Has it gotten to the point with all these sex scandals that we just can’t imagine the news without them? Last Monday, with front pages on Hillary Clinton and New York’s noisiest neighborhoods seems like ages ago. But are we starting to get a case of sex-scandal fatigue? If you looked at the front pages of the Post and the Daily News, you’d think not, but the subway freebies amNY and Metro New York have clearly moved on.
The Daily News‘s problem today is that it has an embarrassment of riches. Juan Gonzalez’s exclusive interview with Gov. Paterson that ran yesterday means that the tabloid needs to follow up with the sex scandal. Unfortunately this pushes their coverage of the Nixzmary Brown verdict off the front page. It’s a shame because the News has been dogged about covering this tragedy, and it probably would have made page one on a “regular” news day. The only papers to put the manslaughter conviction of Cesar Rodriguez on the front were the Metro and Spanish-language paper Hoy.
The News dedicates pages 8 and 9 to the case, including a story outlining how the News has covered this case since the beginning, from its investigation into how the city’s child-welfare system failed young Nixzmary to the trial. Columnist Jane Ridley’s piece outlines her argument for why Rodriguez deserves the maximum sentence for his conviction. Ridley also tears into the jurors for bringing “injustice” by not convicting Rodriguez of murder. Scott Shifrel, Mike Jaccarino and Tracy Connor’s roundup of the verdict includes the info that a lawyer on the jury led the vote against the murder charge. The Post has a short story on the verdict on page 15 with an accompanying photo of community activist Awilda Cordero holding a picture of the little girl, looking forlorn.
So, instead of Nixzmary’s face on the front page, we get more Gov. Paterson and his “GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!” (Post) and “THE OTHER WOMAN” (Daily News). You’ve got to give it to the News for their little knee-slapper in the subhed, “New gov’s ex-girlfriend works for the state’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (Boy, you can say that again!). That’s something my dad would tack on to a comment about this scandal. It’s an awesome “old-man” joke.
What is interesting here, though, is that both papers have different women on their front pages. The Post has Olympic gold-medalist Diane Dixon, who claims that Paterson got her a state job after they became friends. She also claims to have secret recordings of her and Paterson, yet maintains that she and Paterson were just friends. Frederic U. Dicker’s story on Dixon includes illustrations of the e-mails she sent the Post and paints her as someone who wants it both ways: to have insider info on the new governor, but supposedly not really wanting to have her name in the papers. (It doesn’t help her case that she seems really “posed” in the accompanying photos by Post photog Spencer A. Burnett.) Much of the coverage of the Paterson “GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!” scandal in the Post reads like the paper is just salivating at the potential of Joe Bruno being sworn in as governor should Paterson have to resign. Oh, and Andrea Peyser? Will you please stop it with the TGI Friday’s references to Jim McGreevey? They are incredibly nauseating to read first thing in the morning.
The other woman in the News‘ coverage is Lila Kirton, who is the director of community affairs in the aforementioned Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. (You can say that again!) While the Post skirts around the resignation issue, the News has a “man-on-the-street” story asking if Paterson should resign. A few said he should, including a reader pictured on page 4. Paterson’s “stunning frankness” is commended by Juan Gonzalez in his column today, where he notes that the governor “was more forthcoming than any politician I’ve interviewed in 30 years.”
Oh, and just when you think it’s over, Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams today hints that another sex scandal is about to break, albeit one not in New York. Her coy blind item reads like when a teenage girl is keeping a secret from her best friend, in that annoying, “I know more, but I can’t share it, but I’ll try to get you to tease it out of me” kind of way.
Meanwhile, some presidential candidate gave a speech about race. Barack Obama’s bound-for-the-history-books speech on race in America might have gotten front-page play any other day of the week (and it did, on the Metro), but we’re too concerned with what our current governor did in his bedroom a few years back. (And yes, I get the hypocrisy of only bringing up the Obama speech this low in the column) Mike Lupica of the News calls the speech “one for the ages.” Charles Hurt’s column in the Post is confusing at best, as he claims that Obama broke through the racial barrier “with the deft silence of a cat springing onto a sunny windowsill” and includes the nice dig of “It’s how a black man with a Muslim name managed to roll up massive victories in blindingly white Kansas and Nebraska and Idaho and Iowa.” Did you really have to bring up the “Muslim” name?
In other news Both papers report that Ashley Alexandra Dupre appeared in Girls Gone Wild when she was 18. Remember her? Girl seems like old news at this point.
The News has an exclusive on a female cabbie whose pals thwarted an attack against her. Neeru Singh was chatting on her cell with two friends when her fare tried to mug her. The pals called 911 and other cabbies fled to the scene. And you thought your cabbie was only chatting about when he was getting home?
Oops! The Daily News reports that the Post‘s front-page story on Tiger Woods $65 million Hamptons home purchase is false. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous, but the realtor says it is not Woods.
Oh, and finally, today marks the 5-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Neither of the major tabloids mentions it in their news sections. You’ll have to grab a copy of amNY for that.