What is it about the death of celebrity that brings out the worst in headline writers? Nicole, at A Capital Idea, has repeatedly highlighted the problem of tastelessness and the headlong dive into cliché when headline writers turn their “skills” to the celebrity obit. A search of her excellent blog, turned up these post on the subject well worth reading.

Nicole’s not alone. In a post today, Colby Cosh wonders what subeditors had against Don Adams.

I don’t know how else to account for the borderline-tasteless headlines his death has been inspiring:

  • “Would you believe…? Comic Don Adams of Get Smart is dead” -Miami Herald
  • “Agent 86 makes 82 – missed it by that much” -The Courier-Mail, Brisbane
  • “We’ll miss him by about that much” -The Daily Texan
  • “Cone of Silence descends on Smart” -The Australian
  • “Would you believe dead as a doornail?” -City Pages, Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dead as a doornail? Jeez–did the guy owe you money or something?

And we wonder why so many people don’t respect journalists. Sheesh.