This Week in Great Sentences

Theme this week: determination

Mr. White:
If you get that story done, I’ll take steps to get you a new cushion for your chair.
H. W. Ross

For our readers we will do no less.

-New Yorker founder Harold Ross writing to encourage E.B. White to finish an essay, as quoted in “A Note to Our Readers,” about the release of the magazine’s iPad app, Oct. 4

I’ve taken some writing courses from Columbia in my spare time, learned a hell of a lot about the newspaper business, and developed a healthy contempt for journalism as a profession. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.

-Hunter S. Thompson, Oct. 1, 1958, in a cover letter to the Vancouver Sun made public this week, via BoingBoing.

He sounds like he is running for reelection, which — except for the hookers — he would be right now.

-Departing Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz, “Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer, CNN’s duo of civil dispute,” Washington Post, Oct. 4. Good luck Howie!


“The TV revolution is upon us — and the new Tribune Company is leading the resistance,” the announcement read. And judging from the job posting for “anti-establishment producer/editors,” the company has some very strong ideas about who those revolutionaries should be: “Don’t sell us on your solid newsroom experience. We don’t care. Or your exclusive, breaking news coverage. We’ll pass.”

-David Carr, quoting a Tribune company announcement about its new local TV news format, “At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture,” Oct. 5


“Recently at midnight, when rehearsal ends, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, the donkey from the same A.A. Milne classic; Pluto, Br’er Fox, Br’er Bear, Goofy, Mr. Walrus and two of the Three Little Pigs sought out a secret meeting in Orlando for the purpose of exposing their plight.

– Gregory Jaynes, “Goofy and Friends Slip Out to Air Complaints,” NYT Sept. 30 1981, as published in the front page of the paper the day I was born, which my sister bought for my birthday. Thanks sis!

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