To: Pui-Wing Tam, newsroom
Subject: ‘Fake’ news
By PUI-WING TAM
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.