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Marc Dion
Marc Dion
24 Aug 2015
I'm Casual About Mangoes Now

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Dying for a Fluff Piece

Comment

When new reached our newsroom that a couple of television reporters were gunned down in Virginia, somebody made a joke. Reporters pride themselves on what we inevitably call "gallows humor." Somebody HAD to make a joke, to live up to our self-anointed reputation for toughness. It was not a funny joke. Most jokes you have to reach for are not funny.

Reporters don't engage in this kind of humor because we are journalists, not at all. We joke about these things for the same reason anyone would. Because the thing didn't happen to us. A reporter won't joke when his wife gets breast cancer. A reporter won't joke when her son is killed in a motorcycle accident. I've seen small-town sports writers moved, not to a joke, but to tears when the local football team loses the state championship.

I think what moved me about the deaths was what the two were covering at the time. They were at the mall, doing a tourism story, talking to someone connected with the local chamber of commerce.

I've been a newspaper reporter for 32 years. I've covered that story. It's a dog, a woof-woof, a piece of little to no interest to either me or the photographer with whom I am working. We know how to do it, and we do it well, because we've done it hundreds of times.

I work in Massachusetts. When the Patriots win a championship, I get sent out with a photographer to write about sales of Patriots gear at the local mall.

The photographer and I talk to a couple of store employees. Then we wander around the store, waiting until we see someone buying a Patriots T-shirt. I get a quote. The photographer gets a picture. We do this three, maybe four times and then we go back to the office.

The average reporter, though he/she likes to pretend to have a certain toughness, will cover many more of these stories than murders. You go to the mall. You go to the press conference. You follow the candidate as she tours a local industry and explains her program for economic development. You go to church events and open house at the new high school.

You cover house fires, but the firefighters make sure you stay at a safe distance. You cover murders in bad neighborhoods, but you don't have to be afraid because there's been a murder, so the street is infested with cops.

It's a good job, as honest as transmission repair, and it's what I know how to do. Most of the time, it's not breaking the big story and it's not investigative reporting. Most of the time it's a Water Commission meeting or a carnival at the Presbyterian Church. In the language of print journalism it's "the stuff on page three."

We're all proud of those reporters who die covering a war, as we should be. It's a damned noble thing. But, if you're a real, working reporter, you're also proud of the people who died covering the stuff on page three.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's book "Marc Dion: Volume I" is a collection of his best 2014 columns and is available for Nook and Kindle.

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Comments

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So this one hit home because the vics were journalists. Doesn't hit home if the vic is a young woman strolling along the her father in SF or a Texas cop gunned down from behind as he pumps gas. That's just woof-woof for gun control.
Publishers, editors, and journalists have stoked the flames of victimization. For years. This killer was a winner on two fronts, gay and black. Bestowing victim status is the lifeblood of the Democratic Party. We live in a country where millions of blacks are successful, yet blacks are told they will never succeed because of white privilege. A country where, as a subset, gays enjoy incredible financial success but are portrayed as victims nonetheless.
Seven years into Democratic Party rule and so many anointed victims, like this perp, are blind with rage. They openly call for the murder of cops. The murder of whites. The murder of anyone perceived as target for social revenge.
It hits home only if journalists are caught in the crossfire?
Where did you think all of the accusations directed towards good hardworking people was going to lead? To a better world, or to a needlessly angry mob?
Go ahead, Dion, pick up the mantle of gun control next week. That will really help kids stuck in ghettos learn to read, fairly assess themselves, and assure for them success in a country with a fifteen dollar minimum wage. Wards of your progressive state forever.
It's all just a big woof-woof in the end, ain't it?
Comment: #1
Posted by: Tom
Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:34 AM
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