The United States is one of the few countries where the government is specifically prohibited from licensing the press or reporters or otherwise shutting down a newspaper simply because they don't like the content. While the average Joe knows their rights are protected by the court case of Miranda v. Arizona, most people are unaware of one of the pivotal cases denying press censorship in the United States: Near v. Minnesota, which basically said the government can't shut down a newspaper no matter how much it finds its content objectionable. Of course, freedom of the press is guaranteed in the first amendment to the Constitution.
Note that when the term "licensing" is used in this article, it is in the sense that you have to have a license to be a doctor, or a hairdresser, or to drive a car. But a newspaper can't be required to have that sort of a license. They can still be required to have a business license (such as is used for local taxes) and to operate their newspaper according to zoning laws. These laws requiring a license must basically be what is called "ministerial" in nature; as long as they pay a reasonable business license tax they can't be refused a license. Some places, such as Los Angeles, don't even require newspapers to have a business license in order to avoid a potential First Amendment challenge.
In the U.S., over and over again, the courts have held that anything a reporter finds in public reports or in the audience in open court is fair game to report, and when courts have issued orders to the press not to publish things happening in the open courtroom - or found newspapers in contempt for publishing what they were told not to - the appeals courts have consistently found those restrictions to violate the First Amendment.
These protections on the press are not uniform in North America, they generally apply only to newspapers (and magazines) in the U.S. In Canada, courts can impose prohibitions on the press. This is why, when there is a major criminal case, copies of American newspapers reporting on Canadian crimes being tried will be confiscated at the border. The Canadian newspapers will have already censored the story.
As a result, newspapers (and other media) in the United States are extremely vigilant in covering crimes, political misconduct and scandal, free in the knowledge that, absent malice they can basically say almost anything about a politician and not only will they not be shut down, it's highly unlikely that they'll be sued. If you sue a newspaper for its reporting, you have to be able to prove that it knowingly printed false information, or did so not caring what the fallout would be. And in the US, the truth is an absolute defense - if the newspaper can show that what they reported is factually true, it's pretty much the end of the trial.
A Florida law made it a crime to report the name of an alleged rape victim. A newpaper got the name of the victim from court records that the court failed to keep sealed. They reported it, and were prosecuted for violating the law. The U.S. Supreme Court held that law to be unconstitutional. Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524 (1989).
There are a few exceptions for "national security" issues, in that basically it's illegal to 'out' a hidden CIA agent; this was the case of the "Valerie Plame" scandal in the 2000s. So excepting this limited issue, it basically means the press has the (virtually) unlimited right to report any public fact without censorship or fear of prosecution.
That doesn't mean American reporters have carte blanche to do anything to report on a story. Depending on what has happened, if a reporter breaks a law covering a story, they sometimes will be prosecuted, especially if the incident is embarrassing. There was one case where a reporter showed how weak the Los Angeles County Welfare Department was in checking on the background of applicants that he was able to apply for—and receive—welfare checks. The district attorney originally threatened to prosecute the reporter (for welfare fraud), until he realized that it would give even more publicity to the story and make the county look worse.
Newspapers in the United States are printed in one of two formats. The most common for daily and weekly standard newspapers is a long format, roughly 11"x17", which is called a broadsheet, and the type that half that size, about equivalent to the common paper format of 8 1/2" x 11", which is called a tabloid. Because some very popular weekly newspapers in the U.S. which carried stories which were either total fiction, or were mostly pandering to people's interest in scandal and sensationalism were published in the tabloid format, the term tabloid has a negative connotation; calling a newspaper a tabloid is considered a smear as to the quality of the publication. To try to combat this, as these newspapers were typically sold in supermarkets, the term "supermarket tabloid" is sometimes used to refer to the less-reliable newspapers which are published in that format.
The Sunday edition of a newspaper is normally an extra-thick issue containing a magazine section, comics section, coupons, and other sections. Doing this on Sunday is no longer universal; The Washington Post moved these extra items to the Saturday issue.
It is possible that in Fall of 2008, colleges will be getting the first members of a generation of well-informed, socially engaged students who have never had newsprint come off on their fingers from reading an actual paper newspaper. For them, The New York Times is and has always been a website.
