“JC Sizemore!” Ellen Hamilton, the pop culture editor said. “Who is that?”
Everyone in the room stared at Grant with equal amazement.
Grant told everyone what happened in the park.
“It’s the story of the millions of common people who do millions of incredible things that make life easier for everyone,” Grant said. “We started out writing for those people, but the last fifteen years we have become an ideologically driven rag. Everything we write and every position we take is predictable. Remember when we just reported? That was our golden age.”
“We will be the laughing stock of the all newsmagazines,” Horton Wilcox said. “They’ll all thing you’ve gone Ted Turner on us.”
“Horton, old pal,” Grant said. “You have favored the most and worst covers and lead stories for the magazine over the years. ‘If it bleeds it leads’ is kid’s play for you; if it’s perverse it’s first.’ I pulled down a picture of him from the city’s website. That’s the man I want on the front cover.”
“You’re mad,” Edgar Pinkerton said. “We should wrestle control of this issue from you. This will be the death of our magazine.”
“Let me ask all of you something,” Grant said. “How many of our previous persons of the year are in prison today? Three. How many wars have they been responsible for? Five. How many are linked to scandals? All. How many have had publicists contact you? Well I don’t know about you folks, but I get contacted almost daily.”
“Why do you even have an editorial board?” Martin Fleckman said.
“I’m kind of wondering the same thing,” Grant said. “Years ago when I took over this magazine it was the same as all the others. We, you and I, made it different. It was the common sense voice of the common man, now it is like all the others. You have all become fat, stodgy, intellectually superior, complacent, and lazy. There was a time when I’d come in here and you’d all say, ‘This is us. Let’s do it! Frankly if not for a walk in the park today I’d come back here and said let’s make it so and so, he’s done a lot this year. Look at all the favorable reporting we’ve done on him without investigating anything.”
Gryndale Hilty rose. “We’ll all be looking for jobs next week.”
“Your right,” Grant said despondently and fell back into his chair. “Because you’re all fired. I told my idea to four people; two interns, some kid working at a desk in IT, and a journalism student working part time in the lobby’s coffee shop. You should have seen the looks on their faces. They were tossing ideas back at me. I want people like them. In fact I hired them.”
There was silence in the room. Everyone looked as if it were a joke.
Grant picked up the intercom phone. “Agnes, get security for everyone, thank you.” He hung up. “Nobody leaves the room until escorted back to there office by security. You will be given twenty minutes to clear out. I have new people moving occupying your offices in thirty minutes. That is with the exception of you Ms, Hilty, I’ll give you another 45 minutes. The gal in the coffee shop wants to finish her shift before starting here.”