Hey DP: Tricking Vanity Fair hardly constitutes a major accomplishment

The Daily Pennsylvanian is very proud of having punk’d the internet:

This annoys me for several reasons, upon which I shall now proceed to elaborate.

First, it’s not April 1. It’s not even April. This isn’t Christmas. Stick to one damn day. The DP does this every year. If you have to resort to catching people off-guard, and can’t succeed at April Fools on the strength of your story — like the entire rest of the world (country? I have no idea where else people do this.) — you’re doing it wrong.

Second, as noted by one of my friends:

The Emma Watson story was not at all funny. It was simply not true. Fake news certainly can be funny, but the DP did not even try. The absence of humor is almost certainly not unrelated to my first complaint above.

Finally, it’s not like Vanity Fair is particularly difficult to trick. Just yesterday, I explicitly called out that specific publication for “lazy slash illiterate journalists” who took noted grammar expert Taylor Swift at her word regarding a question of grammar.

This is how “journalism” works today: one outfit does the actual work, and every other publication on the internet cannibalizes its content for the sake of meager advertising scraps. This is a big reason why the industry is in trouble, and as a organization presumably interested in the future of its profession, this is probably not a direction the Daily Pennsylvanian wants to be promoting.

But then again the DP is not immune to temptations of this sort —

Poor Richard's Roundup— so when advertising dollars one day fail to support the paper’s continued operation, the DP will only reap what it has sown.


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