Forget war, deficits, war profiteering, offshore tax loopholes, mistreatment of veterans, rampant religiosity, governmental stupidity, and everything else going on thanks to BushCo. Scott G discovers he’s supposed to write about nonsense.
It was about 4:20 in the afternoon when I got the call. I flipped open my phone, punched the button and said, “This is Scott.”
“Is this Scott?” said the voice. Why do people do that, I wondered for the umpteenth time.
“This is Scott,” I said again.
“You write that column for eNewsChannels.”
“The ‘Ideas on Ice’ column, right.”
“Yeah, that’s it. We need you to write about something people are interested in.”
“Who is this?” I asked.
“This is the head of the National United Media Brotherhood.”
“You’re the head of NUMB?”
“That’s right, and we’re not at all pleased with your work. If you expect to get any support from us, you’re going to have to get on the ball, subject-wise.”
“I don’t know what you-”
“Nobody gets satire, pal, so you might as well scratch it right now.”
“Well, some people are smart enough to-”
“And your topics leave a lot to be desired.”
“Look, this administration is the most inept, corrupt, dangerous, deceitful and stupid since Franklin Pierce. Or maybe even Pierce, Millard Fillmore and Warren Harding combined.”
“Everyone knows that. It isn’t news.”
“It’s news to everyone who is still registered Republican.”
“Listen carefully. It isn’t news, so stop writing about it. Do you want your phone tapped and your computer monitored?”
“Hey, you can’t threaten-”
“Do you want to go through a tax audit this year?”
“Of course not, but-”
“And every year?”
“Then start writing about something else. I think I’m making myself clear.”
I paused for breath. This couldn’t be happening in America. Could it? Although it would certainly explain why the media is not adequately covering the continuing story of the Pinocchio and Darth Vader administration. I tried to go in another direction.
“Okay, there are important issues going on in the world,” I said. “Nuclear proliferation, ethnic cleansing, Israelis vs. Palestinians, blood diamonds…”
“They don’t matter. Give us something on Paris.”
“It’s a pretty city, but…”
“Not that Paris, dummy, the bimbo heiress.”
“Come on, she’s pointless.”
“Of course she is, but people read about her. You know what happens when people read about something? More ads get sold. Money is made. We like money. Money is what all of this is about. So you get on the ball, mister. You don’t want to write about Paris, then write about OJ.”
“The breakfast drink?”
“O.J. Simpson, wiseass. Knock off the knocking of our big money machine. Write frivolous. Do it, or else.”
There was a click and the connection was broken. I was angry. I was outraged. I was incensed. And I was going to do something about it. I was going to marshal every ounce of strength and courage so I could write about what I wanted to write about.
Which is O.J. Simpson. Fascinating case, don’t you agree? Exciting! Mysterious! Full of twists and turns, ups and downs.
Although I can’t quite comprehend the charge of kidnapping. How did that get in there? He said that nobody could leave the room. Well, if that’s kidnapping, let’s go after my third grade teacher who often said the same thing. Or every airline who ever kept passengers waiting on the tarmac. Or every real estate firm who insists people have to hear the entire 90-minute time-share presentation. Or the poor people who weren’t allowed to leave their seats during Britney’s stumblefest at the VMAs.
Notice how I worked another non-news item into this story? Hey, I didn’t want to do this, but apparently, it’s the way we journalists have to behave.
Well, isn’t it?
[tags]journalism, Bush, politics, OJ, Paris, corruption, Scott G, gman, Ideas on Ice[/tags]