A Few Good Journalists

One of the things I love about our newsroom: we can laugh at ourselves.
And trust me, there is NEVER a lack of material.

The following is a twisted little news take-off on the defining scene of “A Few Good Men”, written by my friend and colleague Robert Alpizar eight years ago during a slow night on the assignment desk. I share it with you here, with his permission … It’s as timeless as the movie it mimics.

ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: You want answers?

REPORTER: I think I’m entitled.

ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: You want answers?!

REPORTER: I want the truth!

ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: You can’t handle the truth!
Son, we work in markets that have stories. And those stories need to be covered by men with cameras.
Who’s gonna do it? You? You, you’re an anchor wannabe!
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.
You lust after the interns and make fun of the competition; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: The Lohan story, no matter how stupid, probably got us ratings. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, gets stories. You don’t want the truth, because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me for those stories, you need me for those stories.
We use words like “swing by”, “check out” and “just get me a quick VO”. We use these words as the backbone of a life trying to cover stuff. You use them as a punch line.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of news I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a camera and shoot something.
Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

REPORTER: Did you order the LIVE SHOT?

ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: I did the job I had to do.

REPORTER: Did you order the LIVE SHOT?!

ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: You’re God damn right I did!


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