Mush from the wimp.*

Welcome to Sunday morning, every newspaper fan’s biggest day. The morning stretches before you, with thousands and thousands of words to choose from. Here are the two that arrived at my house this week:

As you can see, the Freep took its 9/11 package pretty seriously. They’re doing this more often of late — making a magazine-style front page, with only one story, rather than the traditional layout. And for a day like Sunday, lots of papers did the same.

I gotta say, this photoillustration didn’t do much for me. Of the thousands of images to choose from — and you can see the other newspaper, above, for some lovely ones — they dig up the same old greatest hits and screen them over a flag, but OK, artistic choice, whatever. And as it turns out, the illustration is a perfect match for the copy. Anyone? Anyone?

How could we have possibly expected anything else? I knew you-know-who would have something to say about it; in the clever words of one of you on my Facebook page (Baldheaded Dork, I think), Mitch made his bones as the Grim Reaper’s toastmaster, and this was a very big banquet. But there were other people involved in this decision, to make this the most prominent story in the paper, to back it with the judgment of a dozen editors. Someone, many someones, read this and said, “Yep, this is what our readers want.”

I said the illustration perfectly captured the story. Mitch Albom’s column was a virtual cliché salad with a side of mush, served up with his standard tricks, italics, repetition and those dumb, one-sentence paragraphs he loves so much.

Like this.

And like this:

They are dead. He is dead. We are alive. We are changed.

They are dead.

You wish this anniversary could change that. You wish 10 years was some sort of MAGIC release date, that the murdered souls of Sept. 11 could return, their suffering ended, their incinerated bodies recreated from the dusty air of lower Manhattan and the rubble of the Pentagon and the muddy earth of a Pennsylvania field, allowed to pick up their lives wherever they were headed that morning, to the office, to the subway, to breakfast, to another city.

They are dead. That will never happen. Their children are teenagers now. Their teens are adults. They exist only in memories, in family stories, in photo albums and attic boxes and troubled dreams.

No roll call today will bring them back — not even one read by presidents and governors. No etching of their names in a memorial will re-animate them. They stand as the fallen.

What the hell is he talking about? I wish an anniversary could bring the dead to life? Sure, why not? I also wish I had a dog that didn’t poop or pee. I wish I had a money tree in my yard. I wish Ashley didn’t die. I wish I had some all-caps MAGIC I could call on, but most of all, I wish I had Mitch Albom’s job, which is to churn his MAGIC pot of hackneyed usage and faux-profundity once a week in the op-ed section of what was once a respected newspaper and is now just another heat ‘n’ serve from the Gannett kitchen.

I love some of these clauses — not even a roll call “read by presidents and governors” will bring them back. A better hack would have stopped at presidents. It’s the “and governors” that gives the line its comedy.

It so happens that all the columnists were called upon to contribute something, and no one, even the good ones, hit anything out of the park. But Mitch pegged the needle on the Smarm-o-Meter, once again, by observing that yes, yes, we have changed, and yet, life and love does, and always will, go on.

Because we weren’t sure about that before. You know, there was an attack on American soil, and maybe all life would have stopped, and taken the love with it.

This guy is paid $250,000 a year by the Freep, I’m told. For that sum, he is apparently not required to make a phone call to one of the dozens of smart people, many of them clergy, who would pick up for him, who might have offered a new perspective or original observation about this tragedy. He’s not required to say something that hasn’t been said a thousand times. He just phones this shit in, and collects the check.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this nonsense were confined to Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day and other more fitting holidays. But this was a profound national tragedy, and this is what he comes up with. I ask you.

Compare what he said with this brief passage from Bill Clinton’s speech at Shanksville, Pa. this weekend. That’s how you speak a simple message from the heart, people.


For a palate cleanser, I suggest you read Michael Heaton’s account of covering the story as a working reporter. Might be a little inside baseball for you civilians, but I enjoyed it. The hardhat gambit! Genius.

Or, you could read the final, definitive apology of the guy who started the “tourist guy” Photoshop hoax. He’s Hungarian, a nation that our own Alex often informs us has a distinct sense of humor. Let’s invade them, and fix that.

Since we were talking about it last week, whaddya know — a piece on graphing calculators.

This I present without comment.

And with that, I should wrap up and move out.

* Today’s headline explained.

Posted at 8:42 am in Current events, Media |

61 responses to “Mush from the wimp.*”

  1. brian stouder said on September 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

    re – the News-Sentinel link:


    edit: I couldn’t help but take this as a somewhat incoherent swipe at our proprietress, who is never named in the article:

    We all sin, even those who reveled in Goeglein’s transgressions. But few of us have had to pay for them so openly, and fewer still have issued such a public confession.

