I’ve never forgiven Ike Turner for his abuse of John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary.” That together with his abuse of Tina Turner gave me all the reason I needed to ignore Ike’s passing last month despite his accomplishments in pop music. Our friends at the Weekly Standard nevertheless recently noted the great headline “some unsung editor on the [New York] Post copy desk” placed atop Turner’s standard-issue Reuters obituary: “Ike ‘beats’ Tina to death.” The Standard Scrapbook writer admired the skillful combination of “wit, context, information, and editorial comment” in the headline.
Last month we heard from Jon Blackwell, one of the Post’s unsung copy desk editors. Blackwell stepped out from behind his anonymity to write us:
You may know about my work even if you don’t know my name. In September 2004, at the height of the Dan Rather scandal, you quoted a New York Post headline — “Kamikaze Kerry rides along with loser Dan” — and remarked you’d like to meet the Post headline writers. I thought you might like to know I work at the Post as an editor and headline writer, and I wrote that headline.
I’m often entertained by Power Line and your political coverage. I have just written a book that’s been published by Rutgers University Press. It’s called Notorious New Jersey: 100 True Tales of Murders and Mobsters, Scandals and Scoundrels. It has a lot of politics in it as well as crime, so Jim McGreevey, Robert Torricelli and the Abscam congressmen are all represented. There’s more here.
Jon Blackwell’s headline accompanied a column by the late, great Deborah Orin that we quoted at length here.