“Ask me about my Weiner…”

So I got published today…kind of.

Sorry about yesterday, it was a long one. The story that I’ve talked about all (goddamn) week changed its form once again and a good handful of sources I had spent hours looking up either didn’t feel like picking up their phones or couldn’t “talk about this…call ______”. So when I’d end up calling _________, I’d have to press seventeen different buttons on the phone to get through their stupid automated menu, only to reach a very undesirable final destination: their voicemail.

That, all day. That’s why I didn’t feel like sitting down with this thing last night. On to today…

As far as starts go, today’s start wasn’t perfect. There’s a place called Bully’s Deli across the street from the office where I always snag a dope blueberry muffin to eat for breakfast. I kept with that trend this morning, but being in a hurry to get in and work on my story, I didn’t watch the guy grab it or wrap it or anything. I get into the office, get settled and start to unwrap this beautiful culinary masterpiece that I plan on bestowing to my digestive system. It’s a freaking cornbread-coconut muffin. What the hell is that? What kind of Nebraskan/Hawaiian hybrids live in this city and order this junk? I’m already fuming as I eat this monstrosity when I hear one of the front-page editors that sits behind me let out a big “WHOAH!” as he stares up at one of our TV’s. This is when the news broke that Representative Anthony Weiner announced he was going to step down after getting caught for sexting. Kind of a big deal.

Saki always comes in around 1030, so I started getting everything set up so we could immediately attack my story as soon as he got in, because as far as I knew, he didn’t have any stories due. I get on the phone with one of my sources and get a pretty solid interview, when halfway through, Saki starts calling me on my cell phone. I call him back after the interview, and he tells me that our editor put him on coverage for the Weiner story. Theoretically, with me being Saki’s bitch for the next 7 weeks, this meant that I needed to help him. Apparently he spoke to our editor and he okay-ed my story for tomorrow, so I started white page-ing and calling every name Saki heard on the streets so I could find some potential leads. Since Saki lives in Brooklyn, it made sense for him to be the one attending the presser, so I just sat back in the newsroom and looked up every piece of info that was asked of me.

So the presser goes on (with some pretty ridiculous stuff occuring in the middle of it, YouTube it) and Saki tells me to gather every piece of information I can about Weiner’s upbringing and early political career. I write up a few hundred words by the time he gets back to the newsroom and he starts writing. Since this was Saki’s story, I assumed the role of fact-checking and looking up any questionable piece of information he had gathered. Every now and then, he’d have me write a few sentences while he did something else, but for the most part, I basically provided facts. This goes on for quite some time and I don’t even notice that it’s 7 o’clock. He’s needing less and less information at this point, so I had some ample time to write up a solid 600 words to my story. Come 9 o’clock, he finishes up and tells me I can go.

This was on my desk when I got back...a pretty fair assessment.

Ironically, after logging 12-hours of pretty much nonstop work, I wasn’t tired in the least bit. I start getting ready to go to the gym when he calls me and asks me for the correct spelling of my name so he can list me as a contributor. I reminded him to omit the periods in between A and J and hit the gym. Upon arriving back, the story’s up.

Even though I had a few paragraphs written, it’s hard to gather a ton of information on your own and then completely paste in a few paragraphs of someone else’s work. That being said, my stuff is pretty isolated and spread out throughout the entire article. I’m totally cool with it, though. I’m sure my Grandmas were probably expecting to read some word-for-word accounts spewed from my brain, but this was Saki’s story. I’m still in disbelief that, four days into the job, I spent 12 hours covering the biggest news story in America today. Sure, ours probably isn’t the biggest story, but you know what I’m saying.

Without further ado, here’s the link. My byline is at the bottom.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/16/anthony-weiner-resignation-local-farewell_n_878821.html

Expect my story tomorrow.

All the best
AJ

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