A Trip Down the Dark Memory Alley: Fish Raps from the Ages


After feverishly cleaning out the large, damp boxes in the basement of Fish Rap’s skyscraper headquarters on top of a mountain we’ve discovered some old issues that highlight both the evolution of the paper as a journalistic titan and the world’s slow descent into madness.

January 5th, 1779

The first millennia of Fish Rap’s existence consisted of crude stone carvings designed to relay the news of Ancient Rome’s latest conquests, but were generally used for bludgeoning people to death. By the 18th century the newspaper had relocated to the Americas and mastered the art of the printing press. The original idea of replacing printer’s ink with “the blood of the newspaper’s enemies” was quickly voted down by the editorial board.

June 15, 1921

After accidentally sparking the Spanish-American War by claiming the Spanish were unfairly hoarding mustache oil and child laborers in Puerto Rico and suggesting America invade the colony to reclaim what was rightfully theirs, Fish Rap took a step back and focused on hard-scrabble, honest journalism in the 1920s.

March 5, 1965

The 1960s was a time of great flux for America. The baby boomers succesfully ended the Vietnam War by complaining about it over and over again and the Beatles invented Rock and Roll when Paul McCartney and John Lennon touched penises.

October 37, 1982

The gluttonous glory days of the 1980s marked another nadir for Fish Rap when the editorial board spent most of its gold stockpile on helicopter rides and cocaine parties. Still, intrepid reporters managed to eke out scoops on all the times Ronald Reagan faked dementia to get out of international arms smuggling scandals.

October 8, 2000

Modern politics and the age of spin really began with the turn of the 21st century. Fish Rap gained newfound fame when it successfully predicted 9/11, albeit in successful Broadway musical form rather than horrifying terrorist attack form. Fish Rap also introduced it’s beloved “colored boxes with graphs and charts” feature which revolutionized newsmedia presentation forever, almost ensuring that Fox News and CNN would blow eighty percent of their budget on graphics packages and shiny maps of the U.S.

This article is an abridgment of the new Ken Burns documentary Journalism: From a Guy Shouting in the Middle of a Town Square to Computers, airing in sixty-five parts on PBS.