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“Times have changed in the newspaper business”



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Roger Cohen:

… The first time I went down to Rio in 1986, I flew business class. I was working for The Wall Street Journal. When I got back, I handed my expenses to Eric Morgenthaler, then the bureau chief in Miami .

He had a glass office. I watched him, before he called me in and asked why I’d flown business. Overnight flight, I said, interview with a minister the next morning, blah, blah, blah.

“The Wall Street Journal,” Morgenthaler said with a certain class and solemnity, “flies first class.”

This was apparently a truism as evident as, “You need eggs to make an omelet,” or, “Nobody likes wet socks.”

So began a pleasant interlude involving large dollops of caviar and free-flowing iced vodka aboard Pan Am a mile above the Amazon. Nobody stinted in those days. Nobody, heeding Prufrock, measured out their life — or the sturgeon eggs — with coffee spoons.

Times have changed in the newspaper business…

That is an understatement from Cohen. For those of us working in the profession today, it is hard to believe there was ever a time like this.



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