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Paper Monitor

13:13 UK time, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A celebration of riches of the daily press.

It's a little while since Paper Monitor has indulged in its favourite form of juvenilia. So let's have a look at today's punning headlines on the forthcoming Cameron baby.

Sorry to report there are quite a few pretty poor examples, including: "SAM'S HAVING A BABYCAM" (Daily Mail), "Dust off the SamPram, Dave" (Daily Mail, again), "Wham bam! Sam Cam to be mam" (the Sun). But the Times's "Sam Cam moves towards labour" is neat, as is the Guardian's "Sam Cam's labour bombshell".

This whole Sam Cam thing isn't going to go away, is it? One wonders if, without such a handy abbreviation, the opportunities for getting into the papers might be limited?

Some student of politics somewhere surely needs to get PhD funding to examine the effect on the length or abbreviability of names on political coverage. It's the tyranny of the column width. When everyone's reading online text on the backs of their hands this won't happen any more.

The Times also deserves special mention for its headline on the editorial about the Dispatches/Sunday Times investigation: "Byers Market". Neat.

But there are no thanks to the Mail or the Times for dusting off the revelations, from Cherie Blair's book Speaking for Myself, that Leo Blair was conceived during a prime ministerial visit to Balmoral.

But just so that Paper Monitor isn't the only one slightly embarrassed again, let's recap: Mrs Blair was "extremely disconcerted to discover on her first visit to Balmoral in 1998 that everything of hers had been unpacked - including her "distinctly ancient toilet bag with its range of unmentionables".

She wrote: "This year I had not packed my contraceptive equipment, out of sheer embarrassment. As usual up there, it had been bitterly cold, and what with one thing and another..."

Anyone still reading? If so, you'll may be pleased to hear that the Daily Telegraph's 1st Rule of Attractability - as set out in yesterday's Paper Monitor - holds true for today. Page one and page three.

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