8:10 am Sep. 7, 2011
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: Some nights you just want to go to a small boutique in the Meatpacking District to listen to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs D.J. and purchase a fur vest for $1,795, or show up at a store called Death & Company to drink free Macallan 10-year-old scotch and listen to "indie, lo-fi band Best Coast," or … go the the J.C. Penney in Herald Square to trade in old clothes for gift certificates?
Anyway, if you're one of these people, a public service comes to you today from the Post in the form of a 40-page advertacular focused on tomorrow night's great fashion-marketing gimmick, Fashion's Night Out, in which participating designers and retailers have to come up with some kind of boozy event and design special diamond-encrusted, skull-shaped keychains to slip into gift bags for any idiot who strolls into the store. Beside the 40 pages in which most advertisers seem just to be advertising their events for Fashion's Night Out (what a racket!), the events also take up most of the front page. Two very pretty girls in clothes you probably can't afford (they probably can't either, but they are very pretty) stroll up a street next to text reading "Fashion's Night Out: 40-PAGE PULLOUT TO SHOPPING HEAVEN." "FREEBIES-PARTIES-MAPS" are also indicated.
For news value we have the pretty shocking cable-ready story of Eduardo Sencion, the man who opened fire with an AK-47 at an International House of Pancakes in Carson City, Nev., killing two National Guard members and two civilians and injuring several more before turning a gun on himself.
It's almost conspicuous at this point that The New York Post continues to barricade its front page against the story of the city's massive shooting spike over the Labor Day weekend—and somewhat more conspicuous since this admittedly terrible but obviously not-at-all-local Nevada-IHOP shooting story does make the cut today.
Daily News: Not so at the News, where a second day of coverage is given to the Bloody Weekend story.
"DIED IN HER ARMS" reads the knockout-white text on a black field, leaving barely room for a small picture of Denise Gay, the Crown Heights woman who was killed in crossfire between police and a gun-wielding civilian who'd just shot and killed another man in a gunfight. "Daughter's last hug after mom shot on her stoop," reads a dek.
The two pages of coverage inside give the story and other related ones about the gun violence over the holiday weekend twice the space it gets inside the Post, but interestingly there is no mention in the News of the fact that police think the bullet that killed Gay may have come from a police officer's revolver. That leads the coverage inside the Post. Could it be that the messy question of how the situation on the ground was handled by cops is too hot for either paper to handle?
At any rate the News has work to do—like selling its not-at-all bashful N.F.L. preview guide (a day after the Post sells its own). "WELCOME TO NEW JET CITY" reads the green type on the front of the section, fully visible in a picture of the section that appears on Page One. "Myers: Sorry, Giants fans, but Rex is right, it's Gang Green's town now."
And then there is the grainy photo of Beyoncé Knowles in a frilly two-piece bathing suit, next to the words "BEYONCÉ AND THE BUMP."
I've said it before—I hate this "bump" business.
Observations: As much as I think the News got itself out of focus on the shooting-spree story, which I predict is about to become very complicated, there's no way a paper can win when it uses most of its front page to foist on the reader an advertising-driven ride-along to a marketing event. That the one actual story on the front of the Post happens to have been written "with Wire Services" from Carson City (but without earning a Carson City dateline) only seals the deal.
Winner: Daily News.