Those Copydesk Debates
Lynch, Dan, Editor & Publisher
Those copydesk debates
Not long after President Nixon went to China in early '70s to pave the way for an invasion by the forces of Pizza Hut, a copy editor on the newspaper I was working for at the time committed a horrendous error. In a deadline, he referred to the nation as "Red China."
The People's Republic of China had never called itself "Red China," but the American media had adopted that terminology so readers, listeners and viewers wouldn't confuse the People's Republic of China with the real China, which we all knew was located on the island of Taiwan.
That worked fine until Americans started to worry about cholesterol. That was when Nixon decided that a diplomatic advance to Red China was essential to the economic well-being of the fast food firms that had contributed so heavily to his 1972 campaign. So Nixon went off to visit Red China, and the copy editor got into hot water when he called the place that in a headline.
After that, Red China was just China in that newspaper. …
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Publication information: Article title: Those Copydesk Debates. Contributors: Lynch, Dan - Author. Magazine title: Editor & Publisher. Volume: 124. Issue: 6 Publication date: February 9, 1991. Page number: 56+. © 2002 Editor & Publisher. COPYRIGHT 1991 Gale Group.
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