    Is the News Sentinel a newspaper? Was this not national news, broken by a former News-Sentinel reporter? Is reporting news a sin? Is news NOT really news, when it affects people with political views we agree with?

    I mean, wow.

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  2. Peter said on September 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

    “Mush from the Wimp” was considered the second best headline after “Wall Street Lays an Egg”? What about “Dewey Defeats Truman”? or “Headless Torso Found in Topless Bar”?

    I agree with Brian. Here’s what I don’t get: “For those who somehow found perverse pleasure in the revelation three years ago…” is that necessary? That’s what I can’t stand the most about what passes as debate these days – the never ever ending drive to be catty. That isn’t wit; it’s just juvenile.

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  3. ET said on September 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Nancy…maybe you should have forgiven him, providing him another shot of sweet redeeming grace (never mind the fact that he stole the ideas of others).

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  4. mark said on September 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

    A really delightful post today, Nancy. Your deconstruction of Albom’s column is dead on the money. And it is sad that the Freep put it front and center.

    While you withhold comment on the Goeglein piece, it makes a fitting bookend for your thoughts. Leininger is capable of decent writing, I think, but you couldn’t prove it by what he wrote in the article to which you linked. I’m still amused by this line:

    “Goeglein’s contacts proved invaluable after 9/11, when he helped plan the prayer service at Washington’s National Cathedral”

    Yes, in those horrible hours after 9/11, there must have been immense anxiety in the White House over whether anyone would show for a prayer service at the National Cathedral. Thank God tim was there, and able to use his contacts to strong arm some clergy into participating. Why, without Tim, there might not have been any prayers at all.

    Albom’s failue is greater, because he did a great disservice to the subject about which he wrote- it deserved more than mush. The mush Leininger wrote is just as bad, but more than the subject of his writing deserved.

    Edit: And Clinton’s speech was excellent; perhaps the best remarks among many good efforts to reflect upon the events of 10 years ago.

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  5. coozledad said on September 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

    The News-Sentinel article demonstrates the raw transformative power of Bush Christianity. It permits a believer to be confronted with one’s own shocking mendacity, and go on boldly to new levels of fantasism. Are ye washed in the soothing words of the old cokehead, Timmy? Why, yea, I think though art. Go lie your ass off some more.
    I envy you for putting one of the holes in that ship of Goddamn fools, Nancy.
    I’d saw my leg off if I though I could use it to beat one of the soulless motherfuckers to syncope.

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  6. coozledad said on September 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Oh, and They stand as the fallen sounds like something Joe Flaherty might have said in his Sammy Maudlin persona.

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on September 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Not to be an apologist for this Albom guy (he sounds as thoroughly annoying as Chicago’s very own John Kass), but I felt sorry for every working journalist who had to turn on the profundity meter for the tenth anniversary. Talk about a huge, undigestible lump.

    Mind you, I didn’t feel sorry enough to actually read any of the stuff. But the sympathy was there.

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  8. Sue said on September 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I tried to lay low yesterday precisely because of what Nancy describes.
    Tell me, in the midst of all the speeches, tributes, stirring music, genuflecting clydesdales, soaring eagles and we-the-living-must-remember-the-dead sentiment, was there any mention of the fight that is still going on to get adequate, non bankruptcy-inducing medical care for the first responders who are still getting screwed? Or will we just have a touching montage reminding us that we must remember after we’ve lost enough of them?
    Yes, I know. Wrong attitude.

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  9. nancy said on September 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

    OK, here’s a comment:

    Unanswered in Kevin’s column on Goeglein, and apparently unasked, is the one question that has eluded me since this story broke: Why did you do it, Tim? It may have something to do with their shared religious tradition (Missouri Synod Lutheran), and maybe Jeff or one of you exiles from the faith can shed light on this; is this a question about sin one isn’t encouraged to explore? Is the why of sin seen as some sort of justification, the way alcoholics set it aside during AA meetings?

    But that, to me, is the center of all this, because none of the usual reasons pertain here. Most plagiarists do it for one of several reasons — they had a deadline they couldn’t meet, or they were overmatched by an assignment, or they were lazy. None apply to columns that were freely offered and never solicited. So, moving on, did he want to be seen as an intellectual, a deep thinker? Almost certainly, but in the circles he moved it, when you’re stealing others’ work and presenting it as your own, you can’t exactly forward it to your good friend Bill Buckley with a warm note attached. So he’s doing this entirely for the benefit of the folks back home, who certainly already thought of him as a towering intellect, just based on his job. (Talk radio hosts are considered public intellectuals in Fort Wayne.)

