To a Journalist Dying Old

                                                                             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 all 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, with apologies to A. E. Housman.



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