NEW YORK—Laughing and smiling as they shared stories with one another about the deep-seated professional concerns they held at the time, the nation’s journalists reminisced Friday about the quaint bygone days when the The Huffington Post seemed like the death of the news industry, sources reported. “Gosh, I remember when The Huffington Post first appeared and its strategy of aggregating sensationalistic content and printing hyper-partisan drivel with no discernible editing or fact-checking seemed like the absolute nadir of this industry, but now, having to compete against sites that peddle wholesale fabrications and being beholden to secret Facebook algorithms that control the dissemination of everything we write, those early HuffPo days actually seem pretty wonderful,” said Reuters reporter Casey Sandoval, who explained that, in light of the fact that entire reporting staffs are now routinely laid off as their organizations prioritize the mass production of cheap, minimally informative short-form video content over professional, in-depth journalism, she would “give anything to go back” to the era in which she and her colleagues’ greatest fears stemmed from Arianna Huffington forcing reporters to pull stories that offended advertising partners or powerful friends of hers. “It’s kind of crazy to think that, back then, I actually believed that a journalistic outlet that posted easily discredited political articles alongside trashy celebrity gossip and paid ads for bunk diet pills was the lowest possible point for this industry. Nowadays it seems pretty cute that I spent so much of my time and energy worrying that The Huffington Post’s toxic and deranged comments represented the death knell for our work, when they were at least coming from actual people and not robots our industry employs to make it appear as if we have larger social media followings so we can attract ad dollars. Boy, those were the days.” At press time, the nation’s remaining salaried journalists fell silent and small tears began forming in the corners of their eyes as they wistfully recalled how they felt upon first scrolling past the headline “Anal Tattoos Next Big Thing? Yes, This Woman Got Inked THERE (VIDEO) [NSFW]” and felt a profound longing to return to that golden age.

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