    Given all that he had to lose, why take these huge risks, something he certainly knew would be found out one day? Remember, this went on for years. To understand that, all I come up with is that he wanted to be punished for something else. And when that happens, well, then you’ve entered the psychiatrist’s office, you start digging up things you’ve buried for a very good reason, and that is some scary stuff.

    One final note: With all the blather in that column about forgiveness, about how he personally apologized to both the president and the editor of the paper he’d betrayed, I wondered if there were any other stops on the apology tour. So I dropped a line to one of the people whose work he stole. (I won’t name him because I didn’t tell him I was working for publication.) I asked if Tim ever apologized to him. No.

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  10. Dexter said on September 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Mush from the wimp , just plain gutless disgusting thinly veiled “joke”.

    Michael Heaton’s story is gripping even after a decade. Make sure to read the linked story nance posted.

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  11. adrianne said on September 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I was more stunned by the “book review” in the News-Sentinel than the Mitch Albom column, trite as it was.

    Leininger hasn’t changed one iota since my days at the News and Sentinel.

    I particularly enjoyed his exclusion of your role in Goeglein’s unmasking.

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  12. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I’ve been reading Leonard Pitts for a long time. We used to buy the Miami Herald at Barnett’s Newstand in downtown Athens every Sunday, mainly for a superb sports section, Pitts, Hiaassen, and, of course, the Natural, Dave Barry. Pitts’ columns appear regularly in the Seattle Times now, a paper I admire for embodying the sadly extinct patriotic and rational wing of the GOP. This column is typically thoughtful and well-written, and the subject is the September 11 terrorist attacks. It’s very personal, but in no way mawkish. For some reason, Pitts has a large negative following on the Times comment board, that have decided he is a racist. Apparently, these jerks click on links to his every column to type in screeds without bothering to read any of his work. This is a really disheartening phenomenon of the internet. The column is worth a read. The comments are nauseating.

    Speaking of which, apparently EMail hoarding has little adverse effect on the the environment.

    Nancy, have you ever heard from Mitch Albom personally when you Ginsu him? I mean, he undoubtedly googles himself several times daily.

    Oh, and Peter, Back when J2P2 was elected Pope, the Athens (GA) Banner Herald ran a (WWIII) headline that called him the “first non-Catholic Pope” in about 64-point type.

    Anyway, I’d rather see today’s Freep. The Loins can actually play football again.

    It would probably be better for Goeglein if the first sentence of his book weren’t “Call me Ishmael.” Followed by “I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man.” And “A screaming comes across the sky. “

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  13. brian stouder said on September 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

    AG – No “revelling”, ya dang heathen!!

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  14. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I’d be willing to bet that Mush from the Wimp originated in a Globe editorial board meeting with Foghorn Tip O’Neill.

    Brian, as Goeglein proves, plagiarism, like pedophilia, is serial aberrant behavior.

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  15. Kirk said on September 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

    If taking pleasure in the undressing of a sanctimonious plagiarist is perverted, then give me a ball cap with a big old “P” on it.

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    The Heaton story is great, and anyone with or without interest in journalism (in this blog, I’m not sure who would go in the latter category) will find it riveting.

    As for the Goeglein review, I’d note a) the second paragraph actually gets in the way of what the author is trying to do, and he needed someone like a Nancy who could say “everything in that second para but the last dozen words, strike.” Then there’s b) as to the question “why did you do it?” I can only hope he’s receiving some kind of pastoral counsel that’s challenging (challenged) him to ask that question, but the fact that it’s not addressed in the book is not reassuring on that point.

    Journalistically, it’s an obvious question to ask, that wouldn’t be a gotcha question, but would actually allow Tim Goeglein to more clearly & strongly make his case for redemption. In that sense, the writer, who seems to be a friend or at least favorably disposed towards Goeglein, did him a disservice. That’s where you need friends who are willing to look you in the eye and say “Really?”

    The evidence at hand seems to indicate that it wasn’t pressure of time or circumstance, but a lack of confidence in his own ability to craft a compelling argument and write a vivid description of what he wants to present. And I know too well from counseling, and sometimes rhetorically having to smack around fellow clergy who fall into the sweet, sticky trap of plagiarism for their sermons: once you start, it’s very, very hard to stop. And it starts to spread. You swipe newsletter articles without any indication it’s not yours, you develop all your program & events from cookbooks, and pretty soon you are even more of an empty husk, and you know it, and you can’t stop.

    This blog did him a favor of sorts, and I hope behind this book is enough of a realization of what he did that it doesn’t reoccur. But I wonder.

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  17. nancy said on September 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Thoughtful contribution, as always, Jeff.

    What really rankles Kevin — he wrote about it at the time — was how raucous the comments got that day, cheering the downfall of yet another sanctimonious Christian. He (Kevin) never will understand that’s the price you pay for being a public God-botherer. He’s one of those people who crows endlessly about liberal hypocrisy, but wants a pass when the other side stumbles, because we’re all sinners, after all.

