I was working at Esquire magazine a little over a decade ago when I received an incredibly valuable lesson about learning and research. A senior editor gave us interns an assignment to find out how much money the pope makes. We interviewed some Catholic academics and historians at big-name universities who gave us their best estimates, and then submitted our research file.
Our editor took one look at the file and pulled us all into the conference room. “Guys, no,” he said, shaking his head. “You call the fucking Vatican.”
“Call the fucking Vatican.” In the years since, it’s become…
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