Early Edition (1996) s02e04 Episode Script

Jenny Sloane

And that's the traffic report for this beautiful Tuesday morning Every morning.
You couldn't let me sleep in just one morning? All right, what do you got for me? Surprise me.
Whoa! Hey! Hey, stop the bus! Hey! Hey, stop the bus, huh?! Hey! What's the matter with you, son? A kid a stowaway the luggage suffocating I need a verb.
Open your luggage compartment, yeah?! Satisfied? Yeah.
Just a second.
Kevin, you Would you wait just a second, please? Listen, pal, I've got a busload of folks anxious to get to Dallas.
You know many Texans? You don't want to make 'em mad.
Just ask 'em to wait a minute.
Just please, one minute.
Kevin, you in here? It'll just be a minute.
Look, Kevin, I know you're in here, so come on out, huh? Look out! Hey! Grab him! Nice work, MacGyver! What if you knew, beyond a doubt, what was going to happen tomorrow? What would you do? There's no easy answer for a guy who gets tomorrow's news today.
* * You like the Cubs, huh? Me, I like the White Sox.
Of course, Cubs, they got the better stadium.
It's really good talking to you, kid.
You're pretty proud of yourself, huh? What? Big hero- saved the dumb kid from suffocating in a bus.
Probably give you a medal.
I doubt they'll give me a medal.
Sure, a big medal.
A picture of you in the newspaper.
Probably even get on TV.
Let me ask you something, kid.
What's your problem? What do you want from me? You know, a "thank you" might be nice.
Quit staring.
What? I'm bald.
Are you happy now? It looks ridiculous.
Look, kid, I-I wasn't staring.
I Do me a favor.
Next time you want to be a hero, don't.
Hey, look Kevin! So, what's up, buddy? You run away, and then I get this call to come down here? Are you okay? I'm fine.
Uh, Ms.
Miller? Gary Hobson.
I'm the one that phoned.
Did he get hurt? No, no.
He's fine.
Stubborn kid.
He's Miss Miller, this is none of my business.
I It's leukemia.
They found it about three months ago.
The doctors say he's got a chance with this new chemotherapy, but Kevin won't take it anymore.
I dragged him back to the hospital this morning to try again.
I turned my back, he ran away.
I'm sorry.
I don't usually spill my guts to strangers.
No, no, it's fine.
Thanks for calling.
Miller? If you wanted to, I mean, I could talk to him.
What makes you think he'd listen to you? We're going home, Kev.
Oh, Ms.
Miller! Hey.
Gar, look, I've been thinking.
It's time we started advertising this place.
Side of the road, billboards, taxi cabs, you name it.
We gotta start doing it.
You know, if we have to, we take a girl, put her on the el, have her pass out menus.
We'll dress her as the Lucky Charms guy or something like that.
Reservations are down and expenses are up, pal.
Hey, listen, I've been having this problem lately.
I've keep getting these phone calls from Cindy Crawford.
She's begging me to have her baby.
But I say, "Cindy, you're not my type.
You're too big for me.
" But she won't listen.
She calls me and bothers me.
What do you think? Put it on the menu.
Gar, I know we have this arrangement where I run the place and you're the silent partner, but you can't be totally silent.
Can you sign this for me? What is that? Accounts payable receipts.
What's with you? The guy saved a kid's life.
You'd think he'd be a little cheerier.
So, what's the problem? I got a picture of a kid here who's got leukemia.
And he won't take his chemotherapy.
Without his chemotherapy, he's got one year to live, the doctor said.
Well, I think that might be out of your jurisdiction, Gary.
I mean, if he won't listen to his doctors, then what can you do? I love this woman.
Hey! Get out! Health hazard.
Look at that.
She's everywhere.
Who? Jenny Sloane.
Chicago's sweetheart.
signing up voters and making friends.
spreading good cheer.
We'll bring you live to the store where Jenny bought a gown for tonight's Governor's Ball.
Sure, I gave her the dress for free.
She's only got a few weeks left to live.
See that? Chicago's got a million sick people.
