Dumbest question from former colleague: "I haven't come across anything like that."

Call-return: Two minutes.

Flack: Howard Boice.
Place of flackery: Arizona Department of Revenue.
Official euphemism for "flack": Public Information Director.
Flack's boss: DOR director Harold Scott.

Time in: Several years of saving receipts. Job description: Personally audits yearly tax returns of all local TV-news anchorwomen. Average media calls per day: Not many.

Preflack job: Reporter and state editor, Arizona Republic, 1965 through 1973. Worked as corporate flack for big hospitals for a while in 70s, also was private PR practitioner, but "found it unfulfilling." Flack salary: "About $42,000."

Preflack salary: About half of that, probably. Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: Was ready to move on. Call-return: One hour, seven minutes. Flack: Mary Budinger.

Place of flackery: Maricopa County Superior Court.
Official euphemism for "flack": Communications Director. Flack's boss: Presiding Judge C. Kimball Rose.

Time in: Since 1989.
Job description: Makes sure judges wear something under their robes.
Average media calls per day: "It can be a bunch, or a handful." (Never a plethora?)

Preflack job: Last job in television was at KMGH-TV, the CBS affiliate in Denver.

Flack salary: Won't say, though says it's less than what she made in Denver.
Preflack salary: Won't say. "I did pretty well up there."
Memorable spin job: Judge Marquardt really didn't inhale.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "I outgrew it." Dumbest question from former colleague: "Someone calls about a trial date for someone. I gave it to her. Then she asked, 'Does this mean that they've pled not guilty?'"

Call-return: She answered her own phone!

Flack: Brad Christensen.
Place of flackery: Arizona Department of Health Services. Official euphemism for "flack": Public Information Officer.

Flack's boss: DHS director Jack Pillenberg.
Time in: Started in September.
Job description: Handles scale duties at bimonthly DHS staff weigh-ins. Average media calls per day: "At least a half a dozen."

Preflack job: Staff writer, then managing editor, Arizona Capitol Times, 1978 through 1993. Flack salary: In the 40s. Preflack salary: In the 40s. Memorable spin job: Hantavirus: bad.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "The potential for growth" was limited at the small Capitol Times shop. Dumbest question from former colleague: A Yuma reporter asked if lead-poisoned water in some local tanks would be safe if citizens boiled it: "I had to explain to her that lead is not bacteria." Call-return: We got right through. Flack: Bill FitzGerald.

Place of flackery: Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
Official euphemism for "flack": Media Community Relations Director.
Flack's boss: Rick Romley.
Time in: Since September 1989.
Job description: Cooks and cleans for Rick Romley.
Average media calls per day: Can be dozens, or just a handful.

Preflack job: Reporter, KTVK, Channel 3. Flack salary: Wouldn't say, but "it's more" than his salary at 3.

Preflack salary: Wouldn't say.
Memorable spin job: The one that lies ahead, after the Bob Crane murder prosecution bites the dust.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "I looked around the newsroom one day and saw only three people out of about 85 who were older than me."

Dumbest question from former colleague: "Those calls from someone who asks, 'Anything happening?' I always say, 'Just another day,' which means that all kinds of things are happening."

Call-return: 19 minutes.

Flack: Dan Galvin.
Place of flackery: Arizona Department of Transportation. Official euphemism for "flack": Director of Community Relations.

Flack's boss: Deputy director Tom Warren.
Time in: Two and a half years.
Job description: Putting together a cookbook for road kill.

Average media calls per day: Three to four. Preflack job: Anchor and news director, KYEL-TV in Yuma. Also an assistant producer at KTSP, Channel 10, in Phoenix. Flack salary: About 40.

Preflack salary: $19,500.
Memorable spin job: Oops. Sorry we paid billions for more than 200 miles of freeways and got fewer than 50.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "I felt I had paid enough dues in my life to be paid more than about what an Arby's manager makes." (Yeah, but those guys have to work with hot grease.)

Dumbest question from former colleague: "Do you need any help?"
Call-return: 54 minutes.

Flack: Don Harris.
Place of flackery: Arizona Department of Commerce.
Official euphemism for "flack": Flack.
Flack's boss: DOC director Sara Goertzen. Time in: A couple of years.
Job description: Helps everybody but New Times.
Average media calls per day: Dunno.
Preflack job: Reporter, Arizona Republic.
Flack salary: Too much.
Preflack salary: Probably in the 50s.
Memorable spin job: See page 22, this issue.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: His soul was empty. Dumbest question from former colleague: "Can you answer a few questions for me?"

Call-return: Answered phone, said he'd get back to us, didn't. Flack: Gordon Helm.

Place of flackery: U.S. House of Representatives. Official euphemism for "flack": Press Secretary and Legislative Assistant. Flack's boss: U.S. Representative Sam Coppersmith. Time in: Almost a year. Job description: Stirs famed navy-bean soup in Congressional mess.

Average media calls per day: "Some days none, some days a dozen." Preflack job: 16 years at KJZZ-FM, finishing as senior producer and news director. Also worked as newscast editor at Christian Science Monitor Radio for a while after leaving KJZZ. Flack salary: Somewhere in the 30s. Preflack salary: Somewhere in the 40s. Memorable spin job: Sam won, didn't he?

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