Krak's eating breakfast in a hotel, and there's no indicators of which chain she's at or where she is, and of course the recording strips for the viewscreen are all full so Gris can't rewind to when she checked in, so no we can't end this by calling the cops on a Holiday Inn. Bang-Bang brings in the complimentary newspaper and its headlines about the Whiz Kid's child rape charges, but the article doesn't mention the star witnesses' perjury over the now-dropped bigamy allegations.
"I don't understand it!" wailed the Countess. "The readers are left to think those charges still exist!"
"Well, that's the way the media is," said Bang-Bang. "Their whole business is bad news. That's all they print. Any good news isn't news as far as they're concerned. Just look at the other stories on those pages there. All bad news, death and disaster. They got the insane idea that only bad news sells papers."
Well, that and topless models on page three. Also, who cares what the public thinks, the important thing is that the old charges are dropped, and there are new, deadlier charges to deal with.
Krak whines a bit more, and Bang-Bang continues his withering critique of print journalism.
"[...] I knew some reporters once. I've had my own brushes with the press, you know: One time they attributed a car bombing to me in the headlines and then, in little type way down at the bottom, mentioned I was still in jail.
Presumably for an entirely different car bombing.
So I asked one of these reporters how come. And he said that even when the reporter got the news straight, the managing editor made him write it the other way around. Sensation sells papers is what he said. It isn't news they're selling, but entertainment. That's what he told me. And two or three times since, seeing what they've printed about Jet and the trouble they've dug him into, I've come up with the idea for some real entertainment: rigging the cars of some publishers and managing editors. You wouldn't consider it, would you?" he added hopefully.
And that wraps up our satire of print media, as delivered by a bona fide murderer.
Krak admits that Bang-Bang's proposal would be "a very entertaining project," but she doesn't have time for it right now. She's got to get Heller to safety as soon as possible, or in other words "protect him from women." He's just too damn noble for his own good, you see.
"Well, he wouldn't even aim a blastgun at a woman, not even one as bad as these hussies."
"Hey," said Bang-Bang brightly, "you mean we're going to get my M-1 rifle and have some target practice?"
Our social commentator is now advocating the murder of women because they, again, said untrue things. There is just something darkly humorous about this lethal enforcement of truth coming from someone like L. Ron Hubbard, who... well, here's the Cracked list of his top 5 whoppers.
Krak turns down Bang-Bang's offer, not because she's opposed to shooting people, but because she knows women like those would-be Whiz Kid Wives: "Even if they were lying there dead, they'd still think of something vicious." Apparently those unladylike, "criminal types" are some sort of slanderous monsters immune to bullets, or capable of besmirching the honor of Jettero Heller from beyond the grave.
Or else we're looking at two crazy people in a hotel room talking about who they should kill.
Bang-Bang suddenly brings up what he meant to tell Krak at the beginning - that reporter he knows, besides blowing the lid off of sensationalist journalism, also told him that the Whiz Kid will be making an appearance on ABC's Weirdo World at 3:30 tomorrow. So off go Krak and Bang-Bang to prepare their strike against the forces of not-truth! And now Gris thinks to call and warn Eagle Eye Security that the Whiz Kid body double is in danger.
"Hey, hey!" said the cigar-husky voice. "My men will be right on the job. Specials, too. Now that we know exactly what she looks like, she can't even disguise herself!
That sharp pain above your temple? A cluster of brain cells dying from the raw stupidity of that sentence. "We'll be able to spot him in his mask because we know what he looks like underneath it."
Gris ends the chapter noting how "The world looked much brighter!" Light sensitivity can be a symptom of brain damage, right? Maybe that sentence got to him too.
Back to Chapter Three