Trifecta 111 – Press Intrusions

The_New_York_Times_newsroom_1942”M’ is for making news people – If there isn’t any, make it up. There’s always news!’

That was Jake’s favourite saying. He’d laugh when he said it; we’d all laugh too. Our esteemed Editor-in-Chief didn’t demand toadying, but he still expected it. Heck, none of were innocents – we didn’t do this job for nothing, we could have done something else. We chose to be here; we chose to treat people like shit. At times I hated myself for it. However, one of the Boss’s early forays into conscience reassurance still managed to win me over, most days:

‘They’re celebrities. We pay them – we own them. If they step out of line we have a right to know!’

After a while it just became the way we all thought. Yes, we had our own families, our own secrets – but we were just ordinary people, doing ordinary jobs. Nobody cared whether we’re up to no good with the sister-in-law, the brother-in-law or anybody else for that matter. Those were our concerns, not the nations.

The office was quiet that particular morning in early May – just after the holiday weekend. I noticed the Boss wasn’t at his desk when I slipped out of my coat and into my chair. Soon I received a flustered tap on the shoulder from Frank O’Callaghan – the Deputy Editor. Even this early in the morning his tie was already at half mast, as dark sweat stains puddled under his arm pits.

‘It’s the Boss,’ he began – chewing his lips, while sucking his teeth. ‘New ‘M’ word for the day – manipulate, got it?’ he continued.

‘What’s up Frank? Where’s Jake?’ I replied.

Behind Frank’s flushed forehead, the local TV news channel was paused on a grainy, slightly pixelated image subtitled ‘Gazette Editor, Jake McGivney and friends‘. I didn’t recognise the women, or man, he was with. Almost didn’t recognise the Boss without his clothes.

‘On it’, I nodded, just about managing to suppress a smile.


These words, based on the third definition of the word ‘manipulate, form my entry into the Trifecta 111 writing challenge.

11 thoughts on “Trifecta 111 – Press Intrusions

  1. paulmclem Post author

    Thanks for the ‘Likes’ and comments. Always appreciate it when people stop by. Apologies if I haven’t been getting round your stories as often as I’d like – will try to do so more over the coming weeks.

    For info this story was simply one of the press covering up for their own. Manipulation of the press is commonplace and this is just a silly, but quite possibly realistic, example of that. Glad people enjoyed it.




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