Defying all expectations, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pacific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the President announces that he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week.
You are the front-page editor of the New York Times. What do you run as the biggest story?
The President may have thyroid cancer. This would be a bad thing. It’s not unprecedented, though–several presidents have become sick or incapacitated during office. The decision to make the President’s health situation public is also a notable one. Remember, we’re dealing with an office so secretive that the president’s poop is collected by the Secret Service so that no one can analyze it for potential signs of disease. On a normal day, this would be headline news, even if a thyroid cancer diagnosis is far from a death sentence (it actually has a 97% survival for all thyroid cancers, including 58% for the more dangerous metastatic form).
However, today’s not a normal day. Normality is about to be out the window. Nessie! Bigfoot! We’re talking conspiracy-theory-central. Things are going to absolutely blow up in the media–and with good reason–but on a more fundamental level, this will be the biggest discovery yet of the 21st century. Sasquatch sightings have been regarded as the domain of quixotic quacks. Now, with these discoveries, everything is back on the table. UFO sightings? Get ready for all kinds of craziness. Was it a government cover-up? (The BBC did an extensive sonar study of Loch Ness and found nothing–were they hiding something?) Have these creatures evaded sight and capture through some sort of supernatural advantage? Radical departures will need to be made as a result of these discoveries.
Therefore, I run Sasquatch/Nessie as the top 3/4 of the page, and the bottom 1/4 horizontal can have the Presidential story.