    That was 2008, recall, a very tough year in the culture wars, although now that I think about it, all the ones that came after were no picnic, either.

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  18. toney said on September 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I stopped reading Mitchy the kid a while back, but his brand of smarm has got to be preferable to this pile from our other Deetroit paper –

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  19. Suzanne said on September 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne had a special 9/11 section this week-end featuring articles by notable locals, including none other than our old pal Mark Souder. Another fallen God and family values guy, he seems to be showing up everywhere lately.

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  20. Christy said on September 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    With regard to Nance’s question (why? and why not address that, and is this a religion thing about not justifying sin?) I am not a Missouri Synod refugee, I am a Baptist refugee, but they’re more or less in the same ballpark. My experience was that Baptists, at least, seemed to have this unconscious idea that bad people do bad things, which of course means that if one is a good person, they could not personally do bad things. This is my observation after years of knowing people get pregnant while saving themselves for marriage – the Godawful list of technicalities and this-doesn’t-really-count exceptions convinces me that many evangelical Christians with their black/white thinking are not capable of introspection.

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  21. mark said on September 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Why? You are correct, somebody ought to ask.

    But Nancy, you need to spend more time in AA meetings. The “why” isn’t ignored at all. The literature suggests that for the great majority of us the answer is- ego (or selfishness or “self-will run riot”). There are lots of other entertaining and somewhat insightful sayings and platitudes like “ego-maniac with an inferiority complex” or “I may not be much, but I’m all I think about.” My personal favorite explanation of “selfishness” is “the insistence that how I feel is the most important thing in the world.”

    With Goeglein, who knows? Personally I think it is more likely to be an ego issue than some horrible childhood, but I guess some horrible childhoo incident might be the source of the ego problem . If Goeglein were working a 12 step program, though, he would know that seeking or receiving forgiveness isn’t what is required or important. He needs to “make direct amends” to those he has harmed, whether they forgive him or not.

    The focus on GBII forgiving him is also misused by Goeglein, as though everyone else must/should forgive him because the President did.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on September 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I second (third?) the praise for the Heaton piece. That’s the kind of resourcefulness and tenacity I aspired to as a reporter (and rarely if ever achieved).

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Luck doesn’t hurt, either. But who said “fortune favors the prepared mind?” Ah, I’ll have to search now.

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Luck doesn’t hurt, either. But who said “fortune favors the prepared mind?” Ah, I’ll have to search now.

    Update: Louis Pasteur.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on September 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    This exile from the Missouri Synod mostly remembers how we were taught that we were superior to everyone else. The natural outgrowth of that thinking is a special kind of hypocrisy, the my-sins-don’t-count kind. If Goeglein hasn’t apologized to everyone he wronged, he’s still in that mindset and I question his true repentance.

    It’s beyond me who would want to read Goeglein’s book anyway. It’s hardly even an asterisk on an asterisk in history. I find it appalling that he was hired by Focus on the Family, but what isn’t appalling about them?

    Ugh–I have a bad taste in my mouth now, thinking about this subject.

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  26. clayhorning said on September 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    so what is the conventional wisdom on Albom. a fantastic talent who phones it in? i’m a sportswriter and columnist at a small shop who, once upon a time, looked at him like a star (and, yes, enjoyed Tuesday’s with Morrie). But his star’s turned blinding (semmingly beginning with the fact that he, more than anybody, can’t take Morrie’s advice). is there a conventional wisdom?

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  27. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Or a boil on history’s ass.

    Seems as if the Globe is preparing to set up a subscription paywall online. To me, this is an essential paper.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on September 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Great piece by Michael Heaton. . .clear-eyed but poignant and packed with telling details. If I were a betting man, I’d wager Mr. Heaton spent some time on the police beat. You use all kinds of tricks like he did to get past barricades or get people to talk. Pulling up in a car festooned with radio antennas. . .wearing cheap sport coats and short-sleeved shirts with ties. . .carrying a metal clipboard just like the coppers and detectives preferred. . .whatever works.

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  29. nancy said on September 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    And then there’s the old, “This is Jeff Borden calling from the police station” trick. Not TECHnically a lie, but deserving of at least one Hail Mary in the confessional, I’d say.

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Those metal-box clipboards are handy for all sorts of things, including walking in where you shouldn’t. Archaeologists use ’em, too.

    Christy, with respect – most people aren’t good at introspection. I wouldn’t put Christians of any stripe at the head of the line, but I wouldn’t put us all at the back, either.

