Worst News Judgment Ever

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Stop the presses!note 

"Russia and the United States are at war. Missiles have been fired by both sides. Washington and Moscow are in flames. Details on these and other stories in just a moment, but first, this word about hair care."

Exhibited by entire newspaper editing teams at our heroes' hometown papers, the Worst News Judgment Ever gets relatively mundane news stories placed in prominent locations (i.e., A1, above the fold, bannered across five or six columns, and with an overblown mug shot). Our heroes have an easy time finding whatever they happen to be looking for, usually seeing the paper in a vending machine. With that sort of placement, you don't even need to buy the paper — it's all in the giant-print headline.

Usually, the news judgment is so wildly overblown as to cause disconnection from the audience; you will rarely, if ever, see a Lampshade Hanging pointing out this ridiculous fallacy.

While improbable in the real world, the overplayed story in question usually provides our protagonists with a Red Herring.

On the other hand, if the main headline is earth-shattering enough, one may start to wonder why there are any other articles on the front page at all. When the main headline reads "Extinction of Humanity Imminent", then how in the heck is "New Petitions Against Tax" newsworthy?

In a comedy or an old movie, will manifest itself at the end of a Spinning Paper montage.

There is also an inverted version of this trope that is usually used intentionally for ironic purposes: an important story (often describing the events that occurred in the movie we've just seen) is shown stuck in a corner on the newspaper, while a vapid story (such as a celebrity scandal) sucks up the headline space. The paper is showing terrible judgement by emphasizing the wrong story. (Given, among other examples, the protest of MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski over having to lead with a Paris Hilton story when there were several more serious stories worthy of attention, this could be considered Truth in Television.)

This variant is almost always used as a commentary on society's preoccupation with meaningless gossip, but it is sometimes used to show that the world has virtually ignored a story that would have changed everything (such as proof of the existence of aliens, vampires, or similar). In this case, it's not so much bad judgement — the paper would have no way of knowing that the freak meteor shower was the remains of a destroyed alien invasion fleet — but probably still counts as an example of this trope because the audience knows that the small story is actually of critical importance.

Sometimes this will be used as a joke; the "main", plot-important story is used as the main headline, with an even more important story stuck in a corner. For example, in The Trapped Trilogy, one newspaper main headline was about a serial killer escaping. A smaller one was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Some times you'll find comments about the lack of meaningful other news as a joke.

Often used to demonstrate that Old Media Are Evil. Likely to take place in School newspapers. Compare Coincidental Broadcast when used to relay plot-relevant information, and Yet Another Baby Panda when news broadcasts conclude with a fluffy piece. See also Local Angle. Kent Brockman News often features this.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • In the second Johnny Turbo mini-comic, Tony holds up a newspaper that had "FEKA's CD system failing in Japan!!" taking up the top third of the front page. Because low sales of a video game system is shocking, ground-breaking news.

    Anime 
  • After a fight between giant Mecha in Bokurano, a newscaster announces that, despite the fact that a behemoth appeared nearby and many of the aquarium animals were lost, the dolphins probably escaped to the ocean. Much to everyone's relief. The behemoth appearance was also responsible for the deaths of thousands but hey, dolphins are symbolic.
  • Mika Masuko, the School Newspaper News Hound in Yes! Pretty Cure 5, has a tendency to put the story about the Bishōnen she keeps running into as the top story. The story about the five superpowered heroines fighting evil is far less prominent and more understated, if it appears at all. This, however, benefit well for the Precures, who want their identities kept hidden.
  • In One Piece, anything plot-relevant will always be in the front page of the papers. Apparently, the characters (or at least Trafalgar Law) expect this, since at one point, he tells Don Quixote Doflamingo that if Doflamingo's resignation from the Seven Warlords does not appear on the front page of the next day's paper, Law will not return Doflamingo's head scientist back. There is no mention on what Law would do if the announcement happened anywhere else in the paper. Indeed, Doflamingo's resignation was put on the front page, though the same paper also mentions the teaming up of several notorious pirate captains, Luffy and Law included, placed in the newspaper's middle pages. Justified, however, in that Doflamingo has the clout needed to demand the press to put exactly what he wants into the papers in order to get what he wants.
  • Drifting Classroom is about an entire school full of students and teachers which one day suddenly disappears for no discernible reason. Obviously, this would receive lots of media attention, since it's a case of lots of possibly dead children as well as something seemingly scientifically impossible. But when it's mentioned in the news report in volume 2, the report about it begins with the words "In other news..." So apparently a scientifically impossible mass disappearance of children isn't as important as whatever it was that the TV news reported about before it.

    Comic Books 
  • This web site lists several Silver Age Superman examples. In Related News...
  • In the Marvel Universe, the Daily Bugle has been known to devote the entire front page to op-ed pieces such as "Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?", complete with banner headlines.
    • There was a fun story where Jonah tried to beat this habit, only for all his other ideas to be shot down by his editor. (For example, they tried to run a story about a supervillain's plot to kill New York with poisoned newspaper ink, which got shot down because it would make people paranoid about buying newspapers.) He eventually runs the "Spider-Man: Menace" story again, and the readership makes fun of him for beating a dead horse.
    • In the very first Spider-Man story in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spidey makes the top front-page headline of at least four newspapers, apparently for doing nothing more than showing off his powers and webshooters in front of audiences. And this in 1962, the year, among other things, of Algerian independence, the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. And given that the Fantastic Four had been introduced the previous year, Spidey wasn't even the first or most impressive superhero in the Big Apple.
  • In a Spider-Man arc by Todd McFarlane, Spider-Man went to Canada to investigate a string of savage murders allegedly committed by the Wendigo. During the arc, he encountered Wolverine, who revealed that a mundane human serial killer was the real culprit. The actual murders received banner 72 point headlines, but when the truth was revealed to the public, the retraction was buried on page 15 or so. Sadly, a case of Truth in Television (during the McCarthy hearings, while his flamboyant accusations were front-page news, whenever any of his accusations were proven wrong, the retractions were buried near the obituaries).
  • In a TV news example, the X-Men saved the Big Applesauce from one of the Mole Man's creatures which Channel 4 talked about for all of 30 seconds, despite spending two minutes on "That useless tart dancing topless in a nightclub" to which Colossus replies, "Who is this Hilton girl again?"
  • In an Ambush Bug letter column, a reader suggested that the Daily Planet couldn't be such a great metropolitan newspaper if it kept running headlines like "SUPERMAN FOILS ALIEN GORILLA HOAX — Presidential election results on page 32."
  • Typical headlines in Transmetropolitan include things like "deranged artificial penises loose in water supply!" and "rogue Japanese ambassador starts 'onnabe' meme", some of the many reasons why Spider (himself a journalist) hates the city. Though once he harassed a senator for pictures of his penis, as a lead-up to a story on an illegal porn studio.
  • "Monkey Business," in issue #67 of The Powerpuff Girls has the girls' apologies for ruining Mojo Jojo's restaurant business twice making the front page of the Townsville Times.
  • An old Diabolik story had a journalist and his editor believing that the title character was a lousy criminal that Ginko made appear incredibly skilled to hide his own incompetence, and printed it on paper. For this, Diabolik murdered them in most spectacular fashion, as the King of Terror couldn't tolerate anyone threatening his status as The Dreaded nor insults to the one cop who actually keeps him somewhat in check.

