“The media can attack me. But where I draw the line is when they attack you, which is what they do. When they attack the decency of our supporters… You’re taxpaying Americans who love our nation, obey our laws, and care for our people. It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions.” — Donald Trump, 8/22/17, Phoenix, AZ
Mark Kaplan graduated university with a solid A- average. He broke his parents’ hearts when he declined to go to law school and instead began an internship at his local newspaper which turned into a full-time position covering the education beat. After seventeen years, the chain that owned Mark’s paper sold it to a corporation and they merged it with an infotainment website. The company began curating “free content” from its other websites and laid off a third of the news staff. Mark currently freelances for his old paper for ten cents a word, supplementing his income by editing self-published memoirs. He calls his mother once a day so she can tell him about the lucrative careers of his former classmates.
Beth Weller is so introverted that her tenth grade teacher once observed that “the dry erase whiteboard makes more of an impression.” Because of her antipathy towards people, Beth decided to study English literature and become a writer only to discover that this was not so much a profession as a trust fund hobby. She ended up taking a job in business journalism writing about Blockchain Technology. She has two cats.
Gary Fisher was over the moon when his editor told him he’d gotten the job as Shanghai Bureau Chief in 1998. One month after moving, Gary left the position because his five-year-old daughter had asthma and he couldn’t justify asking her to spend the next four years in a room with an air purifier. After his beloved daughter graduated college, Gary finally took the job in China, fulfilling his lifelong dream. Three months later, his newspaper closed the Shanghai Bureau due to budget cuts.
Laura Beilinson has worked as a foreign correspondent in 9 different countries. She’s been catcalled in all of them, groped in 6, and threatened with rape and decapitation in the comments section beneath her articles. After a round of layoffs at her newspaper, Laura took a buyout option and now earns a living writing brand content for luxury sportswear companies. She’s the only member of her graduating class who still rents an apartment.
Michelle Jones remembers graduating journalism school twenty-five years ago and being warned that the industry was declining because advertisers were pulling out, salaries were dropping and the internet would ruin everything. And that’s pretty much what happened.
Matt Walsh is a father of three who suffers from regular panic attacks whenever he thinks about his little kids becoming old enough to go to college. He intermittently considers a move into any one of the following careers to ease the economic anxiety that plagues him on a daily basis: Public Relations, Accountancy, Tour Guiding, Hair Stylist.
Sam Kastowitz has covered breaking news for the past eleven years and has never missed a deadline. He’s 39 and he shares the same risk of heart disease as a septuagenarian chain smoker.
Jenna Grady received her Ph.D in twentieth-century Latin American social thought. She’s now an assistant editor at a pop culture website where she ghost writes an advice column for people with pet problems called “Pet Peeves” and generates clickbait headlines for articles about celebrity pregnancies.
Jim Acosta is the CNN senior White House correspondent. He is regularly abused by the President of the United States who yells “You’re fake news!” at him whenever Jim tries to ask a question.