How The Page Turns Breaking News Into A Painful Annoyance

11/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What is it about Mark Halperin's The Page that sucks like the sonic boom of suckosity? Is it the bad puns, or the stupid pictures? Is it the general lack of polysyllabic content? Is it the fact that every time Mark Halperin repeats the phrase "Land of Lincolner," angels lose their wings, and then send me emails, describing what it's like to have wings torn from one's back in graphic detail, begging me to please, please, please do something to stop this daily celestial atrocity? Actually, it can be very hard to describe what it is precisely about The Page that makes it such a toxic annoyance to the many inside-the-Beltway types for whom hating The Page is a shibboleth, bespeaking common sense.

But today's news offers an example. John McCain, today, is pulling resources out of Michigan, significant news with large ramifications that many can, have, and will be able to form whole paragraphs around. Now, Halperin's not without good news instincts. He gets what's important. Often, he gets it fast, even first! And, appropriately, he's got McCain pulling out of Michigan at the top of The Page, with an item that reads:


Politico reports the McCain camp is poised to give up on the Wolverine State.

"McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida."

What Electoral College options would McCain have to get to 270 if he abandoned Michigan? Answer here.

And there's a silly picture of wolverine with a circle-strike-through around it, for effect. You know, in case WORDS aren't your bag. Still, what we have here is some basic information, and a link that promises some deeper analysis on McCain's electoral options. Now, as someone who follows polling data, who has a robust RSS feed offering state-by-state information, who reads at least once a day, the question, "What Electoral College options would McCain have to get to 270 if he abandoned Michigan?" starts my mind racing over the possible answers. And seeing that link there, one might imagine that clicking on it could lead to further insight. Should you click on the link? NO. NEVER EVER CLICK ON MARK HALPERIN'S LINKS. Because this is where Halperin takes the News of the Day and turns it into a blunt instrument, aimed at your poor brain.

And, in this case, if you click the link, here's what you get as your answer, in its entirety:

Unless the Republicans can win Pennsylvania, not many.


In fairness, there's also this idiotic picture:

But seriously: UGGGHHH. The whole thing is just a brazen suck-job for additional clicks, obviously. Everyone does this. Few, besides The Page, bait the hook with nothing more than a single moronic sentence that immediately makes you feel bad.

So, look, forget the fact that McCain is pulling out of Michigan. Here's the news that matters to Mark Halperin. You can "Earn a Stable 15% yearly!" and "Protect your portfolio" by investing in "Medical Imaging Ctr-Min $25k inv" by going to Evolution Solar is an "emerging green energy growth stock investment" that you can learn more about here. A good credit score is 700. Wanna know yours...for FREE? Go to And at CDW, they are "always there for your technology needs."

So, yeah. Keep going to The Page, and keep getting played like that. Why not.