Category Archives: Virtual Front Page

Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, October 28, 2016

How big a deal is this Clinton emails story? Well, years ago when I was a front-page editor I had occasion to study the front pages of major papers across the country, and I concluded the NYT had THE most exquisite, nuanced sense of how important a story was, and how to play it. Most days, the NYT's Web lede is confined to one column. Here's how they played this.

How big a deal is this Clinton emails story? Well, years ago when I was a front-page editor I had occasion to study the front pages of major papers across the country very carefully, and I concluded the NYT had THE most exquisite, nuanced sense of how important a story was, and how to play it. Most days, the NYT’s Web lede is confined to one column. Here’s how they played this (three columns, essentially).

I promised y’all an Open Thread, but decided on a VFP instead (if you care what the difference is, ask and I’ll explain down in the comments):

  1. FBI to review Clinton emails found on Weiner’s device (WashPost) — At this point, if you’re Hillary Clinton, the last thing you want to see — on every major news outlet’s lede story — is your name and “Weiner” in the same headline. Right now, the candidate’s wishing Anthony and Huma were still together so she could tell Huma to go slap him up ‘side the head.
  2. Stocks Rattled by Clinton Email Review (WSJ) — Yeah, I’ll bet.
  3. Recreation board refuses Haley’s request for sexual harassment report (The State) — This is a bit old now — it was in The State this morning. But… really? I love the sarcastic nod to transparency when the board came out of executive session to make this decision in a three-minute public session. Why’d they do this? Well, “Green and the five board members at the meeting refused comment and left the meeting without speaking to reporters.”
  4. U.N.: ISIS Is Using Tens Of Thousands Of Civilians As Human Shields In Mosul (NPR) — Yep, that sounds like something they’d do. Anyway, while Anthony “Look at My” Weiner is paralyzing the world’s greatest democracy, this is going on…
  5. Why do so few Americans vote? (BBC) — We are a never-ending source of fascination to our friends, the Brits. They just can’t get over our little quirks.
  6. 2nd District debate will be shown live on YouTube (The State) — That’s good to know. And the Series should be over by then, so I might even watch it. If I do, I’ll live-Tweet it…

Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, October 17, 2016

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Just as an exercise in discipline, I’m going to force myself to do a VFP despite this being a light news day. Hey, real newspapers have to, so it’s good to keep my hand in. To make it even harder, I’ll stick to the old 1980s-era rule of having six stories. No copping out:

  1. Iraqi troops ‘ahead of schedule’ in Mosul battle against IS (BBC) — Yep, I’m leading with something actually important enough to be the lede, rather than something that merely entertains you. And I’m not sorry.
  2. SC Chamber’s political arm backs Democrat McLeod (The State) — This surprise you? It certainly surprised me, since Mia isn’t even the first choice of all the Democrats in her district. This is a real coup for her, and a blow to Susan Brill. I wanted to read more, but it doesn’t seem to be on the group’s website yet.
  3. NPR Poll: Are Parents Overrating The Quality Of Child Care? (NPR) — The answer, by the way, is yes. This is similar to what we found at ADCO doing focus groups for a group working with Child Care Services division of DSS a few years back: People tend to rationalize that their childcare provider is just fine.
  4. NFL ratings plunge could spell doom for traditional TV (WashPost) — This story’s actually a couple of three days old, but I just enjoyed it on so many levels that I thought I’d share it. Meanwhile, Netflix just had a huge jump in its stock.
  5. Ecuador cut off Julian Assange’s internet access, WikiLeaks says (The Guardian) — Good for Ecuador, my childhood home! And I thought they didn’t love us anymore…
  6. Nobel panel gives up knockin’ on Dylan’s door (The Guardian) — The folks in Stockholm can’t get a response from him. This is so Dylan. They shouldn’t worry, though, until he changes his voicemail recording to “Positively 4th Street.”

How about that? Despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of hard news out there, I came up with a pretty interesting, diverse set of topics for you. And nothing about Donald Trump! You can thank me later.

