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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/ 8/2008

The Morning Line: "Non Sequitur's" Misbegotten Sex Scandal...

By Michael Cavna

Wiley, Wiley, Wiley. (Sigh.) You know better than this.

But we have renamed our staff restrooms for Larry Craig. (UPS) Enlarge Comic

Talented "Non Sequitur" cartoonist Wiley Miller can skewer the media with the best of 'em. Over the years, he's thrown some deliciously on-target darts at the craft we call journalism. And the man knows from newsrooms -- he has worked as a staff cartoonist for at least a coupla papers (we used to dig his editorial cartoons for the San Francisco Examiner).

But even as we chuckle -- hey, this toon is a funny visual -- we know today's dart has sailed wide left. How so? you ask. Well, to wit:

1. Newspapers are not so primitive as to have big "Sex Scandal Departments." No, Mr. Miller, you've been out of the game for a while, it appears. We now carefully divide these departments. Are you trying to reach our "Seamy POLITICAL Sex-Scandal Department," our "Hottie CELEBRITY Sex-Scandal Department" or our "Area CIVILIAN Sex-Scandal Department"? And that's just on the print side of our business...

2. "News Dept." employees are no longer granted their own desks. Again, Wiley, please keep current: We now sit in shared pods, like feral pack animals and hamsters. And no one but no one gets to bask in his or her own sole light. Okay, Bob Woodward does, but even then, we are only speaking figuratively.

3. Sex scandals are so early-2008. Now, you'll find the bulk of our feature writers cast into the "Celebrity Baby Adoption Department," where we spend hours trying to cutely combine celebrity-couple names (Brangelina? Bennifer? McCainlin!)

4. Not a single journalist looks like that News Dept. employee anymore. Except Gene Weingarten. But he's so brilliant, he no longer requires overhead artificial lighting.

Do we bathe in hyperbole, Wiley? But of course. Your cartoon might deviate wildly from reality, but dammit -- upon a second look, we're still laughing heartily from our dimly lit hamster pods.


Searching high and low for the fungus among-us... (NEA) Enlarge Comic

... until we settle upon the body of evidence. (NEA)Enlarge Comic

So the mystery mold continues to bedevil "Big Nate" and the school. What, o what, could be the source of this curious fungus? Why looky here -- on The Post's pages, "Big Nate" sits right atop "Frank and Ernest" delivering the moldiest joke in the vicinity. At last: Source located.

By Michael Cavna  | September 8, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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And there's another mystery. PbS cites a premise "you won't find in 'Hi and Lois'" and lo and behold, it gives something awfully close.
More conspiracy to keep us on our toes?

Posted by: Ollabelle | September 8, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

But... if he drew dimly lit shared pods, no-one would know it was a newsroom (except you insiders). It's why ethnic jokes work. Everyone recognises the setup, even if its drastically separated from reality.

Posted by: f2 | September 8, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

You can see the news reporter's features??

I've larger, crisper detail in an exhibition of 'Art on a Grain of Rice'...

Posted by: JkR | September 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

You're right, that does look a heck of a lot like our Gene.

Posted by: EricS | September 8, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe in these 'poor economic' times for newspapers they pay someone to write this cutesy blog ... Or if you do it for free, it's still such a waste of the readers' time. Never again!

Posted by: Bea | September 8, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Lighten up, Francis....

Posted by: JkR | September 8, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, given this post mentioned Bob Woodward, and given just about every major news outlet has featured him in the last few days given the publication of his recent book, we might as well chime in with a Bob Woodward piece of our own.


for a hopefully humorous break from the teduim of every day Woodward news.

Posted by: Writing Frontier | September 8, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

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