Feb 13, 2009 iThoughts
Since I was a teenager I have had the habit of reading the morning newspaper cover to cover. There have been some days when I have read two and three newspapers. In an attempt to establish my expertise I did some math. I have read easily over 20,000 newspapers. I have the ink stained finger pads to prove it. Every day the news should be different. However soon after I made reading the paper a daily event I began to have the feeling that some articles were being reprinted.
Early on I came to the realization that most of the articles were the same in that they evoke the same emotions in the reader. In the news sections, international, national and local, the editors are out to scare the reader. In fact you can replace most of the headlines in the news sections with this universal headline, “It’s not safe out there.” Try it. Take your favorite newspaper and change to the headline of the lead article to “It’s not safe out there.”
It is not only the news sections where the stories are all the same. The editors have a different message in the remaining sections. Thus many of the articles in the Sports, Entertainment and Business sections all could have the same headline, “Look Who Just F**ked up”
So this is how to read the newspaper. Start with the news sections. After you have gotten a good dose of “it’s not safe out there” and you are left depressed and overwhelmed by pessimism you go to the remaining sections and make yourself feel better knowing that some rich and successful person just screwed up. I learned schadenfreude from the newspaper.