Today, the biggest features of Obamacare kick in. Not coincidentally, the Federal government has shut down in a sea of fingerpointing and wishful thinking — mostly, on the part of Tea Party Congressmen wishing to repeal Obamacare.
Here’s a look at five notable front pages and one — the one that everyone appears to be talking about today — that I despise…
Instead of focusing on the shutdown — which, after all, a) Many papers put on page one Monday, and b) Could potentially have been averted not long after press deadline last night — The Washington Post’s Express tabloid put the ongoing political battle over Obamacare on today’s cover, in the form of giant pills.
The little pointer boxes — a la those ubiquitous pharmaceutical ads with all the warnings and disclaimers — are a nice touch.
The photoillustration is uncredited.
LAS VEGAS SUN
Las Vegas, Nev.
“No, no no. It’s a suppository!”
That’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Chris Morris, illustrating for his former paper.
While many, many papers today used pictures of the Capitol building on page one today, the Virginian-Pilot managed to turn that visual cliché on its head today.
That cover was designed by Josh Bohling.
The Pilot has a long history of pushing big stories above the nameplate like this. That works particularly well when there’s a big story that deserves centerpiece play — like the shutdown — but when they also have big local news: The sentencing after a high-profile local conspiracy trial.
Yes, this has been done before. But it’s still a fairly fresh way to signal “shutdown” without using the Capitol building or a “Sorry, we’re closed” sign.
Note how the two little icons below match the red of the shutoff symbol. Most of us would be tempted to keep the little U.S. flag in its natural colors.
The only downside on this page that I can find: The clumsy wording of the refer. Say “inside” or “back page,” but not both.
My favorite front page of the day is this one by the Northwestern of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This would have been designed in the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa.
Several papers, over the past few days, have used images of the power players in Washington. But the designer here — I’m told it was Dave Lafata, a recent graduate of Central Michigan — used an old trick to focus on just the eyes of John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Harry Reid.
Think of it as a cinematic treatment, but on paper.
New York, N.Y.
And, of course, everyone is talking about this page today.
Note the, um, unidentified material dripping from John Boehner’s hands.
Don’t get me wrong: I laughed as hard as anyone else today when I saw this page.
But consider this: This metaphor comparing Boehner to the consummate power player is a bit weak. In this particular instance, Boehner seems as much a victim as anyone: As House majority leader, he’s caught between factions of his own party he can’t — and, most likely, will never be able to — please. Even the copy at the upper right of the photoillustration admits this.
The GOP isn’t holding the country hostage. The Tea Party is holding the country — including Congress and John Boehner — hostage.
Unlike the last time, when Newt Gingrich was clearly at fault for faulty brinksmanship.
Secondly: Daily News, if you’re going to create a talker cover like that, please take the time to have a copy editor look over the little cover blurb. You’re missing at least one word there: An “a,” perhaps, on the second line between “and” and “Tea Party.”
Here it is again:
Despite all this, everyone seems to be loving this cover today:
- Huffington Post: “NY Daily News Shutdown Cover is Incredible”
- The Atlantic: “You win the morning”
- Mediaite: “the graphic-heavy way we’ve all come to know and love”
- Talking Points Memo: “NY Daily News Mocks Boehner As Shutdown Arrives”
- Business Insider: “Daily News Wins For The Most Vivid Shutdown Cover”
So despite the poor metaphor, despite the poor copy editing, despite the potty humor, the Daily News seems to have succeeded in creating another talker.
What a poor, poor reflection on those of us who are media critics.
All of these front pages are from the Newseum. Of course.