The newspapering-the-city business
|L to R: Dominique, Managing Editor Alvah; Elsworth, a critic.|
Scene: Office of the managing editor at the Banner, the most powerful newspaper in all of Gotham. Busy activity in the cityroom is seen outside the office.
Alvah Scarret [managing editor]: I don’t kinow what to do. I give up. I’ve gone the limit. I’m at my wit’s end.
Elsworth Toomey [Architecture critic]: That’s not going very far, Alvah.
Alvah: It’s all right for you to make cracks, but I’m in trouble. We need some excitement to boost circulation. I’ve got to invent a crusade and I don’t know what on earth to crusade about.
Elsworth: Should we start a campaign about streetcar monopolies?
Alvah: We did that two years ago. Then we had a crusade about canned vegetables. And a crusade against Wall Street. Now, what else is there to be against? Dominique, you’re such a smart woman –
Dominique Francon: Sorry, Alvah, I’m not good at that kind of thing.
Alvah: Gail Wynant [the Publisher] expects results! The Banner has got to be active! I’ve wracked my brain and I can’t think of anything to denounce.
Elsworth: I can.
[Elsworth walks over and slaps a magazine on Alvah’s desk.]
[We see on the cover the picture of a modern skyscraper! “The Enright House” Luxury Apartment Building. Howard Roark, Architect.]
Elsworth: My dear editor. It depends upon how you handle it. That building is an outrage against art and a threat to public safety. It might collapse at any moment. Nobody’s ever used that structural method before.
Elsworth: The owner of it is Roger Enright, one of those self-made men. Stuborn and rich as blazes. It’s always safe to denounce the rich. Everyone will help you. The rich first.
[Dominique looks up from the magazine cover, all dreamy eyed.]
Dominique: Howard Roark? Who is he?
Elsworth: I wouldn’t know. [Quick change of subject, turns to Alvah.] Think what you could do with it! A super-luxury apartment house going up and there’s all those poor people who have to live in the slums.
Alvah: Say. We could have some Sunday-supplement stories about beautiful girls who are victims of the slums!
Elsworth: With pictures in three-color process.
Alvah: You’ve got something there, Elsworth. [Alvah slaps Elsworth collegially on the shoulder.] You’ve got it! It’s a wonderful idea. I know Wynant will OK it.
[Dominique and Elsworth talk after leaving Alvah’s office.]
|Dominique and Elsworth have a little chat.|
Elsworth: Perhaps one of the greatest.
Dominique: Elsworth, what are you after?
Elsworth: I dare say nobody knows what I’m after. They will though! When the time comes!
[A few chords of sinister-sounding music is heard.]