7:50 am Aug. 5, 20102
Each day, the New York tabloids vie to sell readers at the newsstands on outrageous headlines, dramatic photography, and, occasionally, great reporting. Who is today's winner?
The New York Post: The Post today shelled out for an exclusive by New York paparazzo Lawrence Schwartzwald of Caroline Giuliani being led out of a Sephora cosmetics store on the Upper East Side by cops, under arrest. That's not to say that in the blogosphere the photo won't be right-clicked to hell and promulgated on all the celebrity blogs. So to a certain frame of mind, it's worth wondering what the value of an exclusive is. But on the newsstand, this is the picture you want under the headline "RUDY DAUGHTER BUST." Her hands are cuffed behind her back, she seems to be shrinking from the guiding grip of a police officer at her left elbow. Her shoulders are hunched up, she's humiliated. Of course some of the pictures Schwartzwald took of the event (one of which appears on the inside online page of the article at nypost.com) don't tell quite the same story. With enough frames shot, you could have a picture of her looking smug, scared or just zoned out, too. Still, the photo is of the arrest: this is what having people like Schwartzwald on the books can do for you.
It's hard to imagine how this all went down at the store: Caroline was first confronted by store security, then she handed them her ID while the security guys were waiting for the cops. They asked if she were related to the former mayor, and she said yes. The security guys had a "change of heart" but it was "too late," according to the Post. So, did someone in the store call it in to the Post? Was Caroline's name broadcast on the police scanner when cops were called to the scene? How'd everyone get there so fast?
If Caroline hadn't been accused of shoplifting cosmetics, of course, the Post would have gone bigger on its coverage of Alex Rodriguez's 600th home run, for which they've had plenty of time to organize the "COLOR SOUVENIR POSTER" inside: we've been waiting for this for weeks.
Daily News: With the same two stories on its wood as the Post, the News makes a different decision. Their photo is a little late: staff photographer John Roca only makes it to the precinct house as Giuliani, with mom Donna Hanover in tow, is being released. Of course the news is that she was busted; release after a few hours with Mom (who is doing that batty sunglasses-AND-regular-glasses-on-top-of-the-head thing) is B-copy. "RUDY'S KID BUSTED" is the hed, and the whole piece occupies a red strip maybe a little more than a third the width of the page. The main hed, in giant type, is "600." There's A-Rod, finally hitting his 600th. The "600" hed is pretty, and the photo is good too, but obvious, everywhere, and a gimme.
Observations: If, as one Capital commenter says, the News is now pursuing a "photos first" policy on its front page, we can pretty much call today a failure. There's no real contest here.
Winner: The New York Post.