The terms "Early Edition" and "Late Edition" came from the previous practice of papers producing an afternoon edition, released in time for factory workers to pick it up on the way home from a 7-4 shift. As the American economy has shifted, so to has the publishing industry, and the last paper to produce an afternoon edition (the Buffalo News) stopped doing so years ago. A variation does survive, however, in the practice in many cities of producing an early Sunday edition of the newspaper on Saturday, mainly to let coupon clippers and bargain hunters get a start on weekend shopping.
This change is a frequent topic in fiction, as the plight of newspapers scrambling to adapt is a good source of drama/comedy.
National newspapers in the United States:
- USA Today—aka McPaper. Famed for its colorful charts and graphs and their sports section's heavy emphasis on college and high school sports polling in association with ESPN, otherwise just a bland collection of wire reports, although it's also the only public outlet where the full weekly Nielsen Ratings chart is disseminated in any form. Has the highest circulation of any American newspaper, due to its publisher Gannett owning many local papers around the country (some of which also print copies of USA Today) and adding to its aggressive availability; one technique is to convince hotel chains to deliver one free to each room every day. That adds up to a lot of newspapers.
- The Wall Street Journal—Financial-focused newspaper, though it's tried to expand its reach in recent years. The actual reporting is well-regarded by most people, regardless of political affiliation. The editorial page, however, is a bastion of conservatism. Often uses hand-drawn portraits of news figures called "headcuts" instead of photographs. Published by Dow Jones—yes, the very same Dow Jones that publishes the Dow Jones Industrial Average, aka the Dow—recently bought by Rupert Murdoch.
- Incidentally, one of News Corp/Murdoch's biggest changes to the paper was adding color photographs on the front page.
- The Wall Street Journal has one very important feature. Because any contract where one party pays interest on borrowed money where the interest rate can change must use a third-party to determine what the interest rate should be, with the exception of contracts involving government guarantees, typically any contract (a credit card, a mortgage, a car loan, etc.) will use the current interest rate of either prime rate or the London Interbank Rate (LIBOR) plus a certain percentage amount as published on the last day of the month in the Wall Street Journal. This means that the WSJ actually has more effect on what several million people pay in interest than the Federal Reserve Bank does.
- Some consider the Christian Science Monitor to be the third national paper in the United States. As it is published by the Boston-based First Church of Christ, Scientist, some may consider it a cult-based newspaper like The Washington Times. This follows a standard rule most people use in thinking about religion: my religion is mainstream, any I disagree with or have never heard of is a cult or a trap of satan. As it is run by a non-profit, it cherishes its independence from the for-profit model and as such, its non-religion articles are generally well written. (Only one proselytizing article per day runs.) Went from a daily printing model to a hybrid weekly printing/online all week model in 2009.
Most other papers are local, generally known as The [city name] [paper name]. In practice, The New York Times is available nationwide and other major papers are available throughout their regions of influence: the Chicago Tribune, the Omaha World-Herald, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in the Midwest, the Los Angeles Times on the West Coast, The Seattle Times in the Pacific Northwest, etc. Most, if not all, hyphenated names are a result of mergers between two previously separate newspapers published in the same metropolitan area; for example, the San Diego Union-Tribune, which were originally the morning-published San Diego Union and the afternoon-published San Diego Evening Tribune.
States cannot license or regulate newspapers, thus there are no "official newspapers" for those governments besides internal publications. However, state governments often contract with a capital city paper or the largest newspaper in their state to publish legal notices and bills which take effect upon publication in that paper (for instance, laws are not in effect in the state of Wisconsin until a notice of them is placed in Madison's Wisconsin State Journal). Counties and cities will also take the same direction and publish legal notices to become binding upon publication.
The federal government will often publish legal notices meant for a national and regional audience in the following papers and USA Today, but they do not follow the same process as the states, thus no paper can be declared the "official national newspaper".
Not officially national, but two papers with wide-reaching national influence are:
- The New York Times—Founded in 1851. Daily read of the East Coast intelligentsia, known as the "Old Grey Lady" (although since they've started printing in color it doesn't make sense anymore) and the "Newspaper of Record." Most famous for publishing the "Pentagon Papers," which was a classified government report on how the USA got into and ran the Vietnam War. The government tried to stop it from being published, but the courts ruled that the government had to show an extreme danger before the press could be stopped from publishing something. No comics, but the best crossword in the nation. The Times also owns the Boston Globe newspaper and a stake in the Red Sox. Despite its fame, it's still not recession-proof—for the first time in history, it now runs ads on the front page. Despite nominally being a New York paper, it is easily available in most parts of the country, if only by being the paper sold at most Starbucks (which also gives a hint as to its readership). A rarity in today's market, the Times is still a basically a family business, with a majority of shares controlled by the Ochs/Sulzberger family since 1896.
- The Washington Post—Main paper of the capital region. Most famous for exposing Watergate, as seen in the movie All the Presidents Men. Both the Post and the New York Times were in competition to be the first to report on Watergate as it unfolded, but the Post first brought it to light and did most of the exposing. One reason was that they had the informer Deep Throat (a top FBI official, the late W. Mark Felt) to help them. Also has good sports coverage: its sportswriters Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon are national celebrities from their daily arguments on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. From 1961 to 2010, The Washington Post Co. was also notable as the publisher of the nationally-circulated magazine Newsweek, and currently also owns the Kaplan education and test-prep company, and the online magazine company Slate (which it purchased from Microsoft in 2004).
These two papers are widely considered to be the top of the journalistic profession in America, and you can expect any young reporter in fiction to dream of working at either one. In general, the Times does better in reporting international news, as well as arts and culture, while the Post is considered to be the go-to for political news. Both are often cited as being proof of the "liberal bias" of the press. The accuracy of this accusation is extremely debatable, and many observers vociferously disagree with it. (The Times has several columnists, such as Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd, who do tend to make conservatives' blood pressure rise; on the other hand, they also boast well-known conservative writers such as Thomas Friedman and the late William Safire, who in addition to his political column wrote a highly-regarded column on the American English language for the Sunday edition for many years. The Post generally steers a middle line in its editorial coverage, with the results that they irritate conservatives when a Republican president is in power and annoy liberals when a Democrat holds the White House.)
Other papers of note:
- Chicago Tribune—Conservative midwestern broadsheet. Once a rather national paper, but the decline of the industry in general and some horrible mismanagement in particular actually sent it and the other Tribune company papers into bankruptcy for a time. Best known for their famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline following the 1948 election, which successfully predicted ahead of time President Thomas E. Dewey's defeat of challenger Harry S Tru-- er, wait. Moving on...
- Chicago Sun-Times—Tabloid, more liberal rival to the Tribune. Notable for film critic Roger Ebert, and being the newspaper in the show Early Edition.
- The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press—Once, every major and many minor American cities were blessed with multiple daily papers; today, Detroit is one of the few "two-paper towns" left. Mainly local and regional stories, plus the sort of focus on the auto industry that the Washington Post puts on politics or the LA Times puts on Hollywood. As Detroit has fallen on hard times, so have both papers, and both now only deliver home/office subscriptions towards the tail end of the week, with lighter papers on Monday-Wednesdays only available through retail channels and a heavy emphasis on their websites.
- Boston Globe—Major paper in the New England region; notable for its role in the exposure of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, as portrayed in the film Spotlight.
- Los Angeles Times—Biggest paper on the West Coast, owned by the Tribune Company (named for the aforementioned Chicago Tribune). Like the Chicago Tribune, was once something of a nationally-reowned (albeit not necessarily nationally read) paper, but has taken a bad turn over the last decade or two due to the decline of the industry and bad management. Previously owned by Times Mirror before Tribune bought it in 2000.
- New York Post—Founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801; has gone through a dizzying series of ownership and format changes. Currently, it's owned by Rupert Murdoch, and is as sleazy, sensationalist, and slanted as you can get while still technically remaining a newspaper. Brits, think a Noo Yawk-accented version of the Daily Mail, or The Sun without the Page Three stunnas (though if the headline is saucy enough, they'll put the tits right into the story). Arch-rival to the Daily News, a slightly less obscene NYC tabloid. (Slightly.) Not much overlap in readership with the Times. Mainly read as a sports paper, and for its infamously obnoxious headlines ("Headless Body Found in Topless Bar"; "Masturbating Mugger Pulls Another One Off"), to the point where it has even published a book full of their most famous ones.
