Front page? What front page!

Today’s Sun-Herald is a classic case of what happens when you sell your soul to the devil.

“You” being a metropolitan newspaper publisher and the “devil” being that champion of the underclass, Gerry “Let them eat cake” Harvey.

Have a gecko at the image above. It looks like a front-page of any respectable metropolitan newspaper, right? But, no. It’s actually page 3!

Here’s page 1 (below right) … a bodgeyed-up pretend cover in what is basically a four-page Hardly Normal wraparound that is easily discarded before reading the main paper. We’ve roused at the owner of this masthead, Nine Entertainment Co, before for not having the guts to say to Gerry: you’ve made zillions out of COVID-19 and GerrySaver, take the whole fucking three-and-a-half pages, you greedy cunt.

Stop us having to see one of our finest columnists thrown out with your guff!

But no, what Gerry wants, Gerry gets. He gets a shit-looking faux newspaper front page and the sad-sack reporter/essayist on the inside-back gets hoiked with the wrap around. It has been Peter FitzSimons in the past; today it’s poor old Danny Weidler designated to join the early fish and chip wrapper.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. MGH is not exactly sure if they’ve always done it this way – and a slap on our wrists if we haven’t spotted it before – but the editors for this Sun-Herald edition have numbered it from that faux-cover, presumably to make the edition’s main book as many pages as possible for look’s sake and to try to fool people who know the paper is dying in the arse financially.

Which, of course, makes the image at top page 3. Which they can’t label page 3 because that would look silly. But it doesn’t stop a story that begins on the faux front page, starts again on the real front page which isn’t really the front page, and resumes on page 12, where its origin is declared as Page 3!

Like the washed-up old hacks who throw the MGH pieces together, how many faded, cynical scribes out there would love to edit some of these metropolitan “newspapers” just for a month or so and give them a damned-good and thoroughly deserved shaking up?

Wouldn’t it be great to tell the paper’s advertising manager and, above him, the admin bean counters, to fuck off and that Gerry can only have a third (max)! of the front page and Hardly Normal wraparounds are dead and buried unless he’s happy to pay for a pretend one.

The real page one would have enough room for artist flair. The miserable prick can still take pages 2 to 88 if he wants to – go ahead make Peter Costello’s day! – and if no real news since the cover doesn’t start to page 89, then so be it.

But if he still insisted on the impression of a wraparound to feed his ego but not the masses and didn’t want page 3, great! Imagine page 3 in a real, serious, professional metropolitan newspaper that actually looked like a real page 3! Radical idea, but there you have it.

Then again, have we’ve become fantacists in retirement? Try that on with the bean counters in 21stC newspaper publishing, the one where the rivers of gold are now dry creek beds, and maybe we wouldn’t last the day out, let alone a month!