Talk about an ironic bumper sticker: "ANNOY The Clarion Ledger: VOTE PICKERING"
In the dirty days of fall politics, it seems no one is hankering to take credit for the latest Chip Pickering bumper stickers appearing on mini-vans and SUVs around the Metro: "ANNOY The Clarion Ledger: VOTE PICKERING," the white letters on a royal-blue background advise. A guy at the Mississippi Republican Party office gave one to a Jackson Free Press staffer, so we decided to sniff out the poop on just why the GOP thinks a Pickering vote would annoy The Clarion Ledger. This, after all, is a newspaper that loves the death penalty, and wants its tort reform now, darn it, and doesn't see a need to talk about race in 2002 (per its new executive editor in a recent interview by his newspaper). But when we called the party guy back for comments, he said he couldn't comment on the sticker, and not to use his name. He, in turn, directed our inquiries to the Pickering home office in Taylorsville, Miss.
"I'm calling about the 'Annoy the Clarion Ledger: Vote Pickering' bumper sticker," J. Bingo Holman, investigative journalist, told the receptionist. "Because the last office tried to act like they didn't know."
The receptionist seemed surprised and immediately asked: "Do you have a complaint?"
"No, we're just trying to get the story," Holman replied. The receptionist then put Holman on hold for another woman who in turn said, "I don't know anything about it," and directed our reporter to 948-CHIP.
Holman, who prefers real phone numbers, grumpily dialed 948-CHIP, which is a local call, and told the woman on the other end that she was calling to inquire about the mysterious bumper sticker.
This one sounded more chipper, and a bit amused, and put Holman on hold. When she came back, she asked for the Jackson Free Press phone number and said someone would call us back. She didn't say who or when.
As we go to press, we eagerly await that phone call.
The Annoy the CL logo was popularized during the state flag referendum due to the CL's support of the new flag design. This looks like just a recycled take on it.
- J. Whitehead