The New York Post has outdone itself with this pervy, puntastic Beatles cover

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The New York Post's front cover on September 12, 2018.
The New York Post's front cover on September 12, 2018. Credit: New York Post

New Yorkers—and plenty of non-New Yorkers, including media people across the land—know that the New York Post was once the undisputed champion of clever, quippy and often delightfully inappropriate front-page headlines. In fact, 10 years ago, the Murdoch-owned tabloid issued a greatest-hits collection in coffee-table book form: "Headless Body in Topless Bar: The Best Headlines from America's Favorite Newspaper"—that title taken, of course, from what's considered the all-time-classic Post coverline.

But the Post has arguably been off its game in recent years, in large part because its crosstown rival, the Daily News, has turned into the master of the cheeky anti-Trump cover (see, for instance, "The Daily News put the Trump Baby blimp to creative use"), whereas the right-wing Post tends to treat Trump much more gingerly.

Today, though, the old Post is back, baby! If anyone's working on a sequel coffee-table book, the tabloid's headline take on new revelations about The Beatles' sexual proclivities has to be a contender for inclusion: "BEAT THE MEATLES."

Oh my.

But wait, there's more! There are a couple of helpfully explanatory bullet points: "Hard day's night—Paul reveals Beatles' sex secrets" and "'Me and John masturbated with a group.'" And then, perhaps like us, you'll belatedly notice the pièce de résistance: the sort of pre-headline that reads "COME TOGETHER." (Groan.)

The revelations, incidentally, are all courtesy of a new GQ cover story by Chris Heath, tamely titled "The Untold Stories of Paul McCartney."

Here we should note that the Post's web version of the story (which lives on its gossip vertical) carries a single-entendre, just-the-facts-ma'am headline that's entirely stripped of wit: "Paul McCartney and John Lennon masturbated together to Brigitte Bardot."

An algorithm could have written that headline.

An algorithm probably did write that headline.

As for the print-edition treatment, we're picturing a group of sweaty, excited Post editors, late at night, doing the copywriting version of "masturbating with a group"—and then, hopefully, all sharing a cigarette.

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