A Journalist's Not-so-hidden Message
British journalist Stephen Pollard was sick and tired of the top brass at his newspaper, the Daily Express, who instructed writers and editors to feed readers a steady diet of celebrity gossip and low-brow news. In 2001, Pollard gave notice at the tabloid and signed a contract with the more-dignified The Times of London. But the gifted writer couldn't resist taking a parting shot at his outgoing boss, Express owner Richard Desmond [source: Hodgson].
In Pollard's final column, he wrote what appeared to be a vanilla opinion piece on the benefits of organic agriculture. The column begins, "Farmers are hardly the most popular group in Britain. Up and down the country areas are blighted by intensive farming practices. Couple this with subsidies the like of which no other industry can dream of and you have a recipe for unpopularity."
You see where this is going? The first letters of each sentence spell the first three letters of a popular vulgar expression. Pollard continued his coded message (known as an acrostic) throughout the entire article, making a strong case for organic farming while also saying, "---- you, Desmond!"
Unfortunately, Pollard's new bosses at The Times didn't see the humor (sorry, humour) in his prank and decided to drop their employment offer. Pollard ended up as the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, but in a twist of fate — and sign of how difficult it is to make a living as a journalist — Pollard also writes occasionally for his old boss Desmond [source: Butt].