    Film 
  • Libeled Lady, in which "PEER'S WIFE ROUTS RICH PLAYGIRL" is the front-page headline. It's even worse news judgment, because it isn't true, and the playgirl accused of trying to break up a peer's marriage sues for libel.
  • The Girl in Gold Boots
    Buz: Aha, front page!
    Mike: Yeah, front page of the LA Times: '$40 Robbery, No One Hurt.'
  • The Beatniks. Mooney thinks he'll become famous because "I SHOT THAT FAT BARKEEP!"
  • The inverted version is shown in Dog Soldiers: The screen shows an article depicting the events of the film, only to quickly pan out, revealing it as a secondary story to the main headline (the result of an International Football match). The secondary story is about the only survivor of a British soldier unit who were attacked by Werewolves.
  • The theft of fifteen puppies in 101 Dalmatians (live action) somehow makes the front page of a national newspaper, also the wedding of two nobodies is covered by The Independent. Of course this is Disney England, where the puppy crisis warrants a dozen or so squad cars to comb the Home Counties for these missing dogs. Never mind that there could be murderers to catch. If one treats the puppies as human children, then the theft of that many puppies would be equivalent to a massive kidnapping worthy of the attention of the nation's law enforcement officials.
  • In The Italian, it's a huge headline and a big story in the newspaper when Corrigan the political boss's daughter gets sick. This is necessary to the plot so Beppo the protagonist can find out about Corrigna's daughter and take his revenge.
  • Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and "CRITICAL LESBIAN SHORTAGE".
  • In Batman & Robin, news of Bruce Wayne attending the opening of an observatory is the big front-page headline. Bemoaned by the Agony Booth here. "It must have been a slow news day". This example is particularly silly, given that Batman and Robin just fought Mr. Freeze in a very public battle with a whole lot of collateral damage.
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street MUSIC EMPIRE COLLAPSES! as sole story on top of the fold of a paper.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix not only averts this—a lot of the stuff would be important normally, but is often buried because of pressure from the Ministry of Magic—but makes the Spinning Paper trope work.
  • A plot point in Men in Black; the stories about aliens you see in the tabloid newspapers are real, it's just that no one believes them.
    Agent J: These are the hot sheets?
    Agent K: Best investigative reporting on the planet. But go ahead, read the New York Times if you want. They get lucky sometimes.
  • Played with in the direct-to-video The Onion Movie. A woman witnesses a house explode on the other side of the street and calls the Onion News hotline. The following scene shows an Onion van arriving on the spot to report on her husband's missing socks, which makes the front page. The people in the neighborhood exhibit similar behavior, being far more interested in the presence of the Onion news team than the catastrophe that had just taken place.
  • In Patton, Patton makes a speech to a crowd of British women about how the Americans and British will rule the world, neglecting to mentions the Russians. Cut to newsreel proclaiming "Patton insults Russian allies". Possibly makes it Truth in Television. The Truth in Television version would've been even worse. Apparently, Patton did mention the Russians, but news reports didn't mention that. However, (in the film version) this would have to be seen in historical context — even the slightest hint of a rift between Russia and the West would have had incredibly far-reaching and potentially catastrophic results during World War II, and that conflict did have a decisive impact on history for the next 50 years, so it makes sense that that part of Patton's speech would receive dramatically more attention than anything else he said (which was otherwise just what people expected from such a speech anyway.)
  • Damien: Omen II. Death in freak elevator "accident" does not warrant a front page.
  • The local paper in Christmas with the Kranks felt that a story about a couple not celebrating Christmas that year was worth being put on the front page. Really. Given that the townsfolk become an angry mob when they hear that the title characters aren't celebrating Christmas, what would stop some newspaper?
  • Sextette. Apparently, the sex life and consummation of an 85-year-old woman with a 32-year-old Brit is front page news across the world, instead of on Ripley's Believe It or Not! or maybe Faces of Death.
  • Happens quite a bit in It Happened One Night, where Ellie Andrews' love life makes not only the front page of all the major New York papers, but is the top headline for every single one of them.
  • In My Name Is Bruce, an old newspaper has the headline claiming the birth of a two-headed horse. A smaller article announces a local spelling bee. An even smaller article mentions how one hundred Chinese immigrants were killed when a local mine collapsed.
  • At the end of Van Wilder, the main character's love interest gets a story published on the front page of the school paper chronicling Van's expulsion hearing. That's not the poor news judgment. That comes into play when you consider that the "story" is more of a trashy gossip column, filled with embarrassing sexual details about the writer's ex-boyfriend. Those sort of pieces do get published, but even a student paper isn't going to stick that on the front page of the graduation edition. Or any other edition, really. Then there's the framed front-page story about the difference between light and dark beer... by a journalist who goes on to win a Pulitzer.
  • Low-budget D-movie Maneater is downright hilarious with this. At one point, it's revealed that USA Today and Entertainment Weekly are interested in a tiger killing some people in the Appalachian Mountains. The sense that doesn't make is extraordinary.
  • Back to the Future Part II:
    • In the alternate future (courtesy of Biff), Doc holds up a newspaper where the front page story is about how he was proclaimed insane and committed. While he is a strange, prominent figure in the town, it doesn't really merit the front page. Particularly implausible is the fact that "Doc Brown" is used to identify him in the banner headline, while the sub head refers to him as "local inventor" or whatever. Because yeah, only a minority of readers would require clarification.
    • Jonathan Chait has harsh words regarding the editorial priorities of the Hill Valley Telegraph.
  • Apparently, in the world of My Pet Monster, a dog being the favorite to win a dog show is worthy of the front page.
  • Lampshaded in The Great Muppet Caper. Kermit and Fozzie, playing reporters, spend the opening number surrounded by a balloon crash, a jailbreak, and general mayhem culminating in a daring daylight jewel robbery. This last, which sets off the plot of the movie, is the cover story in every major paper — except Kermit and Fozzie's, which runs the headline "Identical Twins Join Chronicle Staff". Their editor is furious not only because of the huge missed story, but because Kermit and Fozzie don't even look alike. That's because Fozzie had his hat off.
  • S1m0ne had a radio broadcast version when the reporter said that things like the threat of nuclear destruction have all been overshadowed by the preparations for the Academy awards.
  • In Osmosis Jones, there are two instances. Frank vomiting on Shane's teacher manages to make the front page in major newspapers across the country. This starts to be Refuge in Audacity later, though:
    Frank: I know your daughter, Hurley, had to transfer schools...
    Mrs. Boyd: Shirley. My daughter's name is Shirley.
    Frank: Oh, that is much prettier. Tom Brokaw called her Hurley.
    • Later the newscasters for NNN are giving a desperate last broadcast after Thrax takes the DNA bead, saying they have "lost contact with the lower extremities", the screen flickering and sound full of static, when one starts to introduce a segment about "household appliances that can improve your golf swing!". This is lampshaded: the other screams at her for being a moron.
  • The travel plans and marriage plans of French playboy Michel Marnet in Love Affair are fodder for radio commentators and front-page newspaper headlines.
  • Spoofed in National Lampoon's Vacation where Chevy Chase is reading a newspaper with the headline: AMERICAN COUPLE MISSING AS JAPAN SLIDES INTO THE SEA.
  • Apparently, in the Zombiverse (as seen in Zombi 3D), reports of the ongoing zombie problem are more important for a music station to broadcast than is actual music.
  • This is a key plot point in The Paper: on the day when every other news outlet in the New York area leads with the story of the apparently racially-motivated murder of two white financiers, the eponymous newspaper, the New York Sun (which was actually an Expy of the New York Post, and not the Real Life New York Sun), led with a story about one of their columnist's cars being towed.
  • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which is set in 1980, sends this up by having Ron Burgundy and his crew effectively inventing the trope — at least as far as its use by 24-Hour News Networks is concerned. Stuck in a 2 AM timeslot and having made a bet with the prime time anchor that they could get higher ratings, they decide to give people what they want to see, so rather than actual news they present cute animal stories, tributes to American patriotism, gimmicky sports highlights, and celebrity fluff. This works spectacularly.
  • In The Mighty Ducks series, Pee-Wee hockey results making front-page news seems a little ridiculous even by hockey-loving Minnesota standards. It goes even more overboard in the sequel, where the hockey finals of Junior Goodwill Games not only get huge newspaper coverage, but the finals preview includes a giant Floating Head Syndrome image hyping Coach Bombay vs. Wolf Stansson.
  • In Test Pilot, apparently every time Jim goes up to test a plane it is front-page, above-the-fold newspaper material.
  • Throughout Silent Movie, the headlines of the paper being shown all center around Mel Funn's silent movie project and his progress in recruiting first-rate talent for the picture. The second most important article on the front page tends to be about the newspaper salesman being repeatedly injured because the deliverymen keep throwing a large bundle of papers at him instead of leaving it on the curb.
  • In Odd Squad: The Movie, the sportscaster blows off his duties in favor of covering the hyper-awesome Weird Team's exploits.

