Tag Archives: scandal

Sex-peddling NY tabs lose their minds: ‘There oughta be a law against being this naughty’


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The New York Post begins its provocatively illustrated cover story about Brooklyn Law School “steaming over sexy undie ads” with these words:

“There oughta be a law — against being this naughty.”

The Post might take its own advice.

Same shame for the rival Daily News, whose “WHAT BOOBS!” cover story refers to “clubs where women shake their stuff to men’s delight.”

Both the News’ Friday lead and the Post’s Saturday wood promoted legitimate stories (the Post reported how Diesel shot provocative ads in a law school library, skewering the school’s already low reputation and angering students and alumni; the News piece, by Juan Gonzalez, exposed tax breaks lavished on strip clubs).

But the titillating, risqué play may be too damn much, and the News allowed a reader to bite back in the next day’s print edition (the comment could not be found online):

My seven-year-old son has recently taken to reading the Daily News every day. On Nov. 12, after perusing your front page, he asked me what a strip club was. Care to lend a hand, Mr. Editor in Chief? By the way, I had no problem explaining the word “boob.” I just showed him your picture. John O’Hare

Predictably, the News used publication of John O’Hare’s complaint as cover to rerun its Boobs cover.

Both tabloids increasingly demonstrate on their covers — and in racy spreads inside — that they have a base assessment of their readers’ tolerance for home-delivered sewer spill. While the pages reproduced here don’t represent an every-day pattern, neither are they aberrations.

And the trend toward extreme front pages is not restricted to sex — the cover of Saturday’s Daily News ghoulishly features morgue workers dragging a body down a stairwell.

Double entendres, long the meat and potatoes of winning headlines, have become a quaint relic, supplanted by sledgehammer-wielding head writers.

New York is not London (a city proud of its racy tabs and the source of so much of New York’s tabloid talent), and newspaper readers are increasingly older, conservative folk, women and well as men.

Some New Yorkers, like John O’Hare, are concerned with leaving trash in plain view of their children (“Billy’s home from kindergarten, dear —  quick, hide the newspaper!”).

The marginal newsstand sales gained by running soft-porn covers can be lost on the home front, where the money circulation lives. Ultimately, they devalue their newspaper’s brand, turning a serious civic and business enterprise into the butt of snarky jokes.

It’s enough to consider whether there might be a broad secular market for a newspaper like Hamodia — a sex-and-scandal-free daily published for Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community that boasts it’s a newspaper you’re not ashamed to bring home.

RELATED STORIES— Newspaper sex: Let’s go to the videotape‘Alt’ media’s slimy underbelly

‘Unfilled Twinkie’ didn’t stop Gawker’s nasty post. And it didn’t stop 1 million people from reading it.

Gawker drew a quick one-million views to its post headlined “I Had a One-Night Stand With Christine O’Donnell”.

Slate crudely points out that its anonymous author, writing in first-person, admits he stopped short of “filling the Twinkie” of the  “I’m not a witch” Tea Party favorite from Delaware.

“I barely knew Christine when she turned up at my door at around eight o’clock on the night of Halloween,” begins the author, purportedly a 25-year-old Philadelphian. The picture of O’Donnell as a ladybug is part of a slideshow that accompanies the Gawker post.

Slate’s point:

As sex scandals go, Gawker’s O’Donnell story is a small sack of limp…

Where I come from, it’s not a one-night stand unless you fill the Twinkie. But we know from Mr. Anonymous’ own admission that the couple didn’t make pastry that night or any other night.

Because the folks at Gawker—[Nick] Denton especially—pick their words shrewdly, the publication knew exactly what it was doing when it tarted up the story with the headline.

A story headlined “Controversial Senatorial Candidate Passes on Sex and Passes Out” isn’t the sort of traffic driver Gawker specializes in.

Over 2,700 comments are attached to the Gawker post, including this from “badluckgirl”:

“There are many, many reasons not to vote for Christine O’Donnell. But the Ladybug costume and this douchenozzle with the photographic memory are not one of them.”

Also linked, an official reaction to Gawker’s nastiness from the O’Donnell camp that begins: “This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with.”

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We might easily agree that the level of political discourse this season is pretty low, but we should not forget just how low it sank during the Bush years (when some Democrats couldn’t stop complaining that GWB had “stolen” the election — first in 2000 and again in 2004). Venomous attacks on both at Presidents Johnson and Nixon in the late 1960s and early ’70s were especially rough.

Now, here’s a reminder of how bad things were way back when, at our country’s start, during the contest between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—