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More Mush From the Wimp

As Wikipedia notes, "'Mush from the Wimp' was a joke headline accidentally passed through to publication at the top of a Boston Globe editorial in 1980:"

On Saturday, March 15, 1980, the Boston Globe ran an editorial that began:

Certainly it is in the self-interest of all Americans to impose upon themselves the kind of economic self-discipline that President Carter urged repeatedly yesterday in his sober speech to the nation. As the President said, inflation, now running at record rates, is a cruel tax, one that falls most harshly upon those least able to bear the burden.

There was nothing exceptional about it except the headline: "Mush from the Wimp". The headline — which was supposed to have read "All Must Share The Burden" — was corrected during the press run after 161,000 copies had already gone to circulation.

In November 1982, Globe editorial page editor Kirk Scharfenberg wrote an op-ed piece discussing his creation of the phrase and the use of "wimp" as a popular political insult afterwards. "I meant it as an in-house joke and thought it would be removed before publication," he explained. "It appeared in 161,000 copies of the Globe the next day."

In the meantime, Theo Lippman Jr. of the Baltimore Sun declared "Mush from the Wimp" the second most famous newspaper headline of the 20th century, behind "Wall St. Lays an Egg" and ahead of "Ford to City: Drop Dead".

The New York Times inadvertently had its own "Mush from The Wimp" headline today, which manages to combine Obama's feckless Middle East policy, his monolithic lack of introspection, which prevents him from admitting mistakes and reassessing his administration's goals, with his penchant for long hours out on the links into one inadvertent brilliant headline.

As Orrin Judd noted recently, it's only a matter of time before the killer rabbit emerges onto the back fairway as well. But Glenn Reynolds warned us very early into former President Obama's administration, "A Carter-rerun is now looking like a best-case scenario. . . ."

Related:

Update: The president vows to stay relentlessly on course: