“What are you majoring in?” the old man asked his son’s girlfriend at the table behind me.
“What do you want to do with that?”
“I don’t know, write for a magazine or something, like fashion journalism”
I should kill her now, save the world from one more of her kind, Alex thought. Then the father-in-law to be jumped in.
“Journalist are all full of bullshit. I had one come in and interview me. He only used a five second clip from the interview. They’ll manipulate whatever you say to fit their story.”
At this point Alex couldn’t sit silent, after all he was a paid reporter, one of a dying breed. This assault on his profession wouldn’t stand. He turned around and was faced with the man confusing television personalities for reporters. Three hundred pounds of red-state, his jowl was a sight to be seen.
“Most of them are illiterate, too”Alex chimed in.
“Excuse me?” the fat bastard said as more of a command than a question. He was obviously an Alpha male.
“No, it’s true. Most reporters don’t know how to read. They’re petty criminals who have some semblance of street smarts and damn good memories. They call in the facts or statements they hear to editors who actually write the articles.”
Jowl looked confused. Alex thought a further explanation, one grounded in reality, might help.
“You know Woodword and Burnstein, the Watergate reporters, deepthroat, that whole bag? Neither one of them could read past a third grade level. Experts now agree both have Aspergers. Photographic memories, both of them. Show them 20 items for a split second and they’ll be able to list ’em all. But give them a copy of one of their articles and you’ll be lucky if one of them recognizes their own name.”
The father, son and girlfriend all looked at Alex with blank stares. It was unnerving.
“Well it’s been enlightening, I’m sure, but my cab’s here” Alex said as he stepped away from the table. “Remember, illiterate criminals. Don’t turn your back on them, they’ll pick your pocket then ask you for a quote about the robbery. Traitorous bastards.”
Alex walked away, convinced he had saved his profession from having another hack join the ranks and a source so confused he’d never talk to another reporter. Good riddance.