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I’m well aware that I’m hitchin’ up the Andy Rooney pants in asking this, but: Is it just me, or has journalism renewed its love affair with the “drop dead” headline? There’s a ton of ’em at the moment, mainly attached to the ongoing bailout negotiations:

Washington to Wall Street: Drop Dead

However, it also encompasses Nobel Prize judges:

Nobel Chief to U.S. Novelists: Drop Dead

The Schwarzenegger administration:

Schwarzenegger to Seniors and Tenants: Drop Dead!

Hipster asshole pissing matches:

Hipsters to Real World Cast: Drop Dead!

And Sarah Palin:

The old girls’ club to Palin: Drop dead

I admit that I’ve been contributing to the problem; our eagle-eyed managing editor, Andrew Beaujon, caught me employing the headline device twice in the past few days. Clearly something is going on with journalists subconsciously. Maybe we miss the good old days of tabloid journalism, when you could put a shocker headline in print and people got excited about it, as the New York Daily News did when it first used the phrase in a headline. Maybe it’s just appropriate; that old headline referenced a bailout story, after all. Or maybe we’re just actively wishing each other ill in tough times.