I have a confession to make. I read the Daily News every day. The New York Daily News.
I rarely read the NYDN when I lived in New York, my birthplace and home for my first 35 years of life (with a couple of tries elsewhere that didn’t take, not including college, which I spent in that lovely White Jewel of Lake Erie, Buffalo, NY).
It just wasn’t done, reading the News. First, there was Newsday, which was my hometown Long Island paper, a perennial Pulitzer contender. And of course, required reading was the NY Times, which is still one of the best newspapers anywhere even if they can be a bit infuriating on occasion.
The News, despite its long history and some excellent journalists like Jimmy Breslin, Dick Young, Mike Lupica, Liz Smith, was a “tabloid,” and even though it reported serious news, it was all buried in the sensationalist stuff that people seem to like more and more these days, as the glut of reality TV proves. And all the pictures that go along with it. Compare to the Times’ sparing use of tasteful black and white photos.
After moving to LA, I continued to get the Times delivered, and also read the LA Times to get the local news. Of course, I don’t read the whole paper. Everyone knows a few people, usually someone’s dad, who saved every NY Times with the intent of reading it front to back, invariably resulting in a large stack of papers that would only be read in the event of an early retirement. That’s not me.
When the digital papers hit, they were free online. This was great… for readers. Not so good for the papers, many of which didn’t survive the transition. Slowly but surely, they all started with digital subscriptions. First the NY Times. Then the LA Times. Even the Buffalo Evening News. They’d let you read a few for free to hook you, and then drop the hammer.
The Daily News remained free until recently. Then they made the printed edition smaller and fired half the staff. But it’s still the Daily News, and so even though I don’t pay for the Times, I decided I need to read the Daily News. And it’s a pretty cheap subscription that checks a lot of boxes for me.
First, I’m still a fan of NY sports teams, which the News covers in great detail, so that takes care of that. And there’s some news with local NY flavor, and all those great photos. And NY politics and celebrities. The subway. And food. It feels like home.
But people make fun of the Daily News’ predominance of stories about the crazy things people do. The Daily News does all the work, they look for stories from all over the country and globe about the unbelievably stupid, gross, horrific and occasionally funny things people do. I used to not care about these kinds of things, but once you see the train wreck, it’s hard to look away.
For example, this is an actual headline from today’s paper, not the front page, but one of the top stories in the digital edition:
INDIANA WOMAN WHO STABBED BOYFRIEND 39 TIMES DURING SEX GAME RELEASED FROM PRISON AFTER SERVING 18 YEARS
I don’t see how anyone could resist the lure of this headline. Of course, the main question raised here is, what kind of sex game involves stabbing? Unfortunately, there were no details of said sex game, which is probably a policy of the paper because there are so many dimwits in the world that one of them, or more than one, would decide that this game is just the thing they were looking for to pass the time with a loved one or new friend.
They had a picture. Let’s just say that if I saw this woman without knowing anything about her, I would have a bad feeling and not try to make friends. I don’t need to explain why. Here she is. FYI, she got two years off for good behavior.
This is her mug shot, so who knows what she looks like now, but I shudder to think that this will turn up as a profile pic on some dating site. Kind of like Morticia Addams gone wrong. Beware! Of course, the original Mrs. Addams, Carolyn Jones, wouldn’t be caught dead playing a game such as this. May she rest in peace.
Okay, so now that you’re on the sex crimes page, you get headlines to similar content, just like any other website algorithm (I don’t know what an algorithm is exactly, but I like to throw the word around so you think I know what I’m talking about). This leads me to share the following actual headline. I’m sorry for the imagery, but you can thank me for not including this woman’s picture, which would only make the imagery even more nausea-inducing.
MISSOURI WOMAN TRIES TO FORCE MAN TO HAVE ORAL SEX BY ATTACKING HIM AND SITTING ON HIS FACE: COPS
If you’re like me, you laughed upon reading these words because they are so ridiculous, then you realized what they meant and started to feel a little queasy and the ashamed for laughing. Don’t worry, it’s normal. The feeling will pass, and then you’ll go ahead and read the article anyway. Or maybe not, because there is a picture of this woman and you’re welcome (that I didn’t post it because you can’t un-see her).
Apparently the victim was her housemate and he tried to run away, without much luck.
Again, I apologize if I offend or upset anyone, but the headline was too good to pass up. Besides, my 88 year-old Mom reads this blog. If she can handle it, so can you. (To be fully transparent, Mom reminded me on the phone tonight that she won’t be 88 until November 1, 2019.)
Sometimes, a headline is so entertaining, even if you don’t know anything about the subject matter and couldn’t give a good damn, you are intrigued:
GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE ‘GLAD’ BRIENNE OF TARTH SLEPT WITH JAIME LANNISTER ON ‘GAME OF THRONES,’ DESPITE DOOMED RELATIONSHIP
Never watched the show. Well, once (“SHAME! SHAME!”). Don’t know anything about any of the characters. Don’t care about the show or any of the characters. Still, I want to read this for some reason. Probably a character flaw. I love how the writer talks about these characters as though they are real people.
And finally, there are all the other collections of pictures and click-bait. The Kardashian-Jenner clan is always good for a headline, as such:
KIM KARDASHIAN, KANYE WEST & FAMILY INDULGE AT DAYTON CHEESECAKE FACTORY (TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW)
This would seem to be just the kind of thing someone like me wants to see, but it isn’t. I really dislike the Kardashians, Kanye lost his credibility, and the Cheesecake Factory is a heart attack with four walls. Although Kiki says the cheesecake is actually pretty good. Now there’s a headline!
KIKI ON CHEESECAKE AT CHEESECAKE FACTORY: “ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD”
And speaking of the Kardashian-Jenner people:
KENDALL JENNER KEEPS UP WITH SUMMER WHILE LOUNGING IN CHEETAH-PRINT BIKINI
Pass. I really can’t stand these people. The less they are wearing, the more I can’t stand them.
Speaking of people I can’t stand (but it’s nothing personal):
JUSTIN, HAILEY BIEBER WELCOME ADORABLE NEW KITTEN SUSHI TO FAMILY
Awww, isn’t that just so freakin’ adorable! Sushi! He likes fish, I bet! Probably actually gets fed sushi by his keeper. He can afford it. So happy for them!
And that’s the News for today. Sorry if you’re a little queasy after that. To make up for it, here are a few pictures of beautiful flowers from around the neighborhood. These were all on one block. Summer flowers in peak bloom.
This is where I usually put in this cute reference to my novel, Smoking in Bed: dreams of love, sex and terrorism and ask you to read it. But if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’ve asked you many times. In fact, I’m coming up on the first anniversary of kleimansays.com, which means I’ve asked you to read the damn novel about 50 times. That’s a little excessive, so I’m not going to do it this week. Oh, wait, I think I just did.
Have a great week and take time to smell the roses!