Who’s winning the battle of the front pages?

The Daily News has a non-story–blowhard Braunstein relative mouths off–set up to look like a real story of family intrigue. The Post has a sort-of-story–a public tiff over the nomenclature of a decorated municipal tree–set up to look like a non-story about the generic and tiresome War on Christmas.

So the Daily News ought to be the winner. Except the paper tags Peter Braunstein as a “RAPE FUGITIVE” at the top of the page. Sorry, folks. Protracted, chloroform-assisted molestation, yes. Actual rape, no. That’s an actionable error of fact, in all caps on a red background. Time to apply J-school rules and hand out an automatic F.

That gives the one-on-one contest to the Post by default. Even though, for the record, it didn’t even have the best presentation of its own lead story. That belonged to Newsday, which not only had a far less stupid headline, but was able to run a picture of the specific tree at issue, not a stock photo.

Winner: New York Post

Overall standings: Daily News 15, New York Post 13