The Post had a good scoop yesterday—a blog purportedly written by a lesbian in Syria, A Gay Girl in Damascus, was actually written by a straight guy in Georgia, Tom MacAlaster, who used the pseudonym Amina Arraf on the blog. (To end the deception, MacAlaster had arranged to have his fictional pseudonym arrested by Syrian security forces.)
And then again, today, the Post broke a second story related to the first: The editor of Lez Get Real, a blog that had been linking to MacAlaster/Arraf’s work, was not actually a lesbian named Paula Brooks, but rather another straight man, Bill Graber.
Excellent work by reporters Elizabeth Flock and Melissa Bell on both stories. Where the Post went wrong was in the headlines. Usually headline writing is an art, not a science. But with this particular pair of scoops, there actually was a correct answer to the question, “What should the headline be?” And it didn’t appear anywhere in the paper.
So as a public service, Washington City Paper presents the headline that should have run on one, or both, of those stories:
We now return you to today’s Washington Post, already in progress.