||Long before Caen,
Hoppe, Delaplane, Morse,
or Hinckle; ages before
both Matier and Ross, and about a hundred years before Mister SF's father
learned to walk, there was Ambrose Bierce. Bierce created the first
recognized newspaper column in the U.S. His "Prattles" ran in the Examiner
for thirty years beginning in the late 1800s. Bierce continued a style
of news commentary and reportage he used earlier in his "Telegraphic Jottings,"
and in the News Letter's "Town Crier." His rapier criticism and bold satirical
invective was aimed at just about everything and everybody corrupt in the
eyes of Bierce. He took on other writers and even the Examiner. With that
his aim was to "purify journalism in this town by instructing such writers
as it is worthwhile to instruct, and assassinating those that it is not."
Blurring the line between social philosopher and humorist, Bierce was a
self appointed hypocrisy detector. He wrote, "Truth is better than anything
or all things; the next best thing to truth is the absence of error."