    I wanted to offer, via e-mail, to Mr. Leininger an appreciation for the value of redemption & forgiveness, while asking if his opening really helped accomplish what he was trying to do — and got back a lecture on Sunday’s lectionary reading (which I preached on, thank you very much, yes, the 70×7 reading in Matthew) and a dose of his fuming bitterness back. Apparently by asking any questions, I’m committing the sin of not forgiving. Oh well. As my old Scoutmaster always said, some people would complain if you hung them with a new rope.

    Hey, Nancy or JC, feel free to delete #23. Not sure how I did that. Sorry to clutter the feed (other than my usual verbal clutter).

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  31. Jason T. said on September 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Pulling up in a car festooned with radio antennas. . .wearing cheap sport coats and short-sleeved shirts with ties. . .carrying a metal clipboard just like the coppers and detectives preferred. . .whatever works.

    Oh, guilty as charged. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    Most of what I remember about Sept. 11, 2001, was the trip from our newsroom in Greensburg, Pa., up to Shanksville, Pa.

    It’s an 80 minute drive. I made it in about 40 minutes.

    I was driving my big Mercury Grand Marquis with scanner antennas all over it. I got behind a caravan of state police cars, put on my headlights and floored that sumbitch.

    The reporter in the passenger seat was terrified.

    As for the cheap sportcoats, I resemble that remark.

    And yes, I have a metal clipboard, too. A hard hat is another useful item to have in the trunk of the car.

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  32. Jason T. said on September 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    P.S.: Anyone see that the Chicago Tribune is refusing to carry this week’s “Doonesbury” because they might be “unfair” toward She-Who?

    Remind me again about the vital service that American newspapers provide to democracy.

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  33. Hank Stuever said on September 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Just imagine if you could take Albom’s $250K a year and hire three young (or young-minded) reporter/writers who can write and film and Tumbl, at a fabulous $50-60K a year, and hire a desperately curious and open-minded editor/writer (at $70K) to oversee them and tell all four of them: “Detroit, Michigan — the present-day story of. … NOW GO. And file something amazing at least once a week. And, as best you can, try not to do too much on the American Ruins, unless you’ve got something totally new on it.”

    Of course, that’s not what newsrooms do now when a big gun walks away and frees up the big-gun salary. They just eliminate the position and save the bucks.

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  34. Jason T. said on September 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    P.P.S.: I remember where I was when I heard about 9/11, too. I was in the front seat of the Grand Marquis, listening to the scanner, headed to the office, when a township cop got on the air and said words to the effect of, “Holy sh-t, any of yinz near a TV set?”

    And I also remember the cold feeling that went up my spine when the county 911 dispatcher got on the air and announced that Cleveland ATC had lost radio contact with Flight 93, and that it was headed our way.

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  35. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    As soon as Heaton mentioned the ponytailhe shared with the construction workers, I knew he was going to get a hard hat. Manhattan, sure, but somebody must have wondered what the hell he was doing roughing it up with concrete and planting soil. Beautifully written piece, especially the homefires frame, which might have but absolutely does not come across corny. Mitch would give up one of the people in heaven for something that emotionally direct and moving. And what’s the story with his editors? How could you pass on his story for wire service generic?

    An extremely admirable response from a WTC survivor family.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on September 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    There used to be a Lutheran school bus consortium, and the pastor of Leininger’s church tried to get the non-Missouri Synod kids (that would be our school) kicked out of the system. Because, you know, our first graders were polluting theirs with all that God’s love extending to everyone stuff. Not that I’m bitter.

    Ten years later that pastor, Matthew Harrison, was elected president of LC-MS.

    Jeff tmmo, Leininger’s response to you sums up the man.

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  37. nancy said on September 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    That’s crazy talk, Hank.

    Actually, here’s how I’d spend his salary: $100K to hire me, to write the weekly op-ed piece, and $150K to replace him with a good sports columnist. It’s easy to forget he still retains some respect in that area, which I mostly don’t read, but which is always thrown back at me by his fans — his true worth to the paper, etc.

    A smart magazine editor once told me he’d estimate Albom accounts for 50 percent of the paper’s web traffic. Roger Ebert does at least that well for the Sun-Times, so maybe Albom is well worth his salary. It’s been pointed out to me many times that I don’t understand what readers want, and I don’t argue. He may well be the miracle newspaper writer who attracts equal numbers of men and women readers — the men to his sports stuff, the women to his mush. He certainly seems to speak for that constituency, of women who get SUPRMOM vanity license plates, use their children’s pictures for their Facebook profiles, and are always cutting and pasting those statuses about cancer and being a daughter.

    Not my people, in other words.

