Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly, the author of several best-selling non-fiction books including The No Spin Zone delves into fiction in Those Who Trespass, a murder mystery set in the world of television news. Read Chapter One.
CHAPTER ONE Martha's Vineyard September, 1994
As Ron Costello saw it, the night-time media party in Edgartown provided him a wide-open window of opportunity one he could make the most of. For he was frustrated and fed up, and what he badly needed was to satisfy a basic human need, the need for some kind of physical release. Chasing the Clintons around the resort island of Martha's Vineyard, looking on as a cracker First Family acted out its vacation in front of millions, was not just tiring for him, but unnecessary. When a family even the First Family went golfing, boating, and horseback riding, it was hardly newsworthy. And Costello was, after all, the chief White House correspondent for the powerful Global News Network, not some travel narrator, for Christ's sake. But here he was, on a GNN assignment he hated, reporting on President Clinton and family eating barbecue.
The jazzy voice of the singer Sade wafted through the humid night air, and Ron Costello pursed his thin lips and sized up the situation. Already in his sights was a pretty camerawoman light-headed from too much vodka. Costello felt he had a real chance with this young woman, who was now walking toward the makeshift bar located in the corner of the front porch. Surely this babe was impressed with his resume. He had been a correspondent with GNN for twenty-six years. The power and prestige of his job brought him big-time perks, like the attention of young women eager to advance in the arbitrary world of television news. That Costello's wife and kids usually stayed in D.C. during his presidential travels heightened his risk-reward ratio considerably. Perhaps fifty people attended the party, which was being tossed in an old Colonial home overlooking Edgartown harbor. GNN had rented the house for the summer and it was the perfect executive retreat. For thirty years, Martha's Vineyard had attracted rich and powerful media personalities. Walter Cronkite owned a multi-million dollar home on the outskirts of Edgartown. Mike Wallace had a summer house on the island, as did Katharine Graham of the Washington Post.
Scores of lesser known writers and television reporters also owned small beach houses, usually on the Vineyard's south side. It was considered a prestigious place to be, and to many in the media, prestige was an intoxicant more powerful than opium.
Ron Costello himself suffered the prestige addiction, but his judgment was not entirely clouded by it. With his extended belly and thinning hair, he knew he was no Tom Cruise, and therefore no threat to GNN anchorman Lyle Fleming, a man who held serious power. Costello got plenty of coveted air time on GNN's daily broadcast of "The News Tonight," chiefly because he was competent and bland perfect journalistic soldier who did exactly as he was told, and kissed the butts of the executives who did the telling.