Tag Archives: NY Post

Headless woman

One of my kids asked me the other day why the NY Post — which we have home-delivered, so they see it over breakfast — had used a celebrity photo on its cover, instead of one of the more news-worthy pics that were on page-one of the NYT and WSJ, which were next to the Post on the breakfast table. (I know, the idea of three teenagers looking at — and sometimes reading — a newspaper in the morning is itself bizarre, but that’s another story.)

The answer, of course, is that while some Post front pages will feature a “legitimate” news story, its editors will usually opt for whatever image they feel is most likely to grab people — not everyone mind you, not necessarily you and me, but “most people” — by the b—s. Sometimes the photo will have nothing to do with anything. It’s what makes the Post a fun read, and either you accept it or you move on.

But did Saturday’s cover go “too far”? Look at the bullfighter’s neck and mouth, and remember that this photo ran BIG, filling the entire NY Post cover — then you decide:

What if the Post, instead of running its most famous headline — “Headless Body in Topless Bar” — published a full-page picture of the decapitated head?

Here’s a link to the bullfight story associated with Saturday’s front page, and here’s today’s follow-up. In each case, you won’t find any editorial second-guessing or soul-searching.

Today’s story updates that “the bull wasn’t spared a grisly death, even though he soundly defeated famed matador Julio Aparicio … According to bullfight rules — win or lose — the bull must die.” (On Saturday, the Post reported that the bull’s fate was undetermined.)

The Post reports that “Aparicio, 41, was recuperating yesterday in stable condition at a Madrid hospital after a 6 ½-hour reconstruction operation on his mutilated mouth, tongue and jaw.”

The photo was created to AFP / Getty Images.

Paywall rises

Rupert Murdoch’s dropped his other shoe.

After months of ranting about how the internet’s been stealing his lunch, come June his Times and Sunday Times newspapers will be the first of News Corp’s big print engines (other than the Wall Street Journal) to closet their Web products behind a paywall. The price of one day’s admission will reportedly be the cover price of a weekday print edition; a week’s access will be 2 pounds ($2.98).

News International CEO Rebekah Brooks said Murdoch’s other UK newspapers — The Sun and News of the World — would also charge readers, and Murdoch’s promised the same for his American newspapers (including the New York Post), although no specifics have been announced.

I suppose we can wait until June to see how this plays out across the pond, but meanwhile we’ve got lots of commentary to consider.

We’ll start with Brooks’ Times announcement, in which she said:

At a defining moment for journalism, this is a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition. We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value.

The most incendiary reaction so far is from hyperlocal internet sage Jeff Jarvis, who savaged Murdoch in his Guaradian column.

Jarvis, who used to work for Murdoch at TV Guide, says, “I respected his balls. It is a pity to see them gone.”

Jarvis sizzles with disappointment — anger — over what’s about to happen at News Corp:

Rupert Murdoch has declared surrender. The future defeated him.

By building his paywall around Times Newspapers, he has said that he has no new ideas to build advertising. He has no new ideas to build deeper and more valuable relationships with readers and will send them away if they do not pay. Even he has no new ideas to find the efficiencies the internet can bring in content creation, marketing, and delivery.

Instead, Murdoch will milk his cash cow a pound at a time, leaving his children with a dry, dead beast, the remains of his once proud if not great newspaper empire.


But isn’t there at least a possibility that people will pay? After all, most people (admittedly fewer every day) do pay for a print product? Says Jarvis:

Just because people used to pay in print they should pay now — when the half-life of a scoop’s value is a click, when good-enough news that’s free is also a click away, when the new newsstand of Google and Twitter demands that you stay in the open, searchable and linkable?

This argument I hear about paywalls comes from emotional entitlement (readers “should” pay – when did you ever see a business plan built on the verb “should”?), not hard economics.

Support for Murdoch’s plan appears in today Sun, in a column by BBC broadcaster John Humphrys in which Humphrys declares:

Good journalism has to be paid for, just as we have to pay for the plumber who fixes a leak, or it will not survive.

And let’s be clear: We have the best papers in the world. Full stop.

I want to keep it that way…

The cornerstone of democracy is a well-informed public engaged in passionate debate.

Thomas Jefferson, the author of America’s Declaration of Independence, said: “If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.”

That was right two centuries ago and it’s right today.

And we must not put the papers at risk by thinking we do not have to pay for them.

Go to the Guardian site to read the rest of Jarvis’ column, along with some of the 179 comments posted as of noon on Sunday. For more from Jarvis, go to his Buzz Machine blog.

