The most productive reporter I ever saw never came up with anything embarrassing about anybody.
On run of the mill stories he was a machine. He wrote almost every day, two, three stories, sometimes, for The Charlotte News. And during his lunch hour he wrote a daily column. OK, OK, not a very good column, but a column nevertheless. Two or three stories a day and a column? That’s not easy. A daily column all by itself it not easy. No, sir. Ask anyone who has written one.
But he never hung anybody out to dry.
I don’t know how you do that. Never? Embarrassing stuff falls in your lap sometimes –you find it without looking– and then what do you do? Ignore it?
One day I asked a colleague who had known The Machine for years why he never dinged anybody.
“He used to,” my colleague replied, “until a guy he wrote about killed himself.”
NOTE: I was going to post the “surprise” today but I couldn’t get it written in time. It’s coming Monday for sure.