The Examiner spells it out.
September 13, 2001 1:05 AM   Subscribe

The Examiner spells it out. As a newspaper page designer (for a much smaller, tamer paper), I wonder what you all think of the San Francisco Examiner's semi-profane but heartfelt front-page headline. On one hand, it's editorializing, but on the other, it expresses what an awful lot of people are thinking. I think I like it, but I also know it'd never get printed in a lot of papers, including my own.
posted by diddlegnome (23 comments total)
I think that is an excellent headline. In one world, it sums up a lot of people's feelings.

It bothers me when newspapers act impartial about things which are very clearly emotional.
posted by sycophant at 1:26 AM on September 13, 2001

I think a lot of people also forget that newspapers in America were not founded as impartial news sources. They were founded by rich people with political agendas, which is why there used to be at least two daily papers in most major cities.

The role of the American newspaper has changed (and despite the flaws of American journalism in all its media, I would say the change is mostly for the better) but the roots of American newspapering do not lie in objectivity.
posted by damn yankee at 1:35 AM on September 13, 2001

Pretty much every recent Examiner headline translates to: "Hey! We exist! We still matter! Really! Hey! You! Please pick me up! Pleeeeease?"

My other favorite recent headline: "WHADDAYATHINK?" My answer: "Hire an editor."

Casual language will only trick people into picking up the rag once. Actually turning out a quality newspaper might keep them coming back.

-- Derek, a disgruntled San Franciscan with a journalism degree
posted by fraying at 1:55 AM on September 13, 2001

Also at The Village Voice, and while it is an emotional issue, it should not (and I acknowledge that it currently seems to) be the position of the newspapers or news sources of any kind to dictate the emotions we should be feeling. And besides, how do we know that the terrorists were born out of wedlock? The FBI's not talking yet.
posted by j.edwards at 1:58 AM on September 13, 2001

One newspaper from Arkansas ran with the headline "WHO WOULD DO THIS?" I thought it was appropriate.
posted by bargle at 2:12 AM on September 13, 2001

That's the best headline I've seen yet. If the attacks had happened here in the UK you can bet that would be one of the milder headlines.
posted by Summer at 2:27 AM on September 13, 2001

Okay, that made me laugh. Sure, maybe bitter laughter, but still.
The first thought that came into my head was, "Yes!"
posted by Su at 2:30 AM on September 13, 2001

The Examiner is...well, half-cocked on even the best day. Still, this headline is at least understandable, if not technically correct.

I can't think of any other U.S. city, except maybe NY and its' beloved "Post", that would have the "personality" to allow this. Bless San Francisco!
posted by davidmsc at 3:09 AM on September 13, 2001

I, too, got a bit of a chuckle out of it. I think it was a bold headline, but I play by the rule that if a headline can be taken any other way than it was intended, emotionally or literally, it's probably best to go with something else.

And yeah, fraying, from the look of recent front pages, the Ex seems to currently be in the business of selling papers. Not necessarily reporting the news. It's still possible to do both, I hear.

But yes. I laughed. Guess that makes me a... oh, you know.
posted by crunchybird at 3:11 AM on September 13, 2001

Seems like an easy way to boost the circulation.
posted by asok at 3:48 AM on September 13, 2001

This is a big difference between US + UK papers - as someone else said, this kind of thing is normal for the UK, especially the tabloids (smaller format, more populist).

American friends of mine have criticised UK press beause they reckon it becomes difficult to separate fact from opinion. I'm torn between agreeing and arguing that what they take for fact in their own papers is simply opinion in different clothes (even a list of facts must be selected, which implies a viewpoint, as does the relative rating of different stories (Israeli and Palestinian deaths, for example)).
posted by andrew cooke at 4:22 AM on September 13, 2001

>Casual language will only trick people into picking up the rag once. Actually turning out a quality newspaper might keep them coming back

The Toronto Sun published yesterday with the exact same headline, and we all know the quality journalism they are famous for (read: sensationalistic garbage). I couldn't even bring myself to touch the paper, let alone open it.
posted by drgonzo at 4:45 AM on September 13, 2001

I think the 24/7 TV signal is starting to scramble my brain... I'm actually hearing the South Park kids when I see that headline. (I know, I know - total gallows humour - sorry...) But this is a moment beyond words. If I edited anything, anywhere it would have been an image of the first plane right before impact in the first tower. The inciting moment - wordless, hopeless and ir-reversible - freezing that moment in time before (we have yet to see but it looks like) Everything Changed - that would have said it (sold it) all.
posted by ao4047 at 5:23 AM on September 13, 2001

This is the "Bastards" headline, right? (I can't reach the Examiner site.) Isn't that a famous NYPost hed?
posted by rodii at 5:45 AM on September 13, 2001

Yeah. I can't get their either. What does it say?
posted by keith at 6:01 AM on September 13, 2001

I think it's quite acceptable in the circumstances to reflect what everyone's thinking. Part of the function of newspapers is to tap into popular feeling and it's actually more difficult than you think. There's a huge difference between rubbish tabloids (News of the World) and good ones (The Sun). That's why the sub editors on the UK's major tabloids are paid handsome salaries.
posted by Summer at 7:01 AM on September 13, 2001

The scene - a street corner in front of newspaper stand
8 year old child: "Mommy, what is a bastard?"
Mommy: "Well - the bastards are militant Muslims."
child: "Do we hate Muslims"
Mommy: "We hate who did this"
Child: "did a Muslim do this?"
Mommy: "we seem to think so"

Question - How can a child who reads this headline differentiate between those who did this awful act (the bastards) and those who are peaceful global citizens.

I think the headline needs a tremendous amount of explanation and the examiner should take responsibility for helping to perpetuate hate.
posted by Umpqua at 8:26 AM on September 13, 2001

Did anyone see the Philadelphia Daily News from yesterday? Damn, the page seems to be unavailable (Internal Server error) but I am sure that you will find it if it gets back up. I copied the headline and first few lines:


Hold on to that thought.

Go to bed thinking it. Wake up chanting it.

Because nothing less than revenge is called for today.

posted by adampsyche at 8:33 AM on September 13, 2001

I personally would have led with: "FUCK!?!"

Or possibly the (questionably) less offensive: "WTC 86'd...WTF?!"
posted by fooljay at 8:38 AM on September 13, 2001

none of the photos needed our commentary.
posted by fishfucker at 9:15 AM on September 13, 2001

I'm sorry, but it looks like a headline from The Onion to me.
posted by epersonae at 9:35 AM on September 13, 2001

You have to understand that the Examiner was recently bought and under new ownership. I don't even think they have subscriptions, I had one before it was bought, and never heard a word.

The owners used to publish, still do I guess, local neighborhood papers with really bad writing.

Good way to sell papers huh
posted by malmec at 9:40 AM on September 13, 2001

Isn't that a famous NYPost hed?

Yes, it is. It was run in the early 90s I think, fronting some other terrorism story. The Examiner and Voice are plagarizing.
posted by aaron at 11:28 AM on September 13, 2001

« Older Infoshare   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments