Daily Flog: Kicking the habit but blindly drunk, hounded by Afghans, woofed at by Hillary
Running down the press:
To the dismay of headline buffs, the New York Post let a good one slip away this morning. Buried in its canned Weird But True roundup is the news that Italian priest Antonio Rungi planned a beauty contest for nuns, "Miss Sister 2008," but canceled it under pressure.
And this isn't a separate splash in the Post?
The tab decided to focus on the other beauty content, the one in Denver, where it managed to get in a well-justified shot at Hillary:
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Brendan Scott and Maggie Haberman crafted a solid lede:
Good piece, but the Post didn't have to kick its headline habit by practically ignoring the beauty contest for nuns.
Christ, it merited separate pieces in outlets around the world — even in the government-controlled Kazinform in Kazakhstan.
Even the mostly moribund Chicago Sun-Times found space amid its Demo convention news to weigh in with "Beauty Contest Doesn't Have Prayer."
Isn't it big news when a priest is obsessed with female beauty?
Salon: 'We drive as we live'
Kevin Berger had the good sense to hitch a ride on NYC's mad streets and expressways with Brooklyn's Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do. (See Vanderbilt's blog.)
Reporting from the front (seat), Berger weaves:
Ridiculously lame headline that doesn't even back up the story's angle, which is surprisingly heady, at least in the second graf. Unfortunately, even there, Patrick Healy and his editors made sure that the syntax was typically stiff and stilted:
Too bad that Carlotta Gall's important story from Kandahar has a feature-y lede on such a good hard-news piece. The significance of a Taliban jail break in June starts in her third and fourth grafs, and you have to give the Times credit for surprisingly using such adjectives as "spectacular" and "catastrophic" in the same sentence:
Why she didn't lede with the fourth graf is beyond her editors. And that contributed, no doubt, to the soft headline on a story carrying ominous news about what may turn out to be a watershed moment in the worsening Afghan War.
As predicted in yesterday's Press Clips, the big dailies mostly limped home in the race to report the bad economic news eructated by the Census Bureau.
But there was some good nagging. Go straight to Steven Pearlstein's column in the Washington Post. He cuts through the bullshit:
The Times's Ian Urbina focused almost solely on the health-insurance angle of the stats.
The WashPost's news story, by Michael A. Fletcher, takes another angle, the poverty rate.
But Urbina's focus on the health-insurance figures is at least serviceable because he throws in the big caveats very high. (Disclosure: I've edited Urbina's work and respect it.)
And Urbina got some good context that dampens the supposedly good news about the number of uninsured Americans:
Daily Scotsman: 'Young Scots risk losing their sight in bid to get blind drunk'
The best story of the day, and it's too bad that the big U.S. papers ignored it.
The Times, for instance, limited its Scotland coverage this morning to "the Royal Bank of Scotland announced on Wednesday it appointed a trio of non-executive directors in effort to address weaknesses on its board."
Fascinating. Now here's the interesting news out of Edinburgh, courtesy of Craig Brown:
Brown's piece continues with a taste of history of this, like, totally insane practice, dude:
Expect more hipsters than usual staggering around Williamsburg's streets.
Talk about going blind:
Ludicrous, though you can't help but perversely love the 19th century feel of "unequivocally beseeched."
Fill the inkwell and fetch the carriage, my good man! I warrant there's no dearth of speechifying to report to the citizenry!
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