TABLOIDED: Barack Obama’s “Cheesy” Wisconsin Victory and Fidel Castro’s Retirement


Yes, the election season is still relatively young (there are still more than 8 months to go before the big day), but the tabloids are already suffering from several cases of repetitive headlines. Today’s Post declares Obama the “BIG CHEESE” in his Wisconsin primary victory over Hillary Clinton. The News uses “Big Cheese” in its truck headline on pages 12 and 13. The News front page uses “Wis.” as a pun for “Whiz,” which the Post does inside the paper on its coverage. And we wonder why people say, “the papers are all the same…” It’s interchangeable heds like the above that help to propel that false idea.

The News appears to have forgotten about Hillary Clinton (much like the rest of the country, we suppose.) Today’s election wrap-up features big pictures of the victors in the Wisconsin primary: Obama for the Dems, and McCain for the G.O.P. Even the analysis piece by Thomas M. DeFrank on Hillary Clinton’s loss of momentum fails to mention the Senator by name in the headline. Of course, this is probably because the article next to it has the hed, “Rangel feels super about Clinton,” but there is still a glaring absence here. The piece on McCain discusses the likely Republican nominee’s attack on Obama. This is starting to become a two-man race, and McCain is throwing out some of the first punches. (As an aside, there’s some hilarious ad placement in the News today next to the McCain story. Yeah, it’s immature, but we’re totally snickering at the big ol’ bra ad right next to a grinning Mac.)

Hillary Clinton appears in the Post‘s coverage of the primary, because the paper needs to fill its “angry bitchface picture” quota for the week. The paper is preparing for Hill’s downfall much in the way that they did for Rudy’s collapse in Florida. Charles Hurt’s column notes that despite her reputation as a survivor, Clinton may not be able to survive this primary season. And, according to Hurt, that’s what the manipulative Clintons want the public to think. They’re playing the “underdog” card. And Hillary isn’t even the Clinton with the most ink in the Post today. Elliot Blair Smith, of Bloomberg News, has a one-and-a-half page story on the ethical issues of Bill Clinton’s use of a private jet owned by Canadian investment banker Frank Giustra.

Yes, so despite what some folks want to believe, coverage is not all the same, and the treatment of the announcement of Fidel Castro’s retirement is a perfect example of this. The News devotes a full four pages to the dictator’s announcement he’s stepping down, and that doesn’t include the editorial. The Post, meanwhile, features one page in the news section and an opinion piece and an editorial. The News wall-to-wall coverage is positively obit-like, with a timeline of the significant events in Castro’s life, a local reaction piece, an “I interviewed Castro twice” column by Juan Gonzalez, and a piece on Castro’s brother Raul, who will take over as the leader of Cuba. Seriously, we wonder what the News will do when the ailing Castro finally dies. Castro’s abdication (for lack of a better word) is a huge news story, but it seems that the News is going to be at a loss when that milestone of his passing comes along.

That’s graphic! The News‘ lede for the story of a woman who killed her ex-cop husband: ” The Queens woman accused of killing her ex-cop husband pumped him full of lead with two of his own guns, piercing nearly all his organs, police sources said yesterday” (bolding ours). The Post practically showed restraint in its piece, but did use the hed “BLACK WIDOW EXCUSE.”

Puntastic headline: Fish & Quips on S.I.: New 750G aquarium makes Mike happy as a clam. (Daily News, about the unveiling of a tropical fish tank at the Ferry Terminal)