Newspapers are so worried about attracting new readers that they keep thinking up schemes to boost circulation.
I just read that the Greensboro News & Record will permit readers to write their own editorials and contributions on the paper's Web site. With the readers blogging their stories, the newspaper is truly a "voice of the people."
I have given much thought to this. Suppose a reader wants to write a column like this one. I can help him.
Just fill in the blanks and you can make it anything you want it to be.
Exclusive! This column has just learned from a source high in the government, who told me not to use his name, that __ __. This is the first time anyone would admit it. The __ Party was overjoyed, but the __ Party wanted to know who the source was and demanded an apology.
Sen. __ __ said it would not be forthcoming, because when Sen. __ __ said, "__ __," he refused to say he was sorry.
So the chairman of the __ Committee demanded an investigation. All Washington is talking about it. This is one of the biggest scandals since __.
Top-secret papers may or may not have been destroyed, depending on whose side you're on.
The FBI is investigating where the leak came from. They are looking at Robert __, a syndicated columnist. He was called in front of a grand jury. Rumor has it that if he refused to talk he would go to jail for __ days and be fined $ __,000.
The Supreme Court, by a _ to _ vote, refused to hear the case and sent it back to the lower court. This is a frightening threat to the press, because reporters can no longer protect their sources. This will scare off whistle-blowers.
Where do I stand?
I take the position that __.
I believe I would/would not [choose one] reveal my source to avoid being locked up. The public has a right to know. In this case, as I said so courageously in previous columns, there is a serious coverup somewhere and someone has to be held accountable.
This much I can tell you: __ __.
But that's not the whole story. There is a lot more, and I promise I will get to the bottom of it.
I can now reveal that __ __. My source told me he would suffer irreparable harm if the FBI discovers who he is.
The left wing considers it a right-wing conspiracy, and the right wing considers it a left-wing plot.
The White House says it's just more politics.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. When all the facts are in, we will know how big an iceberg it really is.
My source is not Deep Throat. For one thing, he has laryngitis; for another, we have never met in a garage. Most of our meetings have taken place in a topless bar on F Street.
Someday the identity of my source will be revealed, and he will be judged as a hero/traitor. [Pick only one.]
There you have it, dear reader; and you thought writing a column was a lot of work.
(c) 2005, Tribune Media Services