NEW YORK — New York City’s tabloids are known for headlines like “Headless Body In Topless Bar,” “Ford to City: Drop Dead and “Derek Eater.” But they played it straight when it was time to report that Dr. Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola Thursday night.
In the hours before Spencer was diagnosed he had gone bowling, rode the A train and stopped by a meatball shop. But there was not a single pun to be found on New York City newsstands Friday morning. No hysteria and no sensationalism.
Instead newspapers like AM New York went with just the facts. The free daily’s front page simply said “Ebola in NYC” and showed a picture of Spencer in a hazmat suit while he caring for victims in West Africa:
“We didn’t want to be alarmists,” said Pete Catapano, executive editor of AM New York. “Obviously it’s a scary subject… We wanted to be very direct, very straight-forward.”
The Daily News also took a tempered approach with its front page:
The New York Post (which is infamous for its outrageous covers) was a little more brash with its “Ebola Here!” headline, but did stick to just the facts:
“A subject like this… people make jokes about it. That’s not our place to do that,” Catapano said. “We just wanted to be very respectful, and let the story speak for itself.”