Great Moments In Headline Writing

This Howard Kurtz piece takes the cake:

Kristol Severs Ties With the N.Y. Times

Bill Kristol was fired. Let go. Canned. He severed his ties to the Times in much the same way that a barnacle severs its ties with a ship when it is scraped off and tossed into the rancid muck.

I suppose the WaPo editors have to spin his FIRING FROM THE NY TIMES positively, since they have decided to give him a shot.

*** Update ***

An idea from the comments: what if the Washington Post editors wrote the headline to this story:

It might look like this:

Tens of Thousands of Workers Sever Their Ties With Their Employers

By CATHERINE RAMPELL
Published: January 26, 2009

After years of employment, tens of thousands of workers are exploring other options, as they have chosen to sever their relationship with their employers.

*** Update ***

Apparently TBOGG and I are having some sort of freakish mind-meld. There are no unique thoughts on the internet.

Discuss.






29 replies
  1. 1
    J Royce says:

    Bill Kristol could have been shot from a cannon into a concrete wall and the Kurtz’s headline would be: "Kristol makes Big Splash in New Venue."

    Oh, wait, I’m mixing my fantasy life with my online life again.

  2. 2
    Napoleon says:

    This is like the time I refused Jessica Alba’s advances.

  3. 3
    rapid says:

    excellent! "smelling muck" – fantastic! more like this please.

  4. 4
    zzyzx says:

    These are the two leading stories at the Seattle PI’s (official motto: Not out of business YET) website:

    40,000 U.S. jobs get axed in one day

    Increase in state-run liquor stores urged

    The second should really be a sidebar of the first.

  5. 5
    wvng says:

    And he is perhaps the most prominent and ubiquitous of media critics. Which is perhaps why we have the media we have.

  6. 6
    Walker says:

    And he is perhaps the most prominent and ubiquitous of media critics. Which is perhaps why we have the media we have.

    I really think that he was the greatest coup of the right-wing movement. Get a rabidly partisan person to appear as a media critic in order to attack news that benefits progressives and defend news that benefits conservatives.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @rapid: ahh, the joy of changing a word in a sentence and not fixing everything after it.

    WTB EDITOR, PST.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    Bill Kristol was fired. Let go. Canned. He severed his ties to the Times in much the same way that a barnacle severs its ties with a ship when it is scraped off and tossed into the rancid muck.

    ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!

    I don’t quite see where you’re going with this.

  9. 9
    flounder says:

    From an exchange I had with Kurtz in his chat 2 weeks ago:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02382.html

    Factual ideology: It is really easy to look up some of Republican Joe Scarborough’s recent gaffe’s (e.g. his fact-free rants about Al Franken "stealing" an election, or his fascination that Obama and Blagojevich have some sort of close relationship). I don’t MSNBC’s embrace of ideology is going as smooth as you think.
    Howard Kurtz: "Morning Joe" (a show I like) is the only MSNBC program hosted by a conservative, albeit one who spent plenty of time criticizing his Republican Party over the last two years. Tucker Carlson has been banished. The evening programming is handled by Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, who just got finished exploring running for the Senate from Pennsylvania as a Democrat.

    Got that, Tucker Carlson was "banished"
    Here’s the second part:

    Banished!: Tucker Carlson was not "banished." He had poor ratings and his show was canned. That is called the free market working. Ask a right winger like Tucker Carlson about how the free market works sometime. In fact, some would look at Carlson’s long-term history of anemic ratings (or Glen Beck’s) and use it make the argument that right wingers are given way more of chance to succeed than a liberal ever has (see Donahue, Phil).
    Howard Kurtz: Why could Tucker, a smart guy, not have continued as a contributor and commentator? MSNBC just didn’t have much appetite for his services.

    The guy is an embed from the Red State Strikeforce.

  10. 10
    jibeaux says:

    I don’t see why my local paper’s headline couldn’t have been "47,000 former employees sever ties with employers", then. Would’ve been less alarming than what they went with

  11. 11
    Comrade Darkness says:

    I still say Kristol got a job because the Bushies got blackmail material off their wiretaps. Nice to see the East Coast Liberal Rags taking turns paying the hush money. Very egalitarian of them.

  12. 12
    Tony J says:

    Reminds me of a headline that appeared, ISTR, in the (London) Times way back in the day.

    "Fog in Channel – Continent cut off."

  13. 13
    Joshua Norton says:

    Obviously the logic for hiring Kristol Meth to write a column is also associated with that theory about monkeys typing Shakespeare – sooner or later he’ll get something right.

  14. 14
    Xenos says:

    Howard Kurtz: Why could Tucker, a smart guy, not have continued as a contributor and commentator? MSNBC just didn’t have much appetite for his services.

    Tucker was on Mourning Joe this very day, lecturing Charlie Gasparino of CNBC about how the markets work. It got to the point that even Barnicle had to tell Tucker to clam it. No news from Tucker, no analysis, just the spectacle of a preppie with a non-honors degree from Trinity College upbraiding real journalists with his Heritage Foundation prepared propaganda.

