Post critic Johnny Oleksinski recently left to become the Taylor Swift reporter for the Tennessean newspaper, which is owned by USA Today parent Gannett. Here he describes his intense daily schedule on the high-pressure Swift beat.
And you thought being a White House correspondent was hard.
滨’尘 the Tennessean’s new Taylor Swift reporter based in NYC. I exhaustively cover T-Swift’s every step — from the front door of her Tribeca penthouse to the black SUV waiting right outside it.
It’s a super tough job. I certainly empathize with how Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein must have felt while working on their similarly vital coverage of Richard Nixon. How many Grammys did he win again?
I was taught in college to speak truth to power. Instead, I speak truth to Taylor.
A day in my $50-an-hour life is intellectually rigorous, socially complex and jam-packed with important, world-altering activity.
First, at 10 a.m. I order an oat milk latte with an extra shot of espresso. I slowly drink the hot beverage for at least an hour, savoring each sip as I listen to “Folklore” and sob. That pick-me-up gets my mind ready for the next arduous task:
I Google “Taylor Swift.”
There is never a slow news day in Taylor Land. Most readers don’t care a bit about the United Nations, but they are desperate to hear about Tay’s girls’ night out with Blake Lively.
Interest in Taylor’s dating life has also increased ever since her big breakup with actor Joe Alywn. She’s recently been linked to Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, but I’ve compiled a list of 100 potential eligible British boyfriends just in case that story doesn’t hold up. I billed Gannett 10 hours of overtime for this.
It’s my lunch hour, give or take a few. I haven’t found a scoop just yet, so I head to Balthazar for steak frites and a couple glasses of pinot noir. There’s a chance I could spot Taylor at this celeb hotspot, so I will keep my eyes peeled for a while — and expense my meal.
Waiting for a juicy story over a juicy beef filet can be even more challenging than writing one. Then, like the addictive hook of “Shake It Off,” it suddenly lodges itself in your brain and won’t leave.
For instance, I recently landed a bombshell item. Taylor changed the set-list of her “Eras” tour on July 7, and added the song “Long Live.” Huge. My own personal Pentagon Papers. I ran to the editor in chief’s office and told him, “stop the presses!” (He did not.)
By the way, I don’t even miss my job as Post movie critic because Taylor has a new film coming out in October. It’s called “Eras Tour” and I am 100 percent confident it will make Martin Scorsese look like a D+ freshman film student at NYU.
Well, it’s 5 p.m. and 滨’尘 done for the day. Man, that was exhausting. I didn’t break a major story this time, so 滨’尘 just gonna shake, shake, shake it off and do it all over again tomorrow.