Magazine May 4, 2020, Issue

Join Zoom Meeting: New York Times

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

https://newyorktimes.zoom.us/j/967617333

Password: 656414

“Are we all here?”

“I can’t hear you guys.”

“Are you on mute? Need to take — just hit the little microphone thing — Dean, can you hit the little microphone thing?”

“Hey! I can see you guys!”

“Great, okay, all here.”

“Okay, let’s dive in. We need to talk about the stories we’ll be covering for the next few days on the front page. Who is covering WHO?”

“Whom.”

“Whom? Who is Whom?”

“No, I mean, it’s who is covering whom, not who is covering who.”

“I mean who. Covering WHO.”

“Oh, right. Hahahaha. Like the old Abbott and Costello routine! I loved that!”

“Me too!”

“Me too!”

“Me too!”

“Actually, those movies were pretty racist.”

“True. And I condemn them.”

“Me too!”

“Me too!”

“Me too!”

“But to answer your question, Dean, we’re doing a very deep dive on the whole tick-tock of how we got here, how COVID-19 spread, and how the World Health Organization heroically — and bravely I might add — traveled to China to collect government press releases in person, well after the virus was raging — ”

“Was it raging? The Chinese say it was pretty small potatoes.”

“Well, yes, of course, and we have no reason not to believe them. And yet, it’s curious that there is a virus research lab so close — ”

“I can’t hear him. Can anyone hear him?”

“I can’t.”

“I can’t.”

“I can’t even see him.”

“Okay, then, let’s wrap this up, give the WHO story some real space, maybe ask their PR team to write it, if possible? And can we get some images of people who will die soon because Trump’s cutting their funding? Can we get some of that?”

“We can do like a photo essay, Dean? Maybe a series of Sunday Magazine portraits of people around the world who will die — ‘Donald Trump: Angel of Death’ or something? Just spitballing. We can come up with a better title.”

“No, I like that one! Let’s do a six-parter Monday to Saturday leading to the Sunday photo piece, they’ll love that!”

“The Pulitzer people?”

“I meant the Chinese, but them too.”

“Dean, how do you want to handle the Chinese angle? Looking like Trump is going full-on racist blame game, so I was thinking that maybe we send a team to China and do some guy-on-the-street life-of type deals, with pictures and multimedia stuff for the app — could be really impactful.”

“Love it. Let’s ask the government to help us identify ordinary Chinese people to interview.”

“Great idea.”

“Hey, just chiming in here. Do you guys think that maybe we should be more critical of the Chinese government? After all, it’s pretty clear they lied about xxbxbbxxp akskksk pssstttttttttatttsttttatt kkkrrrrkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk”

“What happened?”

“Are you guys still there?”

Ni hao!”

“Who’s that?”

“Hello my friends! Hello! I am just dropping in here into this Zoom chat for a moment to say hello to my friends!”

“Who is that?”

“Is that you, President Xi?”

“Ha ha yes it is Xi, so sorry for interruption. Just want to tell you how hard we are all working here in China to eradicate the mysterious and unknown-source virus.”

“How did you get into this call, if I may ask, sir? This is a private New York Times editorial meeting.”

“Yes, yes, I know. But I asked myself, I said, ‘President Xi, don’t we here in China own Zoom?’ And the answer to that question was the same as it is in many many cases, and that answer was, sort of, yes. Just want to pass on my good wishes and to tell you that we in China are pure transparent all day all time. We can help you anytime with your reporting and whatever you need and we can also make certain sure that your 5G phones work perfectly all time.”

“Well, thank you, President Xi.”

“No reason to mention it! Zai jian!”

Zai jian, sir!”

Zai jian!”

Zai jian.”

“Are we all done? Anything else to discuss for the front section?”

“I have one thought, Dean, if I may?”

“Sure.”

“I’m wondering if we gave enough weight to Tara Reade, the woman who has accused Joe Biden of sexual misconduct? In light of how aggressively we went after the Brett Kavanaugh allegations, it seems to me that — ”

“Can anyone else hear him?”

“ — seems to me that we’re maybe operating with a double standard here and that — ”

“I can’t.”

“I can’t.”

“I can’t.”

“ — just ends up confirming our critics’ worst suspicions, that we’re a partisan propaganda sheet for the Democratic Party — ”

“We can’t hear you! Sorry! I’m sure you had some excellent thoughts and thanks for your input! Anyone else? Okay then, meeting adjourned.”

“ — so maybe we can discuss this . . . Wait, can you guys hear me? Is everyone disconnecting? Is the Zoom meeting fin — ”

LEAVE MEETING

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