    Literature 
  • Dave Barry mocked the once-prevalent use of this trope in political campaign ads in Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway. In his satirical campaign ads, both candidates used "realistic newspaper headlines" with illegible articles, the headlines detailing all sorts of atrocities committed by the opponent. In one of his year in review columns, he described the North Koreans becoming increasingly bored and annoyed since they invaded and took over the U.S. and it hadn't made the news at all. Eventually they figure out a solution: start a Reality TV show. The show is called something along the lines of We Have Taken Over Your Country Imperialist Pigs. Which quickly got canceled because nobody in the show was blonde.
  • Left Behind: Every child on the planet has just disappeared, along with a great many Christians. The planet is plagued by horrific plane crashes and car accidents as a result. The Pope himself is gone, and the Catholic church has fallen into disarray. What stories do Global Weekly consider the most important to cover? A convention of Jews in New York, and a recent recall election in Romania. This stuff wouldn't be front page material on a slow news day.
    • "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an urgent news bulletin! A minor reporter from the midwest who you have never heard of and who nobody but his 3 friends give a flying fuck about, is feared dead following a "mysterious car bombing"! In other news, all children in the entire world vanished last night, experts say it was likely the result of "excess electromagnetism" or some shit, so in other words we have no idea and it could happen again to all of us at any second. In sports news..."
    • The hiring of a pilot for Air Force One is a major headline in the aftermath of the worst disaster humanity has ever known. note  While arguably a prestigous position, even aviation magazines probably aren't going to be covering this event in light of everything else that's happened to that point.
  • Harry Potter
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry is lying down next to the window in order to hear the TV news to see if there is anything about mysterious disappearances or deaths, which would tell him that Voldemort is moving. Instead, he ends up hearing a newspiece about a bird that has learned water skiing in order to keep the heat away. Although it is made clear that this is the traditional silly/'feel good' at the end of the news bulletin and not a lead story. Harry is also sensible enough to note that if they had enough time during the broadcast for water-skiing birds, there clearly weren't any murders that day to report on.
    • In the third book, Ron's family winning a large cash prize in a contest run by the paper is the leading article. Granted, the newspaper would want to toot its own horn, and they'd probably mention it somewhere on the front page, but that's still not enough to make it the leading story. Especially considering that barely a month earlier, a teacher lost his memory, a student nearly died, and a prominent citizen lost his position on the Hogwarts Board of Governors. And all this under suspicious circumstances, in a children's school which most wizards consider to be the safest place around. You'd think they'd at least have pointed out that one of the kids featured in the article was the girl who almost died at Hogwarts.
    • As the fifth book shows, the Ministry of Magic isn't afraid of squashing the Prophet from running stories it doesn't like (and the Prophet generally is fine with complying). Given that the news-worthy events of the second book also involved the Ministry making very bad moves (Fudge wrongly arrested Hagrid and kicked out Dumbledore, still didn't stop the danger to the students, and ended up having it revealed that he and the Board of Governors were bullied into it by Lucius Malfoy), it wouldn't be that hard to see the Ministry downplaying those events, or having them ignored entirely.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: "HEIMLICH HOSPITAL ALMOST FORGETS PAPERWORK!" Wait until the readers of the Daily Punctilio read about this!
  • In the Alex Rider series, the death of a small time journalist is on the front page. Turns out because he wasn't really dead, it was MI6 trying to scare him out of revealing the truth about Alex, so they had to make sure he saw the story.
  • Featured several times in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, particularly Lost In A Good Book:
    "Toad News Network was the top news station, Lydia Startright their top reporter. If there was a top event, you could bet your top dollar that Toad would make it their top story. When Tunbridge Wells was given to the Russians as war reparations there was no topper story — except, that is, the mammoth migrations, speculation on Bonzo the Wonder Hound's next movie or whether Lola Vavoom shaved her armpits or not. My father said that it was a delightfully odd — and dangerously self-destructive — quirk of humans that we were far more interested in pointless trivia than genuine news stories."
    [upon finding a new Shakespeare play] "He showed me a copy of The Owl. The headline read: ‘New play by Will found in Swindon’. The Mole had the headline: ‘Cardenio sensation!’ and The Toad, predictably enough, led with ‘Swindon Croquet Supremo Aubrey Jambe found in bath with chimp’."
  • Somewhat lampshaded in Jeffrey Archer's The Fourth Estate. Richard Armstrong goes into a tirade against the editor of one of his newspapers that led with "Extra Benefits for Nurses" while his rival Keith Townsend had his newspaper lead with "Top Pop Star in Drug Scandal". The editor replies that the pop star in question had never had a hit in the top 100 and was caught smoking a joint in the privacy of his own home. After Townsend pulls more stunts like a bingo contest and a nude on page three, Armstrong eventually fires his editor.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the announcement of the Golden Ticket contest and the subsequent search for the tickets dominates newspaper front pages — and, in adaptations, television news as well — for weeks on end. Granted, the contest is Serious Business to most of the world, with people being driven to ridiculous and even criminal means to find the tickets.
  • In Why Not Me, the Franken-Lieberman victory in the presidential election is such a Foregone Conclusion that the top headline after Election Day is "PRINCE CHARLES KILLED IN POLO MISHAP!"