    And Kurtz wants more Tucker? If Kurtz was honest, he would just declare ‘Exterminate the brutes!’

  15. 15
    Nikki says:

    John,

    Do you post in the Washington Post’s comments section as "sashal"? If not, someone copied and pasted your blog post there with the "smelling muck" wording.

  16. 16
    Keith says:

    I would have preferred "Kristol Leaves Times to Pursue Other Opportunities"

  17. 17
    Ash Can says:

    Kristol Left Holding Severs Severed Ties With the N.Y. Times

    You’re welcome, Howard.

  18. 18
    Xenos says:

    Correction- how could I forget? Tucker never graduated from Trinity. He stayed the full eight semesters on Daddy’s dime, and could not be bothered to cobble together 32 gut courses to get his BA.

    He makes Megan McArdle look like an intellectual.

  19. 19
    Rick Taylor says:

    Off topic, but it’s striking how the Republican modus operandi seems to be to fuck up everything as much as they can, then when they become a minority as a result, to work as hard as they can to prevent the new administration from cleaning the mess they made. Currently, unsurprisingly, they’re opposing any stimulus bill, even after Obama threw in a bunch of tax cuts to try to buy them off. And now they’re throwing spanners in the works when we try to close Gitmo; Rove is shouting American’s won’t stand for Guantanamo prisoners to be allowed in the United States, citing Nimby, and three Republicans trying to pass a bill preventing them from being allowed in Kansas. As far as I can tell, Republicans are worse than useless, and we’d be better off without them.

  20. 20
    RSA says:

    Kristol Severs Ties With the N.Y. Times

    I severed my ties with the Washington Post this morning, by walking by a news stand without buying a copy. No hard feelings, guys.

  21. 21
    Xenos says:

    Republicans are worse than useless, and we’d be better off without them.

    That would make a nice headline: "Republican politicians sever their ties with American voters."

  22. 22
    Brian J says:

    I severed my ties with the Washington Post this morning, by walking by a news stand without buying a copy. No hard feelings, guys.

    Sometimes, I think that Brad DeLong and Dean Baker should expand their scope outside of articles devoted mostly to economics from The Post, The Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Then again, they are pretty busy as it is by sticking purely to economics, so if they did that, they might never sleep.

  23. 23
    ricky says:

    Well, if Kurtz was around during Watergate, would a column
    on Woodward and Bernstein be headlined "Despite threats,
    Post Publisher’ Teats Still Wringer Free"

  24. 24
    ricky says:

    How About an article in Lifestyle:

    Unbound by Ties to Times, Kristol Keeps Shining

  25. 25
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    John Bobbitt s– oh forget it.

  26. 26
    rapid says:

    John
    I really liked "smelling muck." It really pops out in a poetic sort of way. Just didn’t want you to think I was being snarky.

  27. 27
    Tony J says:

    I severed my ties with the Washington Post this morning, by walking by a news stand without buying a copy. No hard feelings, guys.

    I rather stupidly found myself on the WaPo’s online site reading Richard Cohen’s latest screed on why torturers shouldn’t be prosecuted for their crimes.

    Shorter Cohen – Bush had a 92% approval rating at one point + Rightwingers were writing about torture at the same time = Americans made an informed – if ethically mistaken – decision to support the Administration in mainstreaming torture, so no one involved should be punished when they were just doing what the public wanted.

    Even shorter Cohen – 9/11 changed everything!

    After picking my brain up off the floor I resolved never to make that mistake again. Other than Froomkin’s White House Watch and a couple of other writers that Hiatt hasn’t yet found a way to get rid of, Kristol is going to fit in just fine.

  28. 28
    jerry 101 says:

    Haven’t you noticed? The elite almost never get fired (whether its politics, journalism, or anything else).

    If they do get fired, its for an egregious and very public wrongdoing, usually tainted with scandal.

    I don’t recall any egregious public scandal-tainted wrong-doings by Kristol (aside from being Kristol), so the writer probably couldn’t wrap her mind around the idea that Bill Kristol was fired and did not quit.

    Elitists always resign. Sports coaches fail to win enough games…they tender their resignation.

    Us non-elites know that the individual tendered their resignation because they were told to, but they like to believe it was voluntary.

    Corrupt politicians fail – they resign, they don’t get impeached (except for Rod Blagojevich, who refused to resign – and look at how hard it is for some elitists to understand that. If he won’t resign, he must be innocent. Or else he’d resign) and removed from office.

    Failed CEO’s don’t get fired. They resign. Just look at that former Merrill Lynch CEO. He didn’t get canned for authorizing billions in bonus and over a hundred million for refurnishing is office. He resigned.

    Being fired is for little people.

  29. 29
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Kristol is using the old joke answer to a job interview question, "Why did you leave your last job?" Answer: It got so tense there after I was fired.

Comments are closed.