TABLOIDED: Hill and Obama's Last Dance?

Categories: Media

The end, it would seem, is drawing near for the Hillary versus Obama storyline, and so we have both New York City tabs giving the narrative its proper last hurrah. The Post goes to its trusty Photoshop department and gussies up the candidates like a pair of high plains drifters for its cover. The headline says “HIGH NOON” and the subhead says “Hill & Obama in shootout.” The News focuses on Hillary, pictured with with half-closed eyes looking downward, under the headline “WIN OR IT'S ADIOS.”

At the very least, New Yorkers will still have Clinton as their senator so it's not like she's going to be relegated to the dustbins of history, but we get the point. The News' Mike Lupica weighs in on the race and quotes the legendary Jack Newfield on RFK saying he had “misread the temper of this time” in the 1968 Democratic primary. Clinton, Lupica says, made a similar mistake trying to run on a theme of change and as an incumbent all at once, as if the nation didn't suffer for eight years under the worst administration ever.

The Post's photo selections go along with its headline “Barack Goes for Hill Kill.” Barack is looking supremely confident in a pair of shades while a double-chinned Hillary is shown waving two fingers in a somewhat feeble 'V' for victory sign. The rest of the Post election coverage looks to be a good indicator at how the storyline will change for Barack. There's shorter piece on the trial of Tony Rezko, the Chicago developer and Obama benefactor, who is facing corruption charges, and a longer piece about how Obama said he would not meet with Hamas, clarifying earlier remarks about how he would sit down with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela. If it is indeed an Obama-McCain presidential race, expect this "do we talk to our enemies" theme to pop up again and again.

On Page 3 of our local tabs is where the fun starts however. Kevin Federline gets the Britney treatment from the Post which played up a paparazzi shot of a schlubby K-Fed swinging a golf club with a dorky expression on his face and roll of fat hanging over his belt. The headline reads “From K-Fed to overfed.” Nice one. We're confused though, we thought K-Fed was a hardcore gangsta rapper, so we are having a hard time reconciling that with this image of him as suburban “ex-hubby tubby.”

On Page 3 of the Daily News, we meet Sal Cicconi, Sergio Ocasio, and Samantha Rodriguez, three self-styled paranormal investigators from BK. They call their outfit “Brooklyn Ghost Investiations” and offer to chase away any unwanted spirits. What's amazing, the News reports, is that they actually had a client: a Red Hook man who said he had two ghosts in his apartment. They couldn't get the ghosts to leave though they tried with a homemade oujia board.

The big news of the day in the Sean Bell trial was the testimony of undercover Det. Hispolito Sanchez who testified that one of Sean Bell's friends yelled “Go get my gun” twice moments before cops unleashed a hail of 50 bullets outside of Kalua Cabaret. The Post headlines the testimony “Bell pal weapon 'threat'” with the subhead “Go get my gun!” The News story is headlined “COP SAYS BELL PAL MADE GUN THREAT.” Where it gets interesting is the subhead in the News: “ 'I think he lied counter lawyers for Sean's family.”

That assertion is made again by Bell family attorney Neville Mitchell in paragraph eight of the News's story. The Post's shorter Bell article does not mention this claim. Maybe one of the News reporters chased down the lawyer during the break and got the quote? Interesting.

The News has a Bell case exclusive about how an NYPD crime scene captain ordered Sean Bell's car door dismantled in an effort to find a gun that would prove Bell and his buddies were armed—thereby justifying the shooting. But the gun was never found, and a source told the News that it was lucky that removing the door did impede the reconstruction of the crime. An NPYD spokesman said the door removal was a non-issue and a smear.

Dueling columnists for the tabs have quite different takes on the case. The Post's Andrea Peyser lays it all out in the kicker to her column: “Bell's killing was a tragedy. But the judge must see it was not a crime.” The News' Errol Louis offers a more nuanced rumination on the crime. Using Hispolito Sanchez's testimony that he was “an undercover ghost” on the Kalua detail that fateful night, Louis counts all of the ghosts in that room: the spirits of Sean Bell, Ousmane Zongo, and Amadou Diallo. But Louis also recalls the spirits of Robert Parker and Patrick Rafferty, two NYPD detectives, one black, one white, gunned down on the job together.

It's a tragedy all around. Perhaps what will come out of it, at the very least, is a reassessment of whether these Kalua Cabaret-type investigations are the best use of the city's police resources.

PUNTASTIC HEADLINE FUN
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From the Post:
Koran defiler feces the music – Former Pace student who dumped a holy Koran into the school's toilet gets community service

"The Black Hole" – Conrad Black's prison sentence

"Transit Riders Cry: Pay What" – MetroCard fare hike confusion

From the News:

"Angry Barack's Bam-barded by the media" – Obama gets a little snippy with the press.

GOSSIP: Page Six reports that the Village Voice's own Michael Musto will appear on this week's cover sending up the New York magazine cover of Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn Monroe. Wha-what?!?




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