- The Washington Times—Established by the Unification Church of South Korea with the aim of being a conservative alternative to the (not very liberal in the first place) Post. Has lost over three billion dollars, since DC liberals read the Post and DC conservatives hold their noses and also read the Post to keep on the same footing as the liberals. Still, the Church continues to fund it, as they want to shift American opinion to the right in order to take out the North Korean government so the Church can expand its influence to the entire Korean peninsula, and from there, the world. Good luck with that, Moonies.
- The Denver Post and (Denver) Rocky Mountain News—Denver
is alsowas a two-paper town. The Post's sportswriter, Woody Paige, appears on ESPN's Around the Horn. The News was placed for sale by its owner, the E.W. Scripps company, in December 2008. Due to the economic crisis, there were no takers. Publication ceased on February 27, 2009. It was a Tear Jerker for a good number of people (not all of them employees).
- The National Enquirer -- The king of the trashy supermarket tabloids. Its owner from 1954 to 1988 allegedly had Mob ties, and thus refrained from discussing anything pertaining to their activities. Unlike most newspapers, it will pay sources for tips, a practice that is frowned upon by journalists. Generally read for entertainment value, as little of what is inside can genuinely be classified as news, although they do occasionally break some major stories (the most recent being John Edwards' affair). Bizarrely, its publisher's Boca Raton offices were one of the targets of a anthrax attack in 2001, which killed a photo editor.
- The Weekly World News—An over-the-top parody of supermarket tabloids, known for running stories about aliens, Bigfoot, demons, and other monsters. Sadly now defunct, although it has been reborn as a section in Sun (a similar paper, only more toned-down and a Stealth Parody—not to be confused with the British paper).
- The Onion—One of the most famous satirical newspapers in existence. Has its own page.
- The New Hampshire Union Leader—Formerly the Manchester Union-Leader (note the dropped hyphen as well). Otherwise typical regional paper that rises to prominence once every four years just before the beginning of the Presidential primary season, on the back of its' home state's first-in-the-nation primary. Under its former publisher, William Loeb, it was one of the leading conservative papers in the United States.
- Stars And Stripes is the newspaper of the US Armed Forces. It is published under the auspices of the Department of Defense, though it maintains editorial independence, and is generally available in and around every major US base in the world.
- The Baltimore Sun—Formerly a paper of national stature, it (like so many other papers) declined heavily over the recent decades. It is most notable for being a major setting of Season 5 of The Wire, as the show's creator was a former reporter there. Also famously the home turf of the writer and cynic H.L. Mencken.
If you are in New York City, there are probably a few more newspapers available than in most US cities. In addition to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and New York Post mentioned above, you can find:
- The New York Daily News, the arch-rival to the New York Post. Notorious as the paper of people who ride the New York City Subway (who found the tabloid format easier to handle in the 1920s). Perhaps slightly less tabloid and conservative than the Post. Maybe. If a TV show or movie set in New York wants to show popular outrage at some action (when, say, Da Chief rants at the Cowboy Cop), they usually show variant versions of the News and the Post (for example, in the L&Overse, the New York Ledger is obviously meant to be the Post, down to the typeface used for the flag).
- Newsday is the newspaper for Long Island and Queens, but can be found in the metropolitan area. Was owned by Times Mirror, then Tribune, and currently owned by local cable company Cablevision (also owner of the Madison Square Garden and most of its tenants), with their website only available to paper and Cablevision subscribers and those who don't mind paying $40 a month to access it online. Has recently developed a self-important streak- articles on ongoing news stories are often accompanied by thumbnail-sized shots of their own covers illustrating "How Newsday covered the story". Then again, given how many papers on this list have been suffering in the economy, perhaps the public needs reminding that they publish more than a comics section and movie listings.
- Ray Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond was a sports columnist.
- The New York Sun, which was founded in 2002 as an intentionally right-wing five-day daily, taking its name from an older paper that went under in 1950 (more known for the Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus editorial). Circulation was never high and the paper operated at a loss to try and build for several years. In a letter to readers published on the front page of the September 4, 2008 edition, it was announced that the paper would "cease publication at the end of September unless we succeed in our efforts to find additional financial backing." They didn't. Publication ceased on September 30.
Further complicating matters, most newspapers (big and small) in the United States are owned by one of a couple dozen newspaper companies, such as Gannett, News Corp, McClatchy and MediaNews.
In addition to newspapers, there exist several national news and news-related magazines, of various political leanings. Typically, they are the go-to source for more in-depth reporting than what you will find in a newspaper, which is devoted primarily to stating the facts and, in the case of the op-ed and letter pages, the personal views of various writers.
