Newsroom angst

 

Metropolis was stunned to learn Clark Kent has ankled the Daily Planet as reported by USA Today, but many of the reporter’s closest colleagues are breathing a sigh of relief, some engaging in unexpectedly harsh criticism of the journalist.

Kent’s departure was preceded by an emotional office rant. Sources quoted him as asking, “Why am I the one sounding like a grizzled, ink-stained wretch who believes news should be about — I don’t know, news?”

Human Resources was notified and Kent was escorted from the building by Daily Planet security guards.

“Boo-friggin’-hoo,” groused a city desk editor, pointing to his computer and a Nexus search of Clark Kent bylines that came up empty. “I’ve been here thirty years and never saw Kent file a story. He’d go out on interviews with [Lois] Lane, but never turned in any copy. We’d constantly have to pad with wire stuff. How’d he get away with it so long?”

Speculation runs deep
“What did Kent have on Perry White anyway?” asked a staffer who requested to not to be identified. “How’d he manage to keep his job all these years when he was nowhere to be found whenever a big story broke? He was always ducking out and showing up late. All that mild-mannered crap is hardly the kind of aggressive reporting that happens here at the Planet.”

Repeated email requests for comment from White have gone unanswered.

CLARK KENT | Photo: Daily Planet

Others noted Kent’s inability to make friends or network in the highly-competitive newsroom. “We’ve asked him to join us for cocktails after work dozens of times, but the guy always begs off,” a Planet sportswriter said. “Show me another reporter that doesn’t drink. I hear he’s going to blog. Good luck with that.”

Kent a “flat-out poser”
But among Planet staff interviewed for this story, photojournalist Jimmy Olsen was harshest in his criticism. “Kent’s a flat-out poser,” he said. “It’s just like him to bitch about the state of journalism in America then walk. His holier-than-thou attitude has been insufferable. Who does he think he is, Superman?”

Reporter Lois Lane is among those who suspect just that. “If Clark actually is Superman — and after years on this beat I’ve never seen them together — then whatever Superman stories he might have covered would have been written about himself,” she said. “That’s hardly objective journalism.”