Dad, Dick Tracy and the Pennsylvania presidential primary

There is a popular blog, Twitter feed and even a one-time TV show called “S— My Dad Says.”

I am reminded of this in the context of a phone call I took from a reader Wednesday, the day after the Pennsylvania primaries.

The caller had several questions, among them was about the placement of the outcome of the presidential primary. Why put news of such national importance as the outcome of the state presidential primary on page 3 instead of page one?

My answer is simple: Because it did not cross the threshold of must-read news for page one.

Once former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum bowed out, whatever heat there was in the GOP contest cooled faster than a bowl of oatmeal left in a freezer. The outcome was essentially a done deal. There was no guesswork to it.

Which brings me to my dad and the s— he says.

When something was just so plain as the nose on your face, just so obvious, he’d say: “No s—, Dick Tracy.” (For those of you not of a certain generation, Dick Tracy was a high-tech crime-fighter who populated newspaper comics once upon a time. Also, it was a pretty good movie in 1990 starring Madonna and Warren Beatty.)

So for me, the outcome of the presidential primary was a case of “No s—, Dick Tracy.” Not only that, but given the media-saturated universe we live in, readers would know the vote several times over via TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, etc. by the time we would hit newsstands Wednesday morning.

I know that the Allentown paper featured the presidential primary outcome on its front page. And so did some other papers I saw. That’s their call but a news judgment that, in this case, I don’t share. We did carry the results, just not prominently.

Local news is our bread and butter. I did not want to chew up space on the front page with a story that did not have roots in the Poconos and the outcome of which was already known.

Readers are busy people. Why bore them with stuff they already know? Why give them a reason NOT to pick up the paper?

I think Dick Tracy – and my dad — would agree.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Chris Mele

    Christopher Mele is the executive editor at the Pocono Record. He assumed the post as the acting editor in December 2009 and was appointed permanently in March 2010. A native New Yorker and Pennsylvania transplant, Mele grew up in the Bronx and went ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives