“‘All right — one,’ a member of the news media relented eventually, disappearing for a few minutes as a dancer led him to a back room. She returned a short while later to flip her hair at the other scribes.” — New York Times, 1/21/18

- - -

Okay, I just want to start by saying: I spent my Saturday night at a strip club by the airport. I did that for journalism. I did it for democracy. I could have been eating dinner with my family. (Please don’t discuss this with my family.) But I made that sacrifice because I am a proud member of the fourth estate.

Stormy Daniels is a part of American history. She is the Marilyn Monroe of Mar-a-Lago. She’s like the Statue of Liberty, if her toga thing slipped off her shoulder and her boobs fell out.

Why did I get a private dance? Oh, I see. You think I did this for kicks. For pleasure. That I enjoyed myself. That in the 369 days since Trump took office, it was the first and only time I can truly say I felt safe.

But that’s not what happened! What a weird thing for you to even suggest.

What happened was, I was searching for the truth. That’s what journalists do. And the truth wasn’t going to be out in front, with the flacks and the prepared statements and the journalists who were still wearing pants. The truth is always hiding in some dark corner. So I needed to go to that corner, which was really more of a closet. Bunch of mops in there.

Hey, I didn’t realize you wanted me to just skim the surface of this story. Forgive me for wanting to do the kind of reporting that people make Spotlights about.

Not to be combative, but I’m sensing a bit of a double standard here. When my colleagues drop in on the Rust Belt to eat flapjacks with working-class white people, those diner tabs never bounce. But when I brave the elements at the Trophy Club, where Def Leppard is never not playing and hardworking Americans from Greenville, or I guess from anywhere but with a layover in Greenville, go to unwind with some brewskies (am I spelling that correctly? flag for copy desk) and get in touch with Real America, that’s “problematic”? I decide to get Gonzo with it, you nickel and dime me?

When you do that — when you punish courageous, out-of-the-box journalism — you know who wins? Nazis.

I’m going to have “Pour Some Sugar On Me” stuck in my head for days. So while you’re over there flipping out about what this trip “cost” you, I hope you remember what it cost me.

And as long as we’re talking costs: Please see attached for my dry cleaning bill.