Australian newspaper runs greatest-ever front-page crocodile joke

March 25, 2013

Here is Friday's front page from the NT News, an Australian paper that covers the rural Northern Territory. The conservative-leaning outlet is owned by News Corp, best known in the U.S. for its ownership of Fox News. See if you can spot the political joke:

Yes, the joke is that some recent turmoil in Australia's national parliament is, like the animal in the photo, "a crock."

Here's the NT News story on the crocodile, in case you want to read it. It's about a 15-foot crocodile that was discovered shot in the head. And here's their story on the "federal leadership challenge," which has led a number of members of the Labor Party to resign and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to announce he will never again seek the country's highest office. (There's also a New York Times story on this if you wanted the non-local perspective.)

NT News is a lot like the New York Post – known for punny, outrageous headlines and right-leaning politics – if New York City were a largely empty expanse of desert three times the size of California that's best known for its mining sector and such landmarks as the "Devil's Marbles."

The official NT News Twitter feed advertises the paper with the tag-line, "Come celebrate the unique(!) character of Australia's finest journal of record, the NT News." There's a section in the paper called "Only in the Territory" that I won't link to directly because it's not exactly family-friendly; suffice to say that the top four stories there are all crocodile-related.

Update: Two Australian readers, expressing a combination of pride and embarrassment, sent along two other great NT News headlines. Alas, one of them is un-linkable from a family newspaper. But the other, "Why I stuck a cracker up my clacker", actually won Australia's most prestigious journalism award. The award usually goes to investigative reporting or political commentary. The NT News reporter responsible for the story is quoted as saying, in response to his award, "I've ruined the reputation of both the Walkley Awards and the NT News in one go."

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Max Fisher | March 22, 2013