Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get it?

In case your newspaper hasn't hired an interpreter for the metaphor-impaired out there, imagine the conversation downtown: Hey, could you do, like, a Tundra? And it'd be, like, on the tip? Of an iceberg!

OK, as metaphors go, it's a little on the mixed side. We don't have an actual iceberg of Toyotas, let alone Toyota troubles; we have an iceberg of ice, with a Tundra on top. Not an unusual pose for your Final Four ad campaign, but just fractionally out of tune (something can be "on the tip" of your tongue, but it's "the tip of the iceberg"). And, of course, subtle as the day is long. Get it? Tip of the iceberg, Ma!

Lest you be tempted to write this one off to Those Wacky Kids and their Photoshops, bear in mind that America's Newspapers have a long tradition of throwing visual elbows on the front page when there's a point at stake. Here's Carey Orr* of the Chicago Tribune, with a mild form of the FDR- bashing that decorated the Trib's pages right up until the presses rolled for the bulldog edition of December 8.* If it reminds you of any number of recurring themes at the Fair-n-Balanced Network, like the "apology tour" and the "who's your buddy?" riff, there's probably a reason for that.

* Orr, who has been featured in these pages a couple times before, was among several Pulitzer-winners in the Trib stable. He's not the only one who drew FDR standing, or walking, or doing backflips, but based on the sample that this project drew on (November 1941 through mid-January 1942), he was the most likely to.
I was trying to find a really good one from the Trib's near-indictment in 1942, but some boxes in the basement have yet to yield all their secrets, and it's probably in one of them.

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