Deadline Nightmare

Spoilers layin’ in the cut.

My inner bullshit detector went off at the kid who had no name. It’s so, so, so tempting to make up a story like that, because it doesn’t really matter, I mean you convince yourself it doesn’t matter, that man-on-the-street shit, you tell yourself it’s not the Paris Peace Talks, so who’s it gonna hurt? I covered summer festivals for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as their intern back in ’96 and it was all day with drunks and morons, trying to get one of them to tell you something funny or interesting, and you start thinking … what if … no one would ever know … and that’s the moment you get fucked, because it’s an absolutist thing. You either do that kind of thing or you don’t. What’s funny is the number of times you DO find that perfect person who embodies the thing you think your story’s gonna be about, and you’re so grateful for that you could just kiss him, the guy who’s said your headline or given you your kicker. I’d kind of love it if this went against type and the kid turned out to be real. I don’t think it’s gonna go that way, though.

Oh, the deadline nightmares: “Did I say this?” “Yeah, but we already fixed it, you lucky bitch. You can bring us donuts tomorrow.” Copy editors are my GODS.

I liked the idea of writing about the Dickensian lives of kids in the city, but the whole lives, all of it. At my old paper here’s what we would have done, back before they dismantled our investigative team due to budget cutting: Each of the five of us would have picked one kid, and stuck with him or her day and night for months. Photogs, too, and we would have told all of it, parents neighborhoods drugs schools cops courts everything. It only lacks focus if you puss out on it and try to do it in 20 inches. Sure, you want to win prizes for that shit, but ideally you win the prize for the thing you should have been doing anyway, not the thing you did because out-of-town judges (who judge your contests in the most insane and arbitrary fashion possible; maybe we can get Mike Danablog over here to give us more on that topic) are gonna spooge all over it.

I really have been watching the newspaper stuff to see if it comes across bitter and bitchy, like Renata Adler’s book about the New Yorker did, for example, or about 2/3 of Romenesko does these days, and so far it’s not ringing false to me. Except this: One of the dozens of reporters gathered at the crime scene, at least one, would have been smart enough to walk around back of the house.




  1. This whole episode goes back to the conversation Omar had with Bunk in season one. “A man must have a code”. That little motto permeated throughout this episode:

    Bunk has a code, and it’s stronger than McNulty’s. Bunk knows that no matter how shitty it is that there’s nothing being done about all the bodies in the vacants, he’s not going to change the rules of his code in order to turn ’em black.

    Gus has a code, and Templeton has no code whatsoever. Creating a composite from a series of individual characters doesn’t fly — that’s the first thing you learn in J-school. If nothing else, be real, be honest, be truthful. Hell, Gus’s code keeps his ass up at night.

    It’s not bad where I work now, but I used to have all kinds of wars with the administration of my school about the students. I refused to do anything that would compromise the learning experience of the students. My former administrations advised me that I should have a bit more “flexibility”.

    Michael has a strong code. Chris has a code. Hell, Avon has a code (which Stringer violated). Marlo has no code. He’ll do anything, whether you in the game or not. That’s why Bodie was right.

    The game is rigged.

    And Athena, did those reporters have time to walk around the back of the house? Just sayin’

  2. Ashley, when nobody’s saying anything in front, you’re just wasting your time standing around out there. Nobody was talking to them. Might as well risk a walk around the block quick.


  3. I don’t think Gus really thinks he made an error on the port story. I think those numbers don’t make sense to him and he wants to make sure he’s remembering them correctly.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Comments RSS