And no, I’m not deliberately ignoring the situation with the Iranian-backed rebels shooting at a U.S. warship. But we had a good discussion about that earlier, and I’m not seeing any new developments on it today. I looked…

Your Virtual Front Page for Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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The top stories out there at the moment:

  1. Recreation Commission director indicted on misconduct in office charge (The State) — Some of you have wondered when, oh when, some of these investigations might bear fruit. Well, here you go. And it really didn’t take all that long. The bigger problem is that in any normally constituted system of government, he’d have been fired by now. That is the systemic flaw that needs to be addressed.
  2. No warning for flooded Little Pee Dee River residents (Sun-News) — The effects of Matthew are not over, people. And if you like numbers better than words, here’s an attempt to tally the costs thus far.
  3. Fearing backlash, some Republicans fall back in line behind Trump (WashPost) — These Republicans are a bunch of… what’s that word Trump likes to use so much?
  4. What’s In The Latest WikiLeaks Dump of Clinton Campaign Emails (NPR) — I haven’t found a lot to get excited about, but that’s me — I would never want to give that creep Assange the satisfaction.
  5. Fed Officials Plan to Increase Rates ‘Relatively Soon’ (WSJ) — For those of you who hang breathlessly on such reports. I know it’s important; I just find it so hard to care. Not that I don’t understand it. It’s about money, right?
  6. Harrison Ford’s Star Wars injury results in $2m fine for British firm (The Guardian) — He was injured by the hydraulic door of the Millennium Falcon. Personally, I think he should have sued that ship’s owner and operator. Oh, wait…
Who cares if it made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs? This door is a threat to life and limb...

Who cares if it made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs? This door is a threat to life and limb…

Your Virtual Front Page, Monday, October 3, 2016

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Here’s what we have on this auspicious day:

  1. U.S. Ends Syria Talks Over Russia’s Role in Aleppo Attacks (NYT) — And it that’s not bad enough, consider this related story, which if anything is more ominous…
  2. Russia suspends weapons-grade plutonium deal with US (BBC) — This was one of those reassuring byproducts of the end of the Cold War. Now, Putin’s backing away from it.
  3. Colombia and FARC scramble to rescue peace deal amid worries of return to war (The Guardian) — Talk about an election shocker. All those stories about peace at last; now this…
  4. The bombshell about Trump’s taxes (NYT) — Yeah, this broke over the weekend, but I didn’t post about it then, so it still makes the VFP today. This is such a big story, the rival Washington Post wrote a piece on how this fell into the NYT‘s lap.
  5. N.Y. attorney general orders Trump Foundation to cease fundraising (WashPost) — This shaped up to be a pretty big news day, but where would we have been without Trump and his best bud Putin?
  6. Years before his ‘Aleppo moment,’ Gary Johnson showed little interest in the details of governing (WashPost) — Hey, Johnson got some major media attention! But it doesn’t help! Sorry, Doug.

Hey, I would have included something light, to help with the mix, but there was too much news.

Your Virtual Front Page for Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016

Haven’t given you one of these in awhile. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of news today:

  1. Two children shot at SC elementary school, suspect in custody (The State) — This is what I meant by “unfortunately.” Beyond horrible. A teacher was also taken to hospital.
  2. In a first for Obama, Congress overrides veto on 9/11 bill (WashPost) — Because, you know, what we really needed was for our relations with Saudi Arabia to get more tense. On the other hand, we’ve been tiptoeing around their stuff for a lot of years…
  3. Trump stumbles into Clinton’s trap by feuding with Latina beauty queen (WashPost) — The guy just can’t help himself. If there’s a mess of his making, he’ll step right into it, and jump up and down.
  4. Clinton gathers Republican endorsements (BBC) — One was from five-time senator from Virginia John Warner, who says “National Security for Dummies” is not an appropriate approach to the presidency. The other was from The Arizona Republic, marking the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat for president since its founding in 1890. This joins a trend of longtime Republican-leaning papers endorsing her. As well they should. Maybe, with enough of these, people will start really understanding this is no normal election.
  5. SC lawmakers may rethink controversial property tax law (The State) — Remember when I wondered whether we might actually get comprehensive tax reform this time? I would be deeply impressed by lawmakers’ gumption if they took on this 10-year-old mistake, by which I mean Act 388.
  6. Natural born killers: humans predisposed to murder, study suggests (The Guardian) — Of course, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to back it up. But I’d be interested to see what Dave Grossman, author of On Killing, would say, since he writes of most humans having such a powerful inhibition against killing.

