Over at the Sun, Templeton is reading is own story -- of course he is -- while Alma raves about said story. "To be that close to a serial killer," she says. "Must be weird." "I wouldn't know, because the only thing I was close to was a tapestry of lies," is what Templeton does not say, though he really should at some point. Instead, there's a lot of false-modesty, self-effacing "well, yeah" bullshit, and if you think that's sickening, just wait until Klebanow and Whiting slither up to Templeton's desk and heap undeserved praise upon him. "Wonderful story, Scott," Whiting coos. "Yeah, well, it kinda wrote itself," Templeton says. Truer words have never come out of those lips. Klebanow would like to know what Templeton plans to do for a follow-up. "Follow-wha?" Templeton seems to say. "This is not the kind of a thing we can let go after a day or two," Whiting says. Good God, man -- he's already fabricated one front-page story for you already this week. You can't just make this shit up! Oh wait -- I guess you sort of can. Templeton hems and haws and comes up with the idea of spending a night with the homeless for a story -- Whiting thinks that's a keen idea and scampers off to sell it to Gus. That leaves Klebanow to tell Templeton that a number of media inquiries have come in to the paper, all wanting the Brave Reporter Who Stared Down A Serial Killer to come on their respective programs. Templeton expresses some misgivings about that -- he's just a modest scribe, after all, and there's the not-at-all-small consideration that he made the whole thing up. But Klebanow is most insistent that he do TV -- "I'd avoid the locals, but if you can do the national stuff in a responsible manner..." -- and Templeton agrees. Oh Lord, let him appear on The View, trading pie recipes with Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and I will never gripe about any of the stupid Sun plotlines again.
Elsewhere in the newsroom, Whiting is telling a dubious Gus about the homelessness angle. "Our coverage should reflect the Dickensian aspect of the homeless," Whiting smarms. That's not the first time he's used that particular turn of phrase. Anyhow, Whiting sees Templeton leading the coverage with the ol' reporter-spends-a-night-on-the-street-to-learn-that-being-homeless-is-a-drag story. Gus points out that Templeton's supposed to be leading the big what's-wrong-with-our-schools project. "I don't see the school project as yielding the same kind of impact as our attention to homelessness can," Whiting oozes. "These murders, the phone call to our reporter -- it really opens up the issue, don't you think?" Gus doesn't think so, but he can't get a word in edgewise before Whiting lays down the edict: from now until year's end, the Sun is going to focus not just on the serial killer -- because they will focus on that, by God -- but "on the nature of homelessness itself." "The Dickensian aspect of it, yeah," a defeated Gus says. Whiting nods at Gus and off he goes. It's fitting that over-using "Dickensian" is one of Whiting's verbal tics -- he's certainly a villain straight out of Dickens. Note to David Simon: I do not intend that as a compliment.