Before the votes are even counted on Special Election Day, Anthony Weiner is the winner
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: Every once in a while at the newsstand we experience the kind of pleasure that the tabloids promise but seldom deliver. This is our morning!
"CROTCHA!" That's the headline under a picture of former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, in a deer-in-headlights pose, loading a moving box into or out of an S.U.V. The dek: "Weiner moves out, Dems may be sent packing."
He basically moved from his apartment on Ascan Avenue in Forest Hills to a three-bedroom West Village rental on Friday, but yesterday, just as his district was about to enter a tight Special Election day in which pollsters presently have a Republican in the lead, he came back for an office chair and this box, and was snapped by photographer Brigitte Stelzer.
The election in the Ninth Congressional District, which is happening today, is important for a lot of reasons, despite the fact that Weiner's seat might well be eliminated in redistricting before the next election cycle. If a Republican wins it, it's bad news for the party leadership here in New York. Also, for one reason or another, the race is being watched nationally as some sort of litmus test for Democratic voters' faith in the party and its president.
But for all of that, there is little glamor in the story. It concerns a lot of upper-middle-class boroughs-dwellers in neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn with names like Mill Basin and Maspeth and Rego Park. These are the kinds of neighborhood names that immediately send Manhattan sophisticates to the following page of the paper. But this CROTCHA story is really the paper's lead-all in the congressional-race story. The writer spends exactly 94 words on the Weiner photo before going into the latest on each of the candidates' campaigning activities yesterday, citing calls made on the candidates' behalves by Rudy Giuliani, Bill Clinton and more. It gets into the redistricting angle briefly then, before returning to backfill about Weiner's exit from his congressional seat.
There was nothing but bad news in football yesterday, and the Post gives its left column over to two stories. Eli Manning looks like he's just been told he can have no more cookies in the photo at the bottom, with blue text over it that reads "Eli, Giants 'O' so bad!" Rex is doing a sort of combination of a face-plant and an I-shoulda-had-a-V8 in the upper left. "Rex can't defend Jets 'D'" reads the green lettering over his picture.
Daily News: I seriously almost ripped the front off the paper, looking for the real front page beneath what I assumed was some kind of ad or promotion. Nope! This is the News' real front page. At the top, a giant green box with knockout-white text reads "JETS FAN SHOCKER."
Sorry, that "SHOCKER" part is actually—well it's supposed to look like the words are being electrocuted but really they just have jaggedy yellow outlines and some kind of very upsetting yellow-orange-green gradient is used to fill the letters up. "Goon used Taser in brawl in stands—cops." A few things to note here: This happened on Sunday. The "goon" is also the father of Power 105.1 D.J. Charlemagne The God, an interview with whom takes up most of the article.
Next up: A grainy picture of Jacqueline Onassis, because as you know there are no good pictures of Jackie O. Plus it's made into a blue duotone. "O, Jackie!" reads the hed. "Her secret thoughts on Jack, their 'Victorian marriage,' power & politics."
So listen, I have no doubt that this will all be very interesting to people who didn't already read it in the Times on Sunday, since they actually got a copy of the book Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy in advance of its appearance in bookstores today. There is also a special tonight on ABC, which will play segments of the taped interviews conducted with Arthur Schlesinger, embargoed until after her death. But excerpts of the book were made available to the press yesterday, in case they wanted to give their front page to publicists.
The final nail in the coffin is that the strip ad on the bottom, with Casey Anthony's parents silhouetted on the left and text that reads "CASEY ANTHONY'S PARENTS BREAK THEIR SILENCE" looked to me like a third story until I saw it was an ad for today's episode of "Dr. Phil."
Observations: It almost robs "CROTCHA" of its glory to be up against such horrendous competition.
Winner: The New York Post.