THE ZORN-TRICE REPLY
Chi Trib's Eric Zorn comes to the rescue in his blog of his colleague Dawn Turner Trice, who says it wasn't she who tried to kill a Royko column for using "monkey" as applied by bad-guy LA cops to blacks, as I posted here 5/19. The word she objected to was the N-word, she says.
I still can't bring myself to say the word, because as Trice argued in her 5/3 column, it's unbearably hurtful even when the writer distances himself from it, as she admits Royko did -- which was mighty wide of her, to use an expression from my youth. (I thought that's what it was, at any rate, never seeing it in writing and thinking it was wide as in wide- or broad-minded. Actually it was white! As soon as I realized that, I stopped saying it. I swear!) Trice, however, uses it with abandon, defiantly, in Zorn's blog (twice!), accusing me and Steinberg of lacking the courage to do so.
Never mind. The key point made by Trice is that she's not the one former Chi Trib managing editor Dick Ciccone wrote about in his Royko: a Life in Print. It was someone else, says Trice. So Ciccone missed the time she tried to get a column killed! It's all clear now. Dawn T. Trice has been wronged and has my deepest apologies!
And Ciccone will be stunned to hear it. He did a book in which he recalled in detail, down to his stopping presses and making the paper come out late so as to restore the column killed by an editor whom he names, demonstrating attention to detail. He was there. He restored it. But he misses the one about Dawn T. Trice. There were two such cases, and he got only one! Maybe there were three or four others, and he missed them! There goes Ciccone, hanging his head in shame.
In any case, Trice admits, yea, boasts, that she tried to get a Royko column killed to protect readers' imagined sensibilities -- but no reader complained, Ciccone noted. The pigmy went for the giant and almost pulled it off.
[Zorn replied, quoting my above "deepest apologies," said my apology is "grudging," which seems a willful misreading of an ironical comment. It's not an apology at all, of course; and the need to point it out is not something one expects to encounter in urbane intercourse. In a debate with sophomore, yes. Or a sophist. Or a brat.]