Howard Banner decides to write one column about you, suddenly you're a celebrity.
I heard it was a pretty good column.
Oh, yeah, Banner, he's top notch.
He's right up there with Royko.
The guy was nominated for a Pulitzer when he was 18.
Oh, hey, listen guys, I got some stuff to finish up in the office, and then I'm off to class.
So I'll see you later, okay? Yeah.
Here you go, buddy.
Is that the bowl laced with cyanide? Yeah.
Hey, what do you know about her? Who? Jenny Sloane.
Ah, I don't know.
I guess, you know, just what I read in the columns.
You read it.
Don't, don't do that! You know, "Don't Cry For Jenny Sloane".
You read the column, didn't you? Hell, you probably read it a day early.
I'm wondering if she can help.
Help with what? Kevin.
Who's Kevin? The kid from today with leukemia.
I'm wondering if she meets up with this kid that maybe she can convince him to go back on his chemotherapy.
Oh, no, no, no.
That's for dinner.
Order some more tomatoes.
How do you suppose you get in touch with someone like that? I don't know.
Call Banner.
He's the guy that made her famous.
Go to the newspaper.
Excuse me.
Howard Banner? Wait, wait.
All right, tell me what you think.
"The gowns were certainly beautiful, "the band was spectacular.
"The truth is, it just doesn't matter, "because years from now, the only thing anyone will remember "about this year's Governor's Ball is Jenny Sloane's benevolent bravery.
" So? That's good.
How is it you're writing about the Governor's Ball? It doesn't occur until tonight.
Oh, come on.
You think I don't know what's gonna happen? The best and the brightest are gonna outdo each other toasting Jenny's benevolent bravery.
Jenny will smile, tears will flow- there won't be any surprises.
Maybe you should try, uh, "quiet courage" as-as opposed to "benevolent bravery".
Quiet courage.
That's not bad.
What you got for me? How's that? Your story.
Your anecdote.
Your idea for my column.
Actually, I wanted to meet Jenny Sloane.
Well, who doesn't? Take a number.
Get in line.
Well, you see, I know this little boy, and he's very sick- Kevin.
And he's taken himself off of his chemotherapy.
See that? I knew you had a story.
Well, I thought that if Jenny Sloane could talk to this boy, that it would This boy, how old is he? He's 11 years old.
Oh, so young.
So, you can get me in touch with Miss Sloane? Nope.
I wish I could.
You will not believe how many people come to me looking for an introduction to Jenny Sloane, and I would love to help them all, and I know that Jenny would, too.
But the truth of the matter is her plate is full.
And you realize, she doesn't have much time left.
How 'bout a phone call? Jenny asked me not to give out her number.
Between her charity work and her public appearances, she doesn't have the energy she used to have.
You understand.
Thank you very much.
This is a bad idea.
Hey, look, it cost 500 bucks to get into this thing.
You got that kind of money burning a hole in your pocket? I don't even have pockets.
Where did you get these things, anyway? This guy I know.
He made a fortune in used formal wear.
This isn't gonna work.
This is ridiculous.
Will you relax?! Trust the tux, okay? Don't worry.
I got this thing wired.
Come on.
I invite you to join me in raising your glass in honor of a woman who's very name has become synonymous with all that is brave, courageous and good about the human race: Jenny Sloane.
Hear, hear! Jenny, I want you to know that the inspiration you've given us will last forever.
Thank you.
Um, I'm not feeling very well.
Just tell them that I'm honored.
Jenny's not feeling up to speaking tonight.
You understand.
But she did want to thank you all for coming, and she says she feels honored What'd I tell you? Piece of cake.
Well, Jenny, I think I speak for everyone here when I say you honor us.
Now, please, everybody enjoy your evening.
Hey, uh, numb nuts, table two, that way.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I know it's complicated.
Table two- it comes after table one, but before table three.
You'll catch on.
Trust me.
* * Nice speaking with you.
Okay, you, too.
Keep on smiling, dear.
We're praying for you.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
Miss Sloane? Yes.
My name's Gary Hobson.
