A female newspaper reporter writes a final column, a phony story of a man who plans to jump off of City Hall on Christmas Eve, as a protest of the mistreatment of the common people in society. When the article is a hit, the reporter must come up with someone to impersonate the man she fabricated, so she recruits a down on his luck former ballplayer to take on the identity. When the newspaper publisher, with aspirations towards a Presidential bid, plots to use the man for his political gain, the reporter and the ballplayer are forced to make a decision about keeping up the ruse. Reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from a man who threatens suicide to protest social ills. The letter start sets a social movement, and she hires out-of-work actor John Willoughby to take on the role of "John Doe".