1. Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted; then, after the afflicted become comfortable, afflict them again. This should provide an endless supply of news stories.
2. Be balanced. No matter what anybody says, find somebody to say the opposite. If a scientist claims to have a cure for cancer, find somebody who says cancer does not exist. If a man says “My name is Fred,” make sure you find somebody who says “No, your name is Diane.” Etc.
3. When deciding which tragedies deserve the most prominent coverage, use this simple math: 10,000 foreigners = one cute white American chick.
4. If the President of the United States is accused of violating the law on the same day that an African country erupts into civil war and an especially gloomy economic report is released, and you must decide which one is your lead story, ask yourself this: Did the local sports team just win a big game?
5. Internet, Schminternet. It will be gone in five years. People will always love reading a newspaper — and so will you, our intrepid reporter, once you accept our buyout offer.
6. When working at the New York Post, make sure your story includes all six W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why and With What Kind of Lubricant.
7. When appearing on television, insinuate that all newspaper reporters are biased. When writing for a newspaper, imply that all television people are boobs with no credibility. When at the bar afterward, complain that nobody trusts journalists anymore.
8. Keep each of the following on speed dial: a wacko religious leader who believes that God loves all his children, except the ones who skip church once in awhile; a gun nut who put semiautomatic weapons on his baby registry; an anti-weapons nut who thinks there should be a 10-day waiting period before buying steak knives; a legendary, highly quotable politician who has not been sober past noon since 1991, and a self-designated leader of each of the following minority groups: African Americans, Asians, Latinos, American Indians, homosexuals, transsexuals, fat people, skinny people, people with absolutely no distinguishing physical attributes, and foot fetishists.
9. When threatening to kill other human beings, make sure they do not live in your coverage area. I knew I should have read to the end.