New York is an interesting place, to say the least. There is obviously a lot going on, not only fun stuff like the Lincoln Center Jazz Band playing in the courtyard outside your building, but clearly lots of work, as seen from all the poor analysts with their hands and faces pressed against the glass upstairs wishing they could go down and enjoy the music.

Famously, New Yorkers walk really fast as well, to demonstrate exactly how important and late they are. I thought this was dumb until I realized yesterday I was huffing past lopey tourists and grumbling. Anyhow, one important element of this constant hurrying is the fashion in which people absorb news in the morning.

There are several options, but they fall into three categories: Real Papers (of which I mean the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times, or NY Times if you’re unemployed), the Free Papers (AM New York and Metro), and The Post. People who read the Real Papers are obviously posturing and taking up too much space on the subway with their broadsheets. This is an asshole thing to do.

The more acceptable and plebian thing to do is read the Free Papers. Every city has some version – they’re about 20 pages, cover a lot of important topics, including celeb gossip and local sports, and importantly, they’re free. The barkers stand by the subway entrances and tell you good morning and are generally pretty pleasant people. Unless there is one representative from each paper. Then it’s an angry competition between two aproned fellows yelling “AM NEW YORK!” “NO! METRO!” at which point everyone just walks by choosing neither.

Importantly, while these papers are certainly not good in the objective sense, they’re not really all that biased and are acceptable to read by all walks of life. There’s a sudoku in the back, a coverage of league-wide sports scores, and a brief sampling of world news. It’s exactly 15 minutes worth of reading, and it doesn’t make you upset.

On the other hand, the New York Post is without question the worlds worst newspaper. To begin with, they have perfected the alarming font, which early in the morning on the subway lets you know with no uncertainty and in a very loud (written) voice that “HILLARY MAY RUN FOR WHITE HOUSE!” and soforth. Not only is it the largest headline of any paper, but they do their best to pun it up as much as possible. A few weeks ago, when they nabbed the guys in the airplane bomb plot, it was, predictably, “SNAKES ON A PLANE!”.

Not only that, the contents of the paper are probably the most biased and poorly written of any printed materials other than possibly college campus Socialist propaganda. Yet here is the crazy part: *everyone* reads it. And they pay 50 cents for the privilege. CEO-types, arty NPR-types, homeless guys, construction workers, and drag queens all find the change and time for the New York Post.

I really don’t get it. Please help.

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