So you might be wondering why I decided to write a novel that was largely a media satire. This post at the American Catholic provides some of the more substantive grounds. But basically it was just happenstance.
A couple of years ago I was on a rare date with my wife (at the time we had one, now we have two children). We were waiting to see a movie so we decided to kill a few minutes by poking around the Borders (RIP) next to the movie theater. I just happened to pick up Greg Gutfeld’s The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, and came across his chapter about the media. Gutfeld mused about how in every movie featuring a journalist the journalist is always portrayed as a hero. Just once he’d like to see a movie where the journalist was either the bad guy or incompetent, or something along those lines. I kept these words in my heart.
The very next morning I went for a run. One of the songs on the playlist was Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.” If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a Youtube link, and here’s a link to the lyrics. It’s basically an anti-media rant, and it’s wonderful.
And then it clicked. Why don’t I write a novel in which the lead character is an incompetent journalist. Who needs a movie? The next evening I started writing, and the rest is history.
Technically CF Stone isn’t a news journalist. Stone’s a columnist, and that might be a reflection of my bias as a blogger. I tinkered with turning Stone into reporter, which would probably have made somewhat more sense, but had already committed to the character.
That’s just a bit of background on what my novel is all about.