Media Blog

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Headline of the Day


Sometimes, you get a little reminder that the people who write the headlines aren’t the people who write the stories:

Obama stumps for a desperate Democrat in Massachusetts

Desperate. Compare the tone of that to the reporter’s paraphrase of Obama, in which he adopts the president’s view as his own:

Obama noted Kennedy’s lifelong support for legislation aimed at helping working people, and said Coakley would help keep that agenda alive. By contrast, he noted, the Republican candidate, state Sen. Scott Brown, would shift the balance of power in the Senate against the Democrats and their agenda.

Working people. Because, Lord knows, there aren’t any working people who vote Republican, or who think their taxes are too high and their lives too regulated. I know, it’s tricky for a reporter to write a paraphrase like that without seeming to adopt the speaker’s point of view, but imagine a sentence about “legislation aimed at protecting unborn children” and you can be pretty sure that almost any reporter would find a way to distance himself from those views.

Prediction: If Brown wins, the media will be full of stories about how “tea party rage” is dooming Republicans’ chance to attract “mainstream” voters in the next election.


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