Uh, you-you don't know me, but I know a little boy that could use your help.
His name's Kevin Miller.
Uh, excuse me.
And I-I thought that if you could just talk to him, that maybe he'd go back on the chemo.
I don't know.
You see, the chemo is his last shot.
Where is he? At the North Glen Hospital.
I know where that is.
Um, I'll try to come by tomorrow.
Feeling all right? Yes.
Um, Howard, this is Gary.
We've met.
Well, what a Surprise.
Jenny, you're looking kind of tired.
It's been a long day.
We should get you home.
Well, it was a pleasure to meet you.
It was a pleasure to meet you.
Thank you very much.
This is hard work.
Well? Well what? Did you tell Banner about our restaurant? No, I didn't.
Gare, three million people read his column every day.
Three million hungry people.
You saw what he did for that girl.
Think about what he could do for us.
On the count of three, we go.
One, two So what do I do about him? Who's this? Oh, that sick kid.
Well, I told this guy I'd go visit the kid in the hospital.
Now, why did you do that? Come on, look at him.
So what am I supposed to do? Same thing you do with all these requests.
You know the routine.
You send a nice letter, maybe some flowers, along with your apologies; you're not feeling up to it.
Well, I just thought maybe this one time Jenny, come on.
We don't do hospitals, remember? Hey, I'll buy you some dessert.
You'll feel better.
Mom, can we go already? Just a minute.
I don't think she's coming.
I talked to her.
She'll be here.
I don't care who's coming to visit.
They're not sticking any more needles in me.
Thanks for trying.
I want to go home.
Hey, listen, Kevin Hey, I bet you're Kevin.
Who wants to know? Hey.
You're the lady on TV, the one who's Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You can just call me Jenny.
What are you doing here? Well, I, uh, I came to see you.
Well, I thought that you might want to meet someone who's going through the same thing you are.
Well, I don't.
What'd you tell her about me? I know that you don't want to take any more chemotherapy.
What'd you do, take out a billboard?! Kev You don't think this has been embarrassing enough without the whole world knowing? You know what it's like to wake up every morning sick to your stomach? Sure.
You know, I remember there was one really bad week.
I was so sick.
Ooh, it was coming out my ears.
Hey, can I see? Why? You want to try and make me feel better about it? Oh, I wouldn't dream of it.
You're not gonna be one of those people that tells me I look like Michael Jordan, are you? Michael who? Oh, come on, let's see.
Oh, my gosh! Oh, oh, you're right.
That is- it's horrible! What? Oh, your head! Cover that thing up before we all get sick.
I'm sorry, I've never seen someone so bald! I mean, it's- just the glare alone is enough to blind a person.
Hey, does the airport know about you? 'Cause they could use your head to signal incoming jets! So you a Cubs fan? Get real.
White Sox? Everybody asks me that.
For the record, I hate baseball.
Basketball? Boring.
Football? Well, I used to like the Cleveland Browns, but do you know how hard it is to get one of those hats? Is that a challenge? Hey, big shot.
What are you doing, working on your Pulitzer speech? Hey, give me a break.
My column's in.
Yeah, just thought you might want to know, your friend Jenny Sloane's down at the hospital entertaining the sick kids.
What? Don't worry.
You can read all about it in the Trib tomorrow.
Miller, he's asking for you.
Jenny! Jenny Sloane! What are you doing at the hospital today, Jenny? Are you undergoing treatment? No, I'm just visiting a friend.
We need this hallway clear, people.
You're going to have to wait in the lobby.
How'd it go in there? Um, well, I'm coming back tomorrow, but, you know, I'm not really sure I did anything.
Sloane, you know, I I don't think you realize how much good you did in there.
You really think so? I do, and so does his mother.
What's going on here? Howard.
Oh, my gosh.
Do you remember that sick kid I told you about? The one in the picture? I hear you're in the hospital, I get worried.
Are you all right? Yeah, I'm fine, Howard.
But listen, this kid, you should have seen the look on his face when I was talking to him.
I think I might have convinced him to go back on his chemo.
That's wonderful.