This type of American magazine can be divided into three subtypes; in order of depth, they are the weekly general newsmagazine, the weekly political newsmagazine, and the monthly political/cultural magazine.
Weekly general newsmagazines
These are general-purpose publications with no specific, identifiable editorial position. They tend to cover every topic from politics to the economy to health to culture from a fairly middle-brow, middle-wing, middle-class perspective, although they frequently publish opinion pieces from people with more overt political views. The print editions can generally be found pretty easily on newsstands—even convenience stores are known to stock them on occasion.
- Time is the largest news magazine in the world, with over 45 million subscribers worldwide, less than half of whom are in the US. It is published weekly. They are famous for their annual "Person of the Year" award, which goes to whoever they feel had the greatest influence on world events. The "person" may not necessarily be a living human being—the award went to the personal computer in 1982, and to "The Endangered Earth" in 1989. Note that the award is not meant as an honor, but is simply given to whoever is deemed to have had most affected the course of the year, for good or ill—winners in the past have included Adolf Hitler (1938), Josef Stalin (1939 and 1942), and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979). This distinction is sometimes lost on people, who have often protested the granting of what they feel to be an "honor" to dictators and warmongers.
- Newsweek has traditionally played second-fiddle to Time in terms of both readership and respectability. From 1961 until 2010, it was owned by the Washington Post Company. After losing money for two years, in 2010 it was sold to Sidney Herman, the 90-year-old founder of a speaker company, and then was merged with The Daily Beast, a poor man's Huffington Post and current pet project of Tina Brown. This has led to an increasing amount of pop culture stories (including cover stories) and opinion pieces in its pages. Most recently, it aroused controversy for publishing a Fan Service-y cover photo of Sarah Palin in form-fitting workout gear. Like Time, it is a weekly magazine.
- U.S. News & World Report: Alongside Time and Newsweek, the third of the "Big Three" American news magazines. It tends to lean more center-right than the above magazines, while eschewing sports, entertainment and celebrity news. Originally a weekly, it went to a biweekly, then monthly format in 2008, before finally going online-only at the end of 2010 (though it still prints special issues). It is best known for its annual rankings of American colleges and universities.
Similar to these in format and widespread recognition, but not in scope of coverage, is Sports Illustrated, which is focused on professional, Olympic, and collegiate sports. It is also published weekly and widely distributed.
Weekly(ish) politics magazines
These magazines have a strong focus on "hard news", presented with a definite political lean one way or another. They tend to eschew everything else, with the exception of "culture"—books and the arts. These magazines are definitively more high-brow than the "Big Three", and thus have a correspondingly reduced focus on things like personal finance.
- The New Republic is broadly center-left, having supported the Soviet Union in its early years, although it turned against it during the Cold War once Soviet policy became more aggressive (while maintaining a similarly oppositional stance against McCarthyism). It moved to the right during Andrew Sullivan's tenure as editor in the '90s (including running an inflammatory article on race and intelligence at the height of the "Bell Curve" controversy), though it has since shifted back following his departure. Has generally supported a pro-interventionist foreign policy, to the irritation of many otherwise similar-minded liberals. Their editor from 1948 to 1956, Michael Straight, had worked as a spy for the KGB during the '30s. Originally a weekly magazine, it changed to a biweekly publication model in 2007.
- National Review: A conservative biweekly magazine founded by William F. Buckley. It played a major role in shaping much of the policy of the "New Right" coalition that would eventually bring Ronald Reagan into power, while simultaneously helping to purge American conservatism of its more odious elements (the anti-Semites, the Birchers and, starting in the '70s, the segregationists). It remains one of the most influential conservative news outlets around.
- The Weekly Standard: Another conservative magazine, this one published weekly and founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1995. During Murdoch's ownership, it lost over a million dollars a year, though Murdoch wouldn't sell it until 2009. Since then, it has become more successful.
- The Nation: The oldest American weekly news magazine, founded in 1865 by abolitionists in New York. It is heavily left-wing in its reporting and editorial board—almost every editor it had from the turn of the 20th century to the '70s had been investigated by the federal government for suspected subversive activities, and during World War I it was suspended from U.S. mail for its anti-war stance.
