Monday, September 10, 2007
An announcement over the loudspeaker to the entire staff of the OTTO MANNIX REPORT is heard at least once a week: "We've got a Situation," whereupon each officer and staff member drops what he or she is doing, scoots his or her chair back, and immediately exits his or her cubicle. We then convene in the Situation Room. The tension in the air can be cut with a plastic knife as the workers jostle about, clumsily fighting for seats closest to Mr. Mannix. Coffee from the Bunn machine is poured into styrofoam cups and passed around to the anxious participants, some of whom add various milk or sugar substitutes.
The lighting in the room is quite unusual, and for a very different reason. The anti-lights mounted in the ceiling cast a necessary darkness over the proceedings, leaving only the intensely hot, bright metal halide lamps mounted under the table to illuminate the Situation. Extreme conditions such as these are what forge the necessary determination of this team of dedicated and self-serious journalists.
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