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  38. alex said on September 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    If you think Albom doesn’t deserve $250K/year for his smarm, I’m even more perplexed at how Leininger gets paid $30K for the journalistic equivalent of smearing his own feces on the walls of his padded cell. This town could use a talented columnist again.

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  39. brian stouder said on September 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Things that make you say “hmmmmm”

    the lead:

    A nuclear waste site in southern France had an explosion Monday that killed one person, seriously burned another and slightly injured three others, France’s nuclear safety body said. The Nuclear Safety Authority said no radioactive leaks have been detected in the blast at 12:37 p.m. (1037 GMT, 6:37 a.m. EDT) at an oven in the Centraco nuclear site. The accident was under control within the hour, the agency said in a statement.

    Well, if government officials say “all is well”, then that’s that, right?

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  40. Bob said on September 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I asked Goeglein why he did it when I talked to him 2 days after you outed his lying and theft (of intellectual property). Total explanation: “Pride. Vanity.” (and yes, it’s astonishing but true: He even plagiarized parts of a tribute to his own father.)

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  41. MarkH said on September 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Jason T., great posts today, appreciated very much by this quasi-hunky McK. ex-pat. Some family members and I will be in the Mon Valley in about three weeks; birthday reunions and some family research as well. I’d very much like to stop by and say hello.

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  42. Hattie said on September 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    God how I agree with you.

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  43. Sue said on September 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I knew a fair amount of SUPRMOMs when my kids were little and liked most of them, to be honest. They mostly raised great kids and weren’t big blamers when someone else’s kid went astray. They could always be counted on to get the (PTO/school/organized sports fundraising)job done with a minimum of fuss. They were pretty cheerful about their chosen life, even if it didn’t include much heavy lifting in the reading department, and they never seemed to regret the immersion in MomLand, something I had more and more trouble with as time went on. Not sure why I’m defending them other than to say they were pretty tolerant of me, the kind of person who if I did have a vanity plate should probably have one that said YAWNMOM or PSSDMOM or BTCHMOM.
    I liked visiting their country but couldn’t quite live there.

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  44. moe99 said on September 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Speaking of “She Who” there’s some schadenfreude big time:

    Loved the Heaton piece. Best thing I’ve read for the ten yr anniversary bar none. And mark, quit making sense, ok? This is scaring me ;>)

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Bob, wow. That sounds right, and if he indeed gets it, good on him.

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  46. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    The Times photographer thought to include some Mu Mau names when he framed tht shot. At least they don’t sound like US.

    $150K to replace him with a good sports columnist. He’s got less credibility on sports than Mariotti. Somebody from Chicago that sought to inflate his manhood by calling Frank Thomas. the second best White Sox after Paulie Konerko, the Big Skirt has got to be the pissant asshole in the history of sportswriting. It’s attacking manhood, it’s being a sexist pig, ooh, could he turn up next whacking his girfriend? But Mitch had Mariottis’s back. They should hire me. I knew Staff a while back when I was a tutoe. And yeah, not fair, other students didn’t get the help, but if somebody says i broke a rule, I’ll beat them to a pulp. What I recall is really pretty softball and volleyball scholsrships distraught over bad grades on some pop class assignment, who had never gotten a C before, when the TAs couldn’t write their twat out of a pqper bag and they were getting their stipends the same way the Scholarship kids were. In a huge University with a vast athletic department, female TAs that aren’t as pretty or talented as the scholarship kids are one gigantic problem. In my opinion, TaA’s having anything to do with the English language are likely and genuinely not to have a clue what the fuck they are talking about.

    This was a little tricky. I do hope nobody regularly here would think I’d take some untoward advantage. Of course not. I’m the removed dad of the kid just manufactured, with new daddie’s money, how me make dad into an artifact. I don’t care. That is sort of what happened to me and my ex bears slight blame. She stole for her Fathers business. And robbed me blind when I moronically infused cash, probably her plan all along.. Now, I’m fine, he’s croaked, my daughter married an arbitrageur? He’s a good guyI wasn’t writing papers though I did it for cash as an undergrad,Give me four definitive texts and a Shkes play, and a little acid, I’d get you an A overnight. I never did this for an athletic department, When I got my masters in Public Administration, I did it for the devotion of the very rich students. And when I was writing these papers, I was writing for my own A. I was exceptionally proud of my own work. And of course, some of these were incredibly beautiful Persian girls. Was I plagiarizing? frequently, the ideas proposed were outstanding, but the proponents had not the English fluency to get them across. I’d do rewrites on the fly in the typewriter room in the library. Was this wrong? I do not see how it could be. The University took their money knowing of the language barrier.

