A journalist attempts to do his job
“Let’s see your list of questions.”
I’m standing outside the Oval Office, endlessly tapping my foot. I’m wearing a suit, recently dry-cleaned, and holding a prepared list of questions for my interview with the sitting president. I can’t believe this moment has finally come.
“Huh?” I respond, snapping out of it.
“We need to pre-approve your questions.”
“What do you mean?”
The Special Assistant chuckles. He’s amused by my ignorance. It’s not often a member of the press questions the protocol, I guess.
“We can’t just let you interview the President of the United States without first pre-approving the questions?”
“That’s just not how we do things.”
“What if you ask something problematic? We can’t take that risk.”
“Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? Ask problematic questions? I’m a journalist for God’s sake.”
The Special Assistant isn’t grinning anymore. He ushers me over to a window by the hallway. “Listen, buddy, don’t make this more difficult than it needs to be. We’re all on the same team, right?”
“No, we’re not. That’s the whole point of my job. To keep power in check.”
“Buddy, were you born yesterday? It hasn’t been like that for decades. Let me see the goddamn questions.”
He reaches out and yanks the list from my grip. His mouth hangs open as he reads down the list.
“Are you fucking crazy?” He blurts out.
“I don’t think so.”
“You can’t ask this. What the hell were you thinking?”
“The American people deserve answers to these questions.”
“Jesus fucking Christ. Stay right here and don’t move a muscle!”
He storms down the hallway, whispering into his earpiece. What does he think I am? A hack? A paid whore? I’ve worked my whole life to get to this point. Interviewing the President of the United States on the eve of war. My entire legacy rests on this interview and I refuse to be known as some paid mouthpiece. No, I’ve made the right decision. There’s no doubt about it.
My eyes gaze over to the window and I spot a bluebird hovering around the Rose Garden. I’m taken aback by the immaculate beauty of the White House grounds. Just think of the history. The rich culture. The unprecedented bravery of the founding fathers. My God, just think of it.
The coldness of metal stings the back of my head. It almost feels like. . . is that a silencer?
The rockets' red glare and the bombs burst in the air. My limp body falls to the Savonnerie carpet and blood mixes in with the ornate floral pattern. The smell of gunpowder fills my last inhale and my thoughts go blank.
Maybe the next journalist will have better luck.
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