The first edition of The New York Post
of July 6
incorrectly declared that U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry
would choose U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt
to be his vice-presidential running mate that day (in reality, Kerry chose John Edwards
). Later editions corrected the error.
The New York Post is the oldest continuously-published newspaper in the United States. As its front page asserts, it was founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801— as the New-York Evening Post, a broadsheet quite unlike today's racy tabloid. Early editorial work was done in the country weekend villa that is now Gracie Mansion. Hamilton chose for his first editor William Coleman, but the more famous 19th-century Evening Post editor was William Cullen Bryant, a strong Abolitionist. In 1881 Henry Villard took control of the Evening Post, which in 1897 passed to the management of his son, Oswald Garrison Villard, a founding member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union. Dorothy Schiff purchased the paper in 1939; her editor Ted Thackrey turned it into a streamlined tabloid format, but after it was bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1977 it redefined "tabloid journalism" and attracted attention with its famous and characteristic 1983 headline:
- HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR
In 1980, the Columbia Journalism Review called the Post "a force for evil." Many in mainstream journalism seem to feel that the Post allows its editorial positions to shape its story selection and news coverage to an unacceptable degree. As Steven D. Cuozzo, the Post executive editor, sees it, it was the Post that "broke the elitist media stranglehold on the national agenda." Post supporters cite a series of recent scandals at the supposedly-reputable broadsheet New York Times as proof that this problem is scarcely unique to the Post. Murdoch was forced to sell the paper due to the institution of federal regulations limiting foreign media ownership. The Post then ran through a series of unsteady owners: Peter S. Kalikow, a real estate magnate who went bankrupt; Steven Hoffenberg, a financier who pleaded guilty to securities fraud; and Abraham D. Hirschfeld, a true eccentric who made his fortune building parking garages. The Post was repurchased in 1988 by Murdoch's News Corporation, after his receiving American citizenship ended any restriction upon his ownership of U.S. media. Under his direction the paper has taken a consistently conservative, populist editorial viewpoint since being re-acquired by Murdoch after its near-insolvency in 1993.
The paper is also known for its sports section has been praised for its comprehensiveness; like that of many other tabloids, it begins on the back page. Some readers who have no use for its editorial positions or its hard news stories purchase it for its sports coverage alone.
The New York Post is also well known for its gossip columnists Liz Smith, Cindy Adams and Elisa Lipsky-Karasz. The best- known gossip section is 'Page Six', edited by Richard Johnson, which counterintuitively never runs on page six of the paper each day. It is reported that "Page Six" is the first thing many celebrities turn to each morning.
The daily circulation of the Post slumped from 700,000 in the late 1960s to approximately 418,000. But the Post experienced the largest growth of any major paper two years ago, and grew again this year to reach a circulation around 680,000. Despite being one of New York City's most widely-read newspapers, reports made public in 1993 suggest that the Post has been run at a significant loss, perhaps as much as $40 million a year ago, but continues to be supported by Rupert Murdoch, whose son Lachlan is the executive editor, to keep a conservative-leaning major newspaper in the City. When Rupert Murdoch once asked the chairman of Bloomingdale's why he wasn't buying ads in the Post, he was told "because, dear Rupert, your readers are my shop-lifters." (http://keywords.dsvr.co.uk/freepress/body.phtml?category=&id=583)
- The Post's New York : Celebrating 200 Years of New York City As Seen Through the Pages and Pictures of the New York Post, 2001