    Live Action TV 
  • HLN. Critics contend this spinoff news network of CNN places heavy emphasis on events or items of little to no news value — fluff human interest items, "Missing White Woman Syndrome" cases and "humorous" police news, dubious medical/consumer news and/or advice, "fads," Hollywood/sports news and rumors, overblown coverage of certain criminal trials (e.g., Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias), and confrontational editorializing — over-serious investigative/watchdog journalism and commentary.
  • Parodied on Corner Gas, where the local Dog River Howler is deliberately, ridiculously sensationalist; for example, when the town gets stop signs at an intersection, the headline is "Crosswalk Hell". Many characters make it a point to skip right by the front page to find something interesting.
  • Angel:
    • Lindsey's law firm promoting him to senior partner apparently got actual news coverage.
    • The part where a minor heiress had her picture shown in a major fashion magazine in such a way to also include her father's bodyguard, a person who Cordelia is looking for when she conveniently decides to take a break and look through a magazine instead. Biggest Ass Pull ever.
  • The first season of 24, which was still in production when the 9/11 attacks happened, has a plane explode in midair in the first episode, and then drop off the news cycles very rapidly (and being replaced with "Super Tuesday Coverage") for obvious reasons. Later seasons somewhat avert this though.
  • Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • In one sketch, a character reads a newspaper which has an advert for a breakfast cereal as the banner headline and main story, with "World War III declared" squashed in the bottom of the page.
    • In another episode:
      "Well, everyone is talking about the Third World War which broke out this morning. But here on Nationwide we're going to get away from that a bit and look instead at the latest theory that sitting down regularly in a comfortable chair can rest your legs."
  • Played with occasionally on The Colbert Report since the show won a Peabody award. Colbert will mention the Peabody at the top of the show, and lead into more "award-winning journalism" — only for the top story to be the most irrelevant garbage he could find. (They can't retract the award, so why not?)
  • The fact that both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show have won Peabodies for outstanding excellence in journalism means they have to try that much harder to remind people that they are both comedy shows. As far as Jon Stewart and the real Stephen Colbert are concerned, they'd rather the awards go to actual news organizations. For added irony value, the Stephen Colbert character is, in large part, a parody of Bill O'Reilly who, on multiple occasions, has been caught claiming to have won not one, but two, Peabodies in spite of the fact that he never actually did. (The Peabodies are given out to shows across the entire medium of television, and there are no limits to the awards that can be given.)
  • Smallville:
    • There's an episode where the entire front page of the Daily Planet was devoted to a bank robbery. The commentary track joked about how you don't get a font that big unless the world is ending.
    • Another episode had the Daily Planet featuring Lois Lane's historical report on a former hero society up on the front page. Apparently nothing happened anywhere in the world that day.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Girl In Gold Boots", one of the characters in the movie robs a gas station. Later, he is seen laughing as he reads about it in the newspaper. Mike Nelson comments, "Yeah, front page of the L.A. Times—forty-dollar robbery, nobody hurt!" This is actually something of a Running Gag on MST3K, as the mock-up newspapers used in old movies tend to have extremely bland filler stories on the front page alongside the plot-related headline (and of course the guys lampshade it). Further details can be found on the Wikia page "New Petitions Against Tax".
  • Babylon 5. Londo is visibly annoyed when the article on him becoming Emperor of the Centauri is overshadowed by banner headlines about comedy duo Rebo and Zooty.
  • Used as the big clue in a Jonathan Creek episode. Tourists have taken footage of the still living murder victim in the park while someone reads that morning's newspaper. The editor of the local newspaper was in on the plot and produced a copy of the newspaper front page ahead of time to film the victim before she was murdered. They then staged the story in the pre-printed headline. This explained why a big story was bumped to the third page.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • An episode hosted by Conan O'Brien contained a skit about the career of a boxer from the early 20th century. It ended with a headline about his retirement but under that was a small blurb about the beginning of World War I.
    • A 1980 SNL sketch spoofed the concept by having a panel of journalists discussing the big issues of the day. The catch was that four of the five reporters were from supermarket tabloids. Buck Henry's character, a serious journalist from a legitimate publication, was increasingly dumbfounded by the others' dismissal of important issues such as the upcoming election and the state of the nation's economy in favor of alien encounters and Elvis sightings.
    • Back in the '70s, there were months of daily reports in the "legitimate" media that Generalísimo Francisco Franco is still alive (at least until his death). At that point, Saturday Night Live weekly anchor Chevy Chase announced every week that Generalísimo Francisco Franco was still dead. This was invoked by The Colbert Report and other satirical news outlets with the death of Osama bin Laden.
  • The Chaser, similar to The Onion example, parodied this in the wake of a scandal surrounding AFL star Wayne Carey with "Iraq war continues, Melbourne newspaper struggles for Carey angle". Another episode revealed that the news of Chas Licciardello's arrest for selling fake weapons outside a Canterbury Bulldogs game had been the top story on one radio station, followed by Israel declaring war on Lebanon.
  • Lampshaded on Home and Away when Robbie couldn't believe that the front page story in The Coastal News was a planned resort for the bay being announced, only a day after the apparent death of serial killer Eve Jacobsen/Zoe MacCallister, AKA the Summer Bay Stalker.
  • Just about every instance of the Bluth family landing itself in legal trouble on Arrested Development makes the nightly news. Reporter John Beard wants to be sure viewers know "What this means for your weekend!"
  • In the second series of Prison Break, it seems unlikely that the Fox River Eight would receive so much media attention considering the President of the United States died in suspicious circumstances on the night of their escape. One prisoner was convicted of killing the new President's brother, which would hype the prison break story. Still, given a headline of "President Dies" or "Eight Escape Prison" it isn't hard to figure which should have gotten the headline. Also, a few of the later news stories were placed as traps by the FBI.
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip takes place in a world where the revelation of a decade-old drunk driving arrest of a network executive (not star... executive) is able to hit the top of the news-cycle... Can most people even name a single network executive?
  • Likewise, on The West Wing, the panic over the photographs of Sam with his High-Class Call Girl friend Laurie already seems slightly out of proportion. Now, sure, we can just about accept that Sam is a well-known face in the universe of The West Wing. However, in real life, most people probably don't know that there is such a job position as a White House Deputy Communications Director, or who fills it...and then C.J. announces that the paper they were sold to is The Daily Mirror, a British tabloid. For the record, in order for the British tabloids to care about an American speechwriter's platonic hug with a prostitute, they would have to have run through not only every scandal they could unearth about their own government and celebrities, but every scandal they could make up about their own government and celebrities.
  • The Goodies. In "War Babies" banner headlines declare that a woman has given birth to a full-sized Bill Oddie, whilst in a tiny corner of the newspaper is the news that World War II has just started.
  • Played for Laughs on Boy Meets World, where the news of Cory and Topanga's breakup takes up the whole front page of the school newspaper.
  • Doctor Who: In "The War Machines", the death of a tramp makes the front page of The Times. Actual deaths in 1966 included writers Evelyn Waugh and C.S. Forester, actors Buster Keaton and Montgomery Clift, comedian Lenny Bruce and Captain Cook's 200 year-old tortoise. Their deaths did not make the front page of The Times.
  • In an episode of The Real Mccoys, the news of grandpa being arrested for burning his trash was all over the headlines. An old man going to jail for burning his trash, the most important thing going on that day.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of the [adult swim] series Newsreaders. A segment is given to a story about the creator of "Motorboating Dad's", a new parenting method designed to teach young boys how to grow up to be womanizing douchebags. At the end of the segment, the man states that if what he is doing is so evil, then he challenges a time traveler to kill him as if he were Hitler. After a few moments of confidence in the fact that he must be right, since no time traveling assassins came back to kill him, the segment ends right as one appears. Lampshaded immediately.
    Thanks, but I think you missed the bigger story there.
  • One episode of Parks and Recreation features a copy of the local paper with a headline announcing the arrival of spring. "Most residents welcome the new season."

