Wood War! Who Wins Today’s Grabby Tabloid Battle For Your Eyeballs?

New York Post: In these tough economic times, the white middle class is turning to murder. And it’s hard for a tabloid editor to know what to do for the best! Now the culprit is Long Island lawyer William Parente, who took his family to visit his daughter at Loyola College in Baltimore and killed his wife and two daughters before killing himself. Uncharacteristically for a suicide (or so our Law & Order–watching expertise tells us) he left no note, leaving only speculation about his motive. But there is plenty there: The man had established an elaborate Ponzi scheme that was about to fall apart, as checks to a withdrawing investor were about to bounce, thereby exposing Parente as a grifter. “$20M PONZI SLAY: Dad slaughtered family amid scam,” reads the main story on the front of today’s Post, a newspaper that can only hope that such indescribably ghastly crimes continue at the rate of one a day. The portrait of Parente’s daughter is inset, because in this case the victim (or one of them) is a more compelling piece of the puzzle than the rather plain-looking perpetrator, who gets a big photo on the inside. Craigslist what?

 

Melky Cabrera! Let’s give the guy a big hand. He delivered the home run that brought the Yankees to victory in a 14-inning game against the A’s … and it was his second home run of the game! This is one of those sports stories (and I am not an expert in the genre) that gives sports columnists the right to completely reverse themselves in their assessment of a player simply by playing an unlikely success as a Big Surprise. “Yanks have blast: Melky HR wins 14-inning marathon” screams the upper deck of the Post front page. “Melky Cabrera has packed a lot of ups and downs into a short career,” says George A. King III, and the article packs a few ups and downs for Mr. Cabrera in a single game.

Readers of the Observer already knew that Woody Allen’s new movie was opening up the Tribeca Film Festival. But with Larry David and Woody in the house, the Post doesn’t seem to have much material. “The new Woody Allen,” the headline reads. It’s almost as though somebody accidentally just took the story’s slug from the lineup and made it the headline. What about the New Woody Allen?

Daily News: Yesterday I lectured the Daily News not to be afraid to keep following the Craigslist killer on its front page. I regret the error. Today’s News goes full-page on the preppy pre-med student, with a “CHILLING DAILY NEWS EXCLUSIVE” about how he tried to drunkenly kiss a girl in college and also pretended to be less smart in organic chemistry than he was. Monster! “‘CRAIGSLIST KILLER AND ME'” reads the main hed, then: “Beauty tells of frightening encounter with accused murder.” And then! FULL STORY AND REVEALING PICTURES.” Wow. This is a guy who set up email accounts to contact prostitutes on Craigslist and then beat them up for money and in one case killed them, and so a reader could be forgiven for thinking it possible that the News might have drummed up a terrible story of a young woman who escaped from his grasp and lived to tell the tale. Morgan Houston is not that story. The “beauty” (she does seem quite pretty!) tells a harrowing tale of—actually she just tells a sort of tale of a night out during college that probably would get the hook at a Take Back the Night speak-out. If you haven’t bought the Daily News yet, don’t buy it for this. But if you have, you probably got suckered. That’s the way the Wood warps!

General observations: O.K., Daily News, yesterday was the day for a big take on the Craigslist killer. Today wasn’t. And you’ve got … nothing! Haven’t you heard about the Baltimore Ponzi Slay?

Winner: New York Post. Wood War! Who Wins Today’s Grabby Tabloid Battle For Your Eyeballs?