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.