    Magazines 
  • The Onion would have many examples of this if it weren't a parody newspaper and not obligated to do real reporting. However, "No Jennifer Lopez News Today" is a parody of this trope: a story about reporters desperate to find reasons to reprint the famous photo of Lopez in her Grammy Awards dress (which is printed twice alongside the article).
    • An even older article had the story: "CNN Still Releasing News Piled Up During Elián González Saga". They included stuff like "China's Communist Government Falls", "Bubonic Plague Outbreak in Africa", "Los Angeles swallowed by the Sea" and "Mexico invades Texas". A photograph in the article shows a stack of videotapes with labels like "Library of Congress Demolition" and "Albrightnote  Rape Footage".
    • Our Dumb Century had an article about the 1992 Somali genocide being ignored by Americans in favor of "Dream Team Excitement" (the U.S. Olympic basketball team).
  • In 2008, People magazine ran a cover story about Ellen DeGeneres getting married to Portia De Rossi. The story about American Michael Phelps being the first person EVER to win 8 gold medals in swimming got a tiny little mention in the corner. An Op Ed later chewed them out for it.
    • The same thing happened in 2011 when they ran a cover story about relation troubles between the current The Bachelor couple, and demoted a story about the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan to a small thumbnail image on the top left corner.
    • People does this most of the time, being dedicated to celebrity gossip and human interest stories rather than important news.
  • Private Eye parodies this sort of thing regularly in the 'Colour Section', with common versions being popular celebrity news being rewritten as a story "Exclusive to All Newspapers" and described in straightforward, "Man Rides Bike" style — often with a mention of a far more important story being on Page 94. It's "Street of Shame" (Newspaper News) section may instead attack such things directly, and it also has the occasional feature "Going Live" to note the more absurd examples of a journalist standing on the street outside a house where something interesting happened several hours ago.

    Music 
  • The death of a single drug addict makes the front page of the Los Angeles Times in Eazy-E's "Boyz N Tha Hood." "Little did he know I had a loaded 12 gauge/ One sucka dead, L.A. Times front page."
  • Joe Jackson takes several shots at the British tabloids and their front-page stories in his song "Sunday Papers":
    If you want to know about the gay politician
    If you want to know how to drive your car
    If you want to know about the new sex position
    You can read it in the Sunday papers, read it in the Sunday papers
  • During the introduction to "MLF Lullaby", Tom Lehrer quipped that "Much of this discussion took place during the baseball season, so the Chronicle may not have covered it".

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Played straight in Apartment 3-G in June 2009, where a major news network breaks into programming to announce the return of a minor Tibetan lama from China. For bonus points, the reporter mentions the name of the man who accompanied him — Margo's erstwhile fiancée.
  • In Bloom County, one story arc in which space aliens attack Earth with death rays and abduction beams (starting in Bloom County itself, of course) and harvest humans for food and sex slaves toys with this trope when Milo reports all of this to his editor-in-chief (who's already an alcoholic and a chronically nervous wreck) at the Bloom Beacon:
    Editor: "You mean you want me to bump my Jack Kemp adultery rumor story to page TWO!?
    Milo: "I didn't say that!"
  • There was an unsold Doc Savage newspaper strip that was shopped around to newspapers in 1936. (The first week's worth of strips were eventually published in Doc Savage: Manual of Bronze from Millennium Comics.) The first strip had a villain reading a newspaper that proclaimed as its lead story 'SAVAGE TO SAIL ON THE CAMERONIC', with a subheading 'Famous Adventurer Refuses Interview — Will Not Make Statement'. So the lead story is that someone is sailing on an ocean liner and refusing to talk about it. The mind boggles as to what the rest of the article must have contained. Although the placing of this article on page 1 is a prime example of this trope, stories like this commonly appeared in newspapers of the time. People were fascinated by the travel plans of celebrities, and if they were intending to travel they'd pick a ship based more on who they were sailing with than on the safety or comforts of the vessel in question.
  • Found in FoxTrot, where Andy is watching the OJ Simpson trials. Suddenly, breaking news: aliens have landed and are now addressing the UN! Amazing! Now back to the OJ Simpson trials... Andy remarks that now she understands why Elvis shot that television.
  • The title hero of Mark Trail loses his beloved puppy. This apparently is so important that the newspaper runs a two-column story on the disappearance, complete with an enormous picture of the dog.
  • One political cartoon involved aliens coming to Earth and saying such things as "We come in peace and bring a cure for cancer." Meanwhile the news reporters are running the opposite direction yelling "J-Lo had twins! J-Lo had twins!"

