The absurd headline at a September 20 story at the New York Times is a sight to behold: "How Bad Off Is Oil-Rich Venezuela? It’s Buying U.S. Oil."
As formulated, the headline is clearly meant to communicate something that is supposedly a surprising new development in that country, which, thanks to 17 years of Bolivarian socialist rule, has turned into a financially destitute humanitarian disaster area. But then, deep into the story, readers finally learn that "Early this year, the United States began shipping more than 50,000 barrels a day of the light crude that Venezuela needs to prepare its own oil for export, joining a handful of suppliers that have become vital to keeping the country’s oil industry afloat." In other words, this is only big news to Times readers because the Old Gray Lady didn't think it was worth reporting when it began happening.