A biblical story, naturally.
Once upon a time, there was a guy who had clear political convictions. Not that he let them get in the way of having fun or getting laid, but he was quite outspoken about the matters of the world – especially Slovenian politics. But he was a fun guy to be around. A party animal that could hold his liquer. But eventually he settled down and like most of his student colleagues ended up in the media world. Not surprisingly he chose to write for a magazine that more or less echoed his political views and which he read avidly alerady as a student. Predictabily, he was slightly out of his depth at first and when his editors taksed him with digging up the dirt on the mayor of a certain Central European capitol, he turned to a colleague of his working for another media company and asked him if there is a person in the city administration which could spill the beans of mayor’s alleged misuse of public funds or some other juicy details. Now, our hero was a complete greenhorn back then and of course didn’t know that sources are not shared but must be found – or, as it happens in most cases – sources themselves find journalists.
But hey! You live and you learn. So he kept on working, gaining experience and bettering his articles. The political and media world around him, though, reached boiling point as several hundred journalists from all walks of life signed a petition claiming government pressures and even censorship. Did we say “all walks of life”? Not really. A small-but-significant portion of journalists, mostly from our hero’s magazine and other media of similar political alignment did not sign the petition, but instead wrote a counter-petition, an “Ethical Call To Professionalism” in which they denounced the original petition and its signatories. Our hero, possibly still being rather fresh and idealistic, signed this counter-petition together with his colleagues from the magazine.
But Fortune is a fickle lady and owners of the parent company of his magazine (which just happened to be the country’s most influential daily newspaper) had a political change of heart and started attacking the government they previsouly supported. Eventually things started to change at our hero’s magazine as well, as the owners – amid outcries of censorship, similar to those which the magazine denounced earlier – replaced the editors of the magazine and (by extension) changed the political profile of the magazine as well. And within months the magazine ran a story uncovering a network of nepotism and cronyism surrounding and leading up to the prime minister of the country, connecting him to a construction scandal which rattled the country weeks earlier. But as the magazine’s circulation was somewhat low (it wasn’t big to start with, but as a result of editoral changes it dropped even further, losing hard-core readers), an abstract of the story was run in the daily newspaper as well. And lo! behold! One of the two authors turns out to be our hero.
No one knows exactly what happened. Did he realise the error of his previous ways or was he threatned into writing it? Or could it be that he is just a good adapter? Who knows. But I sure wouldn’t like to trade places with him at that particular table, because like J.C. in that olive grove 1975 years ago I’d have wished for that cup to be taken away from me.