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RIP R.W. Apple

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by JR, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I love the anacdote in that New Yorker story where Rosenthal calls him at 6 p.m. an hour and a half before his stepdaughter's rehersal dinner and says, "We need a Q-head about the comprehensive test ban treaty, and it needs to include all kinds of historical, factual information, and we need it right away."

    Apple spends ten minutes ripping Rosenthal's ass for making such an absurd request at such an inappropriate time, then an hour later, files a Q-head with references to SALT II, the Panama Canal treaties, and the tension between Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge during the formation of the League of Nations. It was one thousand one hundred and seventy-one words long, and absolutely perfect.

    Few people knew, and could write so well and with such authority, about so many different things, as Johnny Apple.
  2. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

  3. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    There is no justice.

    Abe couldn't write his name.
  4. Actually, what's "Dickensian" about his byline?
    The fact that his surname is a noun?
  5. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    I believe that's the intent of that reference, yes.
  6. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    Re-read Boys on the Bus last year -- if you can't find the old copy it has been re-issued in the last few years.

    Apple is Liebling Redux. I don't know who would be his Joe Mitchell, tho'. Nominees?

    YHS, etc
  7. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    I just polled the 10 guys on our desk in here tonight, and none them knew who Johnny Apple was.

    Fucking horseshit. Contrary to what people think of Theodore White, Apple invented the way newspapers cover political campaigns.

    He was a giant...an absolute giant. He was to beat guys what Royko and Breslin were to columnists.
  8. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    This is one of the few times Hondo and I will ever agree completely on anything. That anyone on a newspaper anywhere doesn't know this man's name isn't just disspiriting, it's alarming. And a reflection perhaps of why our newspapers are now so desperately ill - because even the people making them don't care enough about newspapering to know its history and its mythology and its household gods and its prospect for excellence in the right, chubby, hands.

    White became the more widely famous of the two because of the books, I suppose, and maybe that's fair in the long turning of time; but Apple had no peer in the pages of a daily paper. Nor, FoF, did he have a Mitchell, I'm afraid. Old Joe was sui generis.

    Eccentric as Johnny Apple was - and operatic and comic and terribly generous and generously terrible - for many of us he was the joyful model of what could be done with a life. And what could be done with twenty-four inches on deadline when it mattered most.

    Here's to the last of the Timesmen.
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