“Really, and what do you do there?” Aaron appreciated the effort, even if Stephen winced after asking. There wasn’t really much you could do to avoid the topic, but at least he hadn’t outright tried to rub the article in his face. He tried to think of a non-awkward way to get into his job description—Well, I don’t sit around bitching about how much I hate everything, unlike your paper says—but he was saved from explaining when Stephen continued.
Stephen’s next words shocked Aaron enough to loosen him up a bit. “I was really surprised when saw it got printed.” That was a bit of a risky statement, especially if Suzanne was well-known enough to get a front page article full of bold-faced lies.
“Thanks,” Aaron said, nodding. He shouldn’t talk about this—especially with someone who worked for the paper. Maybe it was paranoid on his part to suspect that more people would screw him over, but if he’d been a little paranoid before this, maybe he wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with. So he passed over any impulses to get defensive, and instead smiled awkwardly and asked, “I guess the Sentinel has some open fact-checking positions, huh?”
“I guess the Sentinel has some open fact-checking positions, huh?”
“I guess so,” Stephen agreed wryly, “But really, it should have gotten checked out before it was allowed anywhere close to being printed, I’m not sure how that happened,”
Actually, now that he thought about it, he probably shouldn’t be discussing it, especially not with the person it had effected. He cleared his throat awkwardly, “Anyway, I hope it didn’t do too much damage, really,” he shifted the books in his good arms, and tried for a smile, “I won’t try to excuse what Suzanne did, but I hope her desire for an…interesting..story didn’t hurt you or your job too badly,”
He wouldn’t apologize for her, because she should do that herself, but he hoped he was getting the point across that not everyone at the paper agreed with what she had done.