Posted tagged ‘Unprofessional journalism’

Tales of the Wire: 4. Templeton

January 1, 2011

The editor of the magazine where I work sent me on a special assignment. After the recent success of the Baltimore Sun’s Scott Templeton with his superb collection of essays on the serial killing of tramps in Baltimore, I was given the order to go undercover with the underclass. No down and outs had been murdered in our city as far as I knew and my remit was simply to study their ways. The chief also told me not to fabricate any stories as some of Templeton’s tales are suspected to have been falsified.

Dressed in rags I ventured into the alleys and back passages of the deprived. Beside a brazier I saw eleven tramps in a huddle. I shuffled up to them with my eyes focused on the ground. This was when I spotted my first mistake. Although my attire was of the hobo my training shoes were as polished as a Not in Wisden article. Trying to scuff them a bit I approached the fire.

Even though I was a stranger in these parts I was welcomed with open arms. I couldn’t make out their grunts but it was clear that I had obtained membership of their church. One of the parish handed me an opened can of Super Lager. At this time I was feeling thirsty and unaware of their customs. I drained half the lager and handed the can back.
They turned on me.
Their grunts and groans got louder but I was unperturbed. I’d been called names before. Only when they produced sticks and stones from the ground did I scarper. I didn’t wait to find out if there were any potential Olympic Shot Putters or Javelin throwers amongst them. I was also thankful for the decent pair of runners on my feet.

For help in writing this article I contacted Scott Templeton. After all, he is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He was more than happy to help as long as he was given due credit. I asked why are the natives restless and why was I attacked? The following is Mr. Templeton’s eloquent prose.

Those that society has forgotten are in a land that Time magazine forgot. Luckily, I was on hand to sympathetically narrate the feelings and distrust of this under-privileged tribe of lost souls. Liquor and drugs are the footsie top two in their Bloomberg world. As these precious elements are rare they take an eternity to consume their intoxicant of choice. There’s no McCarthyism down in the dumps. Socialism is alive and kicking in this Marxist utopia as no one is allowed more than their fair share of beer in a can and they must be sluggish slow with their slugs. The rationale being the denizens don’t know where the next one is coming from.
That’s it, we’re done. I can’t reveal my sources. OK turn off the tape recorder and remember to plaster my name all over your piece.