a journalist, there are a few things to look forward to. There’s the end of an
election. The closing of a trial and of course when the town’s annual
rodeo/festival/art show is finally over. But after a long day of grilling
elected officials, dredging through public records, chasing ambulances and
writing 25-inch stories, journalists always have one thing to look forward to -
relaxing with a tall cold one.
old stereotype of the curmudgeon journalist with a bottle of whiskey in his
desk is alive and well today because journalists like to drink.
natural disasters, covering triple homicides and reporting on fatal accidents,
journalists see some pretty horrific stuff. And since journalist pay ranks
around that of a trained circus monkey, they can’t afford any psychological
help. However, they can afford a $15 bottle of Fighting Cock bourbon.
takes the edge off after a day of reporting on the scene of drug bust, shifting
through six years of financial papers at city hall and stressing over deadlines
like a nice shot of low-shelf whiskey or a pint.
and journalists just out of school have all heard the stories of the days when
journalists kept flasks in their back pockets and handles of Jim Bean in their
filing cabinets. But today, newspapers and their corporate owners shun such
habits. But go to any veteran journalist and he’ll show you were he keeps his
if journalists don’t like to drink because of having to interview a widow who
just lost her husband in Iraq, then there is always job security. As one
journalist after another exits the newsroom with their severance check in hand,
journalists flee to their safe haven – dive bars.
is done best by journalists in shoddy bars and questionable establishments. The
kind of places where a journalist might run into the same perps he writes about
on his beat.
And while journalists can never really ever take off their journalist hats,
while drinking, there is an unspoken ceasefire among journalists. Rival
journalists, who otherwise would not share more than a glance with each other
at a press conference, share stories about griping editors and mayors who like
to call journalists sweetie or honey. Editors and journalists, who in a
newsroom walk a very palpable line of rank, talk about the cute receptionist
and how the publisher is a moron. But after shots have been taken and tabs have
been paid, journalists go back trying to scoop the competition and avoiding
social interaction with editors.
can tell a journalist’s bar by names such as Trail Dust, Cell House 7 and Top
Hat Lounge. Such dingy hole in the wall watering holes will typically have two
beers on tap, PBR and Budweiser, and a well of cheap liquor.
journalists gather to complain about the death of their industry and how much
they miss the good ol’ days. Most of the time such bars are a stone’s throw
from the newsroom so weary journalists won’t have to stumble too far to wet
their dry palates.
good beer and a shot is just the medicine for any spent journalist who survived
another treacherous day in the trenches reporting the truth. To report the
news is to be a journalist. Same goes for drinking. Drinking is so much a part
of a journalist’s life that J-schools nearly made it part of the curriculum but
instead choose copy editing. And journalism has suffered ever
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