May 31, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Tiptoeing toward a presidential run; going toe-to-toe for spelling title

The Washington Post and The New York Times called it a stir in the GOP, as former Sen. Fred Thompson took steps to run for president.

USA TODAY posted an interview with the actor-politician on its Web site Wednesday. “‘Law & Order’ actor planning a bid for the GOP nomination that will mix his folksy approach with some tech-savvy campaign tactics,” it said in a centerpiece on today’s front page. So far, Thompson is taking steps to run. How best to describe the news? The Des Moines (Iowa) Register said: “Thompson tiptoes toward official ’08 bid.” In Nashville -- from which Thompson plans to run his campaign -- The Tennessean reported that he is expected to officially announce his bid for the presidency on July 4.

Second-day news about a tuberculosis scare brought questions about governments’ response.  “How did infected man leave Atlanta?” The Journal-Constitution asked. “Tuberculosis patient was not stopped by safeguards,” The Miami Herald International Edition said.

The infected man jetted off to Europe for his wedding and honeymoon. Thirty-one local students are “in thick of TB scare,” said The State in Columbia, S.C., which quoted a student who likely was sitting in the same row on an Air France flight as the man. “Colo. next stop for TB traveler,” said The Denver Post, reporting that the man will get treatment for a rare, drug-resistant strain. The newspaper published a graphic explaining the disease.

The 2007 hurricane season begins tomorrow, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald of Biloxi, Miss., printed a “flight plan” with its story about evacuations. Other newspapers along the Gulf Coast referred to hurricane guides inside.

Wanted: Classifieds are usually printed inside the newspaper, but today’s Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune featured a help-wanted request as the government seeks a new caretaker for a landmark – a light tower near a harbor at the head of the Great Lakes.

Guess who’s coming to dinner? To residents of Kennebunkport, Maine, visits by presidents and dignitaries are commonplace. But news that the U.S. and Russian presidents will meet there in July made front-page news in the Portland Press Herald. “Given recent tensions, George Bush and Vladimir Putin are more likely to butt heads at the summit,” it predicted.

Today’s images: Spellbound students were featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which reported on the p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy, a former newspaper Page One editor, is director/diversity programs.

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