TABLOIDED: Mixed Bag Monday


Much like Friday, today we have a number of stories that could be front-page material. The Post chooses to highlight the city’s noisiest neighborhoods (Washington Heights, the East Village and the Lower East Side are the big three) and DNA evidence that may link the wife of FDNY Fire Marshal Douglas Mercereau to his shooting death. (The DNA on the gun is that of a woman, but it’s inconclusive whether it’s that of Janet Mercereau.)

The News, meanwhile, chooses to go with a contest to win tickets to the last Opening Day at Yankee Stadium (will there be one for Shea as well, or is it not “historic” enough?) and Michael Goodwin’s column on Hillary Clinton. Goodwin likens Clinton’s suggestion that Obama be her vice president to the subprime mortgage crisis, opining that Clinton is “like a con artist trying to sell a house she doesn’t own.” A news piece on Obama says that he might see her as the No. 2 on the so-called “dream ticket.”

The Post‘s election coverage today concentrates on how Pennsylvania is Hillary Clinton’s state to lose, as it features plenty of older, white union workers. The paper also has a few pieces on McCain, including a feature on how the presumptive Republican nominee is an avid hiker who loves spending time outdoors in his home state of Arizona. Stories like this can quell the “is the guy too damn old to run?” criticism. McCain also will be part of a Congressional delegation to the Middle East later this month. The subtext one can glean from this story is that the Arizona Senator can get back to his “real job” in the legislature while Clinton and Obama continue their infighting over the next few weeks. Both papers also cover the controversy on whether or not Michigan and Florida should get a “do-over” in the Democratic primaries. The suggested plan is a primary-by-mail, but the Democratic National Committee will not pay for it. Both states are trying to find ways to resolve the issue. The election coverage right now is becoming a little stale. It seems like even the Post is bored, as today it only devotes one page to all the news. They need another “monster”/”Ken Starr” spat between the Democrats or for McCain to start slinging barbs at Clinton or Obama. Conflict is what tabloids live for!

Locally, there are several really great features in the Post worth highlighting. Reporter Jeremy Olshan recounts his day in taxi court, where he faces the driver who wouldn’t let him use the credit-card machine (the driver claims it was “broken”). Olshan won his case, and driver Surjit Singh was fined $500 and got four points on his hack license. The reporter thought “the whole thing seemed so excessive that if I had the $500 in my wallet, I might have handed it to him.”

A “happier” story is a profile on high school principal Jeffrey Scherr, who the Post calls the “real super principal.” Francis Lewis HS in Fresh Meadows is incredibly overcrowded and Scherr has taken to holding dance classes in the hallway and “Polar Bear Gym” classes outdoors to relieve the bursting capacity of students. It’s a heartwarming tale, but does it send the message that there are ways to deal with this overcrowding without better funding. There is a “lift yourself up by the bootstraps” narrative here.

The News has an exclusive interview with Vincent Genovese, the brother of Kitty Genovese. Genovese was murdered in 1964 by Winston Moseley. The case garnered national attention when it was reported that Genovese’s screams were ignored by the people in her Queens neighborhood. The Kitty Genovese case sparked psychological studies of how people react in crowds. Moseley is up for parole this week, and Vincent says he hopes Moseley rots for another 40 years in jail.

Best headline of the day: “SHRIMP ‘PIMP’: Dwarf ‘madam’ accused of exploiting minor. How did the Post describe Jacqueline Green, a 3-foot-9 woman accused of pimping out an underage girl?: “stout female dwarf,” “mini-madam,” “pint-size pimptress,” and “vertically challenged madam” all are descriptors for Green.