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Starting today, the Washington Examiner has a new weapon in its ongoing tabloid war with Express: a less-stodgy second page.
Gone are the syndicated cartoons and editorials, both of which have been moved deep inside the paper. They’ve been replaced with three new features: “Talking Points”, which editor Stephen G. Smith says works like a survival guide for current events (today’s explains what the Commerce Clause is); an event feature called “Spotlight”; and an overheard-like feature called “Potomac Diary.”
The new page was necessary after the departure of Examiner cartoonist Nate Beeler in March, according to Smith. Syndicated cartoonists failed to propel readers into the rest of the paper like Beeler. “Some of them were very good, but none of them were as good as Nate,” Smith says.
So far, the Washington portrayed in “Potomac Diary” is Dickensian in its brutality and swift correction of fools. A woman is locked in a community garden and finds herself “fending off the taunts of passing teens.” Tommy Wells, texting and walking, bumps into a wall. A father shepherds his young children onto a Metro car, only to find himself trapped between its doors.
And most chilling for the average Examiner reader: A man goes to the Tabard Inn in a seersucker suit, only to find himself taunted with whispers of “seeeersucker.” It’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? for the Heritage set.