TABLOIDED: The Daily News vs. The Post



Daily journalism is a bloodsport in New York.
This is a scorecard.

The New York Post is responsible for many things, but yesterday’s Giants victory over the Dallas Cowboys is not one of them. The tab put a Jessica Simpson “look-a-like” (a term that should be used very, very loosely here) in the stands of Texas Stadium to jinx the Cowboys. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo dates the ditzy pop singer, and fans have blamed her for some of the team’s woes. Jessica Simpson also played in the Daily News coverage of the game. A photo of a Giants fans with a homemade Simpson mask accompanies the tab’s page-3 story.

The Daily News’ front-page treatment of the Giants’ playoff win is “BELIEVE!” which would make you think that the Giants are on par with the 2004 Red Sox in their 0-3 come-from-behind ALCS win over the Yankees—and not one frigid loss away from golf season. Still, the “faith” in a team angle is a common trope in sports reporting, and this upset probably does deserve this kind of treatment.

With the Golden Globes relegated to a simple press conference because of the writers’ strike, the Post is clearly confused about what to do with its meager strip headline across the bottom of the front-page. The solution appears to be to find art of nominees in couture gowns so that it looks like a “real” award ceremony. Only reading the fine print (the captions) reveals that in fact, Keira Knightley, while looking fabulous in a purple gown, did not attend the Globes. Chances are she wasn’t donning that dress last night either, but we have no confirmation on that.

Meanwhile, the Daily News has a photo of a woman protesting the writers’ strike outside the press conference. Their Globes coverage is much more understated, but has the unfortunate headline use of “dead carpet,” which the Post splashed on the front page last Friday.

The News chose to highlight the latest steroids scandal in hip-hop on its page 1. Too bad the scoop on Mary J. Blige, Fifty Cent, Wyclef Jean and playwright/actor Tyler Perry allegedly ordering steroids or other “performance enhancing drugs” is from the Albany Times Union. The Post uses an AP story for its piece.

The off-lead front-page headline from the News is about remarks Hillary Clinton made about the civil rights movement that the Obama campaign has highlighted. According to the News, the Senator “[suggested that] President Lyndon Johnson played as big a role in the civil rights movement as the Rev. Martin Luther King.” Clinton supporter and Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson struck back at the criticism by implying that in the past Obama should have been concentrating more on black issues in his neighborhood than doing drugs. (Obama admits to experimenting in his book.)

Since this is a political slugfest, we need the requisite unflattering pictures. The Post and the News both feature photos of Hillary in a Columbia, SC church on Sunday. Both pictures make it look as if Clinton is rolling her eyes and would rather be anywhere else. The News makes this even more clear with the juxtaposition of a praying Obama next to the bored-to-tears Clinton. Speaking of tears, nice callback to The Incident, Daily News, with your headline, “Raps against me, ‘unfair,’ ‘untrues,’ cries Clinton” (emphasis mine). Oh those women, always so mentally unstable.

All smiles, however, is one Rudy Giuliani. Rudy has put all his eggs in Florida’s basket and has been out stumping in the Sunshine State before the Jan. 29 primary. He was in church on Sunday as well, along with former Florida Secretary of State Katherine “Scary Makeup” Harris, the Daily News reports. Since Harris is not exactly what could be considered an asset to a campaign, Giuliani aides later told reporters that Harris was only there by invitation of the church, not Rudy’s camp.

Since Rudy seems to need all the help he can get, Daily News columnist Michael Daly posed as a “squeegee man” outside an entrance to the Holland Tunnel yesterday. He was wearing a sign that read “Squeegee Men for Rudy. All change is good!” We’re sure the former mayor was thrilled that one of his former nemeses, the beleaguered squeegee man, was stumping for him. It also shows that the Daily News can go toe-to-toe with the Post when it comes to harebrained stunts.

Odds and Ends
Macabre tabloid story dept.: The Post reports on a 92-year-old woman who lost both her legs after being hit by a Chinatown bus. The Daily News covers the story of Jonathan (Tracy) Uzzell, a transvestite prostitute who had been working for a home health aide agency and was arrested for theft. Kudos to the News for using restraint and not allowing the word “tranny” in the headline. You know, the Post could never resist.

This sounds familiar: The Post introduces us to Bobby Corrigan, the man behind a $1.5 million rat-inspection pilot program in the Bronx. Too bad we met him through the Daily News last week.

Tabloid tropes
: The Daily News follows the story of a man who placed an ad in Sunday’s paper asking his girlfriend to marry him. She said yes! The Post has a tear-jerker about a Cobble Hill dry cleaners forced to shutter its doors because of a rent increase.

Puntastic headline: “A Squeege-nius Idea” (Daily News.) There was nothing else! The lack of any Weekend at Bernie’s stories hasn’t really given the copy departments their chances to shine!


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