This is always one of the slowest news weeks of the year. In the news business this results in what is called “copy hunger.” The term describes the dilemma that occurs when there isn’t enough filler around which to artistically place the all-important adds. It drives the advertisng deparment nuts. On top of that , at any given time, half the editorial department is drunk.. Why not? There is nothing worth reporting.
That is how the eminent journalists Trevor Boyer and Shant Shahrigian wound up sharing a byline Monday on a story headlined “Quiet Bronx neighborhood bedeviled by new Hells Angels headquarters.” There wasn’t anything worth reporting and the princes of advertising were on the verge of tears. Must have been like that.
The New York charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club occupied a 119-years-old, 11,025 square foot building at 77 E 3rd Street from 1969 until last spring. Mostly their occupation was unremarkable and trouble free as long as you minded your own business and stayed out of their parking spaces.
In the mid-90s, after the federal government tried to steal the building, a neighbor named Jackie Gares, who lived two buildings down from the club, told the New York Times, “I’m glad (the feds lost). I think this is the safest block in New York, and I’s because of them. Because people don’t want to mess with them. People don’t break into cars on this block. If I’m shopping and they’re out, I feel safe.”
But about three years ago, the New York Police Department decided that was too good to last. The neighborhood had become increasingly gentrified. A man named David Martinez was shot as a result of a parking dispute outside the clubhouse. The police insisted the Hells Angels should help them with their investigation. The Angels, who are famous for their good citizenship were eager to do that but unfortunately none of them had any fist hand knowledge of this terrible incident. So the cops went berserk writing tickets. It became obvious the Angels were going to have to move in order to exercise their right to be let alone.
That’s how they wound up in a former American Legion hall at at 241 Longstreet Ave. in the Bronx. And that is how created a full 32 column inch story out of nothing, out of thin air and saved the editorial department from advertising’s wrath. Here’s a little journalism lesson for you.
The lede, reporters spell it like that, was: “Roaring motorcycle engines and late-night carousing have bedeviled the once-quiet Bronx neighborhood where the Hells Angels have just set up their new New York headquarters.” Just like they teach the college kids in jay-school. The very first word was an active verb. And then the reporters enhance interest and establish their angle with: “The infamous motorcycle gang bought a two-story brick building in middle-class Throggs Neck, and a noisy gathering at the headquarters earlier this month disturbed neighbors.”
That is the angle. Oh no! Not a Christmas party!
The actual news in this story is that the Angels, or possibly the Church of the Angels, bought the property in a private transaction for $1.25 million. They moved in. And then just when their new neighbors were hoping for a “quiet weekend” the Angels threw a party.
And Boyer and Shahrigian got 32 inches out of that! Thirty-two inches is a lot.Boyer even took a photo!
One of those YouTube clowns even hijacked their story and stole Boyer’s picture and some generic music and put it up on the net. See video below. Stay informed!