I got a cab waiting downstairs.
Jenny, I think we should get you home now.
Hobson? Dr.
Good to meet you, Doc.
Uh, Jenny, this is Dr.
He's chief of oncology here at the hospital.
Jenny, it's an honor meeting you.
I'm sorry to hear about your illness.
I've been following your case.
Howard Banner.
Nice to meet you, Doctor.
Jenny, the cab.
Wait a second.
Go ahead, Doc.
We've run some phase four drug trials here at the hospital.
There's a good chance you might qualify.
What I'd like to do is set up an appointment for you, run some tests.
Thanks, but, um we're not interested.
Maybe you didn't understand.
Please listen to me, Doctor.
Jenny's suffered enough, all right? She's been poked and prodded with more needles than you and I can ever imagine.
So the answer's no.
Maybe you should let Jenny answer for herself.
Jenny? I'm sorry.
No more tests.
If you change your mind, feel free to call.
I don't understand.
So are we ready to go? Um, actually, I'm-I'm gonna stay here.
Excuse me? Well, there are some more kids here- patients, and-and I want to talk to them.
Jenny, it's not a good idea.
Please let go.
I'm just thinking about you, Jenny.
Oh! I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to scare you.
Of course not.
That's why you're sitting there in the dark.
What? What's that? It's my way of saying I'm sorry.
I was out of line earlier.
Open it.
Oh, Howard! And do you know what they will look particularly good with? Bathing suit? Well, it's a radical fashion statement.
What am I gonna do with a bathing suit? You'll wear it in Hawaii.
I'm not going to Hawaii.
Sure you are.
First class.
It's one way.
Jenny it's over.
Already? I thought we were just getting started.
I got you a suite on the water in Maui.
You're gonna love it.
Howard what if I said that I wanted to stay here? Wh How's that? I was thinking, you know, maybe I can really do something here, you know? Help some people.
Come on, kid.
Don't start believing your own press.
I'm flattered.
I mean, I wrote those articles, but I just thought Look, you're supposed to have a terminal illness.
I mean, how long do you plan on hanging around? Pretty soon people are gonna, gonna know, catch onto this thing.
That friend of yours, what's his name, uh, Hobson? No, he doesn't suspect anything.
Not yet.
But if he keeps bringing doctors in to see you Pack your things.
You got to check out.
We'll put you in a different hotel, different name.
Oh, come on, Jenny, you're gonna be all right.
A couple of weeks in the sun, on the beach And then what? Anything you want.
You can see the country.
Settle down anywhere.
Yeah, anywhere but here.
Jenny we both got what we wanted out of this.
You got some money in your pocket, I got my career back.
Oh, did you hear about the award they're giving me? Listen.
Okay, I've never been good at anything.
But in that hospital today, with that kid- I mean, this is, this is something that I'm good at.
Jenny Listen, I promised that kid that I would see him tomorrow.
Okay, can't we just keep it going, just another few days? We can't risk it.
We've been lucky.
Do you want to see how fast an entire city can turn against you? You stick around long enough for someone to figure out you're not dying, it won't be pretty.
They'll send you back to jail, Jenny.
You want that? Hey, listen to me.
I'm only gonna say this once: Jenny Sloane dies tomorrow.
Good morning.
Sunny and bright this Wednesday morning.
Temperature is rising, traffic at a standstill.
All right, don't get your fur in a knot.
Good-bye, Jenny Sloane.
"Jenny Sloane commits suicide.
"The discovery of a suicide note on the Randolph Street Bridge last night.
" "prompted widespread speculation "that Jenny Sloane gave up her battle with cancer and leapt to her death.
" Are they sure? It says police verified the suicide note was in her handwriting.
It was her signature.
Well, I guess she got tired of fighting.
Marissa, I'll see you later.
Hey, Gary, where are you going? The paper says she jumps sometime around 7:00.
I'm gonna find her.
Well, what if you do? What are you gonna tell her? I don't know.
She checked out.
Hey, you don't by any chance have any idea where she might have gone? No, I, I have no idea.