Virtual Front Page for Thursday, July 21, 2016

Got that T-90 fueled up and ready to roll? http://vitalykuzmin.net

Got that T-90 fueled up and ready to roll? http://vitalykuzmin.net

The big stories at this hour:

  1. Trump says US may abandon automatic protections for NATO countries (BBC) — WOW. In other news, the United States of America is changing its name to Country That Ran Out On the Whole World. He’s got great timing, doesn’t he? He says this the week of the convention, on the eve of his acceptance speech? And you know what? His supporters will go, “What’s the big deal?” Yo, Putin! Your BFF’s planning to lower the gates for you; are the tanks fueled up? Go ahead and roll into the Baltics, unless you want to finish Ukraine first. Your call…
  2. 10 Brazilians Arrested, Accused Of Plotting Terrorist Attack On Rio Olympics (NPR) — I hope they got all of them.
  3. Cruz digs in on refusal to back Trump (WashPost) — Even though, also according to the Post, he’s paying a price for snubbing him. Big deal. This isn’t about 2016 for Cruz; it’s about 2020, 2024… You see, he may look like Grandpa Munster, but he’s ridiculously young. Someone on the radio today noted that in 2036, Cruz will still be younger than Hillary Clinton is now. There’s something to keep you up nights: Ti-i-i-ime, it’s on his side….
  4. Inmate killed at Lieber Correctional Institution (The State) — Here we go again. Remember the one the other day? The chickens are coming home to roost in our underfunded, neglected prison system.
  5. Ailes Resigns as Head of Fox News; Murdoch to Step In (WSJ) — Wait — hadn’t that horndoq quit before now?
  6. Game of Thrones: Republicans hate it, Democrats love it – supposedly (The Guardian) — Consequently, at a critical moment — Cersei seizing the Iron Throne; the Khaleesi on her way across the water, Winter really, really about to come — the burning issues of Westeros are being woefully neglected at that convention in Cleveland.
And the Republicans don't even CARE...

And the Republicans don’t even CARE…

Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, May 16, 2016

Slow news day, which just makes it more of a challenge. So here goes:

  1. Justices send Obamacare contraception issue back to lower courts — With Scalia gone and no replacement, the court decided unanimously to punt this hot potato.
  2. Libya: US backs arming of government for IS fight — Interestingly, this wasn’t prominently played on any U.S. outlet; I got it from the BBC.
  3. The presidency is Clinton’s to lose. Here are 12 ways she could. — And she’s perfectly capable of trying each and every one of them, while the rest of us watch on pins and needles, fearing the sound of “President Trump.”
  4. Cancer Survivor Receives First Penis Transplant in U.S. — Ummm… I’m just going to say God bless this poor guy, and I hope this works out well for him.
  5. Man told deputies he was cleaning gun when it went off, wounding 11-year-old — Just to get something local on the page. Seriously, who cleans a loaded gun?
  6. Queen of Cartels: most famous female leader of Mexico’s underworld speaks out — Recently, I tried watching a show in Spanish on Netflix called “La Viuda Negra.” It was SO bad I stopped about five minutes in. But I guess the subject of this story may have been an inspiration for that. Anyway, I thought I’d give you a story off the beaten path. For the mix…

LaViudaNegra

Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, April 4, 2016

A quick look at top stories this hour:

