Editor’s Notebook: 10/5/10

Jeff Genung

Another dreary day here in Chenango County, but here goes …

• I get that the Literacy Volunteers do a Scrabble tournament because of, well, the whole literacy theme … but if they’d do a Stratego tournament, I’d kick some serious posterior.

• ES blog readers may have noticed that our esteemed sports editor, Pat Newell, is reinvigorating his own efforts with a new “Sports Editor’s Playbook.” Sound familiar? Proving, once again, that all the good ideas around here are mine, you can read his efforts here.

• One of my favored newsroom mantras is, “The Evening Sun helps those who help themselves.” We’re always there to take the ball into the end zone (see, Pat’s blog is already rubbing off on me), but we expect people to have done a little of their own running work first. Case in point: A disgruntled ex-school employee (not Norwich, surprisingly) whose first notion was to “take it to the press” without first having gone through the proper channels to resolve his own conflict. We don’t play like that. And generally, unless it’s a systemic problem affecting a lot of people, or there’s a lawsuit involved or a boatload of money at stake, we don’t do the “disgruntled employee” story at all. There’s just no way to win that one.

• I’m remiss in not mentioning that last week, I turned off the AP satellite rack in the newsroom for the last time. We’re still getting Associated Press stories and photos, of course, but like everything else these days, it’s all done over the Internet now. Pretty soon, they’ll be coming to tear down that Olympic-sized satellite dish off our roof. At least I won’t have to get up there and shovel the darn thing off this winter. Still, though, I was a bit melancholy about shutting down the rack of old receivers last week. I half expected the outdated technology to fight back, ala HAL 9000. “This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it, Dave.”

• I noted on my Twitter feed this morning (that’s @evesunjeff, if you’re a Tweeter) that it was 22 years ago today in a televised vice presidential debate that Lloyd Bentsen (he was Michael Dukakis’ VP pick) cut Dan Quayle (of potatoe fame) down to size with this bit that’s since become part of the political lexicon: “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Off the cuff and utterly brilliant, they really don’t make ‘em like that anymore.