Thank you.
Banner, I need to talk to you.
You again? Listen, I need to find Jenny.
Come on, why don't you go bother someone else? Look, this is very important.
I'm sure it is.
Unfortunately, she doesn't leave her agenda with me.
So, if you don't mind I do mind.
She's gonna kill herself.
What? How do you know that? I just know.
Jenny's not the type.
Look, Banner, I don't have time to argue about this.
I've gotta find her tonight before 7:00.
Are you gonna help me, or not? She's gonna jump off the Randolph Street Bridge.
The Randolph Street Bridge? Really? And you just know this? Listen, trust me, just for today.
Tomorrow you can go back to being annoyed with me.
Oh, I trust you.
So you can predict the future, what's not to trust? Banner, please.
I wish I could help you, but I have no idea where she is.
For all I know, she could be on a plane to Hawaii right now.
So, Kreskin, tell me this: The Cubs gonna win tonight? Hey, where are you going? Randolph Street Bridge.
I'm gonna try to stop a girl from killing herself.
No, you're not.
Almost 7:00.
Lake Street Bridge.
It changed.
* * "I tried hard to be brave, but please forgive me.
"In too much pain.
"Thank you for your love and concern.
Please keep me in your prayers.
" Hey, it's pretty poetic for a suicide note.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Come on.
I was there, Banner.
I saw you.
Lake Street Bridge, I saw you tape it to the railing.
So, you really thought it was poetic, huh? Don't ask me how I know this, but I do.
You made the whole thing up, so don't bother denying it.
Hey, you'll have to show me that crystal ball of yours sometime.
Who is she? Some girl.
I don't even remember her name.
I found her at the bus station.
Look, my editor wanted a face to go along with the Jenny Sloane story.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that there was no Jenny Sloane, so I So you grab your camera, and you go down to the bus depot, and you uh, start propositioning good-looking girls? Well, you make it sound so sleazy.
Where is she? I don't know.
Listen, it saved my career.
My stuff wasn't good enough anymore.
You know they were gonna cancel my column before I wrote that Jenny Sloane piece.
If my boss found out what I was doing, he'd eviscerate me and boil me in oil.
So you lied to him and the rest of the city.
Hey, no harm, no foul.
You're a journalist.
You're supposed to tell the truth, not disgrace it.
All right, you want to know what the truth is, kid? The truth is that people are so desperate for a hero, that they'll believe anything.
Now, are you gonna put this back on the bridge, or am I? No, I don't think you get it.
It's over.
Oh, really? You're gonna go public? Blow the lid off the whole big Jenny Sloane scandal? What if I do? Good luck.
Your word against mine.
But don't forget, I'm an icon, my friend.
I am the voice of the people.
Well, what do you think about Jenny Sloane's voice against you, Banner? Jenny? Who's Jenny? She's gone- dead.
Jumped to her death off the Randolph Street no, excuse me, the Lake Street Bridge.
There is no Jenny.
Well, that's it.
Every Best Western, every Sheraton, every Holiday Inn in the city.
Do you want me to check the suburbs? No.
What are you gonna do? I'm gonna go to the hospital.
I'm gonna postpone a suicide.
Sooner or later, Banner's gonna pull it off.
I'm gonna talk to that kid.
Good luck.
Listen, Kevin, sometimes when people think that there's no hope left, they uh things happen.
What are you saying? Are you trying to upset him? No, I Kevin, I'm, I'm, I'm just trying to prepare you.
For what? Jenny's not coming back.
What? Why not? Listen, either you tell me what you know right now, or I'm getting out of here and never coming back.
Look, Kevin That's it.
I'm out of here.
What's that? It's a note from Jenny.
Let me see it.
Kevin, I need you to promise me something, okay? I need you to promise me you'll go back on your chemotherapy.
Give me the letter.
Do we have a deal? Fine.
What's it say? This can't be.
She wouldn't do this.
How long did you know about this? I just found out, son.
She really? I can't believe it.
Listen, Mom, either you call the doctor right now, or I will.
I'm done with this stuff.
