…when [headline writers] produced a startling nine pun headlines April 20, Editor Robert Rivard enacted an immediate ban on puns in headlines — or "heds," to use newspaper jargon.I get where Rivard is coming from – the headline "Border violence killing tourism," for example, which appeared in the Express-News, is simply inappropriate. But puns are the lifeblood of headline writers, for better or worse. When Anne Bancroft, who played Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," died in June of last year, I wrote a satirical piece mocking the various headlines that appeared – everything from "Anne Bancroft has left and gone away" to "Heaven Holds A Place For Those Who Pray" to " "Fans loved her more than she will know."
"That was it for me," Rivard said, "especially as I made my way through the predictable e-mails from readers dismissing us as a serious newspaper."
In declaring the ban April 21, Rivard e-mailed news editors: "It's a shame to see the good work of so many disparaged because of the immaturity of a few headline writers who seem more focused on peer approval than on producing a quality newspaper for the community."
When the stories aren't all that serious, however, punny headlines can be kind of funny. Or at least, that's what we tell ourselves. Below, you'll find a few punny heds that we've run with our "10 Plus 1" feature, which involves interviews with various CBS News folks. Are they amusing, annoying, or a little of both? Your call: