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Lehigh Valley Newsman Tells Clark Kent: You’re Fired

This once newspaper editor would never have the likes of Clark Kent/Superman on his staff.

Yet another Superman movie is due for release in 2012, with Henry Cavill as the legendary Man of Steel, Amy Adams as feisty reporter Lois Lane and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman’s parents.

Faster than a speeding bullet;
More powerful than a locomotive;
Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.
Look! Up in the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!

Yes, Superman, strange visitor from another planet, who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.

Jettisoned from his home planet of Krypton just as it is about to explode, baby Superman is found in his demolished spaceship by a Midwest farm couple who nurture him to adulthood.

Kent realized at an early age that he had superhuman powers and decided to use these extraordinary powers for the betterment of mankind - noble and principled goals, to be sure.

Those who know I was a newspaper editor for more than 30 years would often jokingly ask me how I would like to be Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet, and have the likes of Clark Kent/Superman on my staff.

They were shocked when I told them “no way.” On the one hand, it would have been great to say, “Hey, Supe, fly to Harrisburg, get a pithy quote from Gov. Tom Corbett and be back here in time for deadline.” 

The truth, though, is that I get depressed when I see the stereotype of three stumblebums, such as Clark, Lois and photographer Jimmy Olsen, single-handedly put out The Daily Planet while it took nearly 60 of us in the editorial department at The Express (now The Express-Times) in Easton to do the same job.

Not only do the fearsome threesome gather and write the news, they are always getting tied up in some incredible situation, travel all over the world tracking down criminals and news stories and spend little time in the newsroom. 

I don’t have much respect for Clark Kent as a journalist. The guy has a real problem with the truth. He’s always lying about who he is. Can a pathological liar be trusted with a news story? 

That doesn’t even begin to address the conflict-of-interest problem. We insisted that reporters avoid and report all conflicts of interest. Clark Kent has a big conflict. He gets intimately involved with news stories – a journalistic no-no. As Superman, he collars the crooks and gives the exclusive story to Lois, while Jimmy snaps the photos of the year.

“Where were you, Kent?” exasperated Chief Perry White barks when Clark reappears after things simmer down. “Oh, I was tying up some loose ends (wink, wink),” says Clark, while fumbling with his glasses and straightening his tie. 

Tell me, would you continue to employ Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen, who still can’t see the similarity between Clark Kent and Superman after all these years? Reporters and photographers are supposed to have keen powers of observation. Give me a break!

I have to be honest with you: There’s a Superman crisis looming large and present. With the advances in modern technology, especially smart phones, the need for public telephone booths has diminished significantly in recent years. If they keep disappearing from the city landscape, where is Clark Kent going to change into his Superman costume? This is a serious dilemma, people.

I certainly hope he embraces the new technology, too, so he can keep us up to date on Twitter on his latest capers, and I know a lot of fans will want to friend him on Facebook. I hope this doesn’t take too much time away from his crime-busting duties, though, because the country needs him now more than ever.

Anthony Rando April 09, 2011 at 02:06 PM
Bruce, I love this article! However, I have to say, don't you think that Superman/Clark Kent would just about always have the inside scoop that the other reporters just couldn't get? I mean, what better quote for the latest super-villain crime story than his big-evil-plan soliloquy that only Superman hears, just as he thinks he's about to best the Man of Steel? Not to mention that Clark Kent could write his stories faster than a speeding blogger. For that matter, why wouldn't Kent work for an international news company, like CNN? You'd think he could get any story he wanted. Trouble in the Middle East, Libyan crises, African civil wars... he could be there in a flash, get the story, and still make the White House correspondence dinner. As far as Lois Lane and Jimmy, I can't blame them. People never recognize me with my glasses on. ; )

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