According to the Journal,
- "As editor of Forbes for nearly four decades, James W. Michaels favored notes short and acerbic: 'This is stenography,' he often wrote of copy that lacked point of view.
- "'It was entirely Michaels's magazine and his vision and style,' says Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute. While Fortune was known for longer articles and Business Week for a survey of the week's news, Forbes specialized in 'having a fresh take and holding businesses accountable from a small-investor viewpoint,' Mr. Edmonds says, adding that a marker of Mr. Michaels's strength is that 'the magazine is not especially different from what it was when he was editor.'"
- "One thing he taught was to buck conventional wisdom...'It is always safe to take counter-cyclical positions in a cyclical world,' Mr. Michaels told Ad Week in 1985."
- "While Fortune was known for longer articles and Business Week for a survey of the week's news, Forbes specialized in 'having a fresh take and holding businesses accountable from a small-investor viewpoint.'"
- "The magazine is not especially different from what it was when he was editor.'"
- “This is badly written and badly edited. It would be an insult to foist it on the reader.”
- “This is a real snoozer, lacking in specifics. Why not just send them a nice lacy valentine and forget the prose.”
- “I’m sending this one back because the character is deader than a dodo.” Can’t the writer “inject a little life without adding 10,000 words?”
- “A good story turned into oatmeal by bad organization.”
- “Please fix this quickest. It lacks most of the ingredients of a Forbes story. The quotes are room emptiers.”
- “This is the kind of sentence that drives readers to stop reading.”
- “This is a paid advertisement. Did you forget to say he walks on water?”
- “If I can’t stay awake editing this, how can a reader stay awake reading it? What’s the point? If it has a point, maybe we can make a story of it.”
- “I can’t make head nor tail of this. There’s a story buried in all this confusion, but I can’t find it. Fix it or kill it.”
- “This is a remarkable job of interviewing an interesting and colorful man and getting precisely one quote.”
- “This is exactly the sort of lazy writer jargon that will put us out of business. Please use the rich resources of the English language.”
- “Too bloody complicated. That’s not writing. Make it simple and interesting. That’s writing.”
- “This is so full of holes, it’s like Swiss cheese.”
- “Here’s another one I can’t understand without help from a lawyer and accountant.”
- “This is more an essay as written than a Forbes article. It badly needs the concrete images, the real people that will anchor it to reality. It’s called shoe-leather reporting.”
"He regularly banned words and phrases he considered overused. 'Fast track,' 'game plan,' 'bottom line' and 'superstar' were some examples. 'Upscale' was another: 'If I see this word again I’ll upthrow,' he wrote.
Post a Comment