Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What Happens Every Seven Seconds

Hooray! My latest column is out.

My editor originally had as the article's headline: "What Comes Every Seven Seconds?" But then he decided against it, fearing that a higher-up would take issue.

Because I have the word "sex" in the article, it runs the risk of garnering an utterly random viewer complaint. Journalists, for all their blustering about things like integrity and responsibility, are pussies who will crumble at the first sign of criticism. As such, any nutcase who knows how to send an e-mail or operate a telephone can get a whole building full of college-educated adults to run around in a full hysteria simply by complaining.

The No. 1 rule to dealing with complaints in television news (and, by extension, TV news-based websites) is this: panic.

Do not fact-check the complaint, do not make an evaluation of the validity of the complaint, just panic. After a good deal of panicking and yelling at people who may or may not have culpability, the standard operating procedure is to then make some sort of ridiculous decree. Ideally, with this decree you want to set up impractical operating procedures, or editorial standards that are at once impossibly narrow and wholly undefined.

So Adam (who is a huge UT fan, by the way) decided to avoid all this and go with a less suggestive headline.

"I'm already putting about a 65 percent chance of (our higher-up) talking to me about it," Adam said. "I don't want to throw 'come' in her face."

While my solitary use of the word "sex" may serve to be the verbal Samson to your moral Temple of Dagon, I still think the column is probably one of my better ones in a while.


OldHorsetailSnake said...

Burt nothing can make you look more admirably pensive than to hold, just so, a 16-oz. bottle of Young's Luxury Double Chocolate Stout.

jay are said...

great article, great writing. I liked that they made a point to say that you're married with NO children. I guess we need to know that, otherwise it would seem strange that one of those seconds wasn't devoted to sweet babycakes of the actual baby variety.

heatherfeather said...

chris, 'tis indeedy a splendid column! at least the image on the bottle of moose drool didn't bring you back to thinking about the nookie. 'cuz then i would REALLY not be able to flirt with you. :)

Curly said...

But don't you just hate it when you see hot girls wearing sports jerseys and drinking beer on their birthdays?

The brain overheats as it decides what to think about, almost to the point of meltdown.

Dave Morris said...

Don't forget the .5 second most of us spend thinking about how to upstage another male. There is that too.

Astrid said...

Astrid's favorite phrase: "Liquor stores should provide guys with mirrors, similar to changing rooms, in which we can hold different beers to see if the fit the look we are going for: "Hmm, which looks more appropriate when I insult Ely Manning: this bottle of Chapeau Framboise Lambic or this bottle of Coors?" Haha ... that is hillarious!!! I might need to start quoting Chris Cope on a few occasions.