How to Read a Newspaper, by Steven Hayward.
Did anyone notice the story last week, which appeared on the front pages of several newspapers, that Kim Jong Un was demanding that his very expensive hotel lodgings in Singapore be paid for by someone else (presumably the U.S.)? This kind of demand is said to be standard operating procedure of the Norks. Most news stories give it the spin that this was just another sign of how penurious and/or scheming the Norks are.
Question: did some reporter find out this information on his or her own, by serendipity? Of course not. Someone in our foreign policy establishment made sure to “leak” or promote this information to journalists, likely in an attempt to embarrass Kim Jong Un. Ditto the story out today that Kim brought his own toilet with him to Singapore. Does anyone think the North Korean ministry of information put this news out? I think we owe some props to our team for a good PsyOp on Little Rocket Man.
You should always ask yourself who benefits from a newspaper story based on a leak, or some fact that wouldn’t otherwise be reported in the ordinary course of plain news gathering. Someone usually has a motive for making sure a story or fact makes it into the news.