From my autobiography Manhattan Memories:
A few years ago, I put together a selection of recent columns concentrating on ones that contained exclusive items that hadn't yet surfaced in daily papers in the West. Consulting the masthead of the Los Angeles Times, I found 13 editors listed. So I made up packages which I sent to each of them, with the suggestion that they start running a column like this, although not necessarily mine.
Newspapers get so much stuff sent to them. I used to know an editor on the Observer in London, and I'd see stuff on her shelves and I'd say, "Wow, this is fascinating, you ought to write about it." She'd say, "No it's not worth an item." And I'd say, "Well, can I have it?" "Sure, you can have it." It made a noteworthy 30-word item, which of course fitted in well with my three-dot column.
Editors are still hung up on the idea that if something is not worth a story, how can you write about it? Even though the essence of "the story" would stand out in a column of a dozen similar items. But newspapers can't be made to see that, so I sent this package and explained this theory to LA Times editors and within 24 hours I got a call from the executive editor's secretary, a very condescending call, saying "the editor told me to tell you we don't use this kind of thing."
When I told this tale to my friend Sasha, he gasped: "But that's phenomenal that you would get a reply like the very next day, you must have pushed somebody's buttons?"
Well, I said, what I think happened was that this editor realized that I'd sent it to all these other editors and cut me off at the pass immediately. I mean I got a call rejecting that idea probably even before two or three of the other 13 editors had received it from the mail room. No chance of it being discussed. I've always felt that their response was unnecessarily rude.
Causes John Wilcock Supports
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