The power of the press

  • Butch Furse
    Butch Furse

National Newspaper Week has passed, but we managed to miss a note we had saved a long ago newspaper story that exemplified the power of the press.
When the internationally-known French actress Sarah Bernhardt was traveling through California, Sam Davis of the Carlson Appeal and the San Francisco Examiner accompanied her as publicity agent. He was an enchanting companion and pleased the actress so much that on the trip she would give no interviews to any other publications.
When the moment of her return to New York arrived and the train was about to leave the station, she put her arms around Sam’s neck, kissed him on each cheek and on the mouth, and said: “the right cheek is for the Carlson Appeal, the left for the Examiner and the mouth for you.”  
“Madame,” said the reporter, visibly affected, “may I remind you that I also represent the Associated Press, which serves 380 newspapers west of Kansas.”
I guess in those early years of newspaper journalism for a newspaper reporter there were some pretty good fringe benefits.
Unfortunately, those “benefits had gone by the wayside by the time we got into journalism.
A few definitions:
Gold-digger -- A woman who doesn’t marry a man for his money, but divorces him for it. A woman who will be five years older 20 years from now. The difference between a millionaire and her is that he’s got what it takes, and she takes what he’s got.
Self-made man -- An individual who might have done better by letting out the contract. An admission that one is a self-made man makes one a martyr and that relieves the conscious of the rest of the world.
Proverb -- Any short saying that states a great truth. Examples: “a soft answer turneth away wrath, but hath little effect on a door-to-door salesman.” “Birds of one feather catch a cold.” “Uneasy is the tooth that wears a crown.” “A thing of beauty keeps you broke forever.”
Monkey business -- A lecture on evolution.
Tactful -- To say the right thing at the right time. Example: Information man at the zoo to the lady – the elephant is right over there lady; you haven’t got far to go.”
Snoring -- The last of the personal liberties.
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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