Cat as a Deadly Weapon
The New York Post this morning has a story about Kenley Collins, a young woman who was on the television show “Project Runway”, not to be confused with “America’s Next Top Model”. Collins was charged with assault with a deadly weapon against her (now) former fiance. The deadly weapon was a cat. Collins owns two cats and Police have so far been unable to determine which of the two,Sandra or Arlo, was used as the potential deadly weapon. Now why would this particular story make the front page of one of the best circulated newspapers in the United States ? Well, it is because headline writers at the Post wanted to emblazon “Pussy Whipped ! “ across the front page. This was an opportunity that probably would not come again in our lifetimes. I have never heard of a cat being used as a weapon. Interestingly, Collins is not being charged with cruelty to animals because, as was explained by New York animal control officials, the cat was not hurt.
Is that really the standard for cruelty to animals in New York ? You can use them to bash the face of a fiancé as long as the animal itself suffers no injuries.
But this is not a blog about animal cruelty or fiancé beating, or even the idiocy of television shows like “Project Runway”. No, this blog is another in my long series of tributes to the nations tabloids. It was brought on by my wife providing me with a link to a wonderful news service which displays newspapers from all over the world, just as you get them on your driveway. There’s the front page, you see the headlines and the pictures, you enlarge the stories you want to read, then you click on the upper corner of page one and it turns to page two. Or, you can look over to the side of your screen and see the thumbnails of every page in the newspaper and turn to the section or page you want to read. It is a remarkably satisfying experience and, at the end, you don’t have any black smudges on your fingers, unless your keyboard is dirty.
Newspapers are dying, one by one, and that’s too bad. I like newspapers. But can’t they continue to exist like this ? Won’t most people appreciate the opportunity to read a newspaper in (almost) the old fashioned way. Won’t people still want to wake up to a blaring headline of “Pussy Whipped ! “ in the New York Post, New York Daily News, Boston Guardian or Chicago Sun Times ? Yellow journalism was invented right here in America and, like any other great American institution, such as the Liberty Bell or Plymouth Rock, should be preserved for future generations. This new site not only preserves the New York Post, but gives millions of children who have never heard of the paper, a chance to see stories like “Pussy Whipped” on a daily basis. Do you think that once these newspapers are gone, CNN Online is going to tell us that story, or any of the other hundreds of wonderful stories which make it worthwhile to read a newspaper, nay, to get up in the morning. Of course not, we are going to be denied the joys of following Kenley Collins stories, “It was just a breakup gone bad” unless we tune into that wretched E channel where you have to watch the most loathsome person on planet Earth, Ryan Secrest to get the story. That’s not journalism, that’s just sensationalism.
Whether this site can save the newspaper is certainly open to question. But I have no doubt that it can save the tabloid, the real journalism in this country. We can then bequeath to our children the full legacy of the First Amendment and honor those giants of the early twentieth century who gave us a truly American art form, and, incidentally, plunged us into the Spanish –America War. May the memory of William Randolph Hearst and his contemporaries live forever. May the New York Post headline writers carry on for us until the end of time.