    Radio 
  • A classic Bob & Ray bit has newsman Wally Ballou doggedly interviewing a cranberry grower in Times Square, even as sirens, gunshots, screams, etc. are heard in the background.
    • Revisited in their 1979 NBC TV special; see it here.

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • An old George Carlin bit has him doing a promo for the nightly news: "The sun did not come up this morning, huge cracks have appeared in the earth's surface, and big rocks are falling out of the sky. Details 25 minutes from now on Action Central News."
  • Chris Rock joked in 2004 that George Bush was trying to distract us from the war in Iraq by making news stories that the media would cover instead. He was the one who sent the girl to Kobe Bryant's hotel room, he killed Laci Peterson, he sent the little boy to Michael Jackson's house, and he made Paris Hilton's sex tape.
  • Eddie Izzard inverts this in Definite Article, when he notes that even papers don't steep too low:
    Thimbles don’t get enough press these days, do they? I don’t think they ever did, because very rarely you see, "'Thimbles? Ooh!' Says Man."

    Video Games 
  • The title screen of Paperboy is a newspaper declaring on the front page that "Amazing Paperboy Delivers!" If he runs out of lives or loses all his customers, his subsequent firing makes the front page as well. And if he makes it through the week alive and retires (after just one week?!)... same thing. Newspaper delivery truly is Serious Business. Some Fridge Logic here: if no one is reading the paper, is it news? The paperboy example is, of course, spoofed in the movie Press Start.
  • A running gag is that no one reads Aya's Bunbunmaru newspaper in Touhou, which probably has to do with the second running gag that Aya can't keep a straight story, will often ignore facts or focus on the wrong details, or write outright useless stories that will be weeks old when the paper is finally distributed.
  • A former police officer being convicted of poisoning a customer is definitely newsworthy. However, the news article Gumshoe brings Phoenix in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations says absolutely nothing about the case (not even the defendant's or victim's name) and focuses on what a shoddy defense Phoenix gave her. True, his defense was inexplicably poor and the idea that he might have essentially thrown the case might be newsworthy, but at the expense of all other information? Of course it wasn't Phoenix at all, but Furio Tigre dressed as Phoenix.
  • In later Pokémon games the TV-news-crew apparently have nothing better to do but follow you around and tell their audience about stuff like you catching a Level 3 Bidoof, or inform the world that your plants need watering. Never mind that there's an evil organization about possibly stealing Pokémon and trying to destroy the world...
    • Similarly, most of the Pokemon News Flash segments in Pokémon Channel (particularly the ones with Meowth) mostly have news that's not only trivial, but also virtually pointless.
  • Max Payne: Max sees a bunch of newspapers and newscasts with a story about the murder of his colleague. On the very same night he was murdered that is.
  • The newspapers ending each level in Hitman: Blood Money will always give the 72 point treatment to whichever assassination 47 has just pulled off. Meanwhile, stories like the death of the United States vice president are relegated to minor blurbs.
  • In Super Mario Sunshine, the Delfino Emergency Broadcast System will frequently scroll plot-important updates across the bottom of the screen. Generally, these involve things that would genuinely qualify as important news in this world, such as the kidnapping of Princess Peach or the game's villain being spotted about town. However, at one point, the D.E.B.S. sees fit to broadcast the sighting of a Yoshi egg on a local rooftop. Funnier yet, it ends the announcement in question with "reports are unconfirmed", as if it's a difficult feat to go look on top of the roof in question.
  • In Fallout 3, Three Dog of Galaxy News Radio seems to focus specifically on the Lone Wanderer, either praising or insulting them based on the player's actions. Lampshaded when he covers the Lone Wanderer starting a Collection Sidequest for Nuka Cola Quantum, stating that it's a slow news day. Since the only events of the world before the Lone Wanderer and later the Enclave arrives are "Brotherhood paladins kill Super Mutants", "Raiders ransack caravans, burn villages and use victim's bodies as home decoration" or "Ghouls spotted and/or eliminated somewhere", seeing some change is noteworthy for everybody.
  • Generally averted in Fallout: New Vegas, where Mr. New Vegas, the Radio host of Radio Vegas's news reports are generally news worthy. And the Courier is rarely ever mentioned by name, except for the one news story relating to him being shot in the head and recovering (which is what kicks off the game). Played straight in a few stories, such as the one relating to the Camp Golf rookies and their training scores.
  • In Fallout 4, Travis of Diamond City Radio generally tries to report the news as is while remaining impartial (though he's generally supportive of the Minutemen overall) as well as usually dancing around the player's involvement in the events, but he's also hindered by the fact that he's a nervous wreck of a man. By completing his sidequest however, he becomes a better DJ and reporter and will report the news with more detail and confidence while still remaining mostly impartial.
  • At the end of Rock Band 3, a series of Spinning Newspapers tells of the ensuing riot after your band's definitive performance, your rise to global super-stardom, the media attention that swamps you and how your band eventually goes missing in a plane crash over the seas of Venezuela. The final article telling of the search being called off with no hope of survivors has on the side a piece headlined "Starlet drinks coffee!"note . For the curious, your band didn't actually die; it was a scheme to escape the media attention, giving you an opportunity for a tropical vacation.
  • Quite a few clues in Nancy Drew games can be gleaned from newspaper articles or magazines. Sometimes the relevant not-especially-newsworthy article will share the front page with several others... each of which is a Continuity Nod to a previous game from the series, and just as trivial.
  • In Starcraft II, UNN reporter Kate Lockwell is interviewing the Crown Prince while the Dominion is facing both an invasion by the Zerg and a rebellion... and anchor Donny Vermillion decides to ask him about his love life. Here, the bad news judgement is in the questions — any sane reporter would ask him about Raynor's rebellion, or the war with the Zerg. Fortunately, Valerian gives a quick and simple answer to Vermillion's question (he actually has a crush on Lockwell) before moving on to more important matters.
  • The level "Manifest Destiny" in L.A. Noire. In one day, a source leaks that the LAPD has been taking kickbacks from a famous madam to keep prostitutes in the town off the streets, the conspiracy which stretches to the top of the department. Meanwhile, a group of Marines have stolen a massive shipment of heroin, cigarettes, and guns. Their deal with the Mafia goes south, leading Mickey Cohen to order them all killed on the same day. This includes, among other things, massacring two of them on the red carpet at Graumann's Chinese Theater and firing upon a crowded public bus with a machine gun. Phelps and Earle get involved in a running gun battle which ultimately leaves two dozen plus dead bodies strewn across Los Angeles. So what story catches headlines? Phelps cheating on his wife with a German lounge singer.
  • Invoked in the flash game The Republia Times. You play as the newspaper editor of a People's Republic of Tyranny and ordered to puff up pieces that keep people entertained (to bring in more readers) or inspire loyalty while downplaying negative news. Thus until you're contacted by La Résistance you're encouraged to produce papers with huge articles about a celebrity wedding while stories like a terrorist bomb causing 600 casualties being relegated to the side column.
  • In Chulip, the local paper will post about any and all events that go on in Long Life Town, including who Our Protagonist has kissed.
  • In Tomodachi Life, this is the point of Mii News. Other than announcing when something's unlocked, their main point in the game... Is to announce silly news articles, such as a Mii reentering Kindergarten, or a Mii finding a lost sock. Sometimes interviewed Miis will lampshade this with these possible responses:
    In other words, we're having a really slow news day, right?
    Isn't there anything more interesting going on?
    Do you guys ever cover anything serious?
  • In the "Pandoran Gazette" (which comes with the Collector's Edition) in Borderlands 2, this is lampshaded.
    Local Newspaper Writer Desperate To Fill Space On Page
    Two hundred words. That's a lot of words. I mean, relatively, I guess it isn't - War and Peace was a lot of words. At least three hundred, definitely. But in a world where a headline like "Man eaten alive by giant ape monster" doesn't warrant much more than a shrug, it's hard to find two hundred words worth of news that will actually excite people.
  • Drakensang 2: River of Time plays with this: there is a newspaper boy in Nadoret, the main city in the game, selling both the local paper and the all-Aventurian paper. The loal paper contains one article each, mentioning recent events in the game, while the 'big' paper gives a historical overview, but is more window-dressing, containing little that is relevant to the game.
    • Woman kisses toad - yuck!

