April 1, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

All joking aside, Page One gives only passing nod to day of pranks

A serious question on this April Fool’s Day: Is anyone having fun?

From the look of some of today’s front pages, you might not think so.

“Best to pick the spots for a fool’s finest hour,” the Times Union of Albany, N.Y., said, adding that our culture just “can’t take a joke like we used to.” The Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal Sentinel cautioned: “April Fools’ tomfoolery in the workplace can be funny, but should be safe, legal.” And The San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune opted to add a scientific spin: “Pranks just might benefit their targets.”

Thank goodness for The Hutchinson (Kan.) News. Without it, front pages would be sans whoopee cushion. And there was vindication in Youngstown, Ohio, where The Vindicator recapped the “Greatest Pranks Throughout History.”

The opening of baseball season is too early to say that any team is a joke, especially in Major League cities where expectations are high. “The Fun Begins!” proclaimed the Detroit Free Press. “Having a ball,” said the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, which used a photo, highlighted the Mets-Marlins score and referred to baseball content inside and online.

It may seem a little loony, but a bird was pictured at the top of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Turns out a teacher left her fortune — $1.8 million — to help protect the loon, Minnesota’s state bird.

On a serious note … Presidential candidate John McCain was “Revisiting His Roots,” the Sun Herald of Biloxi said in describing the Republican’s weeklong biography tour and his first stop in Mississippi.

In what The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., called “An attempt to boost morale,” the Army is allowing married couples to live and sleep together in the war zone in Iraq. Headline writers went to work. “Together in sickness, health — and war,” The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk said. “To have and to hold … in Iraq,” The Day of New London, Conn., said.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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