Did You Read Feagler Today?

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9781886228238: Did You Read Feagler Today?

Now in paperback!

Dick FeaglerÕs featured column in the Plain Dealer regularly makes waves that ripple far beyond the newspaper pages. Love him or hate him, Clevelanders read him. And then talk about what he wrote.

This collection gathers FeaglerÕs most talked about recent columns, the ones he can tell struck a particular chord with readers by the sheer volume of voice mail, pro and con, that he received in response. These essays span the period of 1995-1998.

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About the Author:

Dick Feagler, star columnist for The Plain Dealer, began writing in Cleveland in 1963 for the Cleveland Press, where his feature column ran from 1970 until that paper's demise in 1982. Throughout the 1980s, his column ran in the Akron Beacon Journal, the Willoughby News-Herald, the Lorain Journal, the Painesville Telegraph, and the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. Feagler has also provided regular news commentary for WKYC-TV3 and WEWS-TV5, and his commentaries have aired on National Public Radio. His many honors include the George Foster Peabody Award (1991), the Alfred I. DuPont Award (1991), 21 local Emmys, and numerous UPI and AP awards.

Dick Feagler is also the author of Feagler's Cleveland, Now in paperback.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Thanksgiving dinner with Jerry Springer

Last night I had a horrible dream. I dreamed I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Jerry SpringerÕs house. All the recent guests from his talk show were there. Sitting near me was the woman from the episode ÒMy Pimp WonÕt Let Me Go.Ó Naturally, her pimp was there, too. Across the table was a woman in maternity clothes. I recognized her as the star of the show titled ÒIÕm Pregnant by a Transsexual.Ó She was telling everybody that she was hoping for a boy. ÒWeÕre going to call him Scott-Heather,Ó she said. Suddenly, two women pushed their chairs over backward and began writhing on the floor and clawing each other. Nobody paid much attention. ÒWho are they?Ó I asked an attractive woman sitting nearby. ÒOh, theyÕre nobody,Ó she said with a sniff. ÒThey were on the program called ÔIÕm Pregnant by Your Man.ÓÕ ÒThere certainly are a lot of pregnant people around,Ó I said. ÒAre you pregnant too?Ó ÒCertainly not!Ó she said icily. ÒPerhaps you donÕt know who I am. I appeared on the show called ÔHoney, IÕm Really a Guy.ÕÓ ÒWhoÕs the woman over there near the cranberry sauce?Ó I asked. ÒThereÕs something familiar about her, but I canÕt place what it is.Ó ÒYou mean the one without any clothes on?Ó said Ms. Really-a-Guy. ÒShe was on last FridayÕs show. The one called ÔI Refuse to Wear Clothes.ÕÓ ÒOh, yeah,Ó I said. I had seen that one. Ms. I-Refuse-To-Wear-Clothes had been sitting on the set, merrily in the nude, with her intimate zones covered up by those shimmery little squares TV uses to mask the faces of juveniles and rape victims. ÒI Refuse to Wear ClothesÓ had an especially poignant moment. The nude young womanÕs mother was brought from the wings. She sank into a chair next to her daughter and began to sob. ÒHow can you do this to us?Ó she wailed. ÒYou are ruining our family. You have driven a wedge between your father and I.Ó The nude looked honestly flabbergasted. ÒThere are problems between you and Dad because IÕm naked?Ó she asked in amazement. All of these shows really happened just the way IÕve described them. But, in my dream, Jerry Springer walked into the dining room carrying a huge turkey. Or was it the turkey that carried Springer? I canÕt remember. ItÕs beginning to fade. I do remember that, in my dream, Springer made a little speech. ÒI want to thank all of you dear and fascinating fruitcakes for giving me a Thanksgiving with something to be thankful for,Ó he said. ÒAs you know, television is a tough business. My show is in a bitter ratings war against Oprah. For years, she has been the queen of daytime TV talk.Ó He was interrupted by a fit of giggling. It came from three young women who had appeared on the Springer show titled ÒPregnant Bad Girls.Ó He waited until it stopped. ÒOprah has been fighting a conventional ratings war,Ó he said. ÒShe has been using trite old topics like ÔMovie Star MakeoversÕ and People magazineÕs ÔSexiest Man Alive.ÕÓ A woman named Kristen abruptly pushed back her chair and stood up. ÒI HAVE A SECRET LOVER!Ó she yelled at us. I remembered that she had spoken those same words to her fiance, Mark, on a recent Springer show. Then she introduced her secret lover, a woman named Shelly. ÒI knew I could never beat Oprah with conventional ratings warfare,Ó Springer continued. ÒSo I turned to the only answerÑbiological ratings warfare. All of you have the biological makeup of sickos, wackos and weirdos. So I unleashed you on the TV audience. Think of it this way: IÕm like Saddam, and all of you are like anthrax.Ó They all cheered at that. ÒAnd it worked,Ó Springer said. ÒI beat Oprah in the ratings. I have you to thank for it. I learned a lesson back when I was on CincinnatiÕs City Council and the press found out I had paid a hooker with a check. ÔJerry,Õ I said to myself, Ôif you want to dabble in prostitution, next time make sure youÕre the one who gets the check.ÕÓ Suddenly, a bunch of new people raced into the dining room and began yelling at each other and pelting each other with bread sticks. ÒLook out!Ó the nude yelled. ÒThose are the people from the show ÔPast Guests Do Battle!Õ Duck!!ÕÓ I ducked so hard I woke up. And then I realized it was Wednesday and everything was all right. The November ratings period ends tonight. ÑNovember 26, 1997

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