Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Drop Dead; drop 12

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 11, 2008

This Tech CrunchIT article by Steve Gillmor about why I can’t get Twitter to work with instant messaging — a marriage that you’d think would be as obvious as chocolate and peanut butter — was worthwhile, because it clarified what was becoming increasingly obvious:  It’s not about me.  Twitter doesn’t have any idea on earth how to make it work.

Fine and dandy, as far as it goes.

But here’s the icing:  The article is called, “Twitter to IM:  Drop Dead,” and, to make it re-e-e-e-e-eally obvious what the joke was to the many Twitter and IM users who are, in fact, under 40…. and then some… it included a JPEG of the famous New York Daily News front page of October 29, 1975, featuring the late President Gerald Ford’s picture and the headline, “FORD TO CITY:  DROP DEAD,” in reference to his promise to veto any bailout of New York City in the shadow of its threatened bankruptcy.  This decision by Ford may have been the right one, but the News‘s spin — despite its later endorsement — along with Chevy Chase’s libelous depiction of of the President as an oaf on Saturday Night Live, were probably the two most significant MSM contributors to the advent of the Carter Administration.

What’s really, really interesting is the second subhead.  The first one reads, “Abe, Carey rip stand” — that meant, for you youngsters and those tuning in from overseas, “New York Mayor Abe Beame and New York Governor Hugh Carey criticized the President’s statement.”  Of course, they were not only Democrats; they were as responsible as any two people then living for the disastrous situation in the first place.  But the second headline?  Dig this — and now I present you with the JPEG in all its glory:

Twelve points of separation

Twelve points of separation

That’s right:  “Stocks Skid, Down Down 12.”


This was back in the ticker-tape days, when stocks were bought and sold the old-fashioned way.  A million shares sold, as I remember it, was a “heavy volume” day on Wall Street.  And the Dow Jones average for the month of October in 1975 was 836.   The Dow overcame that eight-point “slide” and finished the year at 852.

Now, we were talking about Twitter…


One Response to “Drop Dead; drop 12”

  1. Ara said

    Great catch with the Dow headline!

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