I saw two options. Either start snapping the shutter and pressing the flesh and risk the old "Who the fuck are you?" treatment, or attempt to be above-board and identify myself as a freelance photographer and writer, which I am. In the sweltering jungles of Cambodia, where I received my baptism by fire as a journalist and aspiring heroin addict, I learned that, as a reporter, you play it straight with your subjects, and that's exactly what I did with Ronn (sic) Torossian. BAD FUCKING IDEA! I walked up to him and said, "Hey there, I'm a freelance writer and photographer, you mind if I start taking some shots?" He asked me who I write for, and I told him I've written for the New York Times, the New York Post, and Time Out, all of which is true. But then he asked me if I was there on an assignment, and I hesitantly replied in the affirmative. "Who assigned you," Mr. Grammar (sic) Torossian pressed. It was like the world went dark, and I heard the cries of a thousand anguished souls burning and writhing in the Spirit World. "Gawker." I honestly thought he might serve me an ass-kicking right on the spot, but at first all he did was tell me not to take any pictures. He then disappeared from the conference room, though, and I had a feeling he was about to affect my ejection, which he did. "Nothing personal, but do you read Gawker's posts on me?" I did not say, "Yes, and they're just delicious!" I did not say, "Yes, it's really refreshing to see an asshole actually being held accountable for his ineptitude, meanness of spirit, and thuggish behavior." I tried to reason with him, to explain I was just there to ask questions, not do a back-alley hatchet job. That I wrote for the Times in 1958 once, and that I have my reputation as a failed journalist to protect. "You could tell CNN that I am God, but I'm not going to let you cover this event. You'll get a good story out of this about how you were bounced." (I hadn't considered that angle until he suggested it.) "There's no discussion about this," a security guy in a bad blazer chimed in. So, I left, disoriented. I looked at my hand and saw I still had a water bottle from 5W's kitchen. I walked down 6th Avenue feeling like I had let the readers of Gawker down, that they now had to pay the price for my naïve, mid-western inclination – an inclination burnished in the sweltering jungles of Cambodia – to speak Truth to Publicists, and in particular to a publicist named Ronn (sic) Torossian.Journalism!
This morning, Republican political attack hack Roger Stone traveled to the offices of 5WPR-the firm led by legendarily inept attack flack Ronn [sic] Torossian-to give a speech entitled "The World As It Really Is." (Dirty, we presume). One brave Gawker reader, Stephen Kosloff, answered our call and agreed to go cover the event. But when our operative arrived, Ronn asked him who sent him-and he gave an honest answer. That was his downfall! We pick up his tale of woe as he enters the room where the event will take place, and prepares to start his reporting: