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

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.

 

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

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and PETER BAKER

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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I’m back — and on ‘roid watch!

The new directive is clear: for the next few days, or until the inauguration, replace all references to “Donald Trump” (or “Trump Adminstration” or “Trump Era” etc) with “massive incoming asteroid”. That way, we won’t look quite so lame with our @nytimes headline today:

As Trump Era Arrives, a Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World

Posted 17.01.2017 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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Ask the lawyers

My silence isn’t intentional. In 1928, I signed a confidentiality agreement. They’re holding me to it. Back as soon as I work out a deal.

Posted 22.08.2016 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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My brilliant baton

…and for once I’m not talking about the delightful Duranty member. No! It’s the new trope we’re rolling out today:

Obama Passes Baton of Optimism to Clinton

Like? I delivered a stirring email to the staff. “We need something to lift the Cloak of Indifference! How about Passing the Pom Pom of Positivity! Or the Tentpole of Terrificness?” and pressed send. Then, you know how you know you should count to three and all that? It hit me. I immediately did a group text: “No, wait! The Baton of Optimism!” (Majorettes, anyone?) Anyway, I added my charming one-legged smiling emoji, sent it out and waited. You could instantly feel the mood lift. Suddenly Healy was whistling, “What the world needs now is love” as our morning teaser went live.

We just needed that little Duranty something. Last night the LA Times released a depressing poll showing Really Stupid Trump up by seven and the dull side of the newsroom was boosting that number by pretending to be outraged by RST asking Russia to forward Hillary’s emails when they’re done with them. I said, “You really can’t say he’s ‘encouraging a foreign power’s cyberspying,’ Sanger. It’s not like Moscow would never have had the thought.” The Russians actually don’t need the big dumb guy’s encouragement. No! Something tells me the Putin Youth BBS Brigade was already all over Hillary’s server after they read about it in our paper.

 

Posted 28.07.2016 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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