Here’s my Jimmy Breslin story:
I was working at the Center for Constitutional Rights on a campaign to stop the price gouging of collect calls from prisoners and I was pitching every single columnist in New York City to cover our story.
The only person to call me back was Breslin.
I was at dinner at an Indian Restaurant when I got a call from an unknown number. I picked it up and the man on the other line said “Yeah is this Sean? This is Jimmy Breslin”
Having been raised by an old school Irish newspaper man, I about had a heart attack. I kept calm and pitched him. He was interested, so I gave him the background explaining the insane rates prisoner’s families pay for collect calls and what we were trying to do to stop it. I offered to put him in touch with a family member and he said something along the lines of “I’ll fight for these people, but Jesus, don’t make me talk to them.” He was a far from perfect man. He ended up quoting me, unfortunately. But he wrote about our campaign in his standard Breslin style — direct, passionate, pissed off — in his weekly Newsday column.
It was the first media hit the campaign got, and it made other journalists take us seriously. .
I left PR soon after that, my work complete.
Rest in peace, Jimmy. They really do not make them like you any more.
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