I love keeping an eye out for pens in the media to see who is using what, and sometimes you will see some interesting things. This has been bothering me for a while, and I admit its a ridiculously silly thing to let bother me. It’s not really not like I’m losing sleep over it, but I need an answer. Michael Smerconish (@smerconish) along with several other television news reporters I’ve seen seem to like taking their notes on a legal pad using standard Sharpie permanent markers to write on them with. For the life of me I don’t understand why.
Best case scenario is that you get 5-6 words per line, and the bleed through makes the next sheet of paper pretty much unusable in my recent testing of this combination. The only possible explanation I can see for this is that maybe the large writing and minimal number of words per line helps with quick glances back to the notes as to avoid the camera seeing the host looking down all the time? That’s literally the only reason I can think of Every time I see this its like the visual equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for me. So does anyone have a better guess, or an actual answer as to what the reasoning is for this? I can’t imagine it just being a personal preference, although I guess anything is possible.
On a slightly related note, I also find Wolf Blitzer’s (@wolfblitzer) steadfast dedication to the Paper Mate Flexgrip (via Amazon) quite remarkable. I watch a LOT of news and by default a LOT of CNN and Wolf seems to have quite the monogamous relationship with this pen for as long as I can remember. He has been a reporter forever, and he obviously figured out an appropriate, simple, and practical pen situation long ago. Anyway, just some observations I thought I’d share and hopefully get an answer on this whole Sharpie and legal pad issue with because I really just don’t get it.