On the face of it, the question was ludicrous. The Daily News at the time was a paper I thought of without apology as a tits-and-ass tabloid, whereas the Times was stately and stolid as meatloaf when it came to content. But the guy I asked knew what I was talking about and he was ready for the question.
"The difference," he said, "is that the Times trusts its writers.* The Daily News trusts its editors."
And that was my experience. Looking back, one of my proudest moments was getting a story into the Daily News unedited ... unedited by one of the best-edited papers in the country. Nothing was extra in their stories. Not...one...comma. To be accepted without correction was an accolade for a stringer like me who worked at a Massachusetts paper and reshaped the occasional story for Daily News reuse. They paid me $35 per story.
I don't know what the parameters are these days at the Daily News -- or the Times, either, come to that -- but I felt a sadness to read today:
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York tabloid Daily News cut half of its newsroom staff Monday including Jim Rich, the paper’s editor in chief.I think that if I have to be stuck between a tits-and-ass-tabloid and Donald R. Trump, a man who gives a bad name to the noble art of lying, I'd prefer to be a plug-spittin' fool. No more news as opposed to Donald Trump news? Trump's failing lies in his endless mediocrity, cruelty ... oh well, each has his or her own list, I imagine.
The paper was sold to Tronc Inc. last year for $1, with the owner of the Chicago Tribune assuming liabilities and debt.
In an email sent to staff Monday, Tronc said the remaining staff at the Daily News will focus on breaking news involving “crime, civil justice and public responsibility.”
The newspaper has been a key fixture in New York City for the last century. It has won 11 Pulitzer Prizes, including last year for its work with ProPublica on the abuse of eviction rules in New York City.
*I once heard a former New York Times reporter enunciate his exasperation with the paper when he said of the news reporting process, "All you [a reporter] have to do is mention Alexis de Tocqueville in the third paragraph and you're home free."