TABLOIDED: Prince Harry and the Abandoned Princess

The Daily News devotes the majority of its front page to the heartbreaking story of a 6- to 7-month-old infant who was abandoned in a livery cab in Queens. The headline blares, "WHO'S YOUR DADDY?" and a small sketch of the suspect who left the little girl behind is inset. Unfortunately, the sketch looks like just about every police sketch: it could be anyone, or it could be no one. The Post leaves the story off the front, but gets puntastic with its "'FARE' HAIRED INFANT SAVED" headline. Both stories refer to how "angelic" and "beautiful" the child, dubbed "Lourdes" by hospital staff, is. Our question is: what if the baby wasn't cute? (And don't go saying "all babies are beautiful," because you know there are ones that look like shriveled old men.) Would this still be front-page material?

The other headlines on the News front page are about the cancer scare Yankee broadcaster Bobby Murcer is suffering. Murcer's recent MRI revealed a spot on his brain that may or may not be a tumor. The former outfielder has been battling cancer for more than a year.

TABLOIDED: Prince Harry and the Abandoned Princess

Finally, the news has another marriage proposal on its front page. Bronx woman Marina Maiuri has asked boyfriend Sean Smith to marry her in the pages of the News. Since today is "Leap Day," it is tradition that women are "allowed" to ask men to marry them on this date that only comes along once a year.

Our question is, what is the deal with Daily News and marriage proposals? They had on Valentine's Day as well. And our memory seems to recall a few others in the past few months. They're almost as ubiquitous as cat stories. (Which, there was another one yesterday on page 12 about a construction worker who allegedly beat and squeezed two of his girlfriend's cats after the animals refuses to play with him.)

The Post, meanwhile, has Britain's Prince Harry's deployment to Afghanistan as its front page story. The 23-year-old is third in line for the throne, and he's been secretly deployed in Afghanistan for the last 10 weeks. (That seems to be over now, as Britain has removed him as word got out.) This is the perfect kind of story for the Post, since it makes pushing the paper's pro-war agenda almost effortless. See, America! Our friends across the pond are willing to put one of their important young folks in harms way for the cause. Photos show Harry as "one of the lads" with his fellow troops.

Speaking of "nothing's wrong," the Post toes the party line with President Bush in its coverage of his press conference yesterday. The headline bellows, "'WE'RE NOT IN RECESSION'," and the photo of Bush at the podium looks as if he's saying, "C'mon guys, would I lie to you?" This is in stark contrast to the News's photo of a scowling Bush, neatly juxtaposed with a photo of presidential candidate Barack Obama holding a smiling baby. According to the News, Bush had warned Obama that talking with leaders of unfriendly states would "send 'chilling signals' to the world and sow 'confusion about our foreign policy.'"

The other front-page story the Post covers is the testimony of one of Sean Bell's friends during the third day of testimony at court. Hugh Jensen testified that someone outside the Kalua Cabaret had a gun and got into a squabble with Bell. The Post reports this could aid the cops in the case. Today the Post decided to go with a "funniest moment" in its coverage of the trial. This still strikes us as bizarre.

The News doesn't seem to spin the trial coverage in the same manner as the Post. The DN concentrates on the testimony of Lt. Gary Napoli, who recounted several blunders the undercover officers made in their last-ditch attempt to bust Kalua. (If they had a bust that night, the club would have been shut down.) Almost as if to make up for what could be perceived as an anti-cop column by Michael Daly, the News features an exclusive on the outrage over an art exhibit at a Brooklyn Museum. Artist Dread Scott's installation, "The Blue Wall of Violence" features shooting targets that represent police abuse victims. And finally, to end this week on a lighter note, the News also covers a big controversy on page 6: the woman crowned Miss Brooklyn is — gasp! — from Manhattan. And if that's not bad enough, Leigh-Taylor Smith has previously been crowned Miss Arlington and Miss Hampton-Newport News. Yes, both of those titles are Virginia titles. She only recently moved to New York.


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