What do obsessive coverage of terrorism and a joke about how to beat children have in common?
As it turns out, it’s today’s National Post.
Firstly, everything in the first 5 pages was devoted to the terror suspect arrests, except for one article stoking the idea of staying in Afghanistan, so that’s related.
Obsess much, National Post? Yes, is the answer, in case you didn’t know.
Secondly, this Twitter “cleverness” on page B2:
@NPsteve: Never strike a child! Wait patiently until they’re 18 and then give them the beating of their life.
Once upon a time, an insensitive relative forwarded to me one of those annoying chain emails that longed for the good old days. It was full of cliches and goofy things as well as some bits from the past that lots of people have happily not carried forward.
Some memories in that email were benign:
Remember “when a quarter was a decent allowance?” and “laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes and towels hidden inside the box?”
Some things were to leave in the past:
Remember when “All your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels?”
Then it continued:
When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home?
Then it had an iconic 1950s photo of a dad spanking his son spread over his knees.
Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!
But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.
Didn’t that feel good, just to go back and say, ‘Yeah, I remember that’?
Not really, no.
So then today we got to read Steve Murray’s Twitter post included in the print edition of the National Post about not beating children, I suppose because maybe that’s bad?, but waiting until they’re adults so you can give them the beating of their lives.
I have a really good sense of humour. Honestly. But what kind of person finds that funny?
I see that there is “humour” in that, but it is not acceptable humour. The legions of children who grew up with mild to severe beatings probably don’t find that funny. But maybe their parents do, which is maybe why it’s in the paper.
But really, it’s right down there with “Did you hear the one about the female circumcision patient?”
But one thing I learned is that the people who run the National Post believe their readership will find that joke funny. They might be right or wrong about that. Who knows.
But if they’re right, I’m not happy about it.
And now that the CanWest papers are now Postmedia, I’m looking for examples of corporate branding and marketing posture that make the new owners different from the Aspers’ biases and idiosyncrasies.
So far, the National Post continues to be sad.
And the pattern of 5 front pages on terrorism with a “joke” later on about how to beat kids seems to fit a disturbing pattern.