|Labor, by Will Barnet (Metropolitan Museum of Art)|
I know this because I once watched it done. And what did the whitefish deboner talk about? How fortunate he was to have his job. How happy it made him.
That stuck with me, and explains why I winced, a little, at the Sun-Times' new slogan: "The hardest-working newspaper in America."
My first thought was: "How do we know? Did we study all the other newspapers? Because otherwise we've installed a lie atop the front page."
Loyal employee that I am, or try to be, I groped for a bright spin: "mere puffery," as my lawyer friends would say. Like "World's Best Coffee." Why not? The Tribune called itself "The World's Greatest Newspaper," for half a century (a boast fossilized in the call letters "WGN") and that wasn't true either.
So I understand why “hard-working” now appears on every page of our print editions. What is the task of this newspaper? Only absorbing everything happening now in the entire world with an emphasis on Chicago and Illinois. Filter out the superfluous and present the essential events in a completely accurate and public form within a few minutes of their occurring. Do so, lately, in an environment where bald lies are boldly uttered at the highest levels while preserving a reputation for accuracy so great that our mistakes are remembered forever. “IT’S REAGAN AND FORD” a Sun-Times front page headline trumpeted about the 1980 presidential ticket. It wasn’t.
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