- Originally printed: The New Yorker, July 12, 1930
- First reprinted in: Never reprinted
- Original Byline: Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes gives no quarter (no Sunday edition nickel either) to his nemeses on the New York Times editorial staff, who found themselves hoist by their Boys’ Own Adventure headline policy during the summer of 1930. After years of flogging takeoffs, landings, ascents, and polar perambulations, a perfect storm of derring-do caught the “paper of record” short of frontpage real estate, allowing The Herald Tribune, The World, The Telegraph, and The American to latch their lousy linotypes onto the gravy plane. Roger Williams’ non-stop Bermuda journey and the Hunter Brothers’ 553-hour endurance flight were among the exclusive “scoops” that slipped through the Times’ clutches while they were busy chasing that aeronautic will-o’-the-wisp Charles Kingsford-Smith.
In other non-news, Benchley raps knuckles on both sides of the political aisle for the epidemic of bad faith arguments propounded by the Democans in support of and in opposition to the latest tariff law. Apparently, Hoover’s supporters contended that the new act had no connection whatsoever to an unfortunately timed dip in the already anemic 1930 Stock Market, while the Democratic organs naturally averred that Hoover’s policy would merely compound his economic felonies. Then, everyone turned on a dime (Benchley wouldn’t pay that either), adopting the opposite positions when trading ticked upward the next week. Through it all, much was made about the impact (or irrelevance) of “dominant bear” activity on Wall Street.
The author also takes the Treasury Department to task for pretending there’s no such thing as a “deficit” until the American people (in this case, the soon-to-be-famous Great War bonus veterans) actually need financial assistance. Then, suddenly, all of those Chamber of Commerce prosperity tales about bountiful national surpluses evaporate into hysterical mists of austerity. Some things never change.
Guy Fawkes isn’t all gunpowder this time out, though. He finds space for a paragraph in praise of the New York Times’ “French Correspondent”, who delivered an unaccustomedly graceful appraisal of the Allied evacuation of the Rhineland in the July 1st edition of the paper. And he ends on a note of mock-exhilaration in anticipation of keeping cool with ex-president Coolidge’s daily column for the remainder of the summer!
Just as we were beginning to worry about light paragraphs for this department and to wonder if it might not be well to discontinue for the summer, the Herald Tribune starts in on daily sermonettes by Calvin Coolidge. So far, we have seen only followups to his old “Have Faith in Massachusetts” routine, evidently extending the series into “Have Faith in the Republican Party,” “Have Faith on the Lower Mississippi,” and “Have Faith in the Rockies,” but they are sufficient to make us cancel our passage to Europe. We can’t miss those.