The media, the media…
The next day I actually woke up before noon. Crazy, I know. So I went down to the lobby of the hotel to pick up a copy of the local paper. As expected, what in a big city would be considered little more than a typical bar fight was in Terre Haute a front-page story which looked to have the scale of the Hindenburg disaster. The front page also sported a small item about the President ordering some troops to some small African country, but that was small potatoes compared to the utter horror of the night at Seattle.
From the story the scale of the conflict sounded, of course, monumental. They listed the number of police who had responded and even said that off-duty policemen were roused from their beds and called onto active emergency duty, the overtime hours of whom, said one city councilman, should be footed by the club’s owners.
There were several less-than-action-packed photos of the club and the customers. If you looked carefully at the background of the photo of the police chief arriving on the scene the observant eye could spot a thin, black-haired man calmly smoking a cigarette.
The story did feature a fair amount of club-bashing by some of those who were quoted, most notably the aforementioned councilman, who was quoted as saying “A place like that doesn’t belong in our city.” Exactly what he meant by “a place like that” wasn’t really made clear. Must have been an election year.
I was glad to see that the reporter seemed to be taking a neutral stand on the club itself. Samantha was presented in an objective light with a few paragraphs even seeming to support her quote that: “The guys who started this aren’t regulars. They’re the kind of guys who like to start fights. They didn’t come here to listen to music. They came here to start a fight.”
The reporter had also managed to track down the thug who had started it, one Thomas R. Harris who, obviously not coached in the proper way to talk to reporters, was referred to thusly:
When asked if he was a regular at Seattle, Harris angrily replied, “I don’t hang around with those q***r f*****s” When asked why he was at the nightclub, Harris refused to comment.
So the first day’s press after such an affair was not bad. On the negative side the event was portrayed as a near-riot, which made the club perhaps seem like a bad place full of bad people. Also negative were all of the councilman’s quotes which virtually screamed that Seattle should be closed immediately. On the neutral side there were “conflicting reports” as to what started the whole mess. On the positive side Samantha had not come across as evil and the article was not slanted as to lay the blame on the club. And on the really positive side the guy who had started the whole fiasco came across looking like an utter moron.
I had to wonder what would happen at the club next.