One of the first casualties in the demise of newspapers was the copy desk.
The copy editors were the unsung heroes of journalism. Their encyclopedic knowledge of grammar, facts, and spelling saved me, and many other reporters, from making fools of ourselves on a daily basis.
But, in hard times, publishers concluded that high standards were expendable. Copy desks seemed to take a disproportionate hit when the buyouts and layoffs began. Leaving we all to our own devises.
I thought of the copy crews when I read, in the New York Times and the Washington Post, two variations of the same joke made by Tina Fey at last night's Golden Globes award show.
The Golden Globe awards are distributed by the obscure, effete critics of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. When Fey won an award for best actress in a televised comedy or musical, she said, according to the Post , "I've always loved the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—as a kid I had all the Hollywood Foreign Press Association action figured."
Not so funny.
But in Alessandra Stanley's column in the Times, Fey is quoted as saying that, as a kid, "I had all the Hollywood Foreign Press action figures."
Now that's a funny joke.