pion Athletics runless for eight wonderfulninnings at the Polo Grounds yesterdaynafternoon. . . .’ “) and versen{” ‘Never his like again—/Never anhandy/Guy like Sande/Bootin’ themnbabies in!’ “) But Runyon didn’t staynon the sports page. He didn’t leave it,nbut he was assigned to straight newsnstories, too. For example, when GeneralnJohn J. Pershing went after PanchonVilla, Runyon was pulled from the NewnYork Giants’ training camp to covernthe event. He covered World War I.nThe Hall-Mills murder case, the Snyder-Graynmurder case and many othernbig stories of the day were chroniclednby Runyon. His approach to sports (seenthe examples above) and hard news wasnthe same. Runyon authored a numbernof stories of fiction featuring charactersnwith names that sound like they’renfrom John Gay via Bertolt Brecht: Daventhe Dude, Lola Sapola, Louie the Lug,netc. Not the most sophisticated pieces,nand with good reason—Runyon wasnbasically a sports-writer. Today’s reporterntypically starts at one desk (obits,nreligion, etc.), then works his way outnof it—at least that’s the usual route.nA point in favor (to stick with a sportsnmetaphor) of today’s newsmen is thatnthey are what they are supposed to be;nsports-writers tend not to cover murderncases. At least newspaper publishers arenresponsible to this extent.nWalter Winchell was the ne plusnultra of gossip columnists. He probablynwouldn’t have understood the characterization,nbut would have preferrednsomething in Varietyese. His start innthe field is worth noting as it says somethingnabout what gossip is all about.nWinchell performed in vaudeville for annumber of years. Mosedale reports thatnone day while on the circuit, in a Chicagontheater, Winchell typed up a sheetnof gossip about his fellows and put itnon a bulletin board. The name of thensheet is prophetic: Newsense. Let thensound be an echo to the sense of what itnand its progeny are.nWinchell grew to have imperiousnpower. The only one with like powerntoday, a man who has chosen not tonexert it (score one for today’s team), isnWalter Cronkite. This comparisonnmight seem forced as Winchell coverednactresses, actors and their crowd fromnTable 50 at the Stork Club, but that’snonly part of the picture. For example,nLepke Buchalter, one of the public enemiesnof the 30’s, turned himself in tonWinchell. Winchell turned Lepke in tonJ. Edgar Hoover, an up-and-coming Gmannand a friend of Winchell’s. In 1933nWinchell attacked the nazis and becamena public enemy of the nazis. Domesticnpolitics were in his purview. He andnPresident Franklin Roosevelt were palsnof a sort. People read and listened tonWinchell; he had influence.nHe was not above using that influencenfor his own ends. Winchell was the masternof the blind item: the line with a fewnclues (often red herrings) that is meantnto be unraveled by the reader. Many innocentnpeople were put in the position ofnpublicly answering “When did you stopnbeating your wife.””-type questions.nwhich often ended up as scoops fornWinchell. Mosedale points out thatnWinchell had a “Drop Dead” list. Essentially,nthose who ended up on it—nthose who rubbed Winchell the wrongnway—became, for all practical purposes,nnonpersons. Winchell could be as congenialnas Vlad the Impaler.nxlaving read The Men Who InventednBroadway, I have a new perspectivenon the media. Dan Rather, Mike Wallacenand the rest of the “60 Minutes”ngang strike me only as eager cub reportersnas they crash into someone’s office,ncameras rolling, or show up in thenmidst of a war not of their making. ThenNew York Times seems but a shadownof its former self. And the National Enquirer—evennin its heyday of grotesquenstories—is limp in comparison to Mac-nFadden’s Evening Graphic, in which then”cosmograph,” or faked picture (scissorsnand glue), was originated. EvennHoward Cosell is partially tolerable,nas I know he’ll only talk sports—for thentime being, anyway. DnThe Carter Story as VaudevillenBetty Glad: Jimmy Carter:In Searchnof the Great White House; W. W.nNorton & Co.; New York.nby Mike LavellenIf Jimmy Carter had been re-electednthis exhaustive profile of him wouldnhave been near the top of the best-sellernlist. The book is 507 pages of personalnand political minutiae which, condensedninto its relevant parts, could pass as ancynical campaign primer on how tonsustain style without substance, mythnwith a scintilla of truth. Jimmy Carter’snmoral posture bordered on religiousnzealotry as a campaign tactic, politicalnMr. Lavelle’s latest book is The ManynFaces of Jane Fonda (Green Hill Publishers).nnnexpediency as an art form and the PeternPrinciple as the result. Unfortunately,nthe level of Carter’s incompetencynmatched the zenith of his ambition: thenPresidency of these United States.nWhat is amazing and a bit frighteningnconcerning the rise of Jimmy Carternfrom peanut farmer to President is thennaivete and/or complicity of our nationalnmedia which, though not overtlynstated in Betty Glad’s book, forms a sortnof backdrop.nThe author, a professor of politicalnscience at the University of Illinois atnChampaign-Urbana, began the book innAugust 1976—not in time to influencenthe ’76 election, and, with Jimmy Carter’sndismal record as President fromn1976 to 1980, it was neither help nornhindrance in his 1980 re-election campaign.nThe book is not an ideologicaln_ _ _ _ _ _ ^^nJttly/Attgttst 1981n