9:50 am Nov. 4, 20101
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: Well it's the day after the day after Election Day, which means the results were all the news in print yesterday, and today is Reaction Day. And who better to react than President Obama to the "shellacking" his party endured on Nov. 2? "HUMBLED" reads the main hed; "My fault, pres says day after Dems lose 61 seats in House." The picture is worth a few more words: eyes downturned and closed, his mouth in a pout that gathers more flesh under his lower lip than you probably thought he had on his whole head. It's pretty much the straight-up story: Obama had to come forward and, basically, defend his mandate while appearing both apologetic to his supporters and sympathetic to the clear redirection the results seem to demand. There's little spin here beyond the careful spin that went into Obama's remarks.
Also comes the news, delivered in a strip across the bottom, that the Mets have cut ticket prices by 14 percent; make no mistake, this is not a consumer-friendly sales promotion, but a gloat. "Miserable Mets slash 'Citi Failed' tix prices" reads the inside hed. And look! "In the 2010 season, the Mets suffered as much a shellacking in the stands as on the field -- with attendance off 18 percent." It's Shellacking Day!
Daily News: "WOE BAMA!" is the News' slightly less serious wood for the Obama shellacking story, advertising four pages of coverage of Reaction Day. It's a similar, but more close-cropped pouty Obama we get here. But it's time to move on, right? So the News also informs us that Billy Joel's song "Uptown Girl" was not about his former wife Christie Brinkley but supermodel Elle MacPherson! Next thing you know we'll find out that "Glass Houses" was about the price of fame. Perhaps there's a newsbreak about Huey Lewis skedded for next week?
Observations: Look, it's rainy out, and some of us have been working on election coverage pretty much nonstop for the last few days. A day of writing down things that happen at press conferences is well-deserved, and in a way I don't want the tabloids to be too noisy this morning. Still, a little more energy than this might have been good for both papers. Is the News delivering that by not taking the page over so completely with the Obama confession? No. The better headline was the direct one, and the better picture was the poutier one.
Winner: The New York Post.