March 16th, 2009

Typewriter Guy

I am cranky

The Metro paper's slow descent into madness continues today with the headline about how YOUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS are funding a commuter rail initiative to build tunnels under the right-of-way for turtles (don't come crying to me, I'm from a town where we built tunnels for endangered salamanders and a band was named after them and so as far as I'm concerned, happy breeding amphibians = good and flattened squashed up amphibians = bad.) The headline reads "SHELL SHOCK".

Combined with last week's "BERN IN HELL" headline regarding the Madoff sentencing, the Metro is trying its darndest to sound like the NY Post or Boston Herald day by day. Puns sell papers, don't they? Even if it's a free daily? Let's not be delusional here, Metro.

Nobody chooses the Metro for its snappy pun-filled headlines. They do so for one or more of these reasons:
  • It was free
  • Some guy at the T stop was handing them out so I instinctively took one
  • It was lying on the train seat next to me
  • There was a puddle of something on the seat next to me so I used the copy on the floor to cover it
  • I get off on rehashed AP articles and unfunny comic strips
For added fun, one of the headlines on the sidebar read something like "Playboy Model Reminds Kim of Herself." I'm sure this was in reference to some snarky gossip column or possibly a celeb interview in the entertainment section, but man! Nothing like throwing a little context on your front page, eh? Or at least a headline that doesn't resemble an Onion line. At least throw us a bone and give "Kim" a last name so we know who the hell we're dealing with here.

Teasers on the front page ought to make a reader want to go to there because "I want to know what happened" or "I want to know more about what happened" and not because "I want to know what in the hell they're talking about." Oh, hell. Does it really matter anymore? Probably not. We'll be seeing teasers soon that say things like "OMG!! Page 14" or perhaps simply just "Page 8" and nobody will care either way.

You'll pardon me for weeping soft for the sad state of the newspaper industry because I finally started in (no spoilers now, it's new to me!) on Season 5 of The Wire and part of the story arc involves the Baltimore Sun and its fishwrappy problems. It's depressin' all around, and it's too early for whisky.