November 20 1909 — Here we have Herriman putting in a lot of cartooning work to illustrate a non-story. This one is about a court case in which the judge called an adjournment for the day in the middle of the prosecutor’s case. This is really not noteworthy, but some reporter who sat in the courtroom all day with nothing to show for it came up with a very slender hook on which to hang a publishable story.
It is surprising, I guess, that it took so long for politicians to fully realize the benefit they could gain by feeding nothingburgers to reporters. Reporters good and bad are always in search of copy, and if they are at all lazy, or tired, or set upon by an editor, they’ll take pretty much any shiny bit of bait they see. A current resident in Washington has turned that process into a fine art, and reporters seem helpless to ignore the bait, even when they realize exactly what he’s up to.