Entry 462: Broken News

Memorandum

To: The New York Post
From: Mark Hallen
Re: Your front page of June 15, 1015

I wanted to make you aware of a few things.

1. Game of Thrones is fictional. The events depicted in it do not qualify as front-page news, 15-p1_lcf-copyor any kind of news for that matter.

2. Even if Game of Thrones was real, it is about events that occurred (if they had actually occurred) several centuries ago. So the Times would have already covered it. Even the Daily News would have managed to scoop you.

3. Even if you made the case that the TV show itself was news because the events on the season finale were so shocking and, evidently, bloody enough to appear on your front page, you might be interested to know that a significant portion of your audience may be intending to watch the show On Demand or on DVR, and would prefer not to know what happened. This is a big difference between real news and fake news. Real news happens when it happens even if you record it for later viewing. Fake news doesn’t happen until you watch it, providing you can successfully avoid all discussions about it until you do. So you can understand how seeing your front page on the newsstand could be a problem.

4. I’m surprised you’re even bothering to cover Game of Thrones at all. Unless…have you somehow figured out a way to blame the war between the houses of Lannister and Stark on President Obama?

5. Regarding the bottom half of your front page, even you have to admit that the double-punned headline is trying too hard. It’s certainly no “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” I know you can do better.

See you soon.

Disclaimer: I actually do not watch Game of Thrones.  But I was upset by the Post’s front page on behalf of my wife, my daughter (who is on her honeymoon on the other side of the world and won’t see the finale for awhile) and all other GOT fans.  I was also upset by the state of journalism in America, about which I will have more to say in my next post.

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