The Drudge Report’s flashing siren is a familiar sight to even semi-regular readers. When the shadowy ruler of the news cycle thinks that an unfolding news item or anonymous piece of gossip is more significant than the standard deformed-animal story, he throws up the siren to let everyone know. It’s become so iconic that Howard Wolfson, Hillary Clinton’s former communications director, told the Times Magazine that during the campaign the siren “haunted my dreams.”
Yesterday, we noticed that Drudge’s liberal counterpart, the Huffington Post, has come up with its own little animation. Perched above headlines for the most feel-good plane crash in history sat a spinning globe pulsating with radio waves and the word “Breaking” underneath — a “newish” feature, the Huffington Post tells us. The question is, which website’s icon better conveys a sense of pressing, important news? On the one hand, the siren communicates a sense of urgency, which is good. But it also reminds us of the time we were pulled over for speeding on the Thruway, an unpleasant memory we’d rather not relive. The spinning globe is classier, and kind of harks back to those old newsreels Joe the Plumber loves so much. What do you say, fans of news-aggregation websites?