Kevin, we had a deal.
You don't get it! Jenny bailed! But that doesn't mean you have to.
You've got a real chance here.
That's what Jenny was trying to tell you.
The deal's off.
Look, Kevin Get out! I think you should go now.
Kevin Get out.
Winston, please dial 562.
Winston, please dial 562.
You were upstairs? How much did you hear? Enough.
You saw what you did to that kid, didn't you? Look, I never meant to So why don't you go back up there and talk to him? Oh, and tell him what? The truth? No, you can't do that, can you? So, how much did Banner tell you? Everything, except your name.
Well, what, did he forget? Typical.
I'm Lucy.
Lucy Gimbel.
At least, I think I am.
Back home, in Washington, I was- I was boosting wallets.
I got six months in the slammer, out in three.
I mean, it was minimum security- more like a camp, really- but still, it's jail, you know, and people look at you differently when you get out.
So, I figured it was time for a fresh start.
Packed a bag, hopped a bus, here I am, gainfully employed.
How much did Banner offer you? A lot.
The money was great.
But after a while, I-I wasn't doing it for the money.
I- I liked being Jenny Sloane.
I mean, everyone wanted to meet her.
TV shows wanted to interview her.
I liked the way people looked at me.
And I figured why not? I mean, no one was getting hurt.
Oh, no, except that little kid up in the hospital.
The kid- right, that was your fault.
That was my fault? Yeah.
Well, if I hadn't listened to you, if I hadn't let you talk me into going to visit that kid Oh, I'm sorry.
My mistake for thinking you're someone you're not.
Sorry, that's my fault.
Listen, it's all different now, okay? I can't go back there.
I can't face that kid.
So now what? Well, you tell me.
Jenny Sloane- back from the dead.
Look, we have to talk.
About what? Look, I'm going back home, and try to put together a life.
Look, I'll send you the money, and the earrings.
Good for you.
Which reminds me, I need another suicide note.
Howard, I-I don't want Jenny to commit suicide.
Sorry, kid.
It's the best payoff for the story.
Quick and clean.
Oh, come on, you can't do that.
Oh, no? Who says I can't? You? Hey, you're a fake, remember? Do you have any idea the size of this thing? Tomorrow, at this time, the boats are gonna be dragging the river for your body.
The governor is going to declare a state-wide day of mourning.
It's a perfect finish.
Look, can't we just tell the truth? Are you kidding? They'll tear us to pieces.
Not if we do it right.
People will understand.
Oh, you think so? I guess we don't know the same people.
Besides, what is that kid gonna think if Jenny's a fake? And what about your probation? If you admit to fraud, you could wind up back in jail.
Look, Howard, I just, I don't know what to do, okay? Okay, okay, okay.
Let me see what I can come up with.
I'll figure something out, and I'll call you in the morning.
Promise? I promise.
I don't believe it.
"Chicago's sweetheart, Jenny Sloane, "whose alleged brain tumor "sparked the sympathy of the city, is a liar and a fraud.
"According to allegations presented "by Sun Times columnist Howard Banner "at an awards luncheon yesterday.
"'She faked her illness', said Banner "during an impromptu press conference.
"Banner apologized for not being more diligent "about checking out Jenny's background.
"'I guess I just wanted to believe in her.
"'She tricked me, "'and with my unintended assistance, "she tricked you', Banner said.
"'Jenny Sloane betrayed a city that opened its heart to her, "'and all those kids who were counting on her.
Jenny Sloane is responsible for the death of their dreams.
'" What a snake.
And to think I used to worship that guy- back when he had morals.
Once this hits the streets, this town's gonna lynch Jenny Sloane.
I think that's what he wants.
He's protecting his job.
Where are you going? I'm gonna go find Howard Banner.
The old one.
Jenny? Jenny! Sorry.
No one here by that name.
Lucy, open up the door.
It's important.
I've got something I think you should see.
What is this? It's Banner's column.
It comes out in tomorrow's paper.
Tomorrow's? It's a proof.
He usually writes it a day or two ahead of time.