Click here for a view supporting Murdoch’s approach, by former Australian IT editor Ian Grayson who writes: “The likes of Jarvis could not be more wrong.”

See how one of Murdoch’s smaller newspapers — the weekly Brooklyn Paper (video) — is approaching the possibility of paywall erection.

And click for a Patrick Blower “live draw” cartoon.

‘Curse of Joe Biden’ … or editors stuck in their sophomore year

Vice President Biden’s barely audible use of the “F” word was newsworthy, made-for-the-Internet flash. But front page play in four of New York’s five newspapers?!?

New York media’s fixation with the “F” word exploded yesterday ahead of the Biden story. Someone protesting a massive Brooklyn redevelopment project hacked into an electronic traffic sign and inserted “F— Ratner,” spelling out the four-letter word and directing it at the developer, Bruce Ratner.

We reported yesterday how online editors were divided on using a photo of the “F” sign in its natural versus an edited state. Bloggers went au natural, as did The Brooklyn Paper.

However, the Times, Post and NY1 obliterated three of the word’s four letters.

Who were they protecting? The children who’d see today’s front pages — or hear the buzz on TV or the interent — and easily guess what was left out? Or readers who still have a sense of propriety — certainly, they would not be offended by Metro’s giant f****g. Give me a F—ing break!

Although both the Times and Post yesterday prominently featured the traffic sign online —  edited — neither referenced it in their print editions today.

As for Biden, the Times was alone is not running a big story on his stumble, covering it instead at the end of a bill-signing sidebar on A19:

Mr. Biden introduced Mr. Obama, lauding the president’s “perseverance” and “clarity of purpose.” But in a remark that he clearly did not intend to be heard, Mr. Biden used a vulgarity in his private congratulations to the president that, while not audible inside the room, was picked up by a broadcast microphone and spread quickly across the Internet.

“Mr. President, this is a big [expletive] deal,” Mr. Biden whispered, inserting an adjective not used in polite conversation. Later, the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, sent out a message over Twitter: “And yes, Mr. Vice President, you’re right.”

VP Biden drops an ‘F bomb’

We’ll wrap up this day — which Coney Media began with homemade sex tapes, followed by a F—ing road sign that cursed a real-estate developer — with Vice President Biden’s joyful, if unfortunately worded, open mike utterance after the House delivered the administration’s health reform win.

“This is a big F—ing deal,” Biden whispered to President Obama (as if the POTUS didn’t know it was so). From the NY Post Website (with video):

THE POST’S LEDE: Oh Joe he didn’t! Vice President Joe Biden let rip another of his legendary gaffes at a crucial moment for the Obama administration Tuesday, whispering a profanity to the President.

Coverage from USA Today and the Telegraph in London.

PLUS: The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog asks, “How fast are Americans when it comes to making a quick buck?” Pretty fast:

Just hours after Joe Biden let loose with an f-bomb that was caught by an open microphone following President Barack Obama’s signing of the health bill into law this morning, his exact exclamation — “This is a big f— deal” — has already become a t-shirt (caution, salty language ahead if you click on the link) available for sale in sizes running from S to 6X.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Consider this: Tens of thousands of your readers drive by a sign bearing an unarguably obscene word. The bloggers run it. How about you? [Multiple updates]

If you’re the NY Times (UPDATE: or even the NY Post!), you edit the photo.

The scene is near the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, NY (planned future home to the NJ Nets). “Ratner” on the sign refers to Bruce Ratner, the project’s politically-connected developer.

Top photo was posted early this morning on Curbed.com and on other NYC blogs.

The next photo, by Becky Hanger, was posted by the NY Times at 11:49 am with this caption: This sign near the Atlantic Yards site is supposed to say “Fifth Avenue Closed.” It was changed to something unprintable. We erased the first word and left the second intact.

UPDATE: NY Post story, posted at 3:30, included a censored photo:

UPDATE: Gersh Kuntzman’s Brooklyn Paper (owned by the NY Post) earlier this afternoon posted a brief item [later expanded to a full story] accompanied by an unedited photo. Both the Post and Brooklyn Paper used photos by George Causil. On its home page, The Brooklyn Paper published this:

WARNING: Clicking the above link means you’re willing to see and read a curse word — and it’s a doozy!

UPDATE: NY1 reports — video and story link here — that the sign was up for “a number of hours before it was taken down” and caused “quite a stir this morning for drivers and pedestrians alike who stopped to do a double take”:

“The first word rhymes with ‘luck’ — and it’s not very nice and I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out the rest,” reported Kristen Shaugnessy.

Said one passerby: “That does not say what I think it does, does it? Oh no! Ooh, I can’t say that either.”