The Post and the Daily News each take a different approach to the news that actress Tatum O’Neal was busted trying to buy crack and cocaine last night on the Lower East Side. News of her arrest makes both front pages, but with varying degrees of importance.
The Post splashes O’Neal’s picture on page one with the banner headline, “TATUM’S DRUG BUST.” The Daily News takes the teaser route, declaring in a small box on the front page “OSCAR WINNER IN CRACK BUST!” This makes the Daily News reader wonder, “Who could it be?” and might disappoint those who weren’t expecting it to the bust of someone who won an Academy Award back in 1974. Still, it’s a common tactic when covering B- or C-listers who once had a moment of glory. You frequently see it in obituaries: “Grammy Winner Dies at 87” and then you learn that Joe Schmoe played saxophone on that one random hit in 1956.
The more lurid part of the O’Neal bust is that for a while the actress had been on the straight-and-narrow. She was expressed sympathy for pop trainwreck Britney Spears in an interview last year and implored the singer to leave Los Angeles for her own good. She also wrote a tell-all book in 2004 about her struggles with addiction and her marriage to tennis star John McEnroe. According to both tabloids, O’Neal told police that this was her first relapse incident in years and begged the cops to let her go, but they arrested her anyway.
In more “light-hearted” drug news, Knocked Up star Seth Rogen is under fire for smoking what he claims was fake joint onstage during last night’s MTV Movie Awards. Rogen and his former Freaks & Geeks co-star James Franco were presenting the award for Best Summer Movie So Far when Franco told the audience, “Kids, don’t really smoke fake weed like this.” The Daily News notes “the sweet scent wafting through the Gibson Amphitheatre suggested the herb was real.” When MTV producers caught wind of what was going on, the shot of the two actors became really, really wide. Rogen and Franco are starring in the upcoming stoner comedy Pineapple Express. Draw your own conclusions about the publicity.