Trash Talk
The Ticker has always strived to remain unbiased in its coverage of the Baruch community, as Baruch's Weissman School of Arts and Sciences namesake George Weissman ('39, LLD [Hon.] '82) will attest. The former president of Philip Morris was editor in chief of The Ticker during one such instance of unbridled reportage involving a senior member of the College's staff.

"I started out as a reporter on The Ticker, and, as people graduated, I moved on to become editor. The most scandalous story we printed was a review of a cheap, tawdry book entitled Mexican Love by Dean Justin Hartley Moore."

Moore was extremely unpopular with both faculty and students due to his conservative, anticommunist, and antisocialist views and his lukewarm endorsement of civil liberties. His attempts to restrain student political activities had led to much tension and undoubtedly contributed to his abrupt departure in the fall of 1939. A year before his resignation, as Moore began "to devote himself to scholarly and literary work" as a law professor, The Ticker, under Weissman's aegis, published five different reviews of the embattled dean's salacious pulp romance, Mexican Love, which he had written a year earlier.

"The book appeared on my desk before the beginning of the school term, but we were unsure if it was written by the same Justin H. Moore that was our dean," Weissman explains. "So we wrote to the publisher in London, who said the author was the dean of our school."

Mexican Love was criticized for its overcomplicated plot, lack of style, misused words, poor sentence structure, and frequent grammatical errors. One reviewer said that its only redeeming value was that it helped a reader appreciate good literature. But was it really as bad as everyone said?

"It was a trash novel," Weissman confirms. "There was one sentence describing ‘a naked woman with her hips shining like Ping Pong balls,'" he recounts, laughing. "I mean, it was ridiculous."

—Lara Moon

Trash Talk