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The best and worst of the DOG

The greatest hits of the daily paper, according to the Times.



Better safe than sorry

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, in printing a photograph of Bill Clinton with Bozo the Clown, took pains to note that Clinton was the person standing on the right in the photo.

Could we have dreamed this?

That an etiquette writer in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette offered advice on how to board monster trucks in the most feminine way possible.


All-time best or worst phony-baloney artsy-fartsy newspaper-column lead

The opening paragraph of Philip Martin's Nov. 19 column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was (no lie): "PARIS — I am looking out my window at the towers of Notre Dame on a clear cool morning and thinking about Rilke and Chekhov and the limits of desire."


Worst metaphor

This is how a Page 1 feature story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in October — a story about the murder of a Madison County woman — began: "Billie Jean Phillips rode life like a sexual Jet Ski. Death seemed to trail in her wake."


Best chigger news

The following correction appeared in its entirety in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Aug. 1: "Chiggers cannot fly. An article about summer temperatures in Saturday's edition indicated otherwise."


Best fart-knocking

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette triggered the fiercest reader reaction in recent memory when it canceled the comics-page panel "Lola" after its title character used the word "farts." The paper published more than 100 letters, most of them protesting the cancelation. Executive editor Griffin Smith jr. deplored all these defenders of "gratuitous language on the comics pages of a family newspaper," and told one of his own reporters: "I was surprised by the aggressively belligerent attitudes of the forces of vulgarity. ... This nation may be the first in history where some people feel superior precisely because they're coarser and more vulgar than other people."


Best little-known fact revealed in the pages of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"... Geese cannot belch or pass gas." — From a Jan. 27 news item.

Best touchdown ginner

In a column, the brainy sports editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette identified Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning as "Eli Whitney." (Someone said Wally must've been thinking about the Cotton Bowl.)

Worst shriek-back

"The writer exists to translate the abridged shriek-back of a storming world into something apprehensible by the human intellect. By necessity, we must leave out all but a few overheard squawks and static trills, to which we in our desperation ascribe forensic potential." — Columnist Philip Martin, Arkansas-Democrat Gazette, Sept. 24.


Worst Wally

On the day before the Kentucky Derby in May, Wally Hall wrote in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that "there are at least six horses who have about as much chance of winning the Kentucky Derby as a Shih Tzu named Muffin." One of the six he named was War Emblem, who won the race easily the next day and followed up by winning the Preakness three weeks later.

In an April column, Wally wrote of a basketball player who had been "landlocked tighter than Cuba."

Best Fixin's

The food page of the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette in June, taken in by a spoof that appeared in the satirical newspaper The Onion, reported that the Department of Agriculture had added a new "fixin's" category to the basic nutrition food groups, recommending that Americans eat six to eight servings a day of such side dishes as steak fries and macaroni-and-cheese.

Worst hyperbole

Columnist Mike Masterson of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette attended a psychics' and mediums' conference in Albuquerque in May and proclaimed himself "the only member of the mainstream press" covering what he predicted would be "the most astounding story in human history."


Worst lump

"Behind his granny glasses his eyes short and spark, producing a merrily deranged aspect that, along with the wishful red moss that estimates a jaw line, suggest(s) an ungelled lump of protoplasm that may or may not congeal into something like a man." — Columnist Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, describing a column subject in March.


Best tallywhacker

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette began a feature story in April about a Red Cross blood drive in Searcy with this lead: "With a small prick, Three Rivers residents are asked to save a life."

Worst tallywhacker

It was reported in November that the prude editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had discouraged headlines that included the last name of the Razorback quarterback Casey Dick.


Best butts and hands together

From Wally Hall's column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Jan. 1: "Frank Broyles put emphasis on winning first and butts in the seats second, and yes, they go hand-in-hand."

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