- Mother Jones: A left-wing publication, named after labor organizer Mary Harris Jones. It is the largest left-wing news magazine in the country, though its bimonthly model means that it prints far fewer issues than The Nation does. Michael Moore worked as an editor for it for a few months in 1986. During the '80s, it was notable for its staunch feminist stance and its support for various Central American leftist movements, including the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
In addition, The Economist, while published in Britain, has a large American following, possessing a circulation in the US three times higher than what it has in its home country.
Monthly news/culture magazines
These are the deepest of the deep, the highest of the high-brow, and the most serious (and frequently depressing) of the lot. Their circulations tend to be quite small, and they can be quite hard to find indeed. These tend to not only include reviews of fiction, but also publish it—even, on occasion, going back to the ancient tradition of serializing novels. Investigative journalism may figure in here. Political leanings tend to be worn on the sleeve for all to see.
- The New Yorker: The classic journal of American culture and politics, with a definite lean to the former. Nevertheless widely respected as an outlet for journalism and analysis. Quite liberal, but not too. Dissimilar to other monthly magazines in that it has a substantially larger readership with over a million subscribers.
- Harper's: Like The New Yorker, but with less prestige and a way more obvious—and extreme—liberal slant. Famously published several of David Foster Wallace's short stories and non-fiction essays.
- The Atlantic: Founded by no less than Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Atlantic today is known as a center-right outlet. Its precise political position has varied in the past.
- America: Focuses on the Catholic experience in America; so heavy on investigative journalism and editorials that it's almost an academic journal. Which isn't surprising as it's published by the Jesuits.
Other print media
A peculiar part of the newspaper scene in the United States are alternative weeklies. More likely to be published by independent concerns (although Village Voice Media is rising), these publications tend to express left-of-center views, but are not dogmatic in terms of columnists. The journalism itself is more likely to have a expressed viewpoint, and they tend to have stronger reportage than the daily press. Despite this, they are mostly free, completely subsidized by advertising. They tend to be the leader in their market for coverage of local entertainment and the arts.
Down the journalism ladder, you have the constituency presses, which cover the information needs of a community that is deemed to be under-represented by the rest of the media. The most common of these in the U.S. are the Latino (which is some cases means the only need is language), black, gay and religious presses, and most immigrant/ethnic communities likewise have their own papers in their respective languages. These also tend to publish on a weekly basis.
Other publications include magazines solely designed to sell homes and cars, or rent apartments in a given area; there is almost never any news or opinions in these, and Craigslist has killed many of these publications. "Shoppers", free newspapers delivered to every home or placed in shop racks, include some light journalism, columns and features, but are mainly designed to get advertising to a mostly guaranteed audience for the price of mail delivery, though some homes just place them right in the recycling bin without a glance.
At nearly every college in America, independent student newspapers are published. At the bigger schools, they come out on a Monday-Friday basis during the academic year, with smaller colleges having less frequent publication days. These newspapers do train journalists for professional careers, but are not substitutes for Journalism School educations (though they can be complementary with them). They tend to into run into more free speech issues, due to the pressures of college administrations, hyper-sensitive readerships and unpolished staff. Below them are high school newspapers that include many school newspaper newshounds.
At the bottom rung of the enterprise is the activist press, which is blurred with activist magazines and websites, to the point where the only real difference is the lack of staples or a computer. These papers tend to push very radical politics and views, usually socialist (or further left), far-right or Conspiracy Theorist-oriented. Most of these have permanently fled to the internet, sensing the "death of printed journalism" narrative that has only recently—and at high cost—come to the mainstream press.
A final note
The classic Yes Prime Minister exchange on the subject of British Newspapers can be replicated thus with respect to the American media (unfortunately, the US doesn't have enough national papers to fit the template):
President Bob: Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads and watches what. CNN is watched by people who think they run the country, The New York Times is read by people who think they ought to run the country, The Washington Post is read by the people who actually do run the country, USA Today is read by the wives of the people who run the country, CNBC is watched by people who think they own the country, The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who actually do own the country, MSNBC is watched by people who think the country ought to be run by another country, and Fox News is watched by people who think it is.
Smarmy Civil Servant Alice: Mr. President, what about people who read The National Enquirer?
President's Body Man Charlie: National Enquirer readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits.
- Not surprising, since they're always in some hotel in a warm location.