Writers so fancy themselves as cultural guerrillas, sneaking in subtle messages of protest against the media-entertainment complex or any other form of totalitarianism. They really would have been happier penning samizdats in the former Soviet Union; and many authors did indeed mourn the passing of a régime so brutal-and mockable. Successful TV writer Chuck Lorre has little to fear from Les Moonves and his other bosses at CBS, but the millionaire writer has embedded subversive short texts in the vanity cards at the end of shows such as Two and a Half Men. In one recent message, the 55-year-old Mr. Lorre wrote: "I received a phone call from a mid-level CBS exec who began the conversation by saying he wanted to give me a head's up. Having been in this business a while I knew 'head's up' is code for 'we've decided to s- you.'"
Lorre's little game is revealed today in one of the Wall Street Journal's increasingly rare marginalized A-Heds, the long and colorful front-page stories that were the signature of the business newspaper before it was taken over by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. And author Katherine Rosman follows Lorre's example and works in a little dig at her new overlord, the Australian media mogul. She quotes Lorre's most recent vanity card, which "lampooned" the Murdoch régime. Lorre wrote of the upcoming "article in The Wall Street Journal (or as I like to call it, The Depressingly Inevitable Next Step Toward the End of a Free Press in America, Thanks a Lot Rupert, Journal)."
(Incidentally, subversive messages on Gawker are often hidden in the tags. Hover over the red subhead above the headline, which reveals other words and phrases by which the article has been categorized. Just so you know.)