Back in the day when city rooms had butts on the floor, even the women reporters cussed like drill sergeants, and you could believe a great deal of what you read in almost any newspaper, public relations people thought it would enhance the chance of getting their press releases published if they delivered them in person.
If a flack came in with a handout when my friend Tom Houston was running the Detroit Free Press city desk, Tom would accept the manuscript, ceremoniously open a desk drawer, take out a rubber stamp, press it on an ink pad and stamp the paper "WGAS."
He'd nod to the flack and say, "Take care of it right away."
Never mind that the initials meant "Who gives a shit?"
Can we please put WGAS stamps on:
Anything more about Sarah Palin, her stupid book, her idiotically named kids or her cockeyed views?
Jock talkers' views on Bill Belicheck's decision to go for it on fourth and two?
Any celebrity's latest diet?
Why Lou Dobbs left whatever worthless network he left, where he's going (if anywhere) and his political ambitions (if any)?
What Joe Lieberman says -- about anything?
Sports writing that calls rebounds "boards," asserts that a team "looks to" a particular outcome or refers to "student athletes" without quotation marks?
Any so-called news story that containes the phrase "moderate Democrat" and the names Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana or Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas? They're as moderate as cottonmouths in a swimmin' hole.
Any quotation of the mouthings of Mitch McConnell? Who writes this guy's lies for him? Who taught him to deliver them with a straight face?
The punditry of Charles Krauthammer?