Dear reader, as the publisher of Pandemic Journal, America’s leading record of social commentary, I keep an ear to the ground for rumblings of change in how my fellow citizens digest their news. I’ve watched with no small amount of interest the growing trend of news and information whose genesis is whimsical ideas, magical thinking or misinterpretation of third-grade science. My immediate instinct was to monetize this nonsense.
My god, I thought, it’s not enough to simply amplify the ravings of people whose idea of scholarly accomplishment is skimming Facebook Groups while sitting on the crapper. There’s a greater opportunity, and that is to manufacture knowledge.
That’s why I immediately fired my hotshot team of editors, tore down the walls of our office to create a bullpen, and populated it with an army of writers whose only credentials are cocksure confidence and an attraction to the mildly plausible. I have fueled these drones with black market hydroxychloroquine and am paying them by the eyeball to saturate American culture with knowledge about every subject under the sun.
There is almost no beat we don’t cover. Astrophysics and celebrity marriages are the province of writers 86-133 (in this brave new world of information, bylines no longer matter); 22-76 will tell you everything you want to know about NASCAR, cat food and venomous insects. The breadth of our coverage is almost as wide as the world itself. The only subject beyond our grasp is vaccinations, as Jenny McCarthy and Charlie Sheen have this covered and have explicitly warned us to back off. However, we share one thing in common: Editorial standards that require only that enough people believe us to pay the bills.
So get ready, America. We’re turning up the news to eleven!