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The Kingdom of New York
Page One has always been famously picky about A-hed ideas, yet famously egalitarian about who comes up with them. It is still very much a decentralized art. Any reporter at the paper can pitch and write an A-hed for Page One, as can and have news assistants and interns with proper guidance and editing, of course.
Once an idea is accepted, the paper gives the lucky scribe what most metro newspapers would consider a languid amount of time to report and write a story that is usually under 1, words in length. Consider that when Journal staffer Carrie Dolan alighted in the San Francisco bureau as a fresh-faced college graduate in , she soon found herself in conference with Ken Slocum, the taciturn Texan who was bureau chief at the time. A clever features man, Mr. He inexplicably shoved a note across the desk to Ms. And off she went, in an account that appears in this book, driving for a week coast-to-coast in a cheap rental car, trying to prove Mr.
It was certainly an A-hed but there was a small hurdle: A New York editor, who could not envision the splendor of such a fence from so far away, cabled Mr. So Mr. Tony Horwitz, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the paper in for his coverage of workplace issues, recalls covering the conflict in Serbia and realizing that there were probably A-heds even in that madness.
The Kingdom of New York - Kaplan, Peter W. (INT) - | HPB
Horwitz, now a full-time author on leave from The New Yorker , got his story; it was impossible to tell whether the Serbs got any of their targets. Adventure, pathos, humor, irony—this is the stuff of storytelling and the elixir of storytellers. If The Wall Street Journal were a house, the A-hed would surely be our front porch—a place where stories are spun out with a kind of spare exuberance, for an audience of clever listeners.
It was a first date, and Lee Cruz was necking in the car. In midtussle, she jostled the cell phone in her purse and, without realizing it, she triggered speed-dial No. One thing she says struck her eavesdropping ex as especially memorable: No, no, she told the new beau. On many portable phones, hitting SEND will automatically redial the last number you called or someone on your speed-dial list. A few years back, Ms. Michaels was treated to a half-hour answering-machine recording of her boyfriend at the time, Matt Palmer.
Palmer, who had inadvertently pressed SEND on his cell, was discussing women with four male friends after a night of drinking at the Comet Club. She could have erased the tape once she realized what was going on. But why on earth would she do that? Michaels was 37 years old; Mr.
Palmer was Would Mr.
In the end, Ms. Michaels herself was unmentioned in the taped conversation. But the next day she called Mr. Palmer and played back a few choice bits. Palmer, who now runs MP8 International, an Internet telephony sales and marketing firm in Ketchum, Idaho, considers himself lucky.
It could have been a lot more incriminating than it was, he says. Few cell-phone nightmare scenarios come close to what Wendy Harrington inflicted on herself last summer. She had been fending off a particularly persistent suitor for weeks, but when he invited her for an island weekend, she accepted, on the condition that her roommate come along, too.
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En route on the ferry, Ms. Harrington called her host from her cell phone and left a message giving him her arrival time. Harrington mentioned a few positives. Pouring on the salt, they discussed intimate details of Ms. I could not imagine a more emasculating conversation, she says. I hit END, feel a wave of dread—the kind that seems really bad at first and then just keeps getting worse, she recalls, speaking on condition that her suitor, the island and her hometown not be named.
My stomach is now churning with the knowledge that I might really hurt this nice man who has shown me nothing but adoration. The poor fellow met the two women near the dock, and his uncomplicated smile suggested that he had yet to listen to the message. The three then headed for a restaurant, and he checked his voice mail. Wendy, it sounds like you called me from the boat, she remembers his saying.
She dreaded the denouement, but he stayed on the phone only briefly and said he would get back to the message later. That set the tone for the rest of the weekend. He received several other phone messages, always skipping over hers to listen to the new ones. They went waterskiing. They ate in restaurants.
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The whole weekend his phone is terrifying me, she says. Finally Sunday arrived, and the women left for home. It was only then, apparently, that her message got through to her gracious host. We never talked again, Ms. Harrington says. One lesson she learned from the harrowing experience: Lock the keypad on your phone when you put it down. But the more that wireless phones proliferate, the greater the chances of embarrassing faux pas. Not long ago, Ed Salvato, senior editor of PlanetOut.
A half-hour later, Mr. They did, however, have a new Caller ID device, and the two technologies colluded against Mr. He had unwittingly dialed his parents, who overheard smatterings of the conversation and, after disconnecting, called back the number on Caller ID.
Did you hear what we said? Salvato asked his mother, alarmed. She just claimed to have overheard some joshing. Robbie Herzig was deep into a job interview in Denver when a friend called. Herzig thought she was sending the call to voice mail, but instead accidentally answered it. The friend overheard her detailed pitch for more stock options and a bigger salary.
Herzig got the job, and now does strategic planning at Client Logic, which provides marketing and other services for e-commerce companies. But she has never told her boss about the cell-phone incident. I work for a technology company, she explains.
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