It’s the Friday before a big holiday weekend. You’re slogging through the workday, and you just want to get things done. You’re going to put things through with the minimum amount of effort. That’s what I think is happening with today’s front pages of the tabloids. Both concentrate on one story (OK, so the Daily News puts a small strip on Willie Randolph on the bottom) and keep it simple.
The News is imploring its readers to “HELP FIND MY HERO!” with a snapshot of a shirtless, tattooed surfer who came to the rescue of boater Brian Jordan when he almost drowned off Coney Island Saturday. Jordan tried to reign in his speedboat after it came untied from the pier. As he tells the Daily News, “I wasn’t wearing a life vest and I jumped in the water fully clothed.” The mystery man pulled him from the water. Another stranger who helped Jordan snapped the picture of the unnamed hero. The News put him on the front page. Apparently Jordan wants to treat his benefactor to a big lobster dinner at his family’s Sheepshead Bay seafood restaurant. What I want to know is, how would you feel if you walked down the street and saw your mug plastered on the front page of the paper because of your random, anonymous act of kindness? Would you be irked or ecstatic? I’m not sure myself, but the cranky part of me is leaning toward “irked.”
Meanwhile, the Post provides us with one of their fabulous photo composites on page one. We get Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the toppers on a wedding cake with the awkward pun, “MAN AND VICE.” The peg of the story is the increasing call in the Democratic party for Obama to make Clinton his veep, as it would unite the party and help him win states like Kentucky and West Virginia. Inside, the paper concentrates on a war of words between John McCain and Barack Obama about a GI benefits bill. The headline “Off on the wrong foot” refers to a photo of Hillary Clinton in which she’s wearing two different shoes at the same time. While this may hint at her absent-mindedness, a rep for the senator notes she sprained her ankle and is wearing a brace.
These are just some things to ponder while you slog through this last workday before the unofficial start of summer.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 23, 2008