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The Abby-litionists Are Protesting

, , , , | Right | July 14, 2020

I am working as a reporter for a daily newspaper near a large military base. I am working the morning shift after a night of storms and I take a call from a reader.

Me: “Good morning, [Newspaper], this is [My Name].”

Caller: “Hi. I was looking through the paper and couldn’t find Dear Abby anywhere.”

Me: “Hmm, give me a moment.”

I grab a copy of the day’s paper and flip through it. Indeed, there is no “Dear Abby” this edition.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, it doesn’t look like we included it today. We had a lot of breaking news to include about the storms last night.”

Caller: “This is just ridiculous.”

The caller then launches into a rant about how she doesn’t understand how our paper was ranked as high as it was in a recent annual newspaper competition because we didn’t print “Dear Abby” to make room for breaking news.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we had to make room for news following the storm.”

I am trying to emphasize “news” in my apology to the caller.

Caller: “I’ve lived in some big cities, and you don’t even have a science page. I want to cancel my subscription!”

There is no significant science news in our area, but we do post such news on national and international coverage pages.

Me: “Okay, let me transfer you to that office.”

Turns out, callers threatening to cancel their subscription because of “Dear Abby” being cut is rather common!

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