All the news that's not fit for newspapers to print
"Stan took a small sip of his Powers and sighed into the phone. `Look, Sonny,' he said, `I'm no innocent. I know most of you guys down there would like to tie a big plastic bag around the Six Counties and hold it till our feet stop kicking. Let's face it, we're the child you gave up for adoption when you got knocked up too young. But like it or not, the secret's out now — and we want our mummy.'"I read something like that, and I flatter myself that I've learned a bit about Ireland, about the weariness that conflict can produce. I can well imagine Irish people feeling this way, yet I have trouble imagining such a statement turning up in a newspaper, at least not without a counterbalancing quote to give Both Sides of the Story. Perhaps the folks who organized the Books 2008 Crime Writing Series had examples like Downey's in mind when they asked: "Journalism is the first draft of history. Is crime fiction its second draft?"
How about you, readers? What can crime fiction say that newspapers can't, particularly in the realm of politics?
© Peter Rozovsky 2008