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It’s time to stop buying the New York Post

I used to be a daily buyer of the New York Post, the daily paper known for a sense of venality and trashy fun. I was working at the time for a weekly newspaper and reading the daily slate of celebrity gossip, and the Post, though it didn’t provide ideas per se, dosed me with a jolt of energy I couldn’t have gotten from coffee. The Op-Eds, by folks like Rich Lowry and John Bolton, had always been negligible to my reading of it; the gossip was and remains enticing. But what was most intriguing were always the slice-of-life stories that would have been, at most, small squibs in the metro section of the nationally minded New York Times. Exemplary is the cover that ran the day after New York state legalized gay marriage -- it depicted, instead of the earth-shaking news, a picture of a woman saved from jumping off a building by hero cops. (The little joke here -- the biggest news of the day, unremarked upon, hung over this woman’s suicide attempt -- didn’t go unnoticed, but seemed funny and not deeply weird.) Little Upworthy-style stories of human triumphs or, more commonly, dark stories of misdeeds and ill fortune and small-scale political graft reminded me that I lived in a big and porous city, full of events entirely opaque to me but for the 30 minutes a day spent reading the paper.

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