Read All About It—On Thursday

By Mike Feinsilber

“No matther whether th’ constitution follows th’ flag or not, th’ Supreme Coort follows th’ election returns” wrote turn-of-the-20th century humorist Finley Peter Dunne in 1901, speaking through his fictional Irish bartender/philosopher Mr. Dooley. Let’s hope the justices follow th’ election returns in Thursday’s newspapers, not Wednesday’s.

Having written about elections in even numbered years for five decades, I’ve learned that Thursday morning’s paper—or website—is the place to go if you want to learn what happened on election day and what that may portend. It’s okay to scan Wednesday’s headlines to find out who won, but that’s about all you’ll learn. Wednesday’s stories are written, in a hurry and with incomplete knowledge, on Tuesday night.

By Wednesday evening, when they write, reporters have had a full day to ponder the results, to talk to winners and losers and experts and analysts and voters—and to do some thinking of their own. Their stories are meatier. On Thursday, you’ll learn where the winner won and, especially in primaries, who finished second, third, fourth, and further.

Sometimes the news has to gel for a day or so before its meaning and its implication become clear: something to think about after an earthquake, a revolution, or an election.

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