Anthony Weiner: Headlines With Bite

I’m an old-school newspaper guy. I’ve got printer’s ink in my veins, which may explain my problem with poor circulation.

One of the great joys, and challenges, of newspaper work is crafting a headline. Taking a 700 word story and distilling it into a five or six word headline is an art form, and I have the greatest of admiration for anyone who can do it well. I’ve always been pretty good at it, he said in all due modestly. I had my first experience with writing a clever headline back in journalism school at Mount Royal College back in the last century. The Mount Royal girls’ basketball team was going to Hawaii for a Christmas tournament, and I came up with the headline pun of calling them ‘hula hoopsters’.

Hula hoopsters… get it? Pretty good, huh?

Sadly, that was probably the best headline I ever wrote, and I wasn’t even in the business yet. I’ve written hundreds, maybe thousands, since. Some come easily, some are like pulling teeth without Novocain. And sometimes, they write themselves.

The New York newspapers have had a field day with the Anthony Weiner scandal. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, Weiner is a congressman who sent pix of his Little Anthony to a number of women. He initially fudged on weather the bulge in question was his, but when other photos came forward, he had to admit it was, indeed, his little buddy in the photos. After much criticism, he has resigned, ending a frenzy of sometimes hilarious, sometimes obvious, sometimes incredibly lowbrow (even for a New York tabloid) headlines based on the sent-from-the-headline-gods juxtaposition of his actions and his name.

Here, for your Monday morning amusement, is a selection of actual headlines from newspapers and websites about the Weiner scandal. I’m kind of amazed that some of these ever saw the light of day, but with a name like Weiner, I guess the headline writers just couldn’t help themselves.

• Weiner’s rise and fall

• He couldn’t keep it up

• Stick a fork in Weiner

• Weiner finally yanks himself

• Weiner Hung

• Weiner Pulls Out

• Weiner Probe

• Fall on your Sword, Weiner

• Weiner: I’ll stick it out

• Hide the Weiner

• Weiner Exposed

• Weiner is Shrinking

• Weiner’s Pickle

• Pop Goes the Weasel (this was the headline when the news came out that his wife is pregnant)

• Little Weiner in the Oven (another pregnancy pun)

• Letting Weiner Shrivel

• Weiner Lets it all Hang Out

• It Could be my Weiner

• Weiner a Little Stiff

• Boehner Won’t Bite on Weiner

• Weiner’s Junk Defense

• Weiner Bares All

• A Tough Package to Handle (that’s Time magazine online, for God’s sake!)

• Weiner Gets Grilled

• Battle of the Bulge: Hard Time

Yes, they’re crude, lewd, and sometimes hilarious. But the award for the best, crudest, most hilarious has to go to the New York Post, which came up with this one when President Barack Obama weighed in on the matter, being quite critical of Weiner.

The headline?

“Obama Beats Weiner”

My apologies.

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