It would be much better if the news featured items like this:
An eel three feet long was the other morning taken out of the hydrant, which feeds the hose that supplies the South Ferry with water. It was with difficulty that it was ejected, being very much mangled (Home Journal, 2 November 1850).
Not, of course, better for the eels. Still I wish for it. In penance for my indexing of current events, I’ve indexed some of 19th-century New York here.