    It’s my opinion that having a talent for sports, running, jumping, whacking, perfect hand eye coordination, is not much different from seeing calculus in air or knowing the right words to express a fleeting, or an obvious, but otherwise unespressed I will say this with firm commitment. GOPers would rather have Diana Moon Glampers installed as Handicapper General than to let anybody express themselves. If that’s the culture wars or the war for humanity, bring it on assholes.

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  47. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    sheTzwho, give me a break. She used up her Warhol minutes. Her own acolytes don’t actually give a shit, do they. They wanted outre insane, they got it. Michele with on is certifiable. . The MSM is all about Obama’s negatives. What about for Congress and Republicans in general. W pllunged the country into a horrendous economic situation. Who’s going to fix it? Neocons, Idiots that cut taxes while waging idiotic wars? Nobody is stupid enough to buy that shit.

    How does a
    company show a bunch of peewees muddling out a victory while playing Shane McGowan? what’s the message? Most bizarre ad ever.

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  48. MarkH said on September 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Nancy @29 —

    Played very nicely in “Call Northside 777”, when reporter Jimmy Stewart finds himself at a police communications phone after being stonewalled getting an innocent man’s arrest record. He gets the bright idea: “This is McNeal over at headquarters. Pull out the Wiecek file and have it ready when I get over there.”

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  49. paddyo' said on September 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Boffo post today, Nancy — and the Heaton piece was a thing of absolute beauty.

    The inner copy editor in me would be remiss if I didn’t gently point out to Peter @2 that the actual headline was “Headless BODY in topless bar” . . . and I agree, better than the “mush/wimp” head, except the story behind the mistake is a keeper.

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  50. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Are any of you not watching tenniss right now. ayou have to root for Nadal if you aren’t a soulless turd. Nadal is a gladiator vs. the Dolph Lundgren character. This is perfect sports. If you don’t get sports, you probably miss how it’s life in microcosm. Which is too bad. Nice challenge Djokovic. Way freaking dumb. Listen to the noise from tes guys and Serena got called for noise in the final, what a joke. She was targeted for embarrassing a bad call official a year earlier. She was supposed to be a good sport and put up with an insanely bad call? Atrocious. And if you’re black and it’s tenniss, stay back. An outrageously bad call. Venus would have ignore it. but it was busslshit and Serena was right. The chair should have been removed. It was an idiotic and insupportable call. Fact Jack. Total crap. and the official knew it. Listen to the grunting and groaning that goes on. What a shithead. Inexcusable call. You cheat, you cheat, whyever you cheat.

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  51. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Headless body in the Topless bar doesn’t touch First non=Catholic Pope. I know it was in error, but there were snake-handlers in Babdist Evangelical Primitive churches everywhere everywhere that thought it might be true. People do this idiotic shit and they die, and that’s god’s willl because their faith wasn’t strong enough not to be scared of a rattesnake? What a buncha sorry excuses for human beings. They kill people to keep up the phony facqde. These people are murderers. right? They know for a fact that a child that handles a snake that hasn’t been milked, the child will die from the snakebite. Ron Paul can kiss my ass on this one. He’s going along with murdering children. Nobody knows what snakes have been milked. And the abject fear and pain of the snakebite on the kid is random. This is fucking monstrous and this is what they do. Who thinks this is a remotely sane way to treat children? This is what these shitheels do. They terrify and murder children and expect to get away with it. I know a bit. I care more than anything about kids. I mean to show them how to play baseball and live in suburbs. Am I wrong? Should they be made like innocent African kids to drink and become AK=toting zombies. It is better they die than to descend into that life, and I promise to kill anybody that tries to turn them into some verssion of Tonton Macoutw. Anything reeking of that rot. I will reign down fire. Nobody will do anything like that to these children while I’m alive. I will kill you assholes and save these children. I promise tou. I will kill you and save them.

    What’s the greatest journalism movie ever? That would pretty obviously Salvador. I mean you have to admit. This is what the US government did to Central America and got away with. This is how the US Government murdered Jesuits and Clerics and just fot away with it. Is there a single on among you that doesn’t think what these assholes got away with was astounding? Those nuns raped, murdered and buried, how was that no on Raygun’s watch, How did he not approve? Well ne did because they were Catholics, like killing that Priest was OK because he was a Jesuit. The shit the Raygun administration harboring, condoning and committing outrageous abuses against American citizens because they happened to be Maryknoll and Jesuit Catholics that were Americans is fairly astounding. The nuns were attacked according to their attackers predilection, vaginally and anally rape and orally sodomized, in accordance with techniques taught at the School of the Americas. The priests were simply sodomized, shot in the back of the head and plowed into a shallow hole with the women. This was Raygun policy, that is a fact. So the great American President was a despicable pervert. Try to claim he wasn’t. Just lay this all out. He traded guns for hostages being held. If you say that’s not true it is easy to prove you are lying. The who;e deal was the October Surprise. God you freaking morons, it could not be more obvious. Raygun and the fools that ran his ass that thought they’d never be caught were som seriously disgusting shitheads that could not have given dick about the country. Whatever. I’ve been coopted, I guess. I want Bush and Cheney to go down in ignominy. These fucks are disgusting. Way I see this turning out is pretty obviously Parker . I mean going off a big building, If you don’t get Parker, you din’t get {Parker, but Parker is slightly cooler than Fiona.

