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To a Journalist Dying Old

A.E. Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young” paraphrased

When the news you did distort
With your spook-approved report,
The boys at Langley gave a cheer
And helped you with your press career.

Through the ranks you quickly rose,
Pouring out your tainted prose.
You gained riches; you had fame.
We knew your face; we knew your name.

You did what you had to do,
And those around you did it, too.
You played the game; you knew the score.
Now your old byline is no more.

Too bad you chose to swell the rout
Of those who sold their country out,
Who took their silver shamelessly,
While we lost our liberty.

There were those who smelled the rat,
But you would have none of that.
You brushed off their valid claims.
Then you archly called them names.

“Paranoid” you said they were
And let your audience infer
There was no fire behind the smoke
When you knew that was a joke.

The flames of the corruption fire
Day by day are climbing higher,
But the world that we now face
Is cool beside your resting place.

David Martin

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