  1. Supreme Court rejects conservative challenge to ‘one person, one vote’ (WashPost) — For all of you who paid attention in school, this is what we used to call “one man, one vote.” So, way important. A side note: As long as the Court is willing to rule unanimously, as they did on this, I guess maybe replacing Scalia isn’t as urgent. Yes, my tongue is in my cheek, but it’s nice to see them not splitting into the liberal/conservative camps. Gives one hope and all that.
  2. The Panama Papers (WSJ) — These are generating a huge reaction elsewhere in the world — they’re chanting in the streets in Iceland demanding the resignation of their PM — but not making much of a splash here., except perhaps among the “feel the Bern,” “the whole world is rigged by billionaires” crowd.
  3. Database would track refugees in South Carolina if passed (The State) — Yeah, this is the same bill that would penalize sponsors for having done the Christian thing in helping desperate people find refuge — if any of them turn out to be bad guys. The ill will in that provision is just staggering.
  4. Princeton Will Keep Woodrow Wilson’s Name On School Buildings (NPR) — Apparently because, you know, his legacy is complicated. You know what? Read The Washington Post‘s story instead; it’s a little clearer. I suspect all the news people had a hard time grabbing ahold of this story firmly because the university’s tiptoeing statement was so bewilderingly oblique…
  5. Double Agent Kim Philby’s Credo: ‘Deny Everything’ (NYT) — Something fun for those of you who, like me, are into spy stuff. For the mix.
  6. Transcript of Woodward and Costa’s interview with Trump — A trip through the mind of the GOP front-runner. (First the editorial board meeting, now this. The Post certainly is getting some serious access to Trump…)
Bob Woodward talks about interview with Trump.

Bob Woodward talks about interview with Trump.

Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, April 1, 2016

President Barack Obama hosts the Nuclear Security Summit working dinner with the heads of delegations in the East Room of the White House, March 31, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama hosts the Nuclear Security Summit working dinner with the heads of delegations in the East Room of the White House, March 31, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Not a huge news day, but let’s see what we can put together. Sorry to say that none of these are April Fool’s jokes:

  1. Obama warns of terrorist nuclear attack (BBC) — This is more like a storm watch than a storm warning, but the threat is real. And presumably, POTUS considers this to be worse than the bathtub threat to the country, which is encouraging. Why lead with this story? Because I’m a Cold War guy. How close we are to nuclear midnight is important. And I was inspired by our exchange about the Triad earlier today.
  2. U.S. Economy Showed Broad Strength in March (WSJ) — You can’t really tell it by me, but I’m glad to hear it. The Journal is leading with this on this slow news day.
  3. Tens of thousands of Americans just lost their food stamps (WashPost) — Something that, if you’re fortunate enough to still be in the middle class, you might have missed. The Post is leading with it.
  4. Here’s Why Mississippi’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Is So Controversial (NPR) — It’s narrower in its focus than the others.
  5. Trump manager Lewandowski: poster boy of a brash new politics (The Guardian) — This guy is very Trump — just as clueless, but he’s winning. I’m thinking this guy (Mikey Palmice) from the Sopranos) would be good to play him in the movie.
  6. Severe weather moves east toward Carolinas after tornadoes (The State) — Not huge news, but we need something local, and I don’t see the flag thing as worthy of the front. Besides, it’s a day old.

Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, March 28, 2016

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Very quickly:

  1. Pascoe claims Wilson blocking legislative investigation (The State) — The AG denies trying to shut down probe of General Assembly. Wilson’s office expresses “grave concerns that Solicitor Pascoe is not following the law or proper procedure.”
  2. In Stunning Setback, Belgium Frees Man Held in Bombings (NYT) — That guy they were holding? They had to let him go. They’re looking for a whole other guy now.
  3. Gunshots fired at U.S. Capitol (WashPost) — Someone has been shot; may have been a police officer, may have been the shooter. This could turn into a lede, depending on how it develops. The Tweets pictured above illustrate how confused initial reports are.
  4. Fidel Castro scorns Obama’s Cuba visit (BBC) — So much for Un Nuevo Día
  5. Georgia Gov. Says He Will Veto Controversial ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill (NPR) — We’ve got this going on on both sides of us now. The Culture War rages on.
  6. USC baseball jumps upward in rankings (The State) — For those of you who complain you don’t get enough sports here, for the mix.

Your Virtual Front Page for Thursday, March 24, 2016

McCain's favorite Communist: Delmer Berg, standing second from right wearing a beret, with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain around 1938.

McCain’s favorite Communist: Delmer Berg, standing second from right wearing a beret, with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain around 1938.

We haven’t had one of these for awhile, since I’ve been opting for the less demanding Open Threads, but there’s real news today, so here goes:

  1. Belgium Admits Lapse in Not Heeding Alert on Suspect (NYT) — So they dropped the ball big-time, and innocents died as a result. Belgium!
  2. Despite potent attacks abroad, ISIS is in retreat in Syria, Iraq (WashPost) — On the other hand, we have this, which if accurate would seem to vindicate the Obama Doctrine (motto: Be Careful in that Bathtub!) to some extent. If, you know, MPrince doesn’t it think it too stupid for me to applaud actual gains in traditional, conventional military terms.
  3. Bosnian Serb Leader Guilty of Genocide in Massacre of 8,000 (NYT) — Yeah, I’ve already posted on this, but this is a front page, so I have to include it. It’s history.
  4. Lexington’s Rawl Farm operation fined $1 million for unlawful workers (thestate.com) — We’re enforcing the law, and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, who’s gonna pick those crops now?
  5. John McCain: Salute to a Communist (NYT) — Just a really interesting read, by one of my favorite Americans. It’s got Hemingway in it, and the Spanish Civil War. And adventure, and nobility, and honor. Fine stuff.
  6. Comedian Garry Shandling dies at 66 (WashPost) — I was never a fan, but some of y’all probably were, so here you go…

Your Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

There’s enough real news out there today to put together a VFP without relaxing standards (this is so much better than the days when I had to do one for the dead-tree paper every day, whether there was news or not):

  1. Haley: Myers, Washington should resign after DUI arrests — You’ve got that right, governor. How about that — a local lede on the VFP.
  2. Graham: Swallow hard, back Cruz, stop Trump — No way, senator. Cruz is in his own way as bad as Trump, and you know it. You also know that Hillary would be preferable — to you, to me — than either of them, even though we’d both like to have a better alternative. Of course, I couldn’t care less about your party, but if you want to save it, you shouldn’t compromise further than Rubio. And yeah, I see the math you’re looking at (which shows Cruz as more viable). But even you should realize that sometimes a party isn’t worth saving, and that would be true if Republicans who know better turn to Cruz.
  3. Carson: ‘I do not see a political path forward’ after Super Tuesday results — Does that mean he saw one on Monday? Remarkable.
  4. Stop-Trump Forces Regroup After Rout — Actually, that’s too optimistic-sounding. “Regroup” suggests some sort of organization possessing a hierarchy and discipline, such as a military unit, coming together and, on the basis of their training, adapting to a new tactical situation. This is a bunch of disconnected rivals running around like freshly decapitated chickens.
  5. White House Said to Vet Appellate Judge for Supreme Court — They’re looking at someone else who, like Sandoval, was previously unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Meanwhile, the 8-member court looks to be divided over an abortion case.
  6. Frank Underwood would ‘take Trump down,’ says ‘House of Cards’ co-star — I had to bring in something to lighten the “mix,” and after all, Underwood et al. return on Friday. To do this, I had to push North Korea Slapped With Sanctions inside. But who actually thinks that’s going to do any good? And I’m told that my lady readers don’t care about throw-weights and stuff… It’s a joke! I’m trying to lighten the mix here!…
And you know that when Doug Stamper says something like that, he MEANS it.

And you know that when Doug Stamper says something like that, he MEANS it.

Your Virtual Front Page for Thursday, January 7, 2016

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Or call it an Open Thread and bring up your own topic, if you prefer. We haven’t had a really good, in-depth conversation about anything yet this year. Let’s see if one of these topics has the magic:

  1. China Market Woes Reflect Pessimism Over Economy — They shut down their exchange today right after it opened, and sent markets tumbling around the world. I’m beginning to suspect the ChiComs just don’t get capitalism. Not that we’ve been doing all that great with it lately ourselves… Meanwhile, right next door…
  2. Why Experts Doubt North Korea Tested a Hydrogen Bomb — Let’s hope the boffins are right on this one.
  3. Newman gives up $398,000 contract, steps down as lawyer for penny tax program — They say he did this voluntarily. You mean, he was allowed a choice in the matter? Now, that’s shocking…
  4. Syrian government ‘to let aid into besieged Madaya’ — If those pictures of hungry babies don’t crack your heart, nothing will.
  5. The Oregon occupation — Anyone have any thoughts to share about this, such as the back-and-forth on whether these guys are “terrorists?” Here’s one side on that point and here’s the other. My own preliminary take: Don’t you have to actually commit violence to be a terrorist? These guys are armed (which is what disqualifies them from the same category as students who take over the administration building), so it seems the most we can say is that they are potential, or maybe even incipient, terrorists. Or terrorist wannabes, perhaps…
  6. Graham: Any viable GOP candidate must challenge Trump, Cruz — Seeing the electoral viability of his party as on the line, our senior senator says mainstream Republicans can’t just kick back and wait; they need to confront the extremists. Watch the video below from The Greenville News.

Or don’t. You know what? I can’t stand the way that video keeps autoplaying, so I’ve removed the embed code. If you want to view it, here’s the link. Anyway, I’ve got my own, more recent, Graham clip up now.

Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, December 18, 2016

Some items that may start some conversation, although this being a Friday so close to Christmas, perhaps not:

  1. Syria war: UN Security Council unanimously backs peace plan (BBC) — One thing to note before we get all excited: It doesn’t address what happens with Assad.
  2. Congress Approves $1 Trillion Spending Bill, Opening Wallet (NYT) — That new boy Paul Ryan is flat gettin’ it done, isn’t he? One thing, though: I doubt he’ll be thrilled with that headline.
  3. Obama Commutes Prison Sentences For 95 Nonviolent Offenders (NPR) — And bringing it home a bit, three of them were from South Carolina.
  4. Who’s going to see Star Wars this weekend? (thestate.com) — Personally, I’m going to wait a bit; I don’t like crowded theaters. A weekday matinee, perhaps, sometime after Christmas. But I’m curious: How many of y’all have tickets for tonight, for instance?
  5. Asteroid flamed out passing over Lake Murray (thestate.com) — That was what caused that flash in the predawn sky over the lake. It was most certainly not an alien spacecraft. I’m quite sure about this because I and other local journalists were told this by some very official-seeming guys in black suits, right after they flashed their own bright light in our eyes. Now everybody go see Star Wars and don’t bother thinking about this.
  6. Sainthood for Mother Teresa (WSJ) — Pope Francis checks off on a second miracle. You go, girl!

Virtual Front Page for Thursday, September 17, 2015

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Click on the image to view this and more Ariail cartoons at thestate.com.

Just to take a quick run around the bases…

  1. Fed Stands Pat, Wary of Global Tumult — WSJ — As I understand it (from having tortured myself listening to commentary on NPR), this is bad news because the Fed isn’t optimistic about our economy, and it’s good news because businesses are likely to invest more and wages might finally rise a bit. I think.
  2. Girlfriend: Roof friend Joe Meek hauled in by FBI — thestate.com — I already told you about that. Meanwhile, here’s The Guardian‘s version of this South Carolina story.
  3. Croatian PM says country cannot stop migrants — BBC — 11,000 more have come in since Hungary closed the border.
  4. Fiorina takes subdued victory lap after debate performance — WashPost — Meanwhile, giving with one hand and taking away with the other, the Post also reports that her star could be dimmed if many people see the ad below from when she ran for the Senate five years ago.
  5. Cleveland Sellers stepping down from Voorhees College — thestate.com — The survivor of the Orangeburg Massacre and father of Bakari cited health problems.
  6. Pope to find renewed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York — NYT — A neat infographic on a pretty awesome church.

Virtual Front Page for Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A few topics to chew over:

  1. Stocks Tumble on China Worries — WSJ— Looks like the WSJ got confused and posted a headline from last week.
  2. U.S. using secret drone campaign to hunt ISIS leaders — WashPost — This kind of warfare is more Obama’s style. Washington Post exclusive.

  3. 13 USC fraternities suspended from recruitment — thestate.com — Speaking, as we were earlier, about people who have odd priorities when it comes to higher education… I’m curious: Were any of y’all in fraternities or sororities? Why?
  4. Special Report: How U.S. police turn drivers into moving targetsThe Guardian — British news outlets find American gun violence endlessly fascinating. Oh, speaking of which…
  5. Columbia policeman fired after off-duty shooting incident — thestate.com — They say he managed to shoot himself as well, which is at least a new wrinkle.
  6. Idris Elba, Daniel Craig and Bond: Can the Man, and Franchise, Change? — WSJ — Before I can picture this, I need to see him play someone other than Stringer Bell.
He's cool, but is he, specifically, BOND cool?

He’s cool, but is he, specifically, BOND cool?

Virtual Front Page for Thursday, August 20, 2015

This is the Bangkok bomb site, the day after. Yes, those are Buddhist monks. I'm watching this with particular attention since three of my kids are about to go there to visit their little sister.

I’m told this is the Bangkok bomb site, the day after. Yes, those are Buddhist monks. I’m watching this with particular attention since three of my kids are about to go there to visit their little sister./photo by Michael Massey

Some headlines at this hour:

  1. Dow Hits 2015 Low on Growth Worries — Worst day in 18 months. Cut it out, Wall Street! I’m sick of y’all’s fits of anxiety and the malaise it causes the rest of us to live in. Give us a break!
  2. Gov. Nikki Haley opposes moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to SC — Interestingly (to me, since I didn’t know it), she’s joined in this by Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott (and Mark Sanford). Not that she wants the problem dumped on Kansas, either — which beyond professional courtesy to Sam Brownback, I don’t understand. Kansas not only has a long history of housing federal prisoners, it’s about as far from the madding crowd (such as Charleston’s tourists) as you can get. It’s the land of eight-man football, after all…
  3. Jimmy Carter Says Doctors Found Cancer on His Brain — He was to begin radiation treatment immediately, like today.
  4. Greek prime minister resigns, calls snap elections to shore up support — They just do not stop having instability over there.
  5. July was the hottest month in Earth’s hottest year on record so far — So, you know, if you thought it was hot last month, you were onto something. And oh, yeah — you can chalk up that drought out West to global warming.
  6. Jenner may face manslaughter charges for car crash — Because this saga wasn’t sensational enough yet. I wonder what the name will be in the charges. No, scratch that: I don’t want to know. In fact, if you have any news about anyone affiliated with the Kardashians, just don’t tell me. In fact, extend that to reality TV in general. Thanks.

A sorta, kinda Virtual Front Page on a mushy news day

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This is one of those in-between kinds of days in which there’s no really overriding news. So you get the weird phenomenon of all of these news entities having completely different lede stories. Which might not be interesting to you, but is to me.

