12:32 pm Nov. 8, 2012
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?
SNOW QUEEN: Yesterday's weather was pretty gruesome with its fat slabs of snow plopping down on tree branches and catching on their still-clinging leaves, and ushering in a cutting, bitter wet cold.
If only I had been basking in the presence of New York's loveliest space-heater, Miranda Kerr.
The 29-year-old Australian model, who Wikipedia tells me "rose to prominence in 2007 as one of the Victoria's Secret Angels" and who is married to the guy who played Legolas, yesterday appeared in the lingerie chain's fashion show in which, as every year, a jewel-studded bra ensemble is engineered to "steal the show." But she stole it despite her humble raiment that one celebrity website called a "forest green encrusted lingerie creation." (I don't think words describing underwear should ever be described as encrusted, and "forest green" only adds to the queasy feeling it gives me.)
With its plunging neckline and velvet texture adorned with iridescent diamante stars, Miranda looked like a vision of opulence in the fairtytale inspired outfit which was set off with a feather-shouldered shawl, red strappy heels and an antenna-themed head piece.
So, the guys at the New York Post (and they probably weren't all guys but let's just guess the girls were, mostly, just being game here) decided that what New York needs, now more than ever, is a picture of a pretty lady to look at. It's impossible to imagine that Kerr, whose body temperature I hope was hovering around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit at the time, could exist in this outfit if she were not encased in a balmy microclimate of male lust. Come closer, warm your hands by her green fire!
"GOD HATES US!" reads the headline which is now unavailable to Tina Brown for any of the remaining issues of Newsweek.
But the seriousness is as faux as those feathers sprouting out of Kerr's birdlike head. See there's an ellipsis ... and the text continues in a red arrow-shaped box pointing to Kerr's crotch, reading "... but we have an angel."
A line of text near the top is only superfluous because of the cognitive dissonance of reading an obvious storm headline that's next to a pretty, underdressed lady: "Sandy, now snow & ice."
This morning Pat Kiernan was anchoring his regular "In the Papers" morning segment and credited the News for putting in its headline today exactly his sentiments: "THIS SUCKS!" It's what I was thinking too, but of course, one wants the tabloids to take what you're thinking and dial it up a bit into something better and funnier and more theatrical, no?
The text is beneath a woman seeming frantic in her efforts to scrape her windshield as the continents of gloppy snow fill the air. We all know about this kind of snow, which is very photogenic and creates very heavy-looking coverage but which essentially melts under pressure from tires and is gone before morning. But coming out of the sky, it looks really intense in a still photo, compared to the slowly falling powdery stuff that falls for hours and is the source of most of New York City's really severe snowfalls.
Another anodyne needless dek: "First Sandy, then we get slammed by snowstorm." I knew that, guys.
And that is perhaps the problem with this story, which is unavoidable for the front page but which is, after all, about something we all already ploughed through ourselves. First there was a hurricane! Then a northeaster!
Of course, if this storm had really been serious there might have been something really dramatic to do. Gerritsen Beach on the south shore of Brooklyn* was targeted as the most vulnerable area, and there, for the most part, people cowered in the cold in unheated apartments as, strangely, their lights for the most part came back on.
Of course it creates backtracks for local power companies' efforts to get everyone back on the grid, but honestly fairly small backtracks. When you consider that half of lower Manhattan was dark for the better part of a week, 10,000 newly powerless customers here and there seems like a small setback, with all due respect and concern for those effected.
OBSERVATIONS: Well, when you've got no choice but to put this bathos-laden snowstorm on your front page, you may as well at least have some fun with it, right? And if the Post isn't quite selling my kind of fun I'm at least willing to play along. Hasn't all of our good taste succumbed, a bit, to cabin fever?
WINNER: New York Post.
* I swear, I know very well that Gerritsen Beach is in Brooklyn! Right next to Sheepshead Bay! Due to dumbness, an original version read "south shore of Queens." I apologize to everyone!