Journalist and man-about-town Stephen Moss was in quite a smug mood yesterday after knowingly submitting what is clearly the most pandering and unmitigated piece of garbage in his twenty-five-year-long career.

Moss, a Carleton graduate and reporter for the Hawthorn Daily Corn Husker and News, has become known for his well-researched, balanced and articulate pieces on the plight of the common man in his home town of Hawthorn, Saskatchewan.

But as of late, his colleagues have noticed his ethic start to slip.

“Steve used to always have dark circles under his eyes from long nights of research, followed by early mornings of chugging double-doubles in between follow-up phone calls before deadline. Now, he comes in at 9:30 every morning after his yoga class, drinks nothing but water and he’s as happy as the day he started. It makes me sick,” said crime reporter and closet Marxist Bob Girardin.

“It seems he’s gotten into the habit of just copying and pasting from Wikipedia,” said health and education reporter Nick Mercado. “I know it’s a small town paper, but come on … some of our readers went to college. You have to try a little bit. Even [sports editor Lou] Wallace still drags his fat ass to volleyball games once in a while to see who the up-and-comers are … okay, maybe he just does it to check out high school girls. But at least he’s out there.”

Moss was called upon by editor-in-chief Rick Quentin to cover the annual charity barbecue and pig roast. The event included some very interesting goings-on, none of which were mentioned in Moss’ article.

“I just can’t believe he came, and there wasn’t one mention of the goat bingo. That’s our biggest draw,” said event organizer Barb Mikowski. “He was here for maybe ten minutes and he didn’t even have a note pad or one of those fancy voice recordin’ doo-dads.”

According to Mikowski, whose paunch could explode out of her pants at any second, goat bingo is a game in which participants pay for a square on a grid, which is drawn on a large patch of grass. Then a goat is then set loose on the grid and whosever square it defecates on first wins. It is an age-old tradition in Hawthorn which Moss, drunk with the power of the media, chose to ignore.

Quentin is less than impressed with Moss’ flagrant disregard for what the people of the town find captivating.

“The article more or less writes itself. You show up, interview the idiot getting pies thrown at him, eat hot dogs till you get meat sweats, get a couple quotes from locals and get your ass back to the newsroom. But Steve’s article is mainly a long diatribe on the sorry state of condiments. I know what it feels like when they run out of sauerkraut. It’s a sad moment for everyone. But it’s not news,” said Quentin.