News

Don’t waste cover space  on morons

Thursday, June 19, 2014

So here at the New Jersey Shore, I do what I always do and pick up a New York or New Jersey newspaper. Today, it was the Post and what do I see on the front cover of what was once my favorite tabloid?

A huge picture of these two morons who killed people in Las Vegas. Why?

We assume, of course, that a tabloid splashes its cover with whatever it thinks will cause people to pay for the paper on that particular day. In the best of worlds, in the best of tabloid worlds, anyway, that would work every day.

I cannot, of course, speak for the hundreds of thousands of people who buy New York City tabloids each day, but when I bought the Post today, I didn’t even notice the front on the newsstand. I bought it because I’d bought the Star Ledger the day before and will buy the Record or the News tomorrow (and the Post because today’s edition promised a full TV guide to World Cup).

I noticed the cover after I got the paper home or, rather, to my aunt’s house, where I am staying.

I understand the point of view of the Post’s editors: Splash the cover with what you believe will increase newsstand sales. That’s the business we’re in: Sell papers or die.

My question is this:

Why would anyone buy the Post just because these two freaks are on the cover? They killed people, that’s their claim to fame. They are nobodies, nonentities, who proved only that they could kill people who were not expecting a confrontation. They were cowards. Why, then, do they get the cover of the Post?

Because the Post is convinced you are interested.

Are you? I’m not.

A couple of weeks ago, a Boston Globe columnist – I’m pretty sure it was Jeff Jacoby – was writing about some moronic shooter and declined to use his name, saying that the idiot didn’t deserve to get any publicity for doing nothing but committing a cowardly act.

I think Jacoby had the right idea, but it’s difficult for newspapers, in their news pages, to follow suit. To not provide a name would be to leave out a significant fact: the who in the old who, what, when, where, why, and how format that we used to follow until someone with too much time on his hands created the “narrative” format of newspaper writing, a format that could provide you a story about a murder but not get around to telling you that a murder had been committed until the sixth paragraph.

Jacoby can do it as a columnist if for no other reason than that he is writing about an issue after it has been reported upon, sometimes ad nauseum.

But, really, the Post didn’t have to put these twits on the cover except that the editors were convinced that we were salacious enough to demand more coverage of this garbage and these creeps.

If they, or their ilk, are on the cover tomorrow, I will not buy the Post, despite my desire for a complete guide to World Cup.

And speaking of World Cup, it turns out that my aunt does not get ESPN2, and I was in a state of panic when I realized I might miss the opening four matches. Fortunately, she does get Univision, one of the many Spanish stations available nowadays, so I will be able to watch, if not understand the commentary.

But I don’t care about the commentary, I care about the match and as long as I know which team is which, it’s cool.

And there was an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal recently about why European teams are so much better than South American teams (Spain won in 2010 and Italy in 2006). It is because, the Journal wrote, European teams are using science to determine how to train. It’s more complicated than I care to go into, but you can probably find it online.

I’ll probably root for Uruguay once the U.S. gets knocked out, which is almost sure to happen, because four years ago, they had this amazing sub who would come in for the second half and put a charge into his team. I never knew his name, because he had only a nickname, El Something, but he was a gas. So, yeah, Uruguay.

The next edition of the Post eschewed the shooting morons and instead, as is the wont of the Post, beat up on Hillary.

Yes, friends, that is the New York Post under Rupert Murdoch – killers and Bad, Bad Hillary on the cover.

But no phone hacking.

So far.

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