Newsroom Jokes About JFK Were Slow to Surface

Longtime Los Angeles Times political reporter Robert Shogan died this week at 83. The Times appreciated him with the GOP consultant Mike Murphy's  title "the Colombo of American political journalism."

The Washington Post obituary noted Shogan "leavened some of his books with accounts of newsroom irreverence that did not appear in the next day's paper." For example, this line about JFK:

Mr. Shogan worked at the Miami News during the 1960 John F. Kennedy-Richard M. Nixon presidential race. Many voters and apparently some journalists, he wrote in "The Riddle of Power," found the youthful Kennedy unprepared for the presidency. On election night, when the newsroom learned that he had "eked out a narrow victory," Mr. Shogan wrote, an editor proposed a headline for the next day:

"It's a Boy!'"

This same joke would have fit the election of Obama in 2008, who was only four years older than Kennedy, and had half his time in the Senate.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis