New York Post
Headlines, 1998

        In the 1998 election for state attorney general, Dennis Vacco was trying every tactic to challenge his narrow loss, including a claim that opponent Eliot Spitzer got 100,000 ineligible foreigners to vote for him. So, in the tabloid tradition:


The next morning, TV and radio stations had picked up the line. And four years later, Time magazine still remembered this headline as having "immortalized" the event. Cool.

        Meanwhile, Charles Schumer defeated Sen. Al D'Amato in a hotly contested Senate race:


        On a story about the former girlfriend of a deceased millionaire who left his whole fortune to his cocker spaniel, with all of it going to animal-rights groups upon the death of the dog (whom I referred to in a photo caption, perhaps unfairly, as the "rich bitch"). The girlfriend, who gets nothing after the dog dies, is suing for half the loot. The headline:

Heir of dog gives gal pal legal headache

        On a story about how Paula Jones would be sitting right across from President Clinton to put pressure on the beleaguered president while he gave his deposition in her lawsuit -- I liked how the subhead worked with the main head on this one:

Seat saved for Paula / She'll watch the prez try to save his

        Weather stories are tough because there's nothing to say about yesterday's weather that people don't already know from personal experience, and all the once-clever headlines (Gimme Swelter or Baked Apple, as in the Big Apple) have already been written eight or ten times. But, I had a couple of original ideas this record-breaking summer:


Scientists can't believe their highs in hottest month ever

        We ran a story about teen heartthrob of the moment Leonardo DiCaprio, and how he takes his friends to New York hot spots to cruise for girls. Understand that the group of buddies has a nickname, which we couldn't print; the story described it only as "his posse -- which takes its unprintable nickname from a vulgar term for women." Of course, the headline couldn't mention the name of the "posse" either. I could only write the following and leave it up to the reader to get the hint:

Leo and his cat pack on prowl for sex kittens

        On a gossip item about how actress Sharon Stone stormed out of a date because the guy started quizzing her about her former boyfriends:

Old flames turn Stone cold

        On a story about John Bobbitt, who wanted to get back together with the wife who famously mutilated him:

Bobbitt wishes to be reattached to ex-wife Lorena

        On a story about all the suggestive words -- including SEX, BRA, and not only JEW but even JOO -- that the state of New York has prohibited on license plates:


        There are some headlines that, thanks to the local demographics, work nicely in a New York tabloid even though they wouldn't work anywhere else. For example, on a story about how the mayor, who will take credit for just about anything, proudly announced that the price of matzoh and gefilte fish atypically went down last Passover:


And if you got that, here's another inside Jewish joke.

        And finally, there was one headline I wrote that was too racy for even the Post to publish. The story was that, according to a study, older men who had more sex turned out to live longer and have better heart conditions. The headline that the boss said he wished he could print:

Take a licking, keep on ticking

      Oh well.