Underselling our immigration ban

To: Scott Shane, newsroom

From: Duranty

Subject: Immigration ban


Scott did good work on this:

News Analysis

Immigration Ban Is Unlikely to Reduce Terrorist Threat, Experts Say


The unintended consequence of President Trump’s directive, many experts believe, is that it will make the risk worse.


…but he neglected to note that the real genius behind this plan was Barack. ABC had the story of the original Muslim ban. The Obama plan was the source of the experts’ belief. We should include Barack in as much of our backgrounding as possible. In a matter of months, he’ll he leading our cause and we want him to look every bit the visionary he truly is.



Posted 29.01.2017 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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Byron Dobell, you’ll be bored up there—but we’ll miss you

This morning’s paper carries Byron Dobell’s obit. We had hopes. Jim Goode had even rented the Guccioni reception center, but then we got word that he was going to the Other Place. Ah well, endit and all that. Good luck, Byron. We’ll rot in hell for you!

Posted 25.01.2017 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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The trouble with ‘Trump Troubles’

To: Peter, Glenn, Maggie, newsroom

From: Duranty

Subject: ‘Trump Troubles’

Just back from the first weekend of our four-year retreat, and after talking to advertising, circ and editorial, it’s pretty clear we have a problem—or, to use our term, a ‘trouble.’

Rocky First Weekend for Trump Troubles Even His Top Aides


To the extent that there was a plan to take advantage of the first days of his administration, when a president is usually at his maximum leverage, President Trump threw it aside.

The trouble, of course, is Trump. I saw the video of Spicer’s short rant (aka, ‘briefing‘) sitting next to Adolph, Lou Fischer and Ike Deutscher. It was looped. We watched it until Lou started lip-synching the words. I got up, went to the door and turned to see Ochs soiling his pants. “What the hell was that?!” He was furious.

“That,” I said, “is our trouble.” So take notes, Peter, Glenn, Maggie. I’ve seen this before.

When a political class collapses, which is the usual consequence of one of these populist uprisings, every part of the political class collapses with it. That means, especially, the press. Imagine being the first journalist to arrive in Moscow the first week of October 1917, trying to understand the ‘trouble’ by reading the coverage in the Tsar’s favorite newspaper, Moskovskiye Vedomosti. According to Gallup and Pew, most people no longer trust us (if  you want to know how low we have sunk, I saw a poll that said people were twice as likely to trust their church as trust their newspaper!). We are on the wrong side of this historical moment, and it’s  going to last longer than Trump’s weekend.

Remember when we tried to convince New Yorkers to vote for Welprin  to replace Weiner? We got Turner, the Republican, instead. If we couldn’t influence the voters of Manhattan’s 9th district when we needed to, what chance do we have with the voters of Wisconsin or Arizona?

 To paraphrase Sally Field, they hate us, right now, they hate us.
Posted 23.01.2017 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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News? Fake or not, it’s not our business!

To: Pui-Wing Tam, newsroom

From: Duranty

Subject: ‘Fake’ news

Daily Report: The Continued Creation and Dissemination of Fake News


Good work on this but after talking to Adolph, Artie and Punch, I suppose somebody has to remind you that ‘news’ is not really in what we Brits call ‘the remit.’ We re not in the news business. If our job were to publish ‘news’—i.e., unvarnished accounts of what happened, when, why, how and all that, we’d have gone out of business when Doug Edwards signed on for CBS.

So on behalf of the bosses living and dead and all the younger strivers, let me remind you our job is not to print ‘news’ at all. It is to print ‘information’ that informs (and validates) the assumptions of our people, our readers, the people in our happy class. Every publication, on-line or off-, does the same thing: it gives readers what they feel they need. So every day, we serve our readers’ interests by making them feel completely secure in their opinions and giving them a completely comfortable worldview. Every single item in our paper appears in service to this goal.

Our people must never be challenged by what you call ‘news’. It is of no interest to them. It would only frighten and confuse them. Besides, news is ubiquitous. By the time we print it, everybody knows it happened. But of the zillions of events in the world, we select those that tell the story of our readers’ success. Our narrative is the story of correctness, of superior thought and sacred feelings. If other kinds of people coming to our newspaper want ‘news’, real or imaginary, let them eat Drudge.


Posted 20.01.2017 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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No irony in the lifeboats, please

To: Peter, Michael

From: Duranty

Subject: End-of-world irony


On the day before the world-as-we-know-it ends, I found today’s headline to be shockingly insensitive:

In Farewell, Obama Sets Red Lines That Would Pull Him Back Into Fray


We need to be careful not to disturb the image we have created of a man who means what he says, at least while he’s saying it. Going forward, let’s ditch the “red line” metaphor. It just triggers painful memories—not to mention terrorist attacks and all that sort of thing.

Posted 19.01.2017 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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