U.S. rep. Jim Himes, who is in a tough battle for re-election, is running a campaign commercial with a fake Connecticut Post front page showing my newspaper going all gooey over the freshman Congressman.
Worse, it defames me as its design editor. Our front pages look sooo much better than that.
And really, who puts out papers with all-upper-case, three-deck screaming banner headlines anymore?
More more than the implied story placement, it’s the mockup’s design execution that gets me in the gut.
The horsey type breaks awkwardly and is in all upper-case and is crammed too close to the folio, which along with the lead paragraph are way over scale. The flag, by the way, was something we retired back in May.
We did run the story. The Hearst wire piece was about the Reduce and End our Deficits Using Commonsense Eliminations Acts, something that Himes and three other House Democrats sponsored. It was published July 20 with no special prominence, but with the headline as seen on TV, on our website. Then we printed it in a one-column space on page A5, with a less loaded headline, on July 21. It was played second to a story on farm markets. It looked like this:
Blown up to the proportion shown on TV, it is implied that our editors are hailing Himes’ bill to be on par with the first moon landing. Seen in print, the story appears to be the product of a slow news day.
Viewers may or may not know that the mockup is just a shorthand visual reference for favorable (or uncritical) coverage Himes may have gotten. It’s meant to give weight to a bill that may or may not have legs. They article doesn’t really tell us it if does.
But couldn’t they have made a nicer-looking mockup? I have to think of my image, such as it is.
I propose another bill for Congress: the “Don’t Make the Design Editor Look Bad With Pitiful Mockups Act.”
View the ad here: