Jan. 14th, 2007

gotham_knocking: (Default)

He ran out at 7 am to get a copy of PM. He ignored the news for the moment and flipped ahead to the editorial pages, flipped past the other op-eds, and found his, on the third page, before the letters and after George Will. Ten paragraphs, taking up half a page in the tabloid format newspaper, making the points that Mayor Borg was being railroaded, that he deserved his day in court, and that the recall effort was unfair. The writing style was inelegant, but Knox liked it. He read the column three times. as well as the byline and the one line bio - "Alexander Knox worked as a beat reporter for the Gotham Globe."

He bought ten more copies. He would sent one to his parents, and take the rest to the Bar. (Vega and Vale would buy their own, and both called him that morning to congratulate him.) Step one was complete. Now he just had to hope that there was a step two soon. It was so weird being unemployed. Yes, he had money, but knowing that he didn't have a place to be, or a routine, that was strangely disturbing. He would have to invent one, wouldn't he? That was something he didn't account for.

He could only hope that somehow, with this one lone column under his belt, he would land a job soon. But today wasn't a day to worry. It was one to celebrate. Which would mean getting back to the Bar at some point. But not yet. He wanted to see if anyone reacted. Maybe he'd call Teller later in the day?


Bert Teller sat with a pile of While You Were Out notes. The kind that have carbons so that there is record of every call that he missed, or that his assistant took while he ignoring the phone. He had 84 of them. About ten times as many as he got on a given day from readers commenting on the op-ed pages. The last time he got this kind of response was when the editorial page endorsed Dukakis. And that was to be expected. But because an obscure beat reporter defended the mayor?

He sorted the notes by type and position, and then found Knox' number. "Hullo, Knox. Teller. Looks like your column is getting a little notice." He could tell that at the other end, Knox was paying close attention, despite a quick "really?"

"84 calls so far. That's a lot more that average."

"I see." Odds are that Knox was givng one of those goofy "who, me?" grins that artifically modest reporters use.

"Don't get so excited. It's 12 to 1 against. And they aren't being nice about it."

"I didn't think they would. This is Gotham."

"Let's see...'who does he think he is?'...'how can you print this crap?'...'Borg is clearly guilty and this guy is his shill'...'drek'...a few more coarse adjectives. You're really hit the big time on this. Everyone loves you."

"I didn't do this to be popular, Teller."

"Clearly. You do have a few fans, though. 'About time someone told off the Feds'...'Borg does deserve a chance'...'he might be wrong but he has guts'...I assume the caller means you. It's lively."

"And that's just the phones?"

"Well, we don't get the mail that fast."

"Two days?"

"Usually. And if the calls are any indicator, it will be five times more of the same."

"So people really read it."

"We don't print guest op-eds to hold space for ads, Knox." He knew what Knox meant. He knew that Knox was really not expecting this. But he wasn't going to encourage the man. "We expect readers to read."

"Yeah, of course." Maybe Knox was used to being ignored? Teller had ignored the Globe for years, after all.

"Come in a couple of days, and you can see the mail, and collect your check."

"Sure thing." Somewhere in Gotham, Teller knew, Knox was busy slapping himself on the back and planning to get drunk. Reporters.


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November 2011


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