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Newspaper Promotes Self in Obit

Adam Bernstein

The New York Post, a newpaper economical in its fairness and devotion to nuance, recently gave itself a strange bit of promotion in an obituary.

The tone is perhaps expected from a newspaper that upon the death in December of blues and rock innovator Ike Turner used the headline: IKE "BEATS" TINA TO DEATH. This was a reference to the generally acknowledged fact that Turner's reputation was overshadowed by his former wife Tina's allegations of spousal abuse.

By Adam Bernstein  |  January 16, 2008; 3:03 PM ET
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The Washington Post also ran an obit for Ms. Wolf. It appeared as follows:

Diane Wolf, 53, a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in the late 1980s who made news for her advocacy of a major redesign of the nation's coins, died Jan. 10 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She had complications of a blood disorder.

On the fine arts panel, Ms. Wolf was a key force behind a bill to raise money for the Treasury by redesigning the penny, nickel, dime, quarter and half-dollar. The planned profit stemmed from the low cost of producing coins.

"The coins we have now have been around for a long time," she told the Los Angeles Times. "The designs are nice, but they're dull and outdated."

She had support from then-Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), a friend. However, the efforts to pass legislation, including a push for new commemorative coins, were defeated by congressional colleagues.

Ms. Wolf was born in Cheyenne, Wyo., and raised in Denver. She was a 1976 cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

She received a master's degree in early childhood education from Columbia University in 1980 and was a 1995 graduate of Georgetown University's law school.

She became a fundraiser for Republican causes and served on committees that serve the National Archives, Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera, National Symphony Orchestra and National Public Radio.

She was a Washington resident and former president of the Federal Bar Association's Capitol Hill chapter.

Survivors include her parents, Erving and Joyce Wolf of New York City; and two brothers.

Posted by: Adam | January 16, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand. What is so "shamelessly self-promoting" about it?

Posted by: Al | January 16, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I agee with Al -- I've seen more bloviating done in obits in the Washington Compost. The WaPo always includes degrees earned, prestigious positions held, charity and volunteer work, and frequently names famous relatives. This one seems to be rather low-key compared to some in the Compost. The main tragedy is that she died following a 'minor' surgical procedure.

Just wait until I croak -- I'll list all the famous people in my family tree. It'll knock the socks off of people who don't know about them.

Posted by: Is it 5:00 yet? | January 16, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You might disagree, but what struck me as odd was the "promotion" of The NY Post within the obit.

Posted by: Adam | January 16, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Al was rightly confused. Rephrased the original post for clarity.

Posted by: Adam | January 16, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

A good ad agency will raise the topic when quoting on your site,

Posted by: khh | April 17, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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