Fighting words

Kathleen Parker had an excellent column over the weekend about a pair of Washington Post writers who came to blows ... In it, she writes about the scenes that have gone missing -- or at least are dwindling -- in American newsrooms ...
Fights may have been infrequent, but tempers often flared as deadlines loomed and reporters sweated over just the right word, usually under the baleful eye of an editor whose own deadline was bearing down.
That's how I felt last night when I returned from covering an event and asked my editor how much time I had. 15 minutes he said ... The sweat started sprouting from my veins.
The newsroom wasn't just a workplace. It was a rendezvous point for renegades from the ordered life who, nevertheless, were compelled to perform under fire. To create on demand is a contradictory skill. To do so artfully is not usually a function of charm.

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