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December 10, 2012 | 51 comments
Nothing will replace the camaraderie that came with being a night-desk reporter.
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Eventually the excitement would wear off. You’d grow weary of being up until 3 a.m. every morning, wondering if you’d make it home before the sun rose. I once read a story I’d written two months before and couldn’t remember a single thing about it. It was being like a fireman, jumping up off and running to some emergency every time the bell rang. You’d watch the old- timers pecking away with one finger because they’d never learned to touch-type and realize it was time to move on. Most of my fellow reporters ended up at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. I still see their names all the time.
Yet there was a romance to those all-night, lobster-shift adventures that’s never been replaced — the thrill of writing tomorrow’s headlines while the world slept.
One memorable occasion summed it all up for me. I was just finishing up my last police calls at 2 a.m. when a laconic policeman’s voice came on at the other end of the line.
“Any accidents or arrests,” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“Anything else worth reporting.”
“Well…there’s one thing here that might interest you.”
“What is it?” It was like pulling teeth.
“There’s a report here that at 1 a.m. this morning, as the district attorney was riding home after staying very late at his office, someone on an isolated road in the western end of the county fired a bullet into his car. The matter is under investigation.”
I slammed down the phone. The only person left in the office was a curmudgeonly old copy editor who wore sleeve garters, smoked a cigar and hadn’t cracked a smile in the two years I’d known him.
“Hold the front page,” I shouted to him. “Somebody just tried to kill the D.A.”
The copy editor’s face lit up with rapture. He dropped his cigar, jumped out of his chair, pumped his fist in the air and shouted, “Yippeeee!”
I miss those days.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online