The Early Shift

This happens to me far to often:

“Hey, Newsbunny! Want to come out tonight?”

“I can’t. I have to work early.”

“Oh, C’mon. How early could you possibly have to work?”

“Four AM.”

“Are you fucking shitting me?”

This is why I have, like, two friends.

I amazes me how many people think their morning television and radio broadcasts magically happen when they wake up. It’s good you think that; that’s means I’m doing my job.

When I’m anchoring morning drive, I get up around two, have my coffee, read the New York Times, the Washingon Post, the Detroit Free Press, The Des Moines Register, the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star, the LA Times, scan CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and Fox. That’s before I hit the newsroom and read the AP wire, and before I read all the stories my own newsroom has assembled.

Getting to work at that hour in New York is downright surreal. The city that never sleeps is pretty much closed. The construction workers are there, filling potholes. The firefighters are there, lights off, sirens silent, pulled over, drinking coffee from 7-11, because most of the coffee shops are closed. The stores on Fifth and Madison are alight, brilliantly alight, and utterly empty. There are plenty of cabs available at four in the morning. There is no gridlock. The air is almost fresh crossing the Queensboro because there are no cars.

I’d rather sleep in. Getting up at two requires blackout shades in my bedroom, so I can go to bed while the sun is still up; sleeping with earplugs; having the bedtime of a six year old — I would rather live the life of a normal adult at this point.

Then again, I get to talk on the radio.

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