He's gonna say all these things about me? In a half an hour.
Where? You got a minute? Oh, now my day is complete.
I love the hat.
I thought you were gonna call me.
It slipped my mind.
Oh, so you're just gonna blame me for everything? Jenny, would I do that to you? It's not gonna work, Howard.
It's over.
Oh, this is all very dramatic.
Now, what do you expect me to do, guys? Roll over and say "you got me?" Well, the truth is, whatever I go out there and say it is.
I say "Jenny Sloane is a liar", people believe me.
Now, it's sad, it's not fair, hell, it's pathetic.
But that's the way it is.
Well, maybe you're right.
Or maybe people will surprise you.
You want to find out? No.
Look, think about what you're doing.
Don't go out there and destroy Jenny Sloane for all those people who believed in her.
All those kids in the hospital.
Don't worry, kid.
I wrote you a beautiful send-off.
Beautiful send-off? What would that be? "Jenny Sloane Betrays Chicago?" How does he keep doing that? Let me ask you something, Banner.
When did you become someone else, huh? What? "In the name of truth, "a journalist will tarnish heroes.
"He'll destroy myths.
That's his job.
"But the journalist "should never forget that he's also a human being "and therefore has a responsibility to seek "a deeper truth which is this: "Sometimes people need myths.
"People need heroes.
" You recognize those words? Oh, yeah.
They belong to somebody who had no idea how the world really works.
And do you know the difference between this guy and you? This guy would never let an 11-year-old kid die just to save his own tail.
Hey, Banner.
Do you remember what you told me? You're the voice of the people? Don't forget that.
We'll get you on a bus and get you as far away from Chicago as we can.
Jenny? I want to hear what he has to say.
No, you don't.
Once he starts talking you don't want to be anywhere near this place.
I want to hear.
Emcee: It's been my experience that everyone has a story to tell.
It's why we are human beings.
But very few of us tell stories the way this man does.
When you read one of his columns, you glimpse the inside of the human heart.
And it quickly becomes obvious that he is writing not just because he's writing about people, he's writing because he cares.
And his gift is that he can inspire that in us.
Because of him, many journalists, myself included, became journalists.
Chose this career.
The award this year goes to Howard Banner.
I I want to thank you for this award.
And I want to tell you why I can't accept it.
You see, there's a fraud in this room.
And his name is Howard Banner.
I didn't earn this award.
This award rightfully belongs to Jenny Sloane, who is quite simply the most heroic person I have ever met.
All I did was transcribe her story.
Jenny couldn't be here today.
She called me last night.
Her doctors have told her she has very little time left.
So, she's gone home to spend her last days with her family.
But she asked me to read you this statement.
"Thank you, people of Chicago, for lending me your hearts.
"You made my life worthwhile.
"If you think of me at all, "think of me as a reflection of your own "courage and humanity.
"Good-bye for now.
Love, Jenny.
" I've been struggling to come up with, uh, a final column for the Jenny Sloane series.
A big ending that would put the whole thing in perspective.
But there will be no final column.
This morning I realized that Jenny's story doesn't need a big ending because Jenny's story doesn't end.
Jenny's memory will live in all the people she touched during her life.
Her dreams are our dreams.
Her hope is our hope.
And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to announce my resignation.
Tomorrow will be my last day with the paper.
It's funny, I built my career on writing stories about people who've lost their way and then found it again.
It has been a long career.
And I have been luckier than most.
But at some point, without even knowing it, I seem to have lost my way myself.
And I forgot why I ever got into this racket.
Thank you for reminding me.
It has been an honor to serve you.
It's easy to be cynical.
Especially today, when it looks like all our heroes are crooks.
Our role models, frauds.
Hello? Somebody, uh, sent you a Cleveland Browns hat.
May I come in? Okay.
Every now and then, however, when you least expect it, the real thing comes along.
Someone who can find the heart inside the cynic and give those who hold nothing sacred something to believe in.
It's not always easy, telling the good from the bad, even if you do get tomorrow's paper today.
Why is why.
Sometimes to find the answers, you just have to look in your heart.