    Webcomics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: On this (VERY spoileriffic) page, a time traveller looks at the newspaper to find out what year it is. The front page headline reads "IT IS OCT 4TH, 1979! THAT'S IT. NOTHING IS GOING ON. SLOW DAY."
    NO SPORTS
    NOBODY EVEN DIED
    Why don't you draw in your own picture of what happened to you yesterday?
    And then we'll give you plenty of space to write about something.
  • Schlock Mercenary plays this trope straight when a story about a brontosaurus at a zoo projectile vomiting on the crowd gets more attention than the Lunar Space Elevator getting cut and almost killing everyone within a kilometer of the moon's equator.
  • Bob the Angry Flower: Robert invents a portal to heaven, and uses it in national public scientific research. Everyone who could possibly object is too busy listening to things like a gay star.
  • This trope was the entire point of Andrew Hussie's old What A Scoop! miniseries.
  • According to this Scandinavia and the World strip, Denmark's take on global news is like this.
  • Polandball pokes fun at this in the most offensive way possible in Nice Hat.
  • Biter Comics: The local news station covers the hard hitting story of... the couple that's been married for a long time.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has this:
    Superman: I'm going to the press, and we'll see what the headline is when they find an entire county of impoverished minorities has disappeared.
    Headline: Celebrity Nipples: A Retrospective

    Web Original 
  • The first game in The Trapped Trilogy ends with a newspaper with a headline about a serial killer who's the main character of the game, and the main villain of the series on the loose. Headline-worthy material, to be sure, except that just below it is a story about the second coming of Jesus.
  • The Jib Jab video, "What We Call the News" sums up this trope in a nutshell.
  • In Darwin's Soldiers 3 a fight between two characters literally tears up the entire Las Vegas strip. Also, a different character was killed in a convenience store. Somehow, the latter event made the papers, but the former did not.
  • Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series episode 24:
    News Caster: We interrupt this program to give you an urgent report. It seems that the Domino Museum is holding an extremely boring exhibition on ancient Egypt. Apparently this qualifies as news. In other plot-related stories, Seto Kaiba is about to receive an important phone call.
  • Played for Laughs in Suburban Knights, in which a recorded news broadcast from the eighties gives most of its focus on the disappearance of a geeky LARPER named Chuck Gaffers. The story following that?
    On a lighter note, the president has been shot.
  • In Video Game High School, a news segment about the president being kidnapped is interrupted with news about varsity captain of VGHS getting fragged in a pubstomp.
  • In a Strong Bad Email segment, Strong Bad runs his own news show and keeps teasing "The World in Crisis" as a major news story… that gets pre-empted for such significant news as a line forming at Bubs' Concession Stand, Strong Mad saying "I SHOULD WIN!" regarding sports, and a weather report allegedly given by an inanimate object. He never explains "The World in Crisis" story.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: While Cecil's sense of what makes a news story noteworthy is often a bit skewed, he usually does manage to pick out the relevant stories to report on. However, he really drops the ball in Ep. 31, "A Blinking Light up on the Mountain". He neglects to mention (first) that the mountain is new, (second) that the new mountain rose out of a new set of mud plains, and (third) that the mud plains are currently covered by an invading army.
    • Returns in Ep. 60 "Water Failure" when, despite several incrediby news-worthy happenings around town, Cecil keeps getting sidetracked by station problems, such as the water being off so he can't make coffee:
    Cecil: We've tried to turn off the faucets, but the handles just spin loosely and have seemingly no effect on the smell. We tried calling the plumber but they just screamed something about there being four suns. 'Four suns!' they howled into the phone, before muttering for a while about nothing being as it seems, we've been duped by God, all is lost, blah-blah, something-something living nightmares. So, I guess we’re going to have to contact the Water Department directly about this issue. (beat) Oh! Also, I should have mentioned earlier, the two suns have now doubled to four suns. There are now four suns in the sky. So that’s awful.
  • Lampshaded in one of the missions on the WGBH FFFBI site, where one of the items in the mission dossier is a newspaper article about New Delhi getting new binumerical street signs (that does come in handy in teaching the agent Hindi numerals) that ends with the line "Bystanders agreed with India Inquirer reporters that it was indeed a slow day for news."
  • In Vinesauce Tomodachi Life, the already bizarre news reports in the game get cranked up in a side episode where Vinny plays the prequel Tomodachi Collection. At several points in the episode, Vineschnoz (a clone of Vinny's Mii that sports a Gag Nose) tries to share his hot news. Thanks to the game corruptions Vinny is implementing, his reports range from odd (saying some Gratuitous Japanese) to weird (a conspiracy theory involving ents and "ÄSlw b" that he says twice) to slightly frightening (talking about the aforementioned "ÄSlw b" while being covered up by a glitched texture wall). For some reason, the last report he gives out is completely normal (by Tomodachi standards of normal).

