|This article is part of UnNews||Every time you think, you weaken the nation —Moe Howard|
6 September 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Above Reuters correspondent Brad Rickerby's desk hangs a giant digital clock counting backwards. The display reads "04 DAYS 20 HRS 36 MIN 24 SEC." It is faithfully counting down the seconds before September 11, 2011, the ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and the date when Rickerby will finally have a justifiable reason to publish Pulitzer-worthy material about the passion and bravery of the Americans who survived the attack, and the fundamental and lasting traumas that day inflicted upon our national psyche.
But Rickerby cannot wait.
"Jesus Christ, man, I just need one little fix, just one, man," whines Rickerby, shaking visibly, as he flips open his laptop and types "TEN YEARS LATER, AMERICA REMEMBERS SEPTEMBER 11."
So violent are the tremors in his hands, he can barely complete the sentence. But as he finishes his headline, a change comes over Rickerby. Visibly relaxing, he slumps down in his chair.
"Ohh... fuuuck... that's the good stuff," he moans, his eyes half-closed.
This is a scene that is playing itself out all over America. Like children who cannot stop themselves from opening all their presents hours before their parents rise on Christmas; like the sex addict who leaves work at noon, feigning illness, to visit the local bathhouse; so are America's journalists proving unable to resist their basest temptations.
"It's not like it's hurting anyone," whimpers one journalist who asked not to be named. "Americans know that the tenth anniversary is coming up, right? They must be thinking about it! All the time! Day and night! They're not so different from us!!"
"So maybe they want a sneak peek at what we're going to write about!" he adds. "Maybe they haven't heard September 11-related news in so long they're starting to thirst for it! It's possible, right? Isn't it?"
Some journalists have even begun to form support groups. At a discreet building in New York City, a dozen journalists sit in a circle in chairs, clutching each others' hands for strength, eyes squeezed shut tight, trying to resist the temptation to prematurely publish millions of 9/11 stories in the next five days.
"It's hard," one explains to me, "but it helps to rely on each other for strength."
"Really," insists another, "this is way worse than 9/11 itself."
Pausing thoughtfully, he adds "I probably shouldn't publish that."