Hail to the Chief: The New Era of David Paterson


Since Jim McGreevey’s reinvigorated scandal has bumped Eliot Spitzer and his massive downfall off the front page, you have dig a bit deeper into today’s papers to find any coverage. The News puts Spitzer all the way back on page 20 with an “exclusive photo” of the almost-ex-governor in the driveway of his country house. It’s really not that exciting, but we take what we can get. Columnist Elizabeth Benjamin notes that while Paterson is ushering a new era of hope to the state, his changes probably won’t be felt for at least another year. The timing of this scandal is such that the budget is due in two weeks, and Paterson is going to have to go with Spitzer’s plans because of the time crunch. The News also includes “Five things new gov MUST do!” in its coverage, which includes learning to say “no” and hiring the best people.

The Post, meanwhile, uses “‘HEALER’ REPLACES HEEL” as its headline for its coverage. The articles may almost all be about Paterson, but the photos are of Spitzer and Ashley Alexandra Dupre. We only see Paterson standing next to Spitzer in a file photo from Election Night 2006. The Post is a dog with a chew toy—it doesn’t want to let this story go. We should see what tomorrow will bring: Do we hear more about the “new era,” or will we get more blurry photos of Spitzer driving in his car?

The best way to illustrate the differences in coverage is by looking at the strip headlines for these stories. The News goes with “SPITZER FALLOUT” on page 20 and “A NEW BEGINNING” on page 21 (complete with giant photo of a dignified, strong-looking Paterson) while the Post uses SPITZER SEX SCANDAL on pages 10 and 11.

Speaking of the Post, a source tells us that Friday’s front page of a topless “Kristen” was most unwelcome by the news dealers on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights. They told the paper’s delivery truck to keep on drivin’.