TABLOIDED: The Post and Obama: Strange Bedfellows
Today the Post’s front page features a smiling Barack Obama. The paper is endorsing the Illinois Senator in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. The tabloid’s reason? Well, much like the New York Times and its endorsement of John McCain for the Republican primary, it’s a case of "It’s not you, it’s the other guy." While the Times editorial morphed into "Here’s what’s wrong with Rudy," the Post provides the same treatment of Hillary Clinton. Having the former First Lady as commander-in-chief would mark "a return to the opportunistic, scandal-scarred, morally muddled years of the almost infinitely self-indulgent Clinton co-presidency." Ouch!
Speaking of Rudy, remember that old adage that you can make fun of your own family, but other people can’t? That seems to be the viewpoint the Daily News is espousing with its "SHTICK IT!" headline on the front page. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says that Giuliani’s "New York personality" is what did him in. Of course, we don’t want any hayseeds from the Midwest mocking our hedonistic, big-city lifestyle. So the News goes out and finds quotes from local characters reacting to Grassley’s statements. "Ultra-New Yorker" Curtis Sliwa commented on Grassley’s wardrobe: "He wears polyester, waffle-weave, flame-retardant pants that look like they survived the high waters." Jimmy Breslin called Grassley a "moron." (Side note: the newspaper folks are looking out for one of their own. Breslin’s new book gets a mention in this story and in an item in Page Six today.)
The other story on the front of the Post today is coverage of the horrific scandal of an NYPD detective who allegedly operated a prostitution ring with his girlfriend. The most stomach-turning part of the case is that Detective Wayne Taylor and Zelika Brown are accused of pimping out a 13-year-old runaway. Both papers have multiple reporters on the story (six for the News, five for the Post), but the Post includes a creepy photo of Brown dressed in one of those "sexy cop" costumes, which is not something anyone wants to see while enjoying their morning coffee.
The rest of the News' front page covers the Super Bowl (big surprise) and how the Giants are "Gunning for Brady." Today's coverage in the Post mainly centers on the parties in Arizona over the next few days. Apparently Diddy has bought up almost all the Cristal in Arizona. (Is that like all the tea in China?) Meanwhile, the Daily News is in jinx territory again, warning Boston that planning a victory parade days before the big game is a bad idea. We think the "Hold That Party, Chowderheads" headline should read, "Hold That Pah-ty, Chowdaheads." It's rare that you get to make fun of a region with an even stupider accent than yourselves. Seize the opportunity!
A strip headline on the bottom of page one teases a "Shocking Heath Ledger Tape" in which the late actor is captured at a private party after the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards confessing that he once smoked up to five joints a day. The Post has this story in Page Six, and they report that the tape features footage of Ledger snorting cocaine. The interesting media angle is that the News reports that the tape was going to air on Entertainment Tonight and The Insider tonight, but ET has changed its plans. Apparently "pressure from film insiders" is preventing them from showing the tape for which the infotainment program paid $200,000.
Tomorrow we should expect to see the celebrity coverage shift from Ledger to Britney Spears, as police removed the pop singer from her home late last night. She was rushed to UCLA Medical Center and placed on a "mental health evaluation hold". Since the story broke too late to make the final editions, expect it to be everywhere tomorrow.
In other tabloid trainwreck news, the Post tells us the story of one Brian Valery, a former paralegal who duped his law firm into thinking he was actually an attorney. Valery didn't even graduated from college. Yesterday the con-man was sentenced to fiver years probation, 100 hours of community service and to pay back to the firm the $225,000 worth of ill-gotten salary. Why is this in here? Because the Post has a hilarious picture of Valery tripping on the sidewalk as he leaves court. The headline: "BOGUS ATT'Y TAKES A TRIP: Turns into a 'fall' guy after court." We love this stuff!
There were some good exclusives in today's papers as well. The Post has an interview with Andrew Jacobs, the man whose street brawl allegedly sparked the shooting that killed Mount Vernon police officer Christopher Ridley. Jacobs says that Ridley never identified himself as a cop. Westchester County police officers shot and killed Ridley last Friday. The News reports that Victoria Gotti has retained a civil rights attorney in an attempt to prevent the federal government from seizing nearly $9 million worth of her ex-husband's property. An "Executive Principal" is going to be appointed to one of the city's worst schools, the News reports. Unfortunately, there is now word on who this person is or what school he or she will be heading up. An announcement is "days away."
$ Watch Looking at pages 2 and 3 of the Post, you would think you hit the jackpot on the slots in Atlantic City. There are 3 dollar sign headline$ on those two pages alone. Another one in the bu$ine$$ $ection brings today's total to four. This week so far? 11.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.