 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW to 17th. — band-playing, fife-piping, drum-flogging, jazz-blowing, horn-blasting, ear-bombing, eye-popping, boot-shuffling, heel-clicking, banner-bearing — Getting your second wind? This continues for 5 hours and 14 minutes. — float-pulling, stunt-pulling, leg-pulling, shillelagh-flailing, slogan-flaunting, flashy-drilling, fancy-dancing, rifle-juggling, flag-flourishing and, we might add — safety-patrolling — boys, girls, policemen and poets marched here yesterday in the 25th National School Safety Patrol Parade.
(Via Critical Mass)


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