    Western Animation 
  • Camp Lazlo: The attempts to jazz up the camp newsletter end up this territory:
    Local hamster builds giant toothbrush out of toothpicks...THIS IS THE SCOOP OF THE CENTURY??? ARE YOU ALL MAD???
  • An episode of Chilly Beach had two spinning papers covering the local election, and a third announcing that "Small town can support three newspapers!"
  • The Danger Mouse finale, "The Intergalactic 147," has the news reporter taking his bulletin of the strange white planet on a collision course for Earth and turning it into a contest to name the planet.
  • Family Guy: Quahog 5 News is frequently guilty of this trope, overplaying pop culture or non-news "news" while giving no attention to legitimate news.
  • Futurama'.
    • Lampshade Hanging with "Paper boys get award on slow news day." The same episode featured, "Monsterstory largely went unnoticed throughout much of April, it quickly gained international attention after reports of Boko Haram planning on selling them as sex slaves. Immediately after that, #BringBackOurGirls was tweeted over a million times, as an image of a frowning Michelle Obama holding up a sign with the hashtag became a symbol of the international outrage and solidarity with Nigeria that happened afterwards. Unfortunately, most of the schoolgirls have yet to be rescued as of 2016.
  • The Kony 2012 video also got a similar reaction, although the Internet quickly turned it into a Black Comedy kind of meme, so people didn't take it quite as seriously as the Nigerian girls.
  • As was the annual case, Barack Obama made his State of the Union Address in February 2013, and the address was followed up by a response from Republican Senator Marco Rubio. For every channel besides the Conservative Fox News, most of the follow-up reporting on Rubio's response was on the fact he stopped midway through to have a sip of water.
  • Gordie Howe was a legend in the world of ice hockey. Even if he wasn't quite at the level of Wayne Gretzky, he was still one of the most respected names in the industry. Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of dying shortly after Muhammad Ali and Kimbo Slice, the former of who was an even bigger icon (and about fifteen years younger) and the latter who, while more of an cult name in the MMA world, died at the young age of 42. But then, Howe's death was completely overshadowed by the murder of pop singer Christina Grimmie at a concert in Orlando, Florida. Grimmie was largely unknown to the greater public, being mostly recognized for her stint on The Voice, but she had a cult fanbase on YouTube. But she was only 22 when she was shot and killed by a fan (possibly an ex-boyfriend) after a concert. While Howe's death was sad, it was hardly surprising as he was 88. Much like with the Robin Williams / Lauren Bacall example, this wasn't about Howe having less recognition than Grimmie so much as the fact that the latter's death was a shocking murder that nobody saw coming. Also not helping Howe's case were the other major news stories surrounding it, namely the announcement of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presumptive nominee for the U.S. presidential electionnote  and the controversy surrounding the sentence of former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner for sexual assault. However, all of these stories were eventually overshadowed by the Orlando nightclub shooting, as it was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The shooting also made the deaths of legendary voice actress Janet Waldo and (in a lesser way) of Michu Meszaros, the actor that portrayed Alf in costume, complete afterthoughts outside of television-related sites.
  • Of course, the thing about the Orlando nightclub shooting is that in time, a lot of focus stopped being about the actual crime itself and more about foot-in-mouth remarks that Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump had made on social media in response to the massacre.
  • Also Orlando nightclub shooting related: a few days after it happened, a boy was killed by an alligator in the Seven Seas Lagoon at the nearby Walt Disney World Resort. Such an event would have probably only been a local news story (with many a blip on national newscasts) if it weren't for the fact that it happened shortly after both the nightclub shooting and Christina Grimmie's murder, was less than a month after another high profile child-wild animal encounternote  and it was apparently the first recorded instance of an alligator attack on Disney property.
  • Something worth noting is that after massacres like Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine, San Bernardino, Charleston, or Orlando - basically any mass murder where the incident is a shooting - most American news media uses these events to debate over gun control rather than terrorism or mental illness.
  • The Nice, France truck incident of July 14, 2016 would be somewhat overshadowed by news media within 24 hours by an attempted military coup in Turkey. This was subverted on social media, however, where Nice was for the most part the bigger story of the two (not that Turkey didn't get its fair share of attention either).
  • On July 18, 2016 a lone-wolf terrorist on a train in Germany attacked people with an axe, injuring four people before he was killed by police, but for those living in Cleveland, Ohio and in fact most of the United States, that story was totally ignored by the presence of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which every local news channel was covering the course of the whole week. It even dwarfed a shooting at an anti-violence rally in nearby Euclid, Ohio and the death of TV actor and producer Garry Marshall. The shooting at a Munich McDonald's four days later, on the other hand, quickly took center stage, as, aside from the Republican convention being over by that point, the shooting was actually deadly, having killed nine people. Making matters worse, however, was the fact that the gunman was targeting children.
  • Most American newspapers headlined their July 27, 2016 editions with the news that Hillary Clinton had become the Democratic presidential nominee. The majority of the headlines, however, were accompanied by photos of Bill Clinton and/or Hillary's defeated rival Bernie Sanders, rather than of Hillary.
  • In August 2016, Louisiana was hit with its worst flooding since Katrina, but due to coverage of the Olympics and the Election, it was largely ignored by television news. On the Internet, however, the flooding was in a much brighter spotlight. Since the storm did not have a name and the death toll was quite small, the story would have likely gone under the radar outside Louisiana had it not been for the fact that Baton Rouge was already reeling from a police-on-black death and a murder of a police officer by a black man, or that the lack of news coverage didn't incite such a major controversy.
  • The divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in September 2016 devoured all other news stories the week it was announced. Coverage of a series of bombings in New York City and New Jersey dominated the early part of that week before Brangelina took over the news cycle. The Pitt-Jolie saga also eclipsed stories like Yahoo announcing a data breach of 500 million users, a shipwreck of a boat of Egyptian migrants, and a gasoline shortage in the southeast. The story of another police-on-black death in Charlotte, North Carolina initially went under the radar due to the divorce coverage, but as the subsequent riots grew bigger the story quickly exploded, with a shooting at a Washington state mall only temporarily unseating it as the top news story in the nation.

Alternative Title(s): Worst News Judgement Ever

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WorstNewsJudgmentEver