“Investigative humourist” Ben Pobjie has submitted what he pinky swears is a legitimate transcript of the editorial meeting in the Daily Mail‘s London newsroom the morning Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle.
[EDITORIAL MEETING, DAILY MAIL OFFICES, LONDON]
Editor: OK guys, time to do some journalisms. Our top priority is to keep our finger on the pulse of major geopolitical developments. By which I mean: how do we keep coverage of the Harry-Meghan engagement going all day every day for the foreseeable future?
Journalist 1: What if we did a countdown of the number of days until Meghan’s first dress fitting appointment?
Editor: That’s GOLD! Get on it. Anything else?
Journalist 2: What about a new daily feature where we take all the stories other outlets are running about the engagement, and then reprint them in full?
Editor: YES. I’ll email the Reprint Team straight away.
Journalist 3: I have an idea for a story ranking the best engagements in history and seeing where Harry and Meghan’s comes in. Also I thought I could interview engagement therapists for their hottest tips on how to keep your engagement fresh and interesting.
Editor: Beautiful. Take notes, guys: THAT is how you journalist.
Journalist 1: Well I’ve also been working on an investigative piece that examines the possibility that Harry and Meghan are actually brother and sister.
Journalist 2: And I’ve got one where a psychic reports whether Diana thinks Meghan needs to lose weight.
Journalist 3: How about an explainer on the show “Suits” and the theory that every episode contains a hidden reference to Harry’s genitalia?
Editor: Guys … you are on fire. This is all great, but keep it coming. We’ve got a lot of space to fill and this is the Daily Mail, so we’ve got literally nothing to fill it with.
Journalist 2: I’ll track down all of Meghan’s ex-boyfriends and ask them whether they plan to try to sabotage the wedding.
Katie Hopkins: I have a piece about Meghan’s secret conversion to Islam.
Editor: Katie, you don’t work here anymore.
Journalist 1: Picture this: Sources close to the couple reveal that Harry plans to wear his Nazi costume to the wedding.
Editor: OK, make sure you get the picture department to mock up a photo of the ceremony with him in the costume.
Journalist 1: Of course. For a follow-up I have a thinkpiece planned, titled “Meghan Curiously Silent On Bosnian Genocide”.
Katie Hopkins: I have a piece about Harry being soft on refugees.
Editor: Katie, I have called security.
Journalist 3: How about nude photos of Meghan?
Editor: Do you have any?
Journalist 3: No, but I have nude photos of someone else, and photos of Meghan’s face, so I think there’s definitely a public interest argument here.
Editor: Perfect. Remember to match the skin colour this time.
Journalist 2: That reminds me: Meghan is mixed-race.
Journalist 2: Well, shouldn’t we explore the question of where her loyalties lie? How do we know she won’t start passing state secrets to mixed-raced governments?
Editor: Perfect! Get some good quotes from the intelligence community.
Journalist 2: I don’t know anyone in the intelligence community.
Editor: I know you’ve not been with us long, Journalist 2 —
Journalist 2: Please stop calling me that.
Editor: But this is the Daily Mail. We don’t need to “know” people” to get quotes from them. We don’t need to “cultivate relationships” or “extract information” or “actually hear them say anything”. You went to journalism school, didn’t you?
Journalist 2: No.
Editor: Exactly. Moving on.
Journalist 1: Meghan is also American.
Editor: Is there a story in that?
Journalist 1: Well I thought we could just say “Meghan is American” a lot. Takes up a lot of column inches when you really push it.
Editor: Brilliant. OK that’s great, guys. Get to work. And remember the Daily Mail mission statement: “We Are A News”. Stick to that and you’ll do fine.
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