Here they are, in no particular order — since they’re all ledes, right?…

  1. Russian Energy Giant Finds Kremlin Links Cut Both Ways (NYT) — Which is all about EU going after Gazprom. This is after the EU went after Google. But I think that’s kinda different, don’t you?
  2. Google Unveils Wireless Service Called ‘Project Fi’ (WSJ) — Of all these stories, I may be the most interested in this one. But as an editor, I don’t consider it the most important, and would lede with it. And when I read that it won’t work with iPhones, I lose personal interest as well…
  3. S.C. agency changes policies after lawsuit by transgender teen (The State) — Lemme explain this to you: It seems that she… I mean, it seems that he… well, I lack the vocabulary. I tell you what, though: Cases such as this are a good argument for bringing back the inclusive “he.” They still do it in Spanish, after all…
  4. Senate OKs Human-Trafficking Bill, Paving Way For Attorney General Vote (NPR) — Actually, it’s a little hard to tell from the NPR site what they consider to be the lede, but I think this is it. On second thought, I doubt that they even think about it at NPR.
  5. Italy ‘at war’ with migrant smugglers (BBC) — This ongoing story, of course, gets bigger play over across the pond.
  6. Pentagon races to move inmates at Guantanamo (WashPost) — I think “from” probably says it better than “at” — but it wouldn’t have fit in this three-deck hed.

How’s that for a Smörgåsbord?

Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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Our top headlines. Basically, we have two strong lede stories. Some outlets are leading with one; some with the other:

  1. Obama removes Cuba from list of terror sponsors (WashPost) — Apparently, the future has arrived.
  2. Obama Says He Would Sign Bipartisan Bill on Iran Deal (NYT) — Hey, how did this happen? Are there some Republicans reacting to the news that POTUS will sign by saying, “Maybe we did something wrong here?”
  3. Medicaid expansion advocates in SC ask foes to at least consider options (The State) — Wouldn’t that be nice, for those folks to consider reason for just a moment? This story’s old now, but important. And did you see the long letter to the editor this morning headlined, Single-payer would work better in SC than private health-insurance system? To which one wants to say, duh…
  4. Soul singer Percy Sledge dies aged 74 (BBC) — All there is to say about that is this. Wow. Wow. He articulated one of the core eternal verities, with an eloquence seldom matched.
  5. The surprising downsides of being clever (BBC) — People think it must be wonderful to know you’re the smartest person in the room. But as Holly Hunter famously revealed, “It’s awful!”
  6. ‘Free-range’ parents plan to file lawsuit after police pick up children (WashPost) — Those trend-bucking Maryland parents let their kids, 10 and six, walk home alone again, and the cops hauled them in again. And hey, the story’s co-written by my old friend Brigid Schulte!

Virtual Front Page for Thursday, April 2, 2016

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I haven’t done one of these for awhile, out of laziness. I’ll start to do one, but I can’t find six stories that I think are worth a front. So I cop out and do an Open Thread instead. But were this an actual newspaper, I’d have to come up with six (OK, given the demise of the broadsheet, more like five, or even four) whether they were worthy or not.

So as a matter of discipline, I’m going to make myself do this. Fortunately, we do have a serious lede story today:

  1. Nuclear ‘framework’ reached — And no, I don’t know what to think of it. Not enough information. Not even Lindsey Graham knows what he thinks yet. But the link is to the WashPost story, and they’ve got a bunch of sidebars you can read. Here’s the NYT version and here’s the WSJ and here’s The Guardian. Have at them. They all appear to have extensive reports.
  2. 147 DIE IN KENYA UNIVERSITY ATTACK —  Shabab militants claimed responsibility, because they’re the kind of twisted ____s who would be proud of something like this.
  3. Belk department stores considering selling — This was the biggest thing I saw locally. It’s been slow.
  4. Two New York women arrested for trying to build homemade bomb — Their being women raises it to front-page level. Case of woman-bites-dog, you might say.
  5. At Boeing, Innovation Means Small Steps, Not Giant Leaps — A WSJ piece looking at the company that now looms so large in the SC legend.
  6. A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky — Speaking of aviation… for those who enjoyed reading about Burl’s museum… a gee-whiz story about the $400,000 helmet that comes with the F-35.