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  52. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    You people are all nuts, How does antthing depend on anything. Let’s not be ridiculous, Nobody means dick about When it’s time to die. Is that what we are supposed to know? We terminate Blade Runners. tight? Isn’t it all just made up? Hiw di we know if we’ might not be a blade3 runner right this minute? We can’t possibly know this. But whaf is it matters. What are those memories? It’s fime for anybody to just consider I have no need to recall that this is bullshit.
    This is all a crock because I can make it make it make sense.

    There;s no way to put this other than y’all have missed wgatever on my port of call. We care, one way or another. Dumbass cares about Myka.

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  53. Jason T. said on September 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    MarkH: Look me up when you’re coming to town. “McKeesport: Like Detroit, But in a Small, Economy-Size Format!”

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  54. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Apriel Glaspie was a lifetime serious woman the bush shitheele intended to reward, They japped on that good and fa96ur8p s34vqn6 b 64ll9mt u4560 64oonobody gave a shit about Saddam and 5y3 523lfthe state. %hs2 bastqrds hung her out to dry. That is how they do, They fuck people people over. 7

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  55. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    These aholes kill people at will.

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  56. april glaspie said on September 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    rry is out of here and he’ll ,ake sure nobody hurts’s Bill because he’s his partner. ou must be didding. Sooomebody is trying to kill all of the Alphas.

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  57. nancy said on September 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Time for bed, April. Off you go.

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  58. brian stouder said on September 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    OK, I confess that I’m laughing; I suppose this means I am a deeply troubled, damaged person.

    Aside from that, I may have a little bit of news after Thursday…after it comes to pass, we’ll see what we can say (it will be, if anything, smile-inducing feel-good news).

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  59. april glaspie said on September 13, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Regulations? Are there any regulations on fracking? Nope. Are there any regulations on topping mountains and dumping spoil in hollers? Would regulations create jobs in both of those instances? Sure as shit. Topping mountains is a practice so barbaric most conservatives would like to condemn it to the third world, and deny it’s done in civilization.. And in their minds, that means Appalachian America. Really rich people have been fucking over Appalachian miners since God made coal. Coal extraction is spectacularly brutal and dangerous. And companies like Massey Industries have been murdering miners for years when they weren’t killing them slowly by putting them out of work by just dynamiting mountain tops and bulldozing the spoil into the cricks and hollers that make up the Appalachian aquifer. Does anybody think this makes sense? Congress will continue to get their bottled Poland Springs poured right out of taps in Western Mass, but eventually, they’ll foul that too.

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  60. april glaspie said on September 13, 2011 at 12:59 am

    There is no way there’s a practice more barbaric in modern society than blowing the tops off mountains with nitro and tnt and filling the cricks and hollers with bulldozed spill. The practice kills people straight out, and it endangers the potable water supply for the entire East Coast of the US without any consideration. Is there any way this makes sense? If you fill the cricks with mine spoil, you kill the aquifer. How fucking stupid is that? That is GOPer stupid.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 13, 2011 at 7:07 am

    It took living in West Virginia six years to understand why the Mountain State is so fearful of outsiders. April/Prosp is right; they’ve been so consistently taken advantage of, and all the advantage taken out of state, for 150 years. Even the relatively well-off, let alone the more isolated holler-dwellers, are skeptical for cause of anyone who comes in and says “I’ve got this great opportunity for you, if you just sign here in return for a bit of cash up front.” From timbering to mineral rights to mountaintop removal . . . and every West Virginian, R or D, can tell you that the only time federal aerial forces have bombed civilians in American history was at Blair Mountain, 1921. Were there Hatfields and McCoys and Mother Jones involved? Oh yeah.

    Where I pastored, I got to know, and later buried a man who was from the Logan area and was with the State Police; he came to northern WV because he was transferred with almost every other WVSP trooper to the other end of the state because after Blair Mountain, any man in greys & a Smokey Bear hat was a dead man walking for years. They only ultimately restaffed their posts by sending northern WV men down who had no history with them, and keeping to public intersections mostly giving directions for twenty years.

    You still don’t see many state troopers in southern WV, and everyone knows why. Most of their vehicles are still considered fair game, if not the officers themselves.

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