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Sweet Old Bob recalled

There are nights on the shop floor at the paragraph factory when Bob Johnson, my first news editor, spontaneously comes to mind.

Tonight I recollected an evening when he was waiting at the news desk for a much-promised and long-delayed local story and observed pleasantly:

Goddamn city desk! If they’d written the Bible, you wouldn't be able to fit it in a boxcar—and it wouldn’t be done yet.



Posted by John McIntyre at 8:45 PM | | Comments (3)


my kind of boss.

Another Bobism, after having been promised a great story at a budget meeting: "I don't buy on spec!"

Does the copy desk still get blamed for the paper being late when the desk doesn't get the copy until seconds before deadline?

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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