Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Clumsy headline ruins Page 1

Lance Armstrong in the prologue of the Tour de...
Lance Armstrong in the prologue of the Tour de France in July 2004 in Liege, Belgium (Wikipedia)

It's unclear how Editor Marty Gottlieb justifies covering nearly half of the front page today with two sports columns and a photo of that dope, Lance Armstrong, who turned the Tour de France into the Tour de Lies.

But any reader interest is squelched by the clunky headline from the copy and production desk of Editor Liz Houlton, The Record's Queen of Errors.

Here's the headline:

Cheater and inspiration

The lack of parallel construction completely throws readers. 

"Cheating and inspiring" or "From hero to liar" would have been better, but almost any other headline would have drawn rather than repelled readers.

How screw-ups like this happen time and again on the premier page of the paper is unknown. 

This, after all, is presumably the best story of the day, according to the sports-obsessed Gottlieb

Maybe the solution is to cut the clumsy, error-prone Houlton and her six-figure salary, just as the solution to a much better Local news section is to force head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes into early retirement.

Reporter is shut-in

On the front of Local, Staff Writer John Cichowski -- the so-called commuting columnist -- can't be bothered to report on the mass-transit crisis brought on by Superstorm Sandy.

Today, the Road Warrior column is filled with more inane questions from drivers about license plates and the MVC, written from the comfort of his desk chair  (L-1).

Senior moment

And on L-9 today, Your Money Columnist Kevin DeMarrais gets into the act by publishing a reader's question on E-ZPass charges he didn't recognize.

His consumer advice used to be called Your Money's Worth.

Most of DeMarrais' column is about those complex gym contracts, but he apparently doesn't know seniors like him can get the last laugh.

Some Medicare supplemental health insurance policies include free memberships in 24 Hour Fitness and other gyms. LOL.

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