The Annals of Radical Juxtaposition: Special Journalism Edition…
From Jim Fallows’ always-illuminating Atlantic blog, “Many Mental Patients Simply Walk Out“:
I mentioned yesterday that I was “sure” it was an “accident” that the NYT juxtaposed two stories on its home page about artificial-heart devices. The first story said that former VP Cheney had gotten one; the second, that too many people were getting them.
Reader Mike Diehl says that I was correct to put the air quotes (OK, electronic quotes) where I did. He writes:
>>Had I seen that, I would not have had a doubt the pairing was intentional. I still have a copy of the New York Times from August 8, 1974 — one day before Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. On the front page at the bottom is a photo of Nixon, walking from the Executive Office Building to the White House, juxtaposed with an article headlined, “Many Mental Patients Simply Walk Out.”
Searching for this page, which I am delighted to have found and am attaching here, I note that quite a number of articles on mental health facilities were published in the paper that summer, several making the front page. Two front-page pieces I found are adjacent to articles on Nixon, but none so juicy as the one I cite above. However, on July 31, a front-page piece by Lawrence van Gelder headlined “Mental Patient Held As Church Arsonist” is sandwiched between two articles on Watergate, one headlined “President Surrenders 11 Tapes to Sirica,” the other a reproduction of the text of Impeachment Article III. Coincidence? I think not.
As a graphic designer, I’m aware the opportunities to make such a wry statement with mere page layout are rare, but the New York Times is no stranger to the practice.<<
On a vaguely-related (and marginally-suitable-for-work) front, readers might enjoy “15 Funniest Accidentally Naughty Headlines,” e.g…
As we ponder the future of journalism, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that the Italian government issued the 1,000 Lire coin, the reverse side of which features a European map on which Germany (which reunited in 1990) is shown as still divided into East and West. The coins were discontinued the following year.