#4 Steve Griffith

| November 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

From Lilly’s Blog

Writing a profile piece of my former boss, Steven Griffith, editor-in-chief of the Ephton Daily, is probably not the most professional thing I could do. And I would not blame you for questioning my credibility on this one. But the thing is, I really like Steve. He is a smart man. Arguably the smartest man I’ve met since coming back to town, even. And he’s a hell of a journalist. Under other circumstances I could have learned a lot from him. Unfortunately, Steve is practical to a fault. Or more precisely, practical at the expense of integrity. And really cynical.

When Blake Lewis rolled back into town, one of the first things he bought was the Ephton Daily. He claims to be hands off, allowing the paper to proceed uninterrupted by him, remaining  under Steve’s control. To the best of my knowledge, Steve is completely honest when he says Lewis does not check in on him nor otherwise direct the content. But that’s only because Lewis knows that Steve understands the deal: publish the kind of stories Lewis wants and the paper is free to operate as it always has. Like I said, Steve is smart. Lewis never had to tell him outright, Steve just got it. And Steve wants to cover his ass because he really likes the steady paycheck and the stability it affords him. News and honesty be damned.

I wish I could say this was hearsay or wild conjecture on my part. I also kind of hate talking about this in public. But, sorry Steve, I still believe in reporting the truth.

One night, shortly before I quit, we were all out for drinks. One by one the rest of the staff called it a night. Finally only Steve and I were left pounding back shots of Jack and drinking Buds (a girl develops a hell of a tolerance in this line of work, also I was raised in a restaurant, people). In a moment of shocking honesty, Steve looked up from his beer and stared into my eyes. “Why the hell are you here, kid? You are way too smart to write for these hicks. All they want are fluff pieces and gossip.” I explained to him that I still believed in this town, despite the cynicism it seems to have fallen prey to. “You mean Blake fucking Lewis,” he said. I did but I wasn’t drunk enough to play all my cards just yet. “I knew that asshole was bad news when he came back. I got some dirt on him, you know.” Well, that perked my interest. I wasn’t sure what to say but luckily Steve just continued talking: “The thing is, this jackass has raised my paycheck significantly since he bought the paper. I make more money playing his game than I would writing a real goddamn article. Actually, I would make no money writing a real goddamn article in this shit hole.”

I threw back another shot. “What about the truth?” I asked. He threw back his own shot. Steve thought about it for a second. Or maybe he was just holding back a burp. I don’t know. Finally he looked at me again. “I live in a hick town with one newspaper. Fuck the truth, I need to get paid. Go somewhere else if you actually want to be a reporter.”

Copyright © 2010, Rolando Garcia.

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Category: Drama, Humor

About the Author ()

Rolando is extremely excited for 30 character. He has spent most of his time since graduating college in 2002 working the film industry. But his passion has always been storytelling and he is going back to his roots. He can't wait to see what everyone else is cooking.

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