We here at The Shinbone Star know how tempting it can be to lose focus on this whole Russia business, especially now that Donald J. Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un are busy comparing dick sizes (our money’s on Kim) while threatening to blow us all to kingdom come.
In the newspaper business, we learned to develop contingency plans, all because of that thing called a “DEADLINE.”
See, back in the day, we might have known chances were good that all hell was gonna break loose on a particular story, but we didn’t know exactly when that would be, so we had to plan our Page One with a dummy story across the top so that we could yell “STOP THE PRESSES!” before ripping that sucker out and replacing it with the real lead story, once we got confirmation that somewhere in the world, a fuse had been lit.
Of course things are different now, and not as fun.
Nowadays, you’ve got your 24-hour news cycle, your unlimited space option, and instead of highly paid journalists sitting around picking their noses while waiting for the end of the world, you’ve got people like us, who sometimes still think in old-fashioned ways while trying to use a few of the newfangled internet tools that put most of us out of business in the first place.
Now where was I? Oh yeah, Russia.
Since there’s really not much we can do until Donnie and Kim decide to kick the tire and light the fire, we have to put a dummy story across the top of our page, and our old friend Bill Moyers has given us a doozy.
What Moyers and writer Steven Harper are calling to our attention is so fascinating and so big that even with it all splayed out in front of you, it’s still pretty hard to wrap your head around. It’ll almost be a shame to scrap the story and replace it once the missiles start to fly, but we’re old pros here at Shinbone, and I’m sure we’ll swallow hard and do what we must.
Our internal statistics show that our readers aren’t real good at following the links we sometimes place in our stories, and that’s unfortunate because when we bother to link, it’s usually to some pretty good stuff. So I’m going to try something new and make these next links in bigger type and with colored ink, and that’s because I want so badly for you to click on them and read them:
The first link simply gives context to the timeline, but the second link cuts to the chase. It’s the real deal, and something Donnie would be calling “fake news” if he bothered to read any of it, but of course he won’t because it’s somewhat longer than 140 characters.
No, as Mr. Harper points out, none of it’s fake, but where The Shinbone Star is concerned, it certainly is a dummy story, and we’ll rip it out and replace it with breaking news because, you know, nuclear conflagration sells.