Thursday, September 1, 2011

Angry Reporter's Creed

We are the bastard children of H.L. Mencken, Hunter S. Thompson, Dorothy Parker, Nellie Bly and countless others who create words like a chef does a fine meal.
We subsist on a steady diet of cigarettes, coffee, alcohol and curiosity.
Hunched over keyboards, our fingers engage in a complex tango as we form stories from the ether.
Thirsting for knowledge, for justice, for a sense of the little guy needs to become informed.
Missionaries bringing Scripture to the ignorant savages, the diving light of Truth.
Pulling back the curtain and exposing things as they really are, revealing the wonderment as well as the hideous and malformed.
Corralling the privileged and mighty from their powerful perches into a space on the page.
In black and white, for the world to see, for the people to judge.
We are not martyrs but outcasts, paupers with low salaries toiling away for some grandiose cause larger than ourselves.
No pensions or creature comforts await the reporter, merely a deluge of words, ink-stained hands and the glut of pixels on a screen.
Crucify us as we crucify you, you pot-bellied, morally bankrupt fiends.
You slayers of hope, supping on corruption and convenience, thinking the party will never end because the great unwashed masses are stupid in their apathy.
Yet you didn't count on us, did you?
You didn't realize we would be paying attention, jotting notes and recording everything.
We are the nuclear lightsaber wielded by a teflon Jedi warrior monk, and we've honed in on you.
We, the fucking reporters, the dirty journalists, the media whores, will expose you because the public, in their lethargic Hollywood comas, have a right to know all of the shit you've done.
You've been naughty little monkeys and the people will be told.
We'll carve your specified sins on your forehead with a red hot stylus, then chronicle your misdeeds in your own blood.
You can threaten us, you can protest, you can cajole and even blackmail us.
Yet that shows what titanic scum you are, what a heap of ridiculous misery you've become.
Because people like you always need someone to blame: the poor, the foreigners, the blacks, the liberals, the Jews.
With your money and influence, you may even try to muzzle us, to discredit us, to shut us down.
But here's the kicker you haven't foreseen: You can't keep us out forever.
You can't bury the Truth.
It has a way of popping out of the grave like a score of zombies in a George A. Romero movie.
And these zombies aren't the slow-witted shambling kind.
They're the ravenous, sprinting, never-get-tired-and-never-give-up kind.
Putting it bluntly, you're as fucked as a drunken bead-wearing whore during Mardi Gras and nothing, not your money, your lawyers or your sterling reputation will help against the truth.
Call it karma with a byline.
Your recklessness and disdain for the very values you purport to defend, and the morality you truck out in the public square are merely convenient facades you employ for the masses, who so desperately believe the bullshit you propagate.
By our wrath shall you know us and with every word shall we will vivisect you on the page.
You will be held accountable to the public and your misdeeds made a matter of record.
There are journalists in this country who aren't corporate controlled cyborgs, aren't cynical to the point of useless and aren't fixated on television like an infant with a shiny plastic toy.
To those reporters, scribes, full-time journos and part-time freelancers who believe the First Amendment isn't something you only trot out during a political rally, rise up.
Hear me, you newshounds, newshawks and bloggers who realize the only way to stop corruption and improve life in the zoo we call planet Earth is to make the zookeepers realize they're mistreating the animals.
In today's age of technological wonders, we are as disconnected and an embittered as ever before.
The multi-armed hydra points fingers and ascribes blame effortlessly without pointing a digit at itself.
The hydra is scared because ascribing self-blame is bad for business, and after all, a hydra can do no wrong.
It's incumbent upon every journalist with a conscience to grab a pen and kill that fucking hydra.
Pulverize them into a fine powder and snort it like a coke fiend from Studio 54, using a $100 bill on a tacky velvet picture of Jesus Christ.
Mutilate those hijacking the culture, those with deep pockets and no souls, those flagrantly violating the law because they see us as insignificant and can get away with it.
Ask the tough questions, make those bastards sweat it out like a police interrogation in a Cambodian jail.
These conniving hucksters will give you no quarter and may lash out like enraged pitbulls, yet never give up.
Only through digging deeper, through persistence, can you triumph.
We need to triumph.
This blasted world needs heroes, good people who do the right thing not out of promised financial compensation or public glory but because it's the right thing to do.
There are very few people like that left.
Be a messenger of Truth, a bringer of swift justice, a person of ideas and words.
Take up your pen, your keyboard, your high-speed Internet connection.
Go forth and do great things with your career.
Make them respect you.
Make them fear you.
Make them loathe you.
Loathe them in return.
And curse their names over a sweaty glass of whiskey.

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