'It's Like the Photo of the Kid in 'Nam That Won the Pulitzer! 'Cept It's Some Rich Ivy Leaguer Who'll Have To Be Subsidized By Her Parents For One More Summer'

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NYT reporter: Okay so I wrote this story about how all of these college seniors who got offers from Bear are being told "no dice," cause, you know.
NYT photographer: Right, yes, I'm aware. I rode the elevator with Andrew Ross Sorkin the other day, he clued me in to the sitch.
Reporter: Okay, so the thing is, I need a pic that reflects just how bleak things are, specifically for this subset of people. Everyone knows that what happened sucks for Bear shareholders, and a lot of the older employees who lost their life savings and the taxpayers who are funding this bailout, but I really want to drive home the cold dark reality for these kids. I already have a cringe-worthy lede-- "Thousands of people are losing their jobs on Wall Street — some before their first day of work. They polished résumés; they sweated interviews; they landed dream jobs. But now a small group of college and business school students are discovering that their careers at Bear Stearns ended before they began. JPMorgan Chase, which bought the beleaguered investment bank last month, rescinded many of their job offers." But I'm not sure it's enough. I really need the readers to feel it. To SEE it. Ya get me?
Photog: Yeah.
Reporter: I interviewed this Penn girl which I was originally thinking would be perfect for an accompanying photo because what could be more bleak than West Philadelphia, right? But since graduation is coming up, Penn has the workers out prettying up the whole damned place. Really threw a wrench in my plan.
Photog: I see your point.
Reporter: Would've been perfectly dreary without the 150,000 flowers they've planted this week. Now, not so much.
Photog: Wait, over by the Stalinist towers... what is that ugly concrete thing?
Reporter: It's a footbridge! A fantastically unphotogenic footbridge!
Photog: We're saved!
Reporter: Okay, now how to pose the girl...I really want it to be reminiscent of one of those war pics. You know the kind...where it's focussed on one child, in a war torn land, looking lost. Forlorn. Etc?
Photog: Yeah. How about...how about...we hire some Asian kid to run behind her, like a Vietnamese running away from an agent orange attack.
Reporter: Oh, that is good, my friend. The one thing we really have to make certain is that she gives us a very sad face, because the jappy Penn-issued clothes might make people question whether or not they should feel sorry for her.
Photog: Right. Yes, in agreement.
Reporter: Oh, and before I forget, can we do something about all the poor black folks that keep wandering on to campus and into the back of our shot?
Photog: I'll photoshop them out. Wouldn't want to upset Times readers too much. It's distressing enough that their friends' kids lost that plum internship/first job, you know? Getting to keep that signing bonus is little consolation, my friend.

Bear Stearns’s New Hires Become Job Seekers
[NYT]

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