By WEIRU JIAOLU
Western Media Correspondent
NEW YORK (China Daily Show) – Vowing not to rest until every last one of his readers is thoroughly bored, New York Times chief sub-editor Willard J. Hunsucker III promised that his newspaper’s next blockbuster story about China will be accompanied by a headline that is appropriately off-putting and “even duller than the previous one.”
Hunsucker III said he had personally affixed the becalming title ‘Insurer’s Regulatory Win Benefits a Chinese Leader’s Family’ to an explosive and deeply researched follow-up to the Times’s exclusive about Premier Wen Jiabao’s $2.4 billion family fortune.
The new story, posted Friday, alleges that Wen personally intervened to prevent the break-up of an Chinese insurance conglomerate, a move that saw Wen’s immediate family go on to reap millions.
Thanks to Hunsucker III’s headline, only five people read the article – all of them in China.
“If you want to read our brilliant exposes, you’re going to have to fight for it,” explained Hunsucker III. “At the Times, we don’t believe in vulgar, snappy ‘headlines’ or tawdry ‘pull quotes.’ We think that if a story is devastating or unique, it should be released into the cybersphere like a blind puppy – to fend for itself.”
Some reporters disagree with the policy, however.
The Times lead China writer Ravi Mahmoud described the moment a desk editor affixed the headline ‘In China, Potential Disciplinary Infraction Caught on Digital Image’ to a story about a Chinese official taped sodomizing a male prostitute as “yet another blow to my increasingly fragile self-esteem.”
Mahmoud recalled, “